Friday, 18 November 2011

Delhi : Just more than a Capital

                            She entrances every sense

Visit Exotic India !!

Delhi is more than a capital. It was the seat of the Moghuls, a place where the most chaste Urdu was spoken. It believed it had the best looking women, the finest mangoes, the most talented poets and its famous mehfils ( recitation of urdu poetry before a choice audience).


The advent of Islam in India marked the beginning of a new phase in the art of dancing and music. Though prohibited by their religion, Muslim rulers and nobles continued to patronize it. The temples ceased to be the centre of dance in North India and the focus shifted to the royal palaces and courts of Kings and Omrahs (nobles).  During the later Mughal period, dancing girls were at the zenith of their glory. LAL KUNWAR, a nautch girl, reached the pinnacle of success when she married JAHANDAR SHAH, the moghul emperor. Another pleasure loving Mughal, Mohammad Shah Rangila, also married a dancing girl, UTTAM BAI, later known as QUDSIA BEGUM. A mosque built by her still stands in Delhi by her name.

Sahibs And Nautch girls:

The nautch girls enthralled the white sahibs for nearly two centuries. 'Delicate in person, soft in her features, perfect in form', she captivated the hearts of ordinary Englishmen by her charm and grace, enthralled the more sophisticated among them by her conversation and wit and enraptured the elite with her nautch which some of them found 'superior to all the operas in the world'.
The sahibs were captivated by the feminine charm of young Indian girls. There were plenty of pretty Indian girls found in Delhi and their bronze tint was naturally agreeable to the sahibs rather than the fair skins of the English women.
The nautch became a common form of entertainment at the mansions of the English merchants turned rulers after the Battle of Plassey . The British visitors to the Indian princes' durbars were struck by their pageantry, glamour and glitter. The Rajahs and nawabs kept troupes of accomplished nautch girls and musicians The nautch girls were slowly accepted by the early English and their dances became a permanent feature in an English gathering.

                           What is the best of sights?
                            The face of a satisfied girl
                            The best of odour?
                             Her breath
                            Of sound? Her voice.
                            The best of tastes? Her lips.
                            Of contacts? Her body.
                            The best of thoughts? Her beauty!
                              she entrances every sense!

                                                                - Bhartihari (AD 600)

Raj Prateek Verma


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