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Queen of the World / Universe -Jahanara-"Princess of Princesses" -Year 1627, India-Princess Jahanara, the favorite daughter of Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal, for whom the Taj Mahal was built. In turn, Jahanara’s diary entries reveal to young people a royal world of privilege, treachery, tradition, joy, and tragedy. Princess Jahanara was indeed a young woman of great intelligence and tolerance. If she had been able to rule, I am completely confident that she would have been in the tradition of her father and great-grandfather. Jahanara lives in luxury, with "thirty servants and eight elephants trained especially for me." She has her own spacious living quarters, with walls inlaid with jewels, and a marble, bathing basin surrounded with flowers and vials of perfume. She is loved by all and is especially close to her mother Ami, who calls her, "my precious jewel." She learns that women, although hidden behind screens from public view, have power: They see and hear everything. In the later part of life, Jahanara's grief turns to gratitude. She is profoundly thankful for the time she and Ami shared on earth together. She says if she were to be reincarnated, as the Hindus believe, all she could wish for would be for Ami to be her mother again. Jahanara concludes her journal, would be "all the richness I would ever need. Indeed there would be a splendor in my life no gold could match."
by jahanara December 25, 2009
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