Study Guide

Beneath a Marble Sky Chapter 4

By John Shors

Chapter 4

Darkness

  • Jahanara gets married. She is not happy.
  • Jahanara's new husband is Khondamir, a wealthy silver merchant with ties to Persian trade. He's also a major status seeker and social climber. He's twice Jahanara's age, fat, and just gross. Gee, thanks, Mom and Dad, you're quite the matchmakers.
  • Jahanara survives her miserable wedding day by getting drunk.
  • Khondamir rapes Jahanara on her wedding night. No amount of booze will make that a better situation.
  • At first, Jahanara tries really hard to be a good wife. But Khondamir is a cad—to him, she's just a new possession to be used. He just wants her to have his babies.
  • Eww.
  • When Jahanara doesn't please Khondamir, he forces her to watch him do it with concubines. Nice guy, that Khondamir.
  • Jahanara's family members are all travelling on their military campaign to the south against the Deccans, and apparently experiencing war with them is something Jahanara would prefer over married life. Yikes.
  • Finally, Jahanara works up the nerve to make a deal with her husband: if she tells him how to save his fruit trees (which are very obviously dying from being over-watered), would he let her ride a horse to visit friends?
  • Jahanara's cleverness gains her permission to go visit Ladli in the Red Fort.
  • Ladli tells Jahanara about her love affair with the son of a fisherman. She sees no reason to keep herself untouched for some still-hypothetical husband.