Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Guide's Alchemy

Got a freshly minted mind courtesy the Konkan coast, where I'm back from. The rains kept away for two days; it was enough for me to try and see the Janjira fort. It looked like a battleship from afar -see the photo above- you literally see no sign of an island till you are inside the fort. From outside, it looks like the fort's walls have risen ominously from the sea to quell any misguided opportunist. You feel like an intruder yourself when you endure seedy-looking surrounds and a rocky boat ride, all the way till the hidden gate. But when you enter, it's a different world. Or is it?

I'm not going to bore you more about the architectural marvel that this fort is; nor am I going to ramble on about its Abyssinian history. I'll skip every detail about this fort so that you are as pleasantly surprised as I was. By the stories your guide shares with you.

If we hadn't hired the guide, all I would have seen was a ruined, uncared- for fort. With his alchemy, I could see the courts being called to order, a special prayer place, the queen's multi -colored bathing chambers, a secret passage that led you out of the island, and so many other magical things.

Ruins transformed into a different world by an alchemist.


Meghana said...

Trust you had a good holiday! :)