By Dr. dushka h. saiyid
Raza Rumi’s book, Delhi by Heart, is an ode to a civilization and culture that flourished in Delhi from the time of the Sultanate and the arrival of the Sufi saints in the 13th century, till its final denouement in 1857, when the British ferociously crushed the revolt against their usurpation of power in the Indian sub-continent. It was a death knell not only for Delhi, but also for the Indo-Islamic culture that had flowered since the Sultanate period.
Rumi’s canvas is wide and buttressed by diligent research, as he explores the rich tapestry of Delhi’s past: Sufi saints, rulers, poets, architecture and the urban development of the city. Dehli was the nursery and home, of what he has described as the Ganga/Jamna culture, and he points out that the, “north Indian cuisine, language and manners evolved within the precincts of Delhi”. The richness and inclusiveness of the Indo-Islamic culture, and its’ fading away with the demise of the Mughal empire, is the theme of the book. Continue reading