THE ROYAL BATH HOUSE, BURHANPUR, MP, INDIA
LOVE’S LABOUR LOST
By Neel Anil Panicker
‘We are in the Shahi Palace; what you see is the royal bath.’
Margaret was living her dream. The past 24 hours had transported her into the quaint, dusty old world charms of 15th century Mughal India.
Her infectious enthusiasm even got to Albert. The two had waded in and out of sandstone mousleums, gold carved palaces, aged forts, crumbling edifices et al.
She loved it, the aura of the era, beautifully captured in its fairy pavilions with their intricately carved pillars, the latticed windows through which sneaked in strobes of sun kissed lights that reflected on graves long gone silent.
‘Dear tourists, this is where Queen Mumtaz Mahal bathed in water scented with khus, saffron and rose petals.’
Her eyes took in the high domed roof, the curved walls and the exquisitely etched paintings of chirpy birds and flowers.
‘One of these paintings was the inspiration for Shah Jahan to build Taj Mahal, his ode to love.’
Later, when they were in their room, Albert quipped, “Love indeed, after she failed to deliver him their 14th child, and died in labour”.
Written as part of short fiction challenge initiated by