Anand Kabra WLIFW SS13
terrible magician, hidden behind curtains, has hypnotized Time.
So this evening is a net, in which the twilight is caught.
Now darkness will never come-and there will never be morning.
The sky waits for this spell to be broken, for history to tear itself from this net,
for silence to break its chains, so that a symphony of conch shells,
may wake up the statues and a beautiful, dark goddess,
her anklets echoing, may unveil herself.
(Excerpt translated from Faiz Ahmed Faiz's Shaam)
So Taramati sang. Her voice floated across the skies, gentle as the breeze, strong as the wind. She sang of first love, of stolen glances. She sang, of the longing that lingered by day, like a haunting refrain and of the passion that burned his nights. She sang of herself, like one who moved in her sleep, she sang of the moon's gleam that seemed to mock her dream. 'Oh, wind, "she beseeched,' like the leaves from the trees, the clouds in the skies, carry my words so that he may know, I wait'.
She knew he was listening, miles away, where even the fortressed walls of Golconda could not deter the winds from conveying her longing. Her nights were now her sunrise. Her days, chained to a melancholic eternity of waiting. The windows, from where she could see his fortress walls, her prison. Freedom was not the twelve open doorways of the baradari. Freedom was when their souls would meet tonight. He would come, she knew, as she fastened her anklets. And she would dance. Innocent again, healed from fear and angst for that moment, glowing like the sun. She would dance as if she had never been broken, intoxicated with his love, laughing, crying with exhilaration.
She would dance till the veil that cloaked her soul, dropped at the feet of his love.
Taramati Baradari stands in splendid isolation on its raised terrace. Once, this stately pavilion reverberated with music and dance. Taramati, the beautiful courtesan, accomplished singer and dancer performed every evening for her beloved Sultan - Abdullah Qutub Shah (the 7th Sultan of Golconda) whose heroic love for her was legendary.
But Taramati, the relatively lesser known singer-dancer (1626-72), was not given the status that her predecessor Bhagmati received. A city, (Bhagyanagar, before it became Hyderabad) named in her honour, by none other than Abdullah's grandfather.
History never recorded Taramati in art or literature. All that remains of her legend is an open pavilion, made of lime and mortar with 12 doorways (baradari) and a terraced garden. Where, the stories of her songs and her love still echo through the hallways of the Taramati Baradari.
Like the legend, the collection pieces together Taramati's story partly from imagination and partly from the physical attributes of the baradari itself. The inlay pattern and borders of the tiles, fragmented mosaics, 'jali' patterned wndows and the arches of the doorways, form the base for colour blocking, print and embellishment. Taramati, herself, is brought to life through art and cultural references from Deccan and Hyderabad.