September rushed past me like those blurry landmarks of memory, where one lives but often forgets the experience. As if someone tore off the ninth page from the calendar; as if it is still waiting, breathing quietly, like an actor in the wings to make a grand entry. So much happened and yet it feels as if this month never happened. Our families were here, I celebrated another birthday, we bought a little apartment facing nothing but open fields and straggly greens. And yes, it has balconies that can be turned into decent-sized greenhouses!
Somewhere in between all this, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, a few weeks back, we found ourselves in front of the gigantic gates of the Chowmahallah Palace. A rushed visit it was, for it had started pouring with a vengeance and someone had decided it'd be wise not to lug around the big camera. Smartphones then, had to save the day.
The silhouettes and curves of the ever-fascinating Persian architecture rising against a belligerent, overcast sky. Corridor after corridor of what seemed like eternity. The walls cracked and the yellow on them peeled to a heartbreaking perfection. Through a series of open doors emerges the heart of the palace. The sudden, on-your-face opulence of the Durbar Hall. Rows of dazzling Belgian-crystal chandeliers. Silent, glittering testimonials to the grandeur of the Hyderabad Nizams. Of times lost and days blotted out in yellowed pages of history.