Je Maintiendrai

"... Le refus de la politique militante, le privilège absolu concédé à la littérature, la liberté de l'allure, le style comme une éthique, la continuité d'une recherche". Pol Vandromme

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Location: Portugal

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Uma das coisas que mais me une ao velho parente é que Archie e eu comungamos do mesmo fascínio por Hyderabad, uma das mais marcantes cidades da Índia mítica. Ao serviço do Nizzam andou por lá um nosso avô em tempos do grande Mutiny e o tema vem sempre à baila, com cópia de mais e mais recordações que Archie desenrola como um kashmiri experimentado em vender lãs e lenços, evocando a arquitectura refinada do Char Minar, os bazares, a Mecca Masjid, a saudosa Residency e os tempos gloriosos e terminais do último soberano, o 7º Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, desbancado em 1947 pela “Police Action” do General Choudhuri e falecido em 1967. Archie sabe evocar coloridamente o que foi a última grande corte muçulmana da Índia e o refinamento cultural que, como a dinastia, buscava directamente a sua raiz no velho império Mogol. Coisas que se esvaneceram na Índia dos nossos dias, e que temos dificuldade em adivinhar debaixo da crosta de permanente porcaria, do novo-riquismo e do triunfo dos punjabi da Índia ghandiana.
Desta feita fui eu que ofereci um livro ao primo Archie, The Nocturnal Court. Darbar-e-Dürbaar. The Life of a Prince of Hyderabad, as memórias do poeta Sidq Jaisi na corte dos Nizams, traduzidas do urdu e publicadas pelo historiador hyderabadi Narendra Luther. As recordações de Sidq Jaisi datam de há pouco mais de sessenta anos.
“…On the night of Eid, when I arrived at the Hill Fort Palace with Fani, used as I had become to its daily resplendence, I was astonished to see its embellishment on this special occasion. Moreover, in red and green sherwanis, even the handsome servants looked like nobles. While we were still admiring the beauty of the Palace and its attendants, there appeared the handsome dancer boy. On seeing me, he smiled and put his right hand on his heart by way of salutation. That was how we greeted each other in court. I returned his greetings. The scent of his perfume pervaded the room. Fani statted praising it. I recited an appropriate couplet, which he liked very much. He said I seemed to be in top form. I replied that one was automatically elevated to new heights upon seeing the added beauty of the Palace on the special occasion. The courtiers were there in full force that day. In addition, scores of nobles had come to present their nazar. Everyone was dressed in costly, attractive sherwanis and the whole Palace presented a festive atmosphere such as I had never seen before. Hundreds of government officials were also lined up to make their presentations. The Prince took quite some time to come out. The nobles were the first to make their offerings. Officers of the government followed them. The Prince would touch each nazar lightly with his hand; then a servant would collect it and the presenter of the nazar would make his courtly bow and walk backwards bowing all the while. […] Then the tabla began to be beaten and the guest artistes started exhibiting their skills. All of them had received gifts of Eid suits from the Prince. Each singer was given a sari worth a thousand rupees with a blouse to match, and her accompanists got sherwanis worth a hundred rupees each. Dame luck had smiled on them. Wearing those sherwanis, they were beside themselves with joy. No one noticed the passage of time that night. Only when the morning azan was heard did the music and dance come to a halt. The courtiers were asked to have a wash so that after breakfast they could go home. So fatigued was I with the nightlong entertainment that the breakfast from the royal kitchen tasted as bitter as a plateful of neem leaves. In this merry heedless way, time flew by as on wings…”

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