A TILE MOSAIC OF LAHORE FORT HINTING EMPEROR JAHANGEER – PERHAPS, PERHAPS NOT, BUT EXCITING TO DISCOVER SUBJECTS
The personality of Emperor Jahangeer is stupendous. The various manuscripts of his memoirs Tuzuk Jahangeeri reveal a full bloodied man, famous to this day for his sense of justice. A man of war and a man of peace. A conservator par excellence. Love of plants and animals his passion of life. Unfortunately Western and Hindu scholars pick and choose, rejecting what they do not like as false and other things as the truth. Even the account published by Major Price they do not like, for in it Emperor Akbar died reciting the Kalma, proving his political tactics in confusing the other religious priests and pundits. And the assassination of Abu Fazl proving the detest held by Jahangeer in confusing his father, with reputation of him being a freemason. In all ways Jahangeer fascinates us even today.
The tile mosaics on the Lahore Fort were never properly studied. One reason was the absence of historical narrative on it. The other they were high up, and out of observable sight of scholars. Also much damage was done to them with passage of time. Now subject of conservation, things are coming out. As usual some writers are at the confusing game again. Wrong attributions are still being given. First hand observations can not be substituted by versions of others. We will talk about that too. Here we are looking at three tile mosaics in pattern of portraits of Jahangeer. Probably not the Emperor, but who can say? Here the figure not only holds the matchlock musket (?) but also three ball shots (looks like a peeled banana, or even a flower bunch but that has no correlation with figure) in his hand. Another point to note is that courtiers and army chaps carry matchlocks on right side, but Jahangeer carries them on his left side, as seen in the two portraits. Analysis will take more time, but worthy of being looked at again and again. Scholars will dissect each and everything.
The second image the figure holds a cup of wine in a very peculiar position. It reminds us of the coin of Jahangeer in which he holds a cup of wine. And thirdly a figure holding a sword in a royal manner. Obviously the puzzle game is not rewarded at the end with answers. Knowledge reinforced with instinct calls it the day. Mostly today’s analyst lacks feeling and misses the rapport of long ago. Our job is to look at things with not merely insight but love and compassion. Analysis delights us.
Two kind of guns. One with a gun horn for loading powder; the other a ball shot, loaded from the front of barrel with a loading stick.