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Heritage of Bijapur : Ruins have eyes

By Anees Maniyar

From, the sky-kissing palaces in the city, to the dust-biting burials in the graveyard, there is something in common; that’s brevity. The spacious chambers, the courtyards, the pavilions, gardens, and everything that once added stars to the beauty of the palaces is now in ruins. Their patrons have shifted themselves permanently to the graveyards to become one with the earth. Their relentless pursuit of worldly pleasures yielded them nothing but a fistful of dust for their mouths.

Wandering aimlessly inside the graveyard of Shahnur town, of Haveri District, I threw glances at various burials. At one of the corners, there were a few graves with monolithic sarcophaguses, with intricate floral patterns and calligraphy etched on them. Their presence in the graveyard was unobtrusive, suffused with weed and vines.  When enquired, they belonged to the Nawabs of Shahnur. To the other side there were graves built with stones, crumbling to the ground, as though the time has wreaked havoc on them. Those were the graves of their kith and kin. The graveyard is also replete with countless burials of town dwellers, of recent times. There is a single cubicle, four-walled structure, with a large dome and minarets. That was a tomb of wife of one of the Nawabs, who belonged to the lineage of Prophet (PBUH).

Those who would strut about with arrogance are no more, and their descendants are hard to locate; like the beetles on a tree, that run away in all directions, when it is shaken. The time has also played a cruel game, as there are no chronicles to portray their life and time of the past. Only the legends make rounds inside the city, glorifying few of them as equal to saints and others are portrayed in lowlight.

I cringe, and often falter as I walk through those ruins. Their whines and whimpers are unbearable to my heart. Everyone thinks they are soulless; stone, mud and water; however, like everything else in the universe, they have life, embedded in their each element. They want them to be buried next to their masters, rather live a burdensome life. The pitiful wails, however, fall on deaf ears. I become their sole companion in grief, as we both believe we have so much in common to share with.

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