Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Flowers, Fountains and Flatmates

One of the great provisions in preparing for Princeton is my new flatmate. Joyson John hails from Pakistan, and he desires to be an accountant. He's over here studying to that end, and he's moved into my flat for the period I'm on scholarship at PTS.

JJ and I went for a walk this afternoon. We sauntered into town through Glasgow Green, popped into Tescos, and then returned via the People's Palace.

We came upon this:

The Doulton Fountain, the largest terracotta fountain in the world. Sorry about the photo. But, basically, it's a symbol of Victorian Empire. QV stands at the apex, her soldiers just below her, with four lands under her authority: Canada, South Africa, Australia, and India.

Here's India:

JJ immediately recognised the Indian figures. He was sure that the man was the Muslim Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, and that the woman was his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for her.

As Joyson told me the story, I found it difficult to think that these two figures really represented Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. But, I haven't found evidence to contradict JJ's claim. And, what I have read about the fountain suggests that the figures are representative of the lands under Victoria's reign. So, the chronological differences needn't rule out Joyson's story.

Here are the flowers I promised too. The City Fathers know how to brighten up Glasgow:

1 comment:

C G said...


Great. Is it only Glasgow that has 'City Fathers'? I've never come across the expression elsewhere.