Study Guide

Beneath a Marble Sky Chapter 2

By John Shors

Chapter 2

First Betrayal

  • Aurangzeb is one grouchy, hateful, aggressively angry dude…especially toward Jahanara and Dara. Sibling rivalry—it's a thing.
  • Jahanara is reading a historical Persian text, in Persian, 'cause she's a show-off. (Actually, even though the Persians are technically enemies, Persian is the official language of this court. Jahanara also speaks Hindi, but that language is for the commoners. In case you're wondering, Urdu, which is now spoken mainly in Pakistan, is sort of like Hindi and Persian in a blender, and in fact, both Hindi and Urdu are derived from an older language called Hindustani—but we're getting off topic.)
  • After getting quizzed by her mom on the history lesson, and after briefly discussing her fears about arranged marriages, Jahanara asks for permission to play in the river with some friends.
  • One of the friends on the swimming jaunt is Ladli, who is Jahanara's best friend, even though she's a Hindu and a servant.
  • Ladli is also gorgeous. Dara has a huge crush on her.
  • Pretending he's playing, Aurangzeb takes the opportunity to tackle Jahanara into the water, and he's pretty rough about it.
  • Aurangzeb and Jahanara begin to fight. One of Jahanara's rings draws blood, and Aurangzeb threatens that she'll regret that.
  • Moments later, Jahanara spies a young child being swept downstream atop a floating log. She tries to rescue the kid, but she gets tangled up with him and cries for help while Aurangzeb just watches them with an evil expression on his face. Yikes.
  • Some fishermen, assisted by Nizam and Aurangzeb, finally rescue Jahanara and the kid from drowning…but Jahanara knows her brother only helped to save face.
  • In fact, Jahanara's convinced that Aurangzeb wants her dead. She tells Dara about her fears, but he thinks she's being overly dramatic.