Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sunil Sharma writes

In the cold

A pigeon perched on the cable 
Shrunk within its grey feathers
Head bent inside the underbelly
To beat the cold draughts.

It is 10 am and 10 degrees Celsius.

A man, grey stubble, head bent, sits hunched
On the tiled pavement in the Connaught Place
In a sun that hardly warms the air
He clutches a torn quilt around shrunk shoulders
Blankly stares at the high-rises and frenzied vehicles.
Both --- pathetic figures

Welcome dear disenfranchised to Delhi of the Moguls
The constant Indian power center.



  1. Delhi has probably been inhabited since before the 2nd millennium BCE and continuously since at least the 6th century BCE. It is believed to have been Indraprastha, the Pandavas' capital mentioned in in the "Mahabharata,"
    the oldest extant parts of which date to a bit before 400 BCE, though the origins of the epic probably fall between the 8th and 9th centuries BCE; the epic probably reached its final form by the early Gupta period. The earliest architectural relic, however, is an inscription by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka (273–235 BCE). The Iron Pillar of Delhi was fashioned during the reign of Chandragupta Vikramaditya (375–413) of the Gupta Empire. Anang Pal of the Tomara dynasty founded Lal Kot in 736, which was conquered by the Chauhans in 1180 and renamed Qila Rai Pithora, but in 1192 Muhammad Ghori, a Tajik invader from Afghanistan, defeated the dynasty. By 1200, native Hindu resistance began to crumble and foreign Turkic Muslim dynasties dominated northern India for the next five centuries. On the death of Muhammad in 1206, the slave-general, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, broke away from the Ghurid Dynasty and became the first sultan of Delhi; this Mamluk Sultanate was overthrown in 1290 by the Khilji dynasty, which expanded its control south of the Narmada River in the Deccan. In an attempt to bring the entire Deccan under his control, Muhammad bin Tughluq (1325–1351) moved his capital to Daulatabad in central India, but in doing so he lost control of the north and was forced to return to Delhi, whereupon the southern provinces broke away. Timur Lenk (Tamerlane) sacked Delhi in 1398 and massacred 100,000 captives. Under the the Sayyid dynasty (1414–1451), the sultanate was reduced to Delhi and its hinterland, but the Afghan Lodhi dynasty (1451–1526) briefly recovered control of the Punjab and the Gangetic plain.

  2. In 1526 Babur, from the Fergana valley in Uzbekistan, who was descended from Timur on his father's side and from Chagatai, the second son of Genghis Khan, on his mother's side, founded Gurkani (Persian Gūrkāniyān, meaning "son-in-law"), better known as the Mughal empire (Mug̱ẖliyah Salṭanat) that ruled from Delhi and Agra for more than 300 years (except for a hiatus from 1540 to 1556 under the native Sur Empire). Akbar the Great defeated the resurgent Hindu forces in 1556 and restored Mughal rule, controlled almost the entire Indian subcontinent north of the Godavari river, and forged alliances with several Hindu Rajput kingdoms, though some of these continued to pose a significant threat. The 5th emperor, Akbar's grandson Shah Jahan, built Shahjahanabad, which served as the capital from 1638 onwards and is now known as the Old City or Old Delhi, as well as the Taj Mahal and the Moti Masjid in Agra, the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid, and the Lahore Fort, but the maintenance of his court began to cost more than his revenues. His eldest son, Dara Shikoh, became regent in 1658 as a result of his father's illness, but a younger son, Aurangzeb, allied with the Islamic orthodoxy and seized the throne in 1659 and had his brother executed in his father imprisoned. Aurangzeb expanded the empire to more than 3.2 million sq km (1.2 million sq mi) and ruled over more than 150 million subjects, nearly one quarter of the world's population; but a Maratha military resurgence under Shivaji Bhosale began the empire's decline, which continued after his death in 1707; in the single year of 1719, four emperors successively ascended the throne. By the mid-18th century, the Marathas had conquered territories from the Punjab to Bengal, leading to the declaration of independence by former provinces under the nawabs of Bengal and Awadh, the nizam of Hyderabad, and other small states. In 1739, the Mughals were defeated by Nadir Shah, the founder of the Afsharid dynasty in Persia, who sacked and looted Delhi. Even so, the emperor continued to be regarded as the highest manifestation of sovereignty, not only by the Muslims but also the Maratha, Hindu, and Sikh communities. Shah Alam II sought support from the emir of Afghanistan, Ahmed Shah Abdali, against the Marathas, who recaptured Delhi from Afghan control in 1771 and officially became the protectors of the emperor in Delhi in 1784. The British East India company took control of the former Mughal province of Bengal-Bihar in 1793 and took over most of the subcontinent as a result of the Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817–1818). In 1857 the last emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, who had authority only over the city of Shahjahanabad, took the nominal lead over the failed rebellion against the British that began with the mutiny of sepoys in Meerut and soon escalated into open revolt in the upper Gangetic plain and central India; as a result, the British tried him for treason, imprisoned him, exiled him to Rangoon, and took over the last remnants of his empire. Under the 1858 Government of India Act the British government took over from East India Company, in the form of the new British Raj, which ruled until 1947. In 1876 Queen Victoria assumed the title of Empress of India.

  3. Delhi, the former headquarters of the British Raj, is the capital territory of India, its largest city (about 1,484 sq. km (573 sq. mi). With a population of about 16.3 million,it is the 3rd largest urban area in the world; but since it has expanded well beyond the National Capital Territory, it has some 25 million residents in all. It may have once been called Dhillika. Some historians believe that its name was derived from Dilli, a corruption of "dehleez" or "dehali," meaning "threshold" or "gateway," symbolic of the city's location on the Gangetic plain. The name may have come from king Dhillu (or Dilu), who built a self-named city there in 50 BCE. Because the Iron Pillar of Delhi had a weak foundation and had to be moved, the Tomaras may have referred to the city as with a term related to the word "dhili" (loose); their cons and that it was used by the Tomaras to refer to the city; their were called" dehliwal." The place name is axiomatic in various Northern Indo-Aryan idioms: "Abhi Dilli door hai" (or, in Persian, "Hanouz Dehli dour ast," meaning "Delhi is still far away") refers to a task that is far from completion; "Dilli dilwalon ka shehr" (or "Dilli Dilwalon ki" is "Delhi belongs to the large-hearted or daring;" "Aas-paas barse, Dilli pani tarse" ("It pours all around, while Delhi lies parched") refers to deprivation in the midst of plenty. Connaught Place ("CP") is a major financial, commercial, entertainment, and business center in New Delhi named after Arthur, the 1st Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (Victoria's 3rd son and the uncle of George VI), who had visited India in 1921. Before its construction (1929-1933) the area was a ridge, covered with kikar trees and populated with jackals and wild pigs, along the Qutb Road connecting Shahjahanabad with Qutb Minar in the south. The plaza was designed by Robert Tor Russell, the chief architect for the Public Works Department, who modeled it after the 3-story, semi-circular Royal Crescent in Bath, but the final structure only had two stories, making CP almost a complete circle, eventually designed with two concentric circles, an inner one (now named Rajiv Chowk in honor of the assassinated prime minister Rajiv Gandhi) and an outer one (Indira Chowk, after his assassinated mother, prime minister Indira Gandhi), with seven roads radiating from a circular central park. Residents gradually moved into first floor quarters, which were almost full by 1938, but it was another decade before the plaza became a busy marketplace. Now it is the 4th most expensive office destination in the world, according to global property consultant CBRE Group, and the 5th highest-priced market, according to Forbes. The empty block of the inner circle came into use in the late 1970s with the construction of Palika Bazaar, Delhi's first underground market. In 1986 the Jeevan Bharti building (LIC building), a glass and red sandstone skyscraper designed by Charles Correa (inspired by the Red Fort) was built, towering over the low-lying, predominantly white CP; at the time it was heavily criticized as being too futuristic.

  4. its a very nice poetry' Tasbhi ' MAN with PIGEAON """" as well read out the History of DELHI ...thanks


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