Is this what freedom looks like?


When I went to the Chunar Fort, approximately 70 km from Benares, I went down this dungeon.

I was told that the Mughal Emperor, Humayun, was imprisoned here by Sher Shah Suri. Sher Shah Suri was a brilliant king and military strategist. He founded the short lived Suri Dynasty before Humayun took it back.

It seems that Humayun’s food would be lowered through this hole. I have no idea how he escaped, but he did.

I wonder if, when he looked up at the sky through this sky-hole, he wondered if this is what freedom looked like.

What does freedom look like?


    1. We are no better. It is just that we push buttons and drop bombs.

      Many years back, when I used to catch the locals in Bombay, I saw some horrible sights.

  1. I can only imagine that freedom can be no more attractive than the light above us, wherever we may be standing when we see it

  2. I have learned a lot about history since following your blogs, especially the Mughals. You don’t speak of them very highly…were they unspeakably cruel.? I think there is something in the human soul which gives us some inner strength to achieve things which would be impossible in ordinary circumstances. His will to escape was so strong – he managed it….. or do you think someone let him out and hauled him up. Is that possible? Enjoyed the read though

    1. The Mughals? Oh no. On the contrary. I have a lot of admiration for them, actually. Also, the kings of the Delhi Sultanate.

      Yes, they were all cruel. They all came to power by killing their siblings. It was the times.

      But, we do that as well, in a different sense, in our climb to the top. We destroy careers. It is less bloody but no less cruel.

      1. We never venture far from the tree. We are all still killers, we just do it remotely now. Drones; etc. Yes even employment killings. We just put a suit on and pretend we are civilised.

      2. True… Sigh… Three Sundays from now, I will do something on man vs animals

        I went to the tomb of Ibrahim Lodi. He was the last king of the Lodi Empire, and of the Delhi Sultanate, before the Mughals came to India. He died in battle. Very few of our modern days kings and presidents would venture out into the battle field. In this, we believe we are more civilized than people of the past.

        It is just that the form has changed…

      3. Maybe they don’t venture onto the battle field because they are scared? Battle doesn’t terrible things to people. They are just as brutal, but from further away it appears easier. Less responsibility maybe? I always have to look up things after reading your post.. and that’s a good thing. You are continuing my education. Thank you. BTW – why do you say ” three Sundays from now. Why the wait”

      4. Possibly. In the old days, when the leader fell, the army would often disintegrate. I doubt the world would cry too much if Trump or Clinton would get blown up, and they possibly know it!

      5. Yes they are an odious pair. Segreation of countries is not new. Think of Korea – devastating; Greece and Turkey – Muslims one way – Jews and Christians the other. And of course East and West Germany. Unified again to whose advantage?

      6. I agree.. Too often, people are divided by those in power.

        Why two weeks on that post? Oh, I was thinking of doing two more posts on Punjab Burning, but may just do one more…

        Talking of music, I just discovered a marvellous English folk singer, the late John Wright. What a voice. Wow!

      7. Your views, particularly in the replies/responses, make Excellent reading, my Dear Rajiv! …I am very interested in Historical monuments, and went searching for more on Chunar in Google, with very poor results.

        If You have more photographs of this jail/dungeon, please post them.

        Regards. 🙂

      1. You bet!

        Whole philosophies are contained in those two words!

        I watched a video of an Indian godman analyzing the ways in which we use the F word… Our vocabulary truly is amazing!

      2. Did I tell you I tried to learn French, when in college?

        There was a pretty girl who took French, and I followed her in. Unfortunately, I could not even pronounce the language, and so got kicked out of class.

        Result: no girl, no French

        Lesson: Never follow a pretty girl into a French class!

    1. Thank you! Freedom, as Janis Joplin sang, is just another word for nothing left to lose.

      When Humayun was in that dungeon, he must have predated Janis Joplin’s feeling by several hundred years.

      Humayun’s Tomb has an interesting place in Indian history

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