Tripura is a peaceful state in far East India with a laid back vibe. A wall flower among the North Eastern states so much so that the rest of the country vaguely nod at its existence.
Well, Assam has its tea, Nagaland has the Hornbill Festival and Arunachal with its border squabbles with China draw all the attention. Then again, one could blame the Tripura Tourism for not doing a stellar job.
Do not go gentle into the good night,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
– Dylan Thomas
I was in Agartala, Tripura’s big and noisy capital, made up of temples trails, grand palaces and wooded parks. Its market place remained packed with jostling locals, shrill cries even though dawn would come early and night would descend by 5 pm.
To enter the city, if you took the narrow road that lead through an old archway, skirting the shimmering lake, you were in for a magnificent treat. In any light of the day, the water reflected the resplendent Ujjayanta Palace looking every inch imperial and glorious.
Yes! It always made me stop a while and wonder in amazement.
The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.
– Chuck Palahniuk
Come to think of it, the time of the Royals is over. They no longer command that power and yet their legacy lives on in the pages of the history books, in plaques and museums and in these architectural marvels they had called home.
A few kilometres out of the city, is Udaipur and its Lake Palace- Neer Mahal on Lake Rudrasagar. I’m not referring to Udaipur with its Lake Palace hundreds of kilometres away in Rajasthan although the similarities are mind boggling. Maybe the Royals of the East were inspired by their counterparts in the West and sought to replicate the grandeur in their kingdom. Could have been awkward but I am not complaining.
Life is not what one lived, but rather what one remembers, and how it is remembered to tell the tale.
– Gabriel Garcia Marquez
So like Maharajahs of yore, we sat in boats and sailed across the lake to the Summer Palace. The guide out there spun tales of how the Rajah received the British emissary only there, how he came with his entourage separately while the queen with hers, of lavish parties and secret doorways. The political and personal intrigues became more dramatic and sometimes were casually flung as footnotes to make his tale memorable.
A good story teller knows that attention is fluid and fleeting.
It’s quite like our memory that becomes dull at the edges, fraying over time, fluidly changing form and colour, unless pinned.
Have no fear of perfection- you’ll never reach it.
– Salvador Dali
That day while I walked along the Palace parapet, the sun felt warm and the water seemed to merge with the azure sky. All that remained of the Neer Mahal were its strong white walls that echoed with the excited cries of photo clicking happy families. I was at peace.
That moment was perfect!