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Bahadur Shah and the Festival of Flower Sellers

Mirza Farhatullah Beg (Author) Mohammed Zakir (Author)

It was a queens promise that upon the release of her son from prison she would present a ritual chadar cloth and a floral decoration at the holy dargah of Mehrauli. This procession and the offering of flowers that became an annual ritual for both Hindus and Muslims, came to be known as phool valon ki sair or the festival of flower sellers and it continues to this day.

In the days of Bahadur Shah II, the festival took the form of an exuberant celebration, an experience that brought the city of Delhi alive. In a narrative that captures the delight that once filled the hearts of the people of the city, when they came together regardless of their religious diversities Mirza Farhatullah Beg brings this experience to the reader.

Beg takes us through the Mehrauli that was. We travel with him from the mango grove and the cascading waters of the Shamsi Talab to the busy bazars glimmering with mirrors chandeliers and lamps from the sweet call of the peacock and papiha, and the gentle drizzle of Bhadon rain to the songs of Tirmunhi Khanam and Dildar; from the fragrance of andarsas and suhals frying in the angithees to the aroma of kachoris and kebabs in the shops on the streets; from the flare of the dancers' pishwaz to the tinkle of her glass bangles to the grand procession itself accompanied by the dhol and shehnai by wrestling matches, kite-flying competitions and the magic of fireworks lighting up the sky a spectacle that continued well past midnight.

A vivid portrayal of Delhi's picturesque and happy past, this story is also reminiscent of the love and faith that the King shared with his people. It is a portrayal the reader is sure to relish through Mohammed Zakirs lucid yet evocative translation that ably retains the flavour of the Urdu original.

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Bibliographic information

Title Bahadur Shah and the Festival of Flower Sellers
Format Hardcover
Date published: 08.08.2012
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788125046189
length 100p.