A ritual is to pick up books for upcoming travels. This week is for history – methods, narratives and working with archives. Picked up Truschke’s recent work on Aurangzeb, that opens with this elegant and striking quote that she attributes to Aurangzeb.

Man is an interesting subject on death bed, that is, if death arrives with enough cues for one to see and recognise its arrival. For those who don’t get that time, one knows not what went on in their minds. But those on deathbeds offer a fascinating glimpse into human condition and the pathos. Aurangzeb’s words appear conclusive about his life, and if that is the feeling at the final hour – of being a stranger, then it is sure a haunting prospect.

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