A broad ramp of rough stone lead up from the main gate with rooms and alcoves on either hand. Beyond was a rambling and overgrown ruin. I wandered for a time and came to a crumbling stairway leading up the inner works. Above, upon a broad terrace, stood a tall and sturdy man with a long beard of fiery chestnut, garbed as a nihang. In his right hand was a heavy spear, the butt grounded and the point skyward. His left hand, nearer the heart, was resting upon a simple kirpan thrust through his sash.
Off to one side, and slightly behind the nihang were two figures. Seated upon a grassy bank, shadowed by a handful of young beech trees growing from the general rubble. The first was a fine young Sikh, his eyes alive in the twilight, with two ornate swords thrust through his sash and a powerful bow upon his back. The other was a wiry youth, one leg held awkwardly before him, as if suffering from a poorly healed wound.
I awoke, uneasy and wondering
In late '98, on my second trip to Indian, I encountered the fortress from my dream. I was in Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh), with three good local friends, and we went to see Golconda Fort. I was amazed to see the ruinous fortress from my dream realised. The place seemed, to me at least, alive with history and the ghosts of times past. To the best of my knowledge and memory I had never even seen a photograph or heard a description of the place before this day.
In May '99 I had a the dream again, although it differed in some aspects. I dreamt of flying over the far flung lands of Old India. I was tumbled about on the monsoon winds for a time and then swept down from the sky like a thunderbolt and found myself before the iron-bound gates of Golconda Fort. The blood red sun was setting, billowing clouds hugging the horizon were aflame with golds and purples, and the fortress was dappled with late afternoon autumn sunlight. A great sense of contentment filled me.
A sweeping ramp of rough stone lead up from the main gate with rooms and alcoves on either hand. Shadowy figures filled these areas, proud men with bright eyes are dark beards. As I past I clearly heard the sounds of arms and armour being cleaned and readied for use. Beyond was the rambling and overgrown ruin. A pungent haze, from smokey cooking fires, hung over the tumble-down walls. I wandered for a time and came upon a crumbling stairway leading up into the inner works. Above, upon a broad terrace, stood a tall and sturdy man with a long beard of fiery chestnut, garbed as a nihang. In his right hand was a heavy spear, the butt grounded and the silver-chased point skyward. His left hand, nearer the heart, was resting upon a simple curved kirpan thrust through his sash. He shifted his stance slightly and gazed down upon me. I looked up into my own eyes, for the figure was me, older, leaner, perhaps wiser, but undeniably me.
Off to one side, and slightly behind the nihang were two figures. Seated upon a grassy bank, shadowed by a handful of ancient beech trees growing from the general rubble. The first was a fine young Sikh, his eyes alive in the autumnal light, with two ornate swords thrust through his sash and a powerful bow upon his back. The other was a wiry youth with a wispy beard of pale brown and rich brown eyes full of merryment. One leg was held awkwardly before him, as if suffering from a wound poorly healed. The dappled shadows did not obscure their identity. I beheld Guru Hargobind Singh ji and Yanee Singh jr.
I awoke, wondering
I have never seen Yanee Singh jr., aside from in these dreams. I only know him through his correspondence. He was a young man in Greece who had a very hard and violent life on the streets. He was helped by Sikhs and in time become a Sikh himself. He died on May 2nd 1998 in a car accident. He was just 17.
Yanee was a kindred spirit. He was also my friend. His example helped me to take the turban and become Sikh. He opened my eyes and my heart to the glory of Guru ji.
These dreams came exactly one year before and one year after he left this world.
Lively Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, is central India's counterpart to the Moghul splendours of northern Indian cities like Delhi and Agra. It's a little visited metropolis of crowded bazaars and grandiose Islamic monuments, and is famous as the former seat of the outrageously wealthy nizams of Hyderabad. The city straddles the Musi River and is separated from its modern twin, Secunderabad, by the Hussain Sagar (reservoir). Most of Hyderabad's outstanding attractions were built during the Muslim Qutab Shahi dynasty, which ruled from 1543 until 1687 when it was taken over by the Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb.
The city's primary feature is the Golconda Fort, one of the least visited and most magnificent fortress complexes in India. Located 10km west of the city, it comprises a citadel built on a 120m high granite hill surrounded by crenellated ramparts constructed of large masonry blocks. The fort has massive gates studded with iron spikes to prevent elephants battering them; bizarre acoustics, which are fully utilised by screeching Indian tour guides; and supposedly secret underground passageways. The graceful tombs of the Qutab kings lie just outside the ramparts.