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I remember when all this was offices. Great, imposing buildings full of people sweltering in the heat because just copying designs that work in London or Paris aren’t too much use here. But they certainly served their main purpose, that of being great slabs of Colonial Governance in the Heart of the City, vast square edifices from which the Rule of Civilisation and Law could spew forth. Because if Civilisation and Law don’t come from vast square buildings, how can you tell they exist?
They’re mostly gone now, along with the people. The fountains have dried up, the trees have died, and the buildings themselves fallen to ruin. A couple survive, of course, converted to office space and studded with Air Conditioning, but the grandly titled boulevards named for long-dead heroes now echo to the lost and stray, modern ghosts alongside the ancient ones. The tall windows hold a sorrow for the power and majesty that they have lost, and the vistas of feverish activity they no longer look out onto.
If it is possible to feel sorry for a building, I almost feel sorry for these forgotten stone soldiers who can never go home, and will never be accepted here. They stand as reminders of a darker past, a past hard-fought against, and a past they will never be free of, because it is not in their nature to be free. They stand defiant against the march of time, and of people, and Empires and Nations, and until they finally crumble to dust, no-one will ever love them again.
They are the last expressions of a Dead Empire, and no-one here will mourn them.