In February 2011 I blogged about the demonstrations and revolts in the Middle East which later came to be known as the Arab Spring. In the post I quoted a Persian ode that had figured alongside Laxman’s caricature of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in the Illustrated Weekly of India in 1979.
Think not, 0 King! thy sceptre or thy pow’r
one moment can arrest the destin’d hour !
After years of fruitless searching, I managed to track down the image after a long and hazardous quest that took me into the depths of the Deep Web and beyond.
Not really! I just googled it today and voila.
A growing number of newspapers, archives, and institutions are publishing searchable databases of their data on the internet. It is a researchers dream come true – with the flip side that anyone can post false or biased information online. While accessibility vs accuracy concerns are justified, just the sheer number of books and historical photographs available online is staggering.
Amazingly enough, I found this rare colour photograph of my parents in an online photo archive published from New Zealand.
The persian sceptre/power quote is from the great persian poet Firdausi .
Apparently miffed by the lacklustre response shown by Sultan Mahmud Ghazni towards his epic 'Shahnama' or 'Book of Kings', Firdausi wrote a satire on the king. The complete 'Shahnama' can be read here.