Journal : Feb 22, 2012 : In Between

This afternoon was hot. The roads and traffic made it worse.

It was strange knowing that our Government discourages long period lease arrangements between tenants and landlords. The fee and duty is prohibitive. Most take to the 11 – month lease, renewing every every year. Which leaves tenants vulnerable to extortion… take it or leave it.

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The Kalijar Fort in Bundelkhand is an entire history in itself. You cannot think of it without the convergence it includes of people and events from the wide, wide world within the sub-continent and from abroad, over a 1500 – year span… from South and West India, the Middle East and Central Asia, and Britain. That’s too much of history and far too many people. And the legendary architecture, sculptures, culture, movements, persons, traditions and hearsay !

Though associated principally with the Chandels and that fantastically temple – dense ” city ” of Khajuraho, from 10th Century through the 12th, the connections go back to the Kalachuris of Elephanta and Ellora caves, and the Rashtrakuts, and then from Gujarat Parmars to Kannauj Chauhans and the Pratihars, and the Vijaynagar empire, the Mughals, Afghans, and the British, the Armed Rebellions and Mahatma Gandhi. It takes the wind out of me and leaves my heart filled with humanity.

The Kalinjar Fort was a fortress with unparalleled strength, much culture and uncounted wealth. Together with its twin fort at Ajaigarh, Kalinjar formed a formidable line of defence against attacks from the north. In 1019, Mahmud Ghazni ravaged much of north and west India but had to turn back in the face of stiff opposition from the Kalinjar garrison. The year 1022 saw a repeat, with Ghazni having to remain content with a few gifts from the Chandel ruler, but no fort. Had Kalinjar fallen, Khajuraho would not have survived. And the irony… today, Khajuraho is a thriving well-promoted tourist hub while Kalinjar is a grey area seldom appreciated, remembered or visited.

Kalinjar is a village… er, call it a town, if you were to go there now. But back then, in the 16th Century when history had just taken a massive turn… Humayun  had been defeated and Mughals ousted by the home-grown warrior, Sher Shah Suri, then mounting a siege… Kalinjar sounded a rather freaky death knell. A mortar shell fired at the Fort walls above rebounded and fell on an explosive dump. The devastating consequence killed the raging captain. Humayun returned to the seat of power and the train of  Mughal ascendancy resumed.

It is said that at night the Queen’s Palace is filled with sounds of ankle trinkets that courtesans and danseuse specially wore during their performance !

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Original Sin      :     Angelina Jolie, Antonio Banderas

A simple and gripping tale carried on great performances, complementing cinematography, and a summary treatise on love… the crimes, lies and unhappiness it engenders when human beings are without it and the completion its arise brings in the wake.

A perfect picture. A classic movie.

It aids our own process of self – discovery, understanding of ourself and at finding our very own authenticity.

Sure to make it to my list of Premium Reviews.


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