Everyone coming to the beautiful historic city of Delhi is fascinated by its wealth of cultural heritage from the ordinary settlements to the imperial precincts. It is almost like a never-ending dialogue to know more about the cultural and architectural heritage of the city.
The book gives the facets of a historical city, with its monuments and the legends connected with ii. This is, however, not just another book on Delhi. It links the monuments, and many neighbourhoods of the city, with events in history. Most of the contents are related to the medieval period, though one will find scattered references to the dim past peeping out of the crust of the latter-day events.
One has to give credit to the brilliance of the author, R.V. Smith, whose passion for several years has been to discover and collect stories and legends about the histories of Delhi’s many monuments, known and unknown.
The book is thus a valuable addition to the literature on the Capital.
Ronald Vivian Smith, former News Editor of The Statesman, has been writing historical and other articles since 1958. Author of the Delhi that No-one Knows, Tales the Monuments Tell, Uncanny Tales and Jasmine Nights & The Taj, a romantic novel, he has also brought out three collections of his poems. Smith has also contributed special columns like Then & Now, Quaint Corner and Quaint Places to The Statesman and Down Memory Lane to The Hindu. He has also co-authored North India: The Christian Link with his father. Born in 2938, R.V. Smith’s latest interest is films on Delhi’s monuments and the walled city.
This book on Delhi gives the facets of a historical city, with its monuments and the legends connected with it. Where else could one find a better dwelling place for Clio than the ‘eternal Capital’, which is as old as history itself and at par with the Luxor of the pharaohs and the Athens of the Greeks? Most of the contents, however, are related to the medieval period, though you will find scattered references to the dim past peeping out of the crust of latter-day events. Delhi lures the heart like a beloved who can never be forgotten — affectionate no doubt, but a proud entity who cannot be the mistress of anyone, no matter how great and powerful. One is supposed to just admire her many nuances down the memory lane and take her to heart, if not to bed.
These articles, the labour of many years, have appeared in the ‘Down Memory Lane’ and ‘Quaint Corner’ columns of The Hindu and The Statesman, with sketches by my son Tony. My heartfelt gratitude to the two newspapers and to my father, the late Thomas Smith, who inculcated in my brothers and me art intense love for history, particularly in the Golden Triangle comprising Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Perhaps some of our infatuation may get rubbed on to the reader too.
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