Two Female Ascetics
Indian (Murshidabad), Mughal, c. 1760
Opaque watercolors on paper
The painting shows two female ascetics seated on animal skins, the traditional seat of holy men and women. The dark shading and sombre colouring are typical of painting in the Mughal province of Murshidabad in the mid-18th century.
(Source: collections.vam.ac.uk, via mughalshit)
On Sep 13, 1944, a princess from India lay dead at Dachau concentration camp. She had been tortured by the Nazis, then shot in the head. Her name was Noor Inayat Khan. The Germans knew her only as Nora Baker, a British spy who had gone into occupied France using the code name Madeline. She carried her transmitter from safe house to safe house with the Gestapo trailing her, providing communications for her Resistance unit.
Oh my God, yes. Let’s talk about Noor Inayat Khan.
- Wireless operators in France had a life expectancy of six weeks. Noor was actively transmitting for over three times as long.
- While she was in France, every other wireless operator in her network was slowly picked off until she was the last radio link between London and Paris. It was “the most dangerous and important post in France”.
- She was offered a way back to Britain and refused.
- In fact, in her transmissions to London, she once said that she was having the time of her life, and thanked them for giving her the opportunity to do this.
- She was captured by the Gestapo, but never gave up: she made three attempt escapes. One involved asking to take a bath, insisting on being allowed to close the door to preserve her modesty, and then clambering onto the roof of the Gestapo HQ in Paris.
- Her last word before being shot was, “Liberté!”
The term BAMF was coined for such persons.
The Afghan Rabab (or Kabuli Robab) is a short-necked or long-necked lute originating from Afghanistan. Rabab is an Arabic word for a plucked instrument and the Afghan Rabab has been referred to in Arabic texts dating back to the 10th Century.
Constructed like the short necked robab, but smaller, with one drone and nine sympathetic strings in addition to the five playing strings. The larger robab is generally used in Afghani art music. The smaller instrument is typically used for the regional music of the Pashtun people. The robab migrated south into India in the mid-19th century, where it eventually developed into the modern sarod, one of the primary instruments of Hindustani music. - Beede Gallery at the National Music Museum, University of South Dakota, Vermillion.
Listen to the Rabab (here) or check out more music history on Omnisound's Blog