Of the zenana

Keywords: of the zenana
Description: zenana: The part of a house in Asian countries such as India and Pakistan reserved for the women of the household.

"The word zenana," replied Mrs. Thurston, "strictly means women's apartment, but as it is generally used by us it means the houses of the high caste gentlemen, where their wives live in great seclusion.

The little jade dog on my shelf stared at me with bulging eyes, reminding me that betrayal from within the zenana was the least of my fears.

It was clear that the native tutors had no control whatever over their illustrious pupil, and every creature in and about the zenana was his submissive slave, so that Gerrard became seriously exercised as to the development of his character.

There the women are free to work and hold positions of power, while the men are kept sequestered in prisons called mardanas this is a play on words: in Hossain's time, women were relinquished to a part of the house called zenana, and mard is the Urdu word for man.

'It is not likely that they would surrender their free and open air life of their own accord and confine themselves within the four walls of the zenana!

In Mughal India, she was considered past the age of desirability—there were creatures in the zenana who had been banished to its farthest quarters because of this, no longer presented to her Bapa as choices for a night.

Man Singh, also a vassal to the Mughal Empire, had nonetheless managed to live with the extravagance of a king, with sixteen hundred wives populating his zenana, a veritable swarm of children, so many sons he could not remember all of their names.

She did not need to ask anymore, of herself or of Najabat, if he would find her desirable and attractive—she knew he would because he had defied all the rules of the zenana to find his way here.

Photogallery Of the zenana:

Ladies of the Zenana on a Roof Terrace. Attributed to Ruknuddin ...

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