"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

palace

The Palace By Night

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We returned to Mysore Palace at dusk.

Simon, our guide and driver, had scheduled the route with care.
It was a Sunday evening, which in Mysore is a magical time.


On our arrival the flood lights were already on.
But as twilight gave way to the darkness of night, the illuminations were suddenly dimmed.

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When light returned it was as a myriad pinpoints enmeshing the palace, highlighting its intricate design, its domes, columns and arches.
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From within the courtyard, a military band gave a concert to the enchanted audience,
While children played with their light-emitting toys.

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Mysore’s ethereal son et lumière.

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To The Palace

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From Nanjangud we reached Mysore and its spectacular palace.
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The present Mysore Palace is only 100 years old.
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It was designed by a British engineer, in what was to become the “Indo-Saracenic” style, a fantasy of Indo-Islamic, Gothic and Classical forms – Disney meets the British Raj.
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It is, nonetheless, impressive!
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Colunnade

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“Consider the momentous event in architecture when the wall parted and the column became.”

Louis Kahn

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Photographs taken at the Padmanabhapuram Palace

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Latticed

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“In a universe that is all gradations of matter, from gross to fine to finer, so that we end up with everything we are composed of in a lattice, a grid, a mesh, a mist, where particles or movements so small we cannot observe them are held in a strict and accurate web, that is nevertheless nonexistent to the eyes we use for ordinary living—in this system of fine and finer, where then is the substance of a thought?”

Doris Lessing

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All photographs taken at the Padmanabhapuram Palace, during my family’s recent visit.


Scene In The Palace

When some European friends recently stayed, we decided to visit to Madurai.

Having seen the splendour of the temples, we drove to the nearby palace.

The columns and colours give the building grandeur and beauty.

But beneath the ornately painted ceilings

and cover of shadow

A timeless drama was being re-enacted.

In a distant alcove, almost concealed from general view, sat a boy and girl.

There was no chaperone.

Such meetings are usually considered scandalous in India.

The girl started to cry.

Although not wanting to pry, I found myself caught up in their story

The boy offered his handkerchief.

She threw it on his face.

Gradually, they both began to laugh.

What made their romance star-crossed?

Caste?

Religion?

Class?

I guiltily zoomed the camera in for my final shot.

Then walked away,

Reflecting on the countless times that this scene has been replayed.