25 July 2009

Through the narrow streets of .....Malacca

He spoke about , the mouse-deer fighting back the hunt dogs of a sultan. And of the Sultan's rule and his palace up in flames .

Of merchants lined up in the market place by the receding shore while the waves clutched at their feet in an attempt to send them back to where they came from , along with the very ground they stood. Yet there they were, with their spices , silk, rubies, gold , silver and copper. All to be traded before they return to Arabia, India, Siam ,China wherever they came from. They were merchants, who ruled the seas , who made rulers . The kingmakers, they were..

He spoke of empires , whose war ships sailed catching the whiff of cinnamon , cardamom and cloves. To new lands.

Of the muslim traders who covered their scorching desert lives with a tropical lush veil , got caught up in paradise and stayed back,

Of a princess from China who came to wed a King, with 500 men who never left, and a wedding carriage drawn by 10 elephants.

Of slaves caged within the hull of the ship and a lonely priest kissing the cross after murmuring a prayer , not seated far from them. Both awaiting the ship to hit the shore, for their fates to be decided. One to be sold to a new master and the other to serve the old one at a new location.

Of ,the Portuguese , the Dutch and the East Asia trading company who traded countries much the same way they traded every thing else. Who would disembarked, marched inland built citadels and churches, then claim the land their own. Not much changes.

As all oceans flow one in to the other, all incidents gets mixed up in history. And creates an interesting mix of remnants , in places like Melaka they remain, much like the sea bed.

All this came up in a 45 minute , rickshaw ride.

The Rickshaws..

A Famosa

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