Wednesday, February 23, 2011

from a balcony

from a balcony
of a mosque in Srinagar
with inlaid ceilings
a young girl and old woman
peer at me as I pass by

This wooden mosque was built by the Persian who converted the Buddhists in Kashmir to Islam. The mosque is small, green and ornately decorated, with inlaid ceilings and wood carvings. I am allowed to climb a couple of steps and peak into the inner chamber, all crystal and gold. The chinar trees here must be 150 feet tall and 15 feet around, the upper limbs white. An old woman and a little girl peer down at me from a balcony as I pass by. The little girl, head bare, stares at me with a serious expression, but the woman, hair covered with a white scarf, smiles at me with her dark eyes.

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