Monday, May 21, 2007

The Mughal Conspiracy!

Hello friends! I am right now in the fair city of New Delhi. New Delhi to the uninitiated, is the capital city of our country and is approximately 2 kilometres away from the Sun. It is a city that is singularly responsible for the woes of millions of school students. Yes dear people our collective misery called Indian History has a lot to do with this city. I mean if the Mughals had not woken up one morning and said "Lets conquer Delhi and make monuments for people to pee and scribble on", you and me would have been spared the hours we spent byhearting dates and names of the people with unpronounceable names like Illtmush and Alauddin Khilji.

The Mughals who invaded India were a highly cultured race:

Mughal King: Mantriji please start the construction of the finest monuments known to man across my kingdom!
Mantriji: You are such an art connoisseur alampanah. Generations will remember you for your contribution to the art and culture of this great country.
Mughal King: Art connoisseur? Wots that? I am merely adding to the History syllabus of the NCERT duh!

Just imagine if the Mughals had not conquered India! We would be a land of uncultured History Text bookless people. What bliss!!

Places I have visited in Delhi so far:

Lal Quila (Red Fort): So called because it is "red" and it is a "fort". Besides Shahjahan did not want the uncultured Indians to look at it and say “See a large building, let’s go pee and scribble our names on the walls”. Shahjahan in keeping the grand Mughal tradition of making Silverine study as many dates as possible in her History class, made sure that this fort was started in 1638 and completed in 1648. ( He wanted to construct some extra dates err...wings in 1650, 1653 and 1678 but much to the disappointment of History teachers he ran short of funds. He however made up for it by starting work on the Taj Mahal in 1632 and finishing it in 1648. )

Qutub Minar: This monument was made by an unpronounceable Mughal King called Qutb-ud-Din Aybak. (Warning: Please do not attempt to pronounce his name at home. Only professionals trained in Urdu should attempt pronouncing this name. Complications in the form of twisted and knotted tongues have been reported from History students.). Qutub Minar was a favourite place for people seeking H1 Visa to Heaven. The authorities have now strictly limited Visa applicants to heaven. Qutb-ud-din died accidentally in 1210. But before he died he spent many an agonizing hour wondering why he made the Qutub Minar.

Old Fort (Purana Qila): This was constructed by Mughal emperors Humayun and Sher Shah under a joint funding agreement. Due to a loophole in the contract the two squabbled over its name for many years. It was variously called "dilpanah" and "shergarh" and “Jhumri Thalaiyya” . Peace was restored when Humayun slipped from a steep staircase and died.

Tughluqabad: This monument is an History teachers delight. And why you may ask....just read on and see if you can guess why?

Tughluqabad is about 8 km from Qutub Minar. It is the 3rd city of Delhi and was Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq's capital in 1320. This fort has 13 gateways and has a circuit of 4 miles.

Humayun's Tomb: This was built in anticipation of Humayun's death by, you guessed correctly Humayuns wife.

Safdarjang's Tomb: I know what you are thinking and you are absolutely right! The Mughals were not very original in naming monuments. Safdarjang's Tomb is one of the last examples of Mughal architecture. Thank god!

The Mughal empire fell during the mid-18th century due to the extreme heat of Delhi, cutting short History text books by at least 5678 pages. As a last act of defiance the Mughals handed over their monuments to The Indian Archaeological Society. The Indian Archaeological Society recently released a book to fund its restoration projects called “How to preserve monuments from the ravages of Time and Uric Acid.” The book is not selling very well.

As you can see by the post above I did not do very well in History in school.


Unknown said...

eee postine muzhuvanaay onnu feed cheythu tharumo...
Oru pazhaya vaayanakkaran ....

silverine said...

read: I am afraid I can't syndicate the full content of my blog for various reasons. Please bear with me :)

Abhi said...

Good post! Was waiting why u hadn't posted something for 10 long days! Now its been entirely justified! Hope u don't forget to visit the modern marvels as well. The kind of Pragati Maidan, Habitat centre n the like!

I will say you chose a bad time to visit Delhi! :D

Amey said...

You must praise Aurangzeb for cutting short his father's reign and hence his monumenting (monu-mental?) spree.

And you forgot to mention that there are supposed to be 7 cities of Delhi (or rather 7 incarnations would be more appropriate). So, the city has 7X history of a "normal" city.

Alexis said...

That was a nice lesson in History..ROFL. I think the heat is affecting you :-)

Jiby said...

lol...i feel your pain...medieval india screwed up my upsc last year though i believed i was set for a romp in that section.

neways we mallus would joke that ias kitteelellum agrayilo delhiyilo oru tourist guide aayittengilum joli nokkaam enne!

one abiding memory of the delhi summer of last year...carrying one of those 20 litre bisleri tumblers, getting weak, hiring a cycle rickshaw only to see the tumbler fall off at a sharp curve and burst!

Anonymous said...

Last heard the NCRTC was planning on making up the 5678 pages in the history text books by making childrem "byheart" all the names scribbled on the walls of these monuments. And if that does not make up the pages, there's always who's peed where... :-)

Anonymous said...

Oye!! You making fun of our fair city!!! %$@^
Couldn't help laughing though as I read this. You just gave a new perspective to the whole Mughal invasion theory ROTFL!

Anonymous said...

Genius!! wonder why none of the 'mera dilli mahaan' characters have retorted yet though

The Lonely Backpacker said...

Mughals were far better.. the malik kafurs and other nameless kings before them tortured me to death in the history books... :D

Ajith Prasad Balakrishnan said...

"Qutub Minar: This monument was made by an unpronounceable Mughal King called Qutb-ud-Din Aybak." -- Wrong there.. He was NOT a mughal king.. It was slave dynasty if I remember correctly :).

Ankit said...

Hey loved your post truly funny

Neihal said...


See only if more travelogues were just as informative (!) and entertaining. :P

"The Indian Archaeological Society recently released a book to fund its restoration projects called “How to preserve monuments from the ravages of Time and Uric Acid”. The book is not selling very well"

mathew said...

terrific as usual...i ll recommend that Silverine be inducted in NCERT to make history more intresting.!!!

Chicken Mughlai and Biriyani are the priceless contributions of the Mughal..All other sins are forgiven for this!!!!!!! ;-P

Anonymous said...

Now, I honestly don't really care whether what you wrote was factually accurate (more so because I felt you were - yes, I gave nightmares to my history teacher as well) but it was one amazing read! I loved every bit of it! LOL!

Mughals reminded me that once my Music sir called me Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb hated art in any form. And I once auditioned for solo singing in class 7! :P I was so bad that my music sir called me Aurangzeb and asked me not to sing in public ever! LOL!! Now if only he'll hear Annu Mallik! :P

Anyhoo, I loved your post!!

sjgregory said...

Saw your post while searching for some trivia on Mughals.

A small correction - Qutab Minar wasnt a part of Mughal architecture. It was started by Qutb-ud-din Aybak the Tahijikistan born founder of Slave dynasty. The whole construction took some 200 odd years and was completed by Firoz Shah Tuglaq of Tuglaq dynasty!

Delhi is one of my favorite cities. An interesting trivia on Delhi - The city was rebuild 7 times and it is said that who ever rebuilds Delhi will lose power in no time...The last round of rebuilding was done by the Raj to replace Delhi Calcutta as the capital. The project was designed by Sir Edwin L Lutyens and it was completed in 1929 - Surprising thing is that even the mighty British got kicked out in less than 30 years from then...

silverine said...

abhi: Thank you! I have seen Pragati Maidan before. I was on an official visit :)

fleiger: I will kiss that Aurangzeb for cutting short his Dad's monumenting spree! :p

Alexis: Yes the heat is affecting me :P Plus the years of frustration in studying history! :))

Jiby: LOL that was a good one!! The guides here are very well informed I must say :p

browser: ROTFL that was a good one!!!

harpreet gill: :p

innocent by stander: I am surprised too, but then this was not a post dissing delhi but Indian history :)

black is beautiful: Malik and Kafur all sounds greek and latin to me. I could never get the names correct! :p

Ajith: See the last line of my post :)

ankit: thank you :)

neihal: I never knew that I would love dissing a subject I hated so much. But I loved World History especially European :)

mathew: lol!!! No wonder we Indians caved in so fast! Who can resist Biryani and Chicken mughalai? Perfect weapons to make the Indian men surrender :p

Annie: :)

crazy dhakkan: Welcome to the club gal. that Aurangzeb analogy was too good!!! :))

sjgregory: Thanks for that really interesting trivia. I could never get History though now when I dont have to study it I am finding it interesting. This post was written in a lighter vein :)

Mind Curry said...

this has been one of the bestest posts! had me in splits, although i am in down in the pits.. (oh no..that rhymes!)..but this was superb.

This was built in anticipation of Humayun death by, you guessed correctly Humayuns wife.


Sanjay said...

After reading this post it occurs to me that the "Moghuls" were far better at construction than our presnt day civil engg's. Their pace of construction is truely remarkable, meanwhile the flyover in my neighbourhood will be ready by about 3012.

Now that I think about it I realise that all the chaps who were supposed to be taking civil engg classes in my coll were busy catching 40 winks while the strength of materials lecture nearly killed the rest of us.

I mention all of this only in my capacity as a self appointed historian who is taking pains to ensure that future generations of our planet are able to comprehend that Civil engg and construction people of our time not only built monuments that would be of no use to our millenium but also cultured enough to pause and appreciate their handywork for long tracts of time every now and then.

Amey said...

Kiss Aurangzeb? Haven't you seen his photos?

Well, I actually like History. In fact, the only reason I didn't go ahead and make my career in History is that I had to study it in school :(

silverine said...

mind curry: Nice to see you doc! We were kinda missing you here. Hope that was just a pit stop! :)

sanjay: You have given the best argument in favor of the monuments :)
"were busy catching 40 winks while the strength of materials lecture nearly killed the rest of us LOL

fleiger: Yes, I have seen his ugly mug, but if he prevented the costruction of a few monuments and dates then I am prepared to kiss him :p

Amey said...

Oh, he did a bit more than that. He actually did erase (or did his best to erase) some monuments from India's face too...

Lalit Singh said...

...approximately 2 kilometres away from the Sun.
Qutub Minar was a favourite place for people seeking H1 Visa to Heaven

As you can see by the post above I did not do very well in History in school.
Illtmush instead of Illtutmish was enough :P :P

Well, not the best time to be in Delhi but I hope u enjoyed it there, got to see some non mughal parts of the city and savour some of the cusine.

fob said...

After silverine's thrashing, I don't know for whom should I feel sorry for, the NCERT or the Mughals.
Great post!!

Anonymous said...

I read this post to my daughter and she had a good laugh. That is another fan in the kitty for you, two if you include me. Got your link from Annie. I would love to meet you next time you drop in to meet her.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious.. ;)

silverine said...

Fleiger: Then he has my full respect :p

lalit: Thank you :) It was too hot to eat anything, but the lassi is heavenly!!!

fobbin: lol! Thank you :)

merlin: Will def meet you when I am down which will be soon as we are in the same campus :)

sini: Thanks :)

ap said...

seems u were really p*"§$d off with history

naveen said...

year 2080:

Venue: Another School

Subject: Ancient Literature

Teacher:- GM students, 2day we will learn the ancient forms of literature, namely Blogs.. One of the famous blogs was written by someone called as "Silverine". She actually started her blogging on Aug 21,2005 at 10:30pm on her Old Dell PC, using the medium of Blogspot. On 1st Jan 2008, she achieved 1000 hits for first time..blah...blah...blah..

Students:- Ee penninonnum veere yaathoru paniyum illayirunno?? Veruthe manushyane menekkeduthan...

Hehe....Just a possiblity... What do you think???

Praveen said...

it must be an oven in Delhi, right? I remember going there about 5 years back around this time and was soaking in sweat most of the time :)

AK said...

@Do try and catch a slightly modern side of delhi as well... like Ansal Plaza in South Ex... Avenues near Priya Cinema... you will enjoy it..

Anand K said...

Bhat?! You are in MY city now? Computerukalum Blue-Chipukalum vazhunna Delhiyil, ente kaivellayil ulla aa Delhiyil" chechi eppozhethi?
Still here? If yes, ask me nicely and I shall give you a guided city tour.... Not the "Hallon Maadam, Velcome to Oooty!" tour, but the kind of tour Sir Whitney Gull gave Netley in Moore's "From Hell" original graphic novel! NJAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA >:D

PS: Do attack Gulati or Karims or Punjabi by Nature (or the Bokhara if u can afford the 3000 Rs plus dinner for one!).

Anonymous said...

@ Sanjay - The 40 weeks during the lecture might just have helped reduce the history burden on future generations :-)

Amey said...

You know what, this onversation is enough to give most historians I know a royal fit, if not a full-fledged coronary... :D

Where are the "further adventures of Silverine in Delhi"?

Wanderlust said...

he he ..As usual too good. I wonder where you get this continuos inflow of wit from ...
Would really like if you paid a visit to my blog as well sometimes.
Some expert advice would really help me...

Anonymous said...

Nice Post!

silverine said...

ap: Yes I am :)

naveen: You make me feel so much better p

praveen: it is hotter than an oven there !

abhishek: Thanks. I did go around the modern part of the city.

anand k: LOL!!! Dude I was there for a couple of days only but thanks for the offer.

browser: Hear! Hear! :p

fleiger: Serves them right!!! grrr No more Dilli adventures, I got back home in a couple of days.

wanderlust: Thank you and don't be modest. You latest post was howlarious!!!

Anon: Thank you :)

Akshay said...

The short cut H1 visa thing was too good! Gawd, you should teach history - you make it so interesting!

silverine said...

akshay: :)

Anonymous said...

well, maybe a time machine is in order ( im presuming u were good at physics when back in school). u could go back to that battle when ibrahim lodi was defeated by babur ( see, im bad at history dates myself) and reverse the deaths. babur dead, killed by lodi. see?

Nikunj said...

Saddi dilli da jawab nahin! :-) Hilarious post!