What Pegman saw – Shahi Qila

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Shahi Qila

I sought respite from the intense heat in the shade amongst the ruins of Shahi Qila.

I sat on a cool stone and after a while drifted off into an uneasy slumber.

I heard the rhythms of a tabla, the rising and falling notes of a sitar, and singing.

“Go to Burhanpur, and visit Bhulbhulaya, 

My Royal Palace, on the banks of the Tapti River.

Seek out my love. 

Prepare her a luxurious bath of warm soothing waters,

Scented with Khus, Saffron and Rose Petals,

In my Royal Hammam. 

When the evening sun turns orange and it’s fading rays throw fiery shadows on the painted ceiling, 

Light incense sticks and gather inspiration in the fragrance of their ethereal oils.

Then as she bathes, whisper my name,

So that at last, I can be reunited with the Empress Mumtaz Mahal Begum,

My chosen one, my true love.

In doing so, I will grant you fortune and everlasting happiness,

For as long as you shall live.”

I woke up with a smile and his name on my lips.

Emperor Shah Jahan.

What Pegman Saw is a fascinating weekly flash fiction challenge that takes as it’s prompt a ‘Pegman’ point on Google Maps.

Once again I culled my story from history. Fascinating insights.


  1. Great stuff Graham, very romantic and with a mythic quality to it. They really had a powerful love, didn’t they? Despite him having several wives, he loved her best I think. I wrote about them too, though took a very different angle.
    Lovely story

    Liked by 1 person

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