Through nuanced translations of four Urdu narratives spanning the period of turmoil that led to the Revolt of 1857 – and culminated in fall of the Mughal Empire - this compelling volume reveals the tragic and affecting story of a royalty in decline. Vividly documenting the twilight years of not just a historical era but also an entire way of life, these first-hand accounts – gleaned from princes and paupers alike – provide rare insight into how the royals and their subjects experienced life lived on either side of a cataclysm. Tales of suffering describe the perfidy of the British and the plight of the last royals as they are disbanded and pushed into dire poverty; livelier accounts of fealty and treachery detail palace intrigues; and nostalgic reminiscences recreate the days of past glory and communal comity – of feasting and festivals, and shared faith and devotion. An intimate chronicle of a crucial era in India’s history, City of My Heart is the saga of a changing city and a people experiencing the end of life as they know it.
Rana Safvi is a renowned writer, scholar and translator. She is the author of Tales from the Quran and Hadith and Where Stones Speak: Historical Trails in Mehrauli, The First City of Delhi and The Forgotten Cities of Delhi. She has also translated both the editions of Asar us Sanadeed, the seminal work on Delhi’s monuments, written by Sir Syed Ahmed. She runs the popular blog ‘Hazrat-e-Dilli’ on her site ranasafvi.com, and is passionate about documenting India’s syncretic culture through her writings.
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