The sun's rays filter through the small window of the tower. Another day of useless existence dawns upon me.
I feel as if I had consumed too much opiate, only with opposite effect. Instead of ecstasy, my life is a living nightmare.
Through the window, I can see Mumtaz's tomb. How I wish she were alive! But, now she is in that lovely white palace I see. The Taj Mahal , her eternal resting place. When will I join her? When will this ordeal end?
My thoughts are broken by the arrival of food, brought in by the guard. A meal of stewed peas awaits me. However, I am not hungry. My gaze returns to the Taj Mahal as it basks in the beams of the sun.
I remember the looks on the faces of my courtiers. They were flabbergasted when I announced the construction of such a lavish mausoleum.
They vehemently opposed it. The state was tottering and the coffers were empty, they claimed. They suggested something on a smaller scale. I ignored them and summoned Ustad Isa to supervise the project.
After twenty-two years of sweat, toil and blood this palatial abode has taken shape.
I only have one wish as sickness and decay ravage my ancient body, to be with my beloved.
I feel lonely and isolated in this prison. Only Jahanara is allowed to visit me. It has been eight years since Aurangzeb has imprisoned me here. His thirst for power was so strong that it was only quenched when killed his brothers and imprisoned me, his father, in this tower of the fort.
It is nightfall; the tower is lit up with lamps. Jahanara arrives with my dinner. May God bless this daughter of mine for she has tended me well. Today she brings me...