Thought for the Day

The painting is an allegory of the evils of power, how they pass down the chain from the greater to the lesser. Human beings were clutched at, and clutched at others in their turn. If power was a cry, then human lives were lived in the echo of the cry of others. The echo of the mighty deafened the ears of the helpless. But there was a fine detail to be observed: Dashwanth had completed the chain of hands. The Mirror, the slave girl, her left wrist captured in her young mistress’s firm grasp, with her free right hand had seized hold of Khanzada Begum’s left wrist. They stood in a circle, the three lost creatures, and by closing that circle the painter suggested that the clutch or echo of power could also be reversed. The slave girl could sometimes imprison the royal lady. History could claw upward as well as down. The powerful could be deafened by the cries of the poor.
-Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence, an utterly magnificent novel

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