Golconda Diary

We traveled back in time today
Back to when Hyderabad
Wasn’t even a twinkle in the eye
Of a boy prince
Who did not swim across a raging river

The tourists clap their hands
Believing that the king atop the hill
Can hear their fervent clapping
Across the centuries
Of death and decay

We walked the bazaars
Where the raucous calls of the merchants
Died out centuries ago
And only silent stones
Stand mute witness

The stones have tumbled down
And have been erected again
By the hands of Commerce
By the hands of Bureaucracy
But never by the hands of Scholarship

And so a granary becomes a jail
An office becomes an arsenal
A home becomes a granary
And the happy hamam becomes a place of death

We wander through the ruins
With pretty niches on a wall
Where did the other walls go?
And why did the pretty one remain?
The more we explore, the more questions arise.

Stepping out of the gates
The sharp blast of a lorry horn
Snaps us back to the present.