Feb 25, 2024
Feb 25, 2024
by Shilpi Rawat
The blue of my crown is the color of Deep Ocean, without any foliage, with no sun to form a light beam. It’s the color of dark waters, of royalty and luxury.
Back in the days when the first sun rays hit my blue tiles in the morning, I would glimmer and project enchanting beauty amidst the lush green lawns. My square body, topped by an intricately carved dome stands in testimony to the hundreds of years of life passing by me and millions of humans that have experienced my architectural marvel.
The Lodi garden estate was built as a leisure reservoir for the Lodi dynasty. Each one of my accompanying tombs has stood the harsh testing times-sometimes natural and more often human inflicted.
I was constructed as a part of Sikander Lodi’s court to be used as an entertainment area during the court meeting hours. As soon as the king was done with his first round of meetings, I was decorated festively with fragrant candles and rose water mists. The shehnai’s would come alive and so would the four walls of my chamber. Music that filled the morning durbar was deeply refreshing. My dome was adorned with colored glasses that would sparkle and swing in rhythmic vibrations of music.
King and his accomplices enjoyed and treasured my artsy interiors. But I always liked the evening discourses. The music was always an eclectic mix of soft romance and rejuvenation. King and Queen sat together for hours discussing a myriad of things; caressing and delighting in each other’s company. Sometimes they had tiffs and my gleaming glasses have witnessed the various red hues of the queen’s cheeks. Her blush, her anger and her submission have all been captured by my carved walls. They have absorbed the togetherness of this beautiful couple who now sleep side by side inside my premises in eternal bliss. With the coming of Mughals, my king’s dynasty came to an end and so ended my lifetime of warm memories. Some of the Mughal rulers took good care of me but couldn’t save my precious walls from being invaded and damaged time and again.
I am Shisha Gumbad. My glass adornments have all vanished and the royal blue tiles now only paint a devastating picture. I have become a heritage sight, monument of the past, a muse to many artists. Well, you may look and feel stagnant about me but let me tell you this, everyday I witness the marvel of different arts as I act as an inspiration for many who come inside my crumbling chambers to be embraced by my history and find the artist inside them voicing out more lyrically, musically, intricately and deeply.
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