Delhi’s Red Fort, and tiny elephants
After a bit of confusion with a message taken the night before by hotel reception, which had left out the words “called off” in the message: “Your film screening at the Australian High Commission is tomorrow,” I spoke to someone and heard that the school coming in to see me had a conflict with Founders’ Day. It was very disappointing not be able to do this for them, but a free day wasn’t all bad!
So we headed off early to explore the Red Fort. It’s huge, imposing – more of a walled city than what I’d pictured as a fort – and much of it is beautiful, but its long and fascinating history is bloody. The next day, discussing it with a journalist, and hearing some of the more recent bloodshed there at the time of the Mutiny, I wondered if that was why, even when I was admiring the intricacy of the stone work and the beautiful marble flowers, I didn’t feel happy there. I think some places store the energies of the sadness and horror that has happened on their soil. (Or maybe I was still in just too much pain from the rickshaw ride)
One of the many interesting things about it is the covered bazaar street – how could I resist a belled chain of elephants to hang as a Christmas decoration somewhere? (Actually someone else thought I could have resisted, but I didn’t!)
Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a companion to the highly acclaimed Bronze Age novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Read full bio