Thursday, February 25, 2010

City Secret - Nicholson Cemetery, Kashmere Gate

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City Secret - Nicholson Cemetery

The other world.

[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]

It’s a mystery why guidebooks have been indifferent to the (deadly) charms of one of the oldest British cemeteries in Delhi. Guarded by a cross-shaped gateway, Nicholson Cemetery has a sloping, grassy landscape dotted with intricately carved light-brown graves. Neem, khajoor and tamarind trees stand like sentinels. Thick bougainvillea bushes weighed down with flowers shed pink petals on the tombstones. Hundreds of “dearly loved” children and “beloved” wives lie beneath.

On the stones, personal details about the dead are preceded by sentimental poems or Biblical verses. Stone angels look over the shoulder as one reads these graven inscriptions. Some tombs show curious symbols indicating the deceased’s profession. Some are covered with dry leaves, which one must sweep clean to read the inscriptions. Most graves date from the 1857 `mutiny’.

Cemetery’s most prominent grave is of Brigadier General John Nicholson, “the lion of Punjab”. An Irish army officer in the British East India Company, Nicolson died of wounds received during the uprising. His tomb lies near the cemetery’s entrance, barricaded by an iron grill invaded by jasmine vines.

On the far side, towards the Ring Road, marigolds adorn the new graves of Indian Christians. Elsewhere a tomb’s inscription reads: “Jesus said, ‘Weep not’”.

Where Near Kashmere Gate Bus Terminus Nearest Metro Stop Kashmere Gate

A slab and a few leaves

City Secret - Nicholson Cemetery

Searching for someone?

City Secret - Nicholson Cemetery

Crowded

City Secret - Nicholson Cemetery

Can you see the ghost?

City Secret - Nicholson Cemetery

Is past dead?

City Secret - Nicholson Cemetery

My day job

City Secret - Nicholson Cemetery

Mr Nicholson

City Secret - Nicholson Cemetery

The club of the Dead

City Secret - Nicholson Cemetery

A tomb inside the entrance gateway

City Secret - Nicholson Cemetery

The gateway to the Other World

City Secret - Nicholson Cemetery

6 comments:

Mohd. Raghib said...

Nice one BABA ...

Peter said...

Fascinating!

kumar v said...

Waiting for the book you will hopefully write one day

Vishal said...

I agree with Kumar, many of us are waiting for the day you will write a book. Go for it mate! You have healthy fan base. Book will further broaden it.

Please include new content (not from current blogs)in your book.

Umberto said...

I agree. I hope you write one some day.

kane2s said...

awesome..