Monday, April 12, 2010

Shine on her, crazy diamond

In the misty vapour of the hamam, I see the body of twelve-year old Jehanna Begum, the week her mother died. Lying on the cold marble slabs. Her eyes trained on the red diamond in the chandelier, questioning. Her tears washed away in the stream of water that runs over her. The child, without a maternal bosom to sink her head into.
Into the hamam rushes the restless Jehanna at fourteen, accusing the red diamond. Trapped by her female body, trapped in the zenana. Craving the sun that she is never exposed to. Jehanna, with her two attendants to unleash her fury upon. The adolescent daughter of the emperor, visited by her father once a year.
The sixteen –year old Jehanna, who in the few moments before her attendants come in, prostrates herself before the red diamond, praying for respite from her aching loneliness. The young girl, who submits herself to the hands of her attendants, to be made beautiful. For whom, I ask?
Into the hazy mist of the hamam, is brought the body of eighteen-year old Jehanna. To be soaped, scrubbed and washed one last time before her burial. Jehanna, who will never make it into a love saga, whose beauty will never be described in the chronicles of the kings. The woman, who was embalmed in the light of the red diamond.

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