Study Guide

Beneath a Marble Sky Chapter 9

By John Shors

Chapter 9

A Sense of Love

  • It's been four years since the mausoleum began being built for her mother, and Jahanara is psyched about the progress.
  • Sure, tons of dudes have died during construction, but, like, not as many as could have.
  • Jahanara's father is visiting to inspect the progress, and while he's there, he reveals the mausoleum's name: Taj Mahal. Taj was his nickname for his wife when they were in private, an evolution from her full endearment, Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Jahanara tries to be all sly and asks her father what he would have done if he couldn't have married her mother. It's a ruse that's about as opaque as Saran Wrap.
  • Jahanara's dad, seeing right through it, basically gives her his blessing to pursue her affair with Isa, but he warns her that it needs to be kept a well-guarded secret.
  • In response, Jahanara acts like an idiot and starts giving Isa the cold shoulder out of frustration. Sigh.
  • After a few weeks, Jahanara's father asks her to settle a dispute between some nobles who live out of town. Jahanara travels out there, but surprise—good old dad tricked her and arranged for Isa to meet her for a tryst at an inn by the Ganges river.
  • Isa and Jahanara spend three days being sappy as all get out and making love every chance they get.
  • When the three days they've been allotted come to an end, Jahanara is angry and frustrated that she and Isa can't be together at home.
  • Isa is optimistic that they'll find a way to be together. Somehow.