About 6 years ago… I read the second book from Alex Rutherford’s ‘Empire of the Moghul’ series – Brothers at War.
This book, was all about the least spoken about Moghul Emperor, Humayun… and his fearless and gorgeous queen, Hamida. It’s an account of how Humayun lost his entire kingdom, and then, with Hamida by his side… fought for over a decade, to regain everything and rule, for exactly one year!
More than any other book in this series, and more than any other books I’ve read on Moghul kings and queens… this book moved me…! I don’t know if it was the writing and the way the author reimagined the characters, or if it was the entire underdog story that resonated with me… but more than Humayun or the other extremely strong characters portrayed in the book, I fell in love with Hamida.
I remember reading about her… her zest for life, her courage, her valor, the way in which she so easily adapted to discomfort and yet, remained regal and elegant… and I remember every time, hoping and wishing, that I was something like her…! Alex Rutherford’s interpretation of Hamida Begum.
And so, when I thought of this concept of ‘past life’ for my latest blog post… I started to imagine who I must have been in my past lives… over centuries and eras… or rather, who I wished to have been!
And there’s no one better, I could think of…!
I know you probably think that it’s too much to think of myself as… but hey, I could never imagine myself in any life, to be leading a life of mediocrity.
A queen who lost her kingdom, fought wars, traveled through continents on foot and restored an entire sultanate, is more my kind 😉
In my words…
A Queen, A Warrior, A Woman
Moghul Era, 1530
She enjoyed playing coy, letting people see what they wished to see… Their sweet, demure, kind hearted princess. But the look in her eyes and the dagger in her belt, gave away the rebel within.
And while royal jewels adorned her crown… She’d let her hair flow free… Unrestrained… Untamed… Unafraid!
She didn’t care if it was her royal bed or the scorching desert sand.
Her wit and her will, made crossing mountains seem like a walk in the royal gardens.
Was she the princess they’d all longed for…? Was she the queen they’d all longed for?
But she was… The king-maker…! The one person without whom nothing would be possible.
Photoshoot and Outfit:
This outfit that I picked from Mumbai based designer Kkaanch Advanie’s new festive collection, was perfect for the picture of the queen I had in mind. The mint green lehenga with understated antique gold work, bring alive her elegance… while the high collar and full sleeve top, are representative of the more conservative societal culture that the Islamic rule brought into India.
The outfit itself is grand yet light-weight, made of rich fabrics that makes it fit for a queen – who can fight in it and look decorated, all at the same time.
I kept the jewelery to a minimum… no necklaces, no bracelets… just a pair of antique earrings and a statement ring. And of course, a necklace worn as a headpiece, because what’s a queen without her crown!?
The makeup was done by make-up artist Renuka Shetty and these pictures gorgeously framed and shot by photographer Anoop Padalkar.
Location Courtesy: Monteria Villa, Khopoli
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