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India in the making

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During my backpacking years back yonder, I found myself in Fatehpur Sikri on the subcontinent. A palatial city, the odd thing about it was that it was deserted save for vendors at the entrances. Answering my question in English, one vendor said that it had been built by the Moghul Emperor Akbar, who then abandoned it because it had no water supply. 

Ruler Of The World by Alex Rutherford, 465 pp, 2011 Headline Review paperback. Available at Asia Books and leading bookshops, 350 baht.

Frankly, whenever I thought of the reason it annoyed me. Surely the ancient Greeks and Romans could have devised ways to bring in water. It was too opulent to be turned into a ghost city. Reading Ruler Of The World, third in the Empire Of The Moghul series, I got a more persuasive explanation from British author Alex Rutherford.

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