Study Guide

Beneath a Marble Sky Chapter 14

By John Shors

Chapter 14

A Tear on the Cheek of Time

  • Nizam goes off to battle with Aurangzeb for a year and tells Jahanara what we already know: Aurangzeb is a fierce warrior, and his men love him for it.
  • Then Aurangzeb's off again, this time to the south to deal with the Deccans.
  • As Arjumand gets older, Isa and Jahanara can't see each other as much, because she's too old to safely witness their secret love.
  • Luckily, Khondamir is being sent further and further away to trade his wares, so Jahanara doesn't have to see much of him, either.
  • When Arjumand is five, Jahanara starts taking her to the Taj Mahal so that Isa can get to know the girl better without arousing suspicion.
  • When Arjumand's seven, the Taj Mahal is finally completed.
  • The Emperor is so anxious to see the Taj without its wood and brick scaffolding that he recalls Aurangzeb's army to come home and help dismantle it.
  • The Emperor also decrees that starting at dawn the next day, anyone can come and cart away whatever lumber or bricks he or she can carry. This is huge, because those items are in very short supply.
  • The army gets everything torn down in a day filled with chaos and frenzied activity, so that by the time the moon rises, everyone can bask in the Taj's glory.
  • Isa and Jahanara happily contemplate all they've achieved and briefly discuss running away together…someday.