Building a future by preserving the past

Ancient cobblestones, smoothed and rounded with the passing of time, stretch up over the hill to a place far beyond where the eye can see. Side by side, symmetrical in shape and shade, they line up to map out the final stage of a journey that is over a century old. Each stone, each of the tens of thousands needed to cover the paved route’s final stages, bears through its edges and angles the tool-tapped signature of the stonemason who once, in a quarry hundreds of kilometers away, sat day after day under the hot Rajasthan sun shaping pieces of the path to a king’s palace on a hill overlooking the city.

The sound of horse hooves, rhythmically clip-clop-clip-clop-clip-clopping away, vibrate off of the long, lingering, lightly carved sandstone walls that slowly transition from beige to rose as the sun sets. As the horses near the palace gates, the buggy’s brass wheels start to slow, the carriage driver sounding the horses to a halt. The horses stand still, majestically, unmoving, aside from their heavily beating hearts regaining a hush following the long, continuously ascending trip to the entrance of the now clearly visible palace. Silence, with the exception of the sound of the horse’s heavy, tired breathing, and, surely it can’t be. Yes, it is. The sound of peacocks in the gardens beyond the gates.

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