Jahanara

Jahanara

    Oh, death!  You stand before me in human form!   Your fierce eyes stare at me!  As your hot breath hits my face, all my hope crumbles.  There lies on  the floor the head of my brother Dara. His head was first presented before our father, Emperor Shah Jahan. Then it reached me in the prison. Oh, unfortunateIndia! Once your glory echoed round the world. The same blood line that enriched this holy land has now thrown it asunder. It could not keep you strong. Why couldn`t it be done?

I untied and scattered my hair. I broke and threw away my pearl chain. Still I didn`t get an answer. Darkness was spreading in front of my eyes. I asked many questions to my inner self. I looked into the past. But I didn`t get any answer. I saw wave after wave of army lines rushing in all directions inIndia. This army flow wounded the country. The money and precious stones collected through ages were looted.

Then peace prevailed in the country for some time. During that period places of worship and other structures come up throughout the length and breadth ofIndia. Then again unrest spread and along with it army movements and blood shed resumed. The holy river Yamuna, embracing the foundations of Agra Fort in its course became  a river of blood. This blood reached the ocean and turned it red.

The red waves rise up and challenge the stars. Clouds spead in the sky above my head. The blue clouds have turned the earth and water blue.

I haven`t finished a year in the Agra Fort. I still remember the day on which Dara, the crown prince went to war against Aurangzeb. Huge formations of soldiers were moving across the provinces ofIndialike gigantic reptiles and were moving towards the horizon.

The echoes of the foot steps of thousands of elephants and horses reverberate even now. The crown prince, Dara, sitting on his favourate elephant Fathejung, in the midst of his Rajput army, shone like a lighthouse and attracted everybody`s attention.

Ah, how I cried hearing about the defeat of Dara! My tears haven`t stopped yet. How unlucky my brother was! I haven`t the strength to pronounce his name. Crown prince Dara! Your soul had extraordinary glory. Akber`s message of love echoed in the depths of your heart. The one and only God decides the destiny of the whole world. The Almighty has the same rule for everybody. Dear Dara, pride was your flaw. Pride caused your downfall. The might of the army and the cunning of Aurengzeb worked against you.

Aurengazeb, embodiment of trechery, I hate you! I hate you deeply. Your talent and your heart are equally wicked. Your only thought is that you must be the emperor ofIndia. Your eyes sparkle from your lust for power. Your enemies struggle under your feet. Do you remember the prophesy of that traveler when we were children? I hear the foot steps of elephants and horses. The army has become diminished in numbers. They are returning toDelhi.

Poor betrayed and defeated Dara! He wasn`t defeated in straight fight. His enemies` weapons were betrayal and deceit. Dara, who till a year ago sat at the side of Emperor Shah Jahan, is today being brought through the highway toDelhi. His clothes are torn and he is devoid of all his glory. The subjects are disturbed by this sight. The inmates of the harem  curse Aurangzeb inwardly. Women shed tears in private. But nobody is brave enough to express their protest.

 

I am writing my autobiography with shivering hands under the dim light of a small lamp, sitting in a building inside Agra Fort. But I will keep the secrets in my heart there itself. If I don`t do that, then how will I survive? I am a woman. I will leave after giving my elegy to oblivion in this lovely night. I give the sadness and the song of my life to forgetfulness.

My brother Dara is so dear to me. I was his favourite sister. His wish was to fulfil the dream of our grand father Emperor Akbar. Let the dream of that great man live long!  The precious stones and treasures lying hidden in dark corners could not tempt Akbar. His effort was to find out the truth respected by mankind down the ages.Indiasearches for its past spiritual glory. She will become an emperess in the beauty  of that soul. Akbar dreamt that beauty will take him to the presence of God.

Tajmahal was built on the banks of Yamuna. It glows like a bright pearl in the full moon. It shines like the bright wings of an angel. There was a practice of reaching the holy recital of the Khoran to the ears of our mother Tajbeebi, resting in peace in her tomb. But today no one recites the holy text there. Dara`s  bloodstained head lies near the tomb of his mother. Today her mortal remains may be shivering in the tomb. May be Tajbeebi thinks in her long sleep that on the day her son`s head fell on the ground, one more great ideal

Oh, look! The sun rises through the side of the Tajmahal. Now Taj is not a pearl but a big ruby. Aurangzeb, I curse you. You turned the unlucky Dara into a non-entity. You accused him to be an atheist and then killed him. Aurangzeb, you made your younger brother Murad and your nephews drink papir juice  and then killed them. Why didn`t you administer poison to me? Won`t I too have lost my senses? I could have escaped this deep hopelessness. I could have been freed of all woes.

Aurangzeb, I still live, I can still think. I send my silent message to you through this darkness. It will reach you crossing even the nether world. Today some invisible power has covered my sense organs.

I see a group of dark shadows in front of me. You may not be able to see them, but I can. Suddenly these shadows took shape and rose into the sky. Then they turned into strings of clouds. Next they became a storm. Look! Thunder!  Flames shoot up! Your empire will be destroyed. The chains you tied on your enemies` arms and legs will wither away. In that fierce doom, the dream of Emperor Akbar- the dream of a unitedIndiaunder the Timur dynasty will perish.

Aurangazeb, I predict, Oh, you mighty one! You fear God, but doesn`t love him. Your subjects fear you but they don`t love you. Each copper coin Emperor Akbar donated turned  into a golden one. But your donations turn into thorns. You have got ready for destruction. I warn you, Aurangzeb! The treatment you meted out to your father will cause you sorrow throughout your life. Your shadow  will overtake you in the path you have selected for yourself. It will put you in deep trouble. The Holy Quran cannot save you

Indiatoday is the helpless slave of the victors.Indiais looted at times out of greed and at times out of anger. If they tried to rule on the basis of some broad vision,Indiawould have become the mother of these people. Even today the peacock throne may be shining brightly. But the corundum fixed on it attracts danger from far and wide like a magnet attracting iron.

There, from far away comes a storm as the messenger of the sea of blood. It is the beginning of doom. The laws of the land have been crushed under the feet of the mighty emperor. A river of blood will wipe out those foot steps. Wails echo all over Delhi-like in the days of Timur`s attack and during the battle of Panipat.

Only the dead are entitled to peace. No, not even them. Even graves have been destroyed out of avarice. So, I do not want to have my eternal sleep in a tomb clad with marble stones.

Let grass be the cover of my grave! Though trodden by feet, grass will sprout again. Oh, God! Call this down trodden one to you soon!

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