After a bit of confusion with a message taken the night before by hotel reception, which had left out the words “called off” in the message: “Your film screening at the Australian High Commission is tomorrow,” I spoke to someone and heard that the school coming in to see me had a conflict with Founders’ Day. It was very disappointing not be able to do this for them, but a free day wasn’t all bad!
So we headed off early to explore the Red Fort. It’s huge, imposing – more of a walled city than what I’d pictured as a fort - and much of it is beautiful, but its long and fascinating history is bloody. The next day, discussing it with a journalist, and hearing some of the more recent bloodshed there at the time of the Mutiny, I wondered if that was why, even when I was admiring the intricacy of the stone work and the beautiful marble flowers, I didn’t feel happy there. I think some places store the energies of the sadness and horror that has happened on their soil. (Or maybe I was still in just too much pain from the rickshaw ride)
One of the many interesting things about it is the covered bazaar street – how could I resist a belled chain of elephants to hang as a Christmas decoration somewhere? (Actually someone else thought I could have resisted, but I didn’t!)