Mughal Empire

“The Emperor’s Writings” by Professor Dirk Collier

Professor Dirk Collier the Belgian writer has written a fictional autobiography of Emperor Akbar, laced with facts. It is titled “The Emperor’s Writings”. Why it is fictional is that Akbar was illiterate. Written in the form of a letter to his Jahangir, it chronicles the life and times of the Mughal emperor. The author talks about being inspired by Akbar, the emperor’s 5,000 wives and more! Here are some conclusions from the book Akbar was not a very romantic man like other Great Mughal emperors including Jahangir and Shah Jahan. While he did sleep with countless women, particularly when he… Read More »“The Emperor’s Writings” by Professor Dirk Collier

Tana and Riri, Tansen and Akbar

Tansen was one of the Nine Ratna’s (9 Gems or extraordinarily talented) of Moghul King Akbar the great. He was a great musician with complete his mastery over Indian classical music. He is said to have created fire by singing the Raag Deepak (Lamp). His body was filled with heat and burning and he was in great pain due to the heat generated. He tried so many cures but there was no respite from this burning and suffering. Akbar distressed, suggested that the maestro go back to his home at Gwalior for some time and recuperate there. He went to… Read More »Tana and Riri, Tansen and Akbar

Ganjifa: Playing Cards

Original Ganjifa was brought to India by Moghuls. There is a district called Sawantwadi in Maharashtra. This touches the Goa state. When you travel by train to Goa from Mumbai, it is the last station in Maharashtra. Whole area which is adjacent to Arabian Sea is dotted with unending rows of Coconut palms. Ganjifa was popularized here by the ruler Khem Sawant Bhosle, who heard of it from scholars of the Telengana region. The Chitari community in Sawantwadi, known for their skill in shellac ware and wood craft, learned  to make these cards Ganjifa are circular playing cards made from… Read More »Ganjifa: Playing Cards

Pappu Sain: The Ethereal Dhol Player

Many of us must have seen on television the whirling Dervishes of Turkey. This whirling is said to be form of meditation and the Dervishes are called Sufis. Sufism also flourished in the India and there had been great Sufi saints like Kabir, Guru Nanak, Baba Bulleh Shah and Baba Farid in the subcontinent. They were not bound by the narrow walls erected by the religious bigots who preach that their faith is on;y true one and rest others are fake. One thing about Sufism is that a devotee treats himself as a woman separated from her Husband or Khasam… Read More »Pappu Sain: The Ethereal Dhol Player