Posted in Interesting, Poetics


You knew, the Emperor of India, Shah-Jahan
That life, youth, wealth, renown
All float away down the stream of time
Your only dream
Was to preserve forever your heart’s pain
The harsh thunder of imperial power
Would fade into sleep
Like a sunset’s crimson splendour
But it was your hope
That atleast a single, eternally-heaved sigh would stay
To grieve the sky
Though emeralds, rubies, pearls are all
But as the glitter of a rainbow tricking out empty air
And must pass away
Yet still one solitary tear
Would hang on the cheek of time
In the form
Of this white and gleaming Taj Mahal
O human heart,
You have no time
To look back at anyone again 
No time
You are driven by life’s quick spate
On and on from landing to landing,
Loading cargo here,
Unloading there
In your garden the south wind’s murmurs
May enchant spring ‘madhabi’ creepers
Into suddenly filling your quivering lap with flowers
Their petals are scattered in the dust come twilight
You have no time
You raise from the dew of another night
New blossom in your groves, in jasmine
To dress with tearful gladness the votive tray
Of a later season
O human heart
All that you gather is thrown 
To the edge of the path by the end of each night and day
You have no time to look back again
No time, no time
Thus, Emperor, you wished,
Fearing your own heart’s forgetfulness
To conquer time’s heart
Through beauty
How wonderful the deathless clothing
With which you invested
Formless death – how it was garlanded!
You could not maintain
Your grief forever, and so you enmeshed
Your restless weeping
In bonds of silent perpetuity
The names you softly
Whispered to your love
On moonlit nights in secret chambers live on
As whispers in the ear of eternity
The poignant gentleness of love
Flowered into the beauty of serene stone
Poet – Emperor
This is your heart’s picture
Your new ‘Meghaduta’ 
Soaring with marvellous, unprecedented melody and line
Towards the unseen plane
On which your loverless beloved
And the first glow of sunrise
And the last sigh of sunset
And the disembodied beauty of moonlit ‘cameli’ flower
And the gateway on the edge of language
That turns away man’s wistful gaze again and again
Are all blended
This beauty is your messenger,
Skirting time’s sentries
To carry the wordless message
“I have not forgotten you, my love, I have not forgotten you”
You are gone, now, Emperor
Your empire has dissolved like a dream
Your throne is shattered
Your armies whose marching
Shook the earth
Today have no more weight than the windblown dust on the Delhi road
Your singers no longer sing for you
Your musicians no longer mingle their tunes
With the lapping Jumna
The jingle of the anklets of your women
Has died from your palaces
The night sky moans
With the throb
Of crickets in their crumbling corners
But your tireless, incorruptible, messenger
Speaks to us with sombre melody
“Stare no matter how distantly
That traveller is no longer here, no longer here
His beloved kept him not
His realms released him
Neither sea nor mountain could bar him
Today his chariot
Travels at the beck of the night
To the song of the stars
Towards the gate of dawn
I remain here weighted with memory
He is free of burdens; he is no longer here
-Rabindranath Tagore


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4 thoughts on “Shah-Jahan

  1. If each post had a “Love” button I would love this a thousand times. How beautiful ❤
    I was surprised I didn't mourn more for losing my pet, Yoshi. But then I realized how happy I was with our relationship, and how much deeper was my enjoyment doing things when he was was with me. That's when I realized grief grows from regrets. I didn't have any regrets for Yoshi's life, just so much love and happiness.
    Thank you for linking to this ❤

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