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Joined: 19 December 2015
"Aab aapka swasth kaisa hay Jahanpanah!" [How are you my lord?] Mahesh Das asked to the emperor who had just taken his seat in the conference hall being welcomed and greeted by the important officials after a long break. His majesty unmindfully touched the bandage on his left arm, and then smiled to assure him. He still looks tired because of the physical turbulence he just came across, but his recovery of both health and mind is clearly visible to each and every man present near him. There is a slight line of worry and thought on his forehead today, and that has been able to get back the glow of activeness on his face. In his usual majestic attitude he sat straight on his seat with the fingers placed on chin in a gesture of thoughtfulness; with a slight frown he looked at a random officer and asked- "Pata chala ki Abul Mali bhag kar kaha gaya hay?" [Is it known where Abu Mali has fled?]
"Nehi huzur... Aisa koi khabar nehi hay!" [No my lord. No such news is there.]
"Kabul ke mahel me kon kon moujud hay abhi?" [Who are there in the palace of Kabul now?]
"Ji Shahenshah..." the officer had to think a bit before answering. "Koi mard to bacha nehi sayad. Zenana ki sabhi maujud hay, shahzadiyaan hay or kuch bache-kuche sipahi..." [No male is alive right now. All the women are there; the princesses and some soldiers.]
"Or Mirza Hakim?" Jalal's frown became deeper.
"Mirza Sahab Badakshan ke fauj ke sath Kabul me hamla kiya hay huzur... Kabul me maujud Mughal fauj ke upar aandhi ki tarha tut pare hay o log!" [Mirza Sahab has attacked in Kabul with the army of Badakshan... They have stormed on Kabul's army!] The man replied with a sigh!
Mahesh Das is yet to be accustomed with his new name by his majesty, so it took more than a moment to respond. "Ji Jahapanah!" He asked.
"Humne or ek jo sipahiyon ki tukri Kabul par bheja tha usme kitne sipahi the?" [How much soldiers are there in the troop that I sent to Kabul?]
"souya do hazar honge Shahenshah!" [Quarter of 2 thousand Majesty!] Mahesh Das replied faster this time.
"Or Samarkand me bheje hue sipahiyon ko Kabul me kurch karne ki hukum diya gaya tha na?" [And are the army of Samarkand commanded to march towards Kabul?]
"Je huzur!" [Yes my lord!]
"Behetar hay! Hume umeed hay ki Mughal fauj ashani se Badakshan ki fauj par fateh hasil karega!" [Better. I hope Mughal army will overpower the army of Badakshan easily!] Jalal still had the deep frown on his brows. He had got an indication of an attack from Badakshan in Kabul the moment he had got the news of Fakhrunnissa sending a secret letter to Mirza, and he had prepared his army according to that... But little did he assume that Fakhrunnisa will play such a game in Kabul which will eradicate the last thorn of Mughal dynasty to strengthen its feet in the land of frosty desert? Fakhrunnisa is a great weapon... she can't be lose, she can't be left to go out of control...
But what about Mirza? Why Fakhrunnisa wants him to go against Jalal? Is he representing her highest ambitions only? Or only to make it sure that the rightful heir of Kabul will never come on her path?
Jalal came back from his thought and looked at the officer. "Hum jald se jald Kabul ki kille ko saaf karna chahte hay! Dhyan rahe, Badakshan ki sipahiyan Kille me aapna jhanda gadh na paye. Kisi bhi haal par unhe Mughal fauj par kabu pane na diya jaye." [I want to clean the fort of Kabul soon! Keep in mind that the army of Kabul would not be allowed to raise their flag in Kabul fort! By no chance they should never defeat the Mughal army.] He ordered.
"Hume bari hayraani ho rahi hay Huzur! Shahzada Hakim bahar se sipahi jutakar Kabul fateh karne kyu aye hay?" [I am confused my lord! Why the hell prince Hakim has come to win Kabul with the help of outsider force?] One courtier said. "Ho kya raha hay uaha? Kya Mirza Sahab Shahenshah ke khilaaf jana chahte hay?" [What is happening there? Does Mirza sahab want to go against his majesty?]
"Agar Mirza Hakim humare khilaaf khara hone ki koshish kare to usse bhi muh-tod jawab diya jayega." [If Mirza Hakim tries to go against him I will give him proper reply.]Jalal uttered. "Baas dhyan rahe ki usse..."[Only keep in mind that...] his voice was too silent to hear... "hume o haar haal me zinda chahiye!" [...I want him alive by any cost!]
After some more discussion, Jalal looked at King Bharmal after dismissing the meeting. "Hume bohot jald Agra waapas jana hoga Rajasahab..." [I have to return Agra soon, Rajasahab...] he told to him.
"Kya abhi prasthan karna thik rahega? Aapka ghav abhi thikse bhara nehi hay..." [Is it okay to leave now? Your wound has not healed...]
"Hum bilkul durusth hay Rajasahab! Chinta maat kijie..." [I am fine Rajasahab! Don't worry...] Jalal told with confidence. "Hume Jodha se baat kar lene dijie; ek-do din ke andar hum baki sipahiyon ko lekar Agra ke liye raoyana honge..." [Let me talk with Jodh; I will leave for Agra within 1-2 days.]
"Baapusa..." Bhagwant Das suddenly entered without notice, and asked excuse seeing Jalal there. "Ek bohot gambhir suchna deni thi Baapusa!" [I have a big news to give, father!]
"Bataiye..." [Proceed...] Jalal smiled.
"Guptcharyon se sambad mila hay ki Raipur ke yuvraj Samar Singh ko aapne sena ke sah Amer ki aas-paas dikha gaya hay... or yeh bhi sandeh hay ki..." [Spies told that the crown prince of Raipur Samar Singh is seen with his troop near Amer... And we suspect...] he paused a bit. "Ki Amer par akraman karne ke liye khud Sujamal ne usse bulaya hay!" [...to attack Amer Sujamal has invited him!]
"Sujamal! Yeaha!" Bharmal's voice was sounding almost like a wailing. Jalal frowned. He remembered the source of the light in the jungle when they were on the way to Amer. So Sujamal has a well-built plan to attack Amer this time?
IN A TENT IN THE FOREST...
"Hum aapke sahayta kyu kare Sarifuddin Sahab?" [Why would I help you Sarifuddin Sahab?] Samar Singh frowned after paying heed to Sarifuddin's proposal. "Srif kyuki aap ekbar humare pran ki rakhsha kiye the isiliye?" [Only as you saved my life once?]
"Rajbanshi shahzade aapne ehsaanmandi dikhane ke liye aapne jaan bhi de sakte hay, suna tha humne!" [I had heard that Rajput princes can give their life to show gratitude.] Sarif smirked.
Samar Singh too smirked in return. "Parantu yeaha baat jaan dene se samampt nehi hoga; kisise biswasghat karke aapne kritagyata ke rwin chukana nehi sikha hay humne! Hum Sujamal ko dhoka aise hi nehi de sakte..." [The thing will not end with giving away life; I have not learnt to pay the price of gratitude by betraying someone! I can't cheat Sujamal...]
"Par agar Sujamal aapke sath gaddari karke Mughal Badshah se haat mila liya to?" [But what if he joins hand with Mughal emperor betraying you?]
Samar could not show him nonchalant. Sujamal's attitude was enough to break his credibility for him. Sujamal may attack Amer with his troop's help, may win Amer too, but he has no faith on him, on his intensions after their conversation. Sujamal is standing on the limit of his emotional breakpoint now, which can collapse any day... He has nothing either to get or to lose. He has no fear, and also no ambition... and in this position a man becomes too much unpredictable. He can tend to any direction any day. His confusions, his dilemmas all were pointing at the same direction...
And if that happens, Samar Singh and his state will have no benefit from him!
As a crown-prince Samar Singh is powerful enough to take administrative decisions, but he has no authority to cross his father. The king of Raipur had given Sujamal his words in the first chance without thinking or consulting with him. It was obvious that Samar would always advice to stay away from this treaty with the defeated prince Sujamal instead of being carried away with the old traditional sentiments of enmity. The old king should have understood that Amer is no longer that old Amer- the small territory under weak king Bharmal; it is the most prosperous state of Rajputana now with the direct help from Mughal force. If Jalaluddin Akbar wants, Raipur will be smashed under the heavy boots of Mughal force in no time! However, when the treaty is made and officially they are engaged in the upcoming battle with Amer, Samar Singh cannot afford to turn back in this situation by any means, so now he was here to keep an eye on Sujamal and to take necessary actions when needed with the consent of his father, and he is quite unsure about Sarifuddin's proposal...
"Sujamal gaddari nehi karega Sarifuddin Sahab! O Rajput Rajkunwar hay!" [Sujamal will not cheat Sarifuddin Sahab! He too is a Rajput prince!] Samar Singh smiled gently to answer. "Hume aapki sahayta karne me apatti nehi, par hum bhi unse gaddari nehi kar sakte! Or yeaha baat srif meri nei hay. Humare pita humare rajya ki taraf se unhe vachan die hay sahayata ki... Hum unke birudhh nehi ja sakte." [I have no problem in helping you, but I can't betray him! And here I am not the last person to decide. My father has promised to help him of behalf of our state, and I can't go against him.]
"Hum aapko unke khilaaf jane ke liye nehi bol rahe hay. Hum baas aapse madat maang rahe hay!" [I am not telling you to go against him. I only want your help!] Sarifuddin said with kind of desperation. "Sujamal humse madat ki waada karke hume nazarbandh kar rakha hay, sayad Shahenshah ko tohfa me deneke liye bacha rakha hay hume!" [Sujamal had promised me to help and then made me captive, perhaps he is saving me to gift the emperor!] He sneered. "Issi waqt ek purane dost se madat mangna kya nazaayez hay?" [Is it illegal to seek help from an old friend now?]
"Ji bilkul nehi. Par yeh dhyan me rakhna humare liye avasyak hay ki aapko sahayta dete samay hum bhul se bhi Sujamal ke diye hue vachano ka ulanghan na kar de." [Not at all. But it's necessary for me to keep in mind so that I do not break the promises to Sujamal while helping you.] Samar said. "Hum yeaha sainik unke sahayta ke liye bheje hay. Yeh log aapke bahubal nehi ban sakte, kyuki o Sujamal ko dhoka dena hoga... Agar kuch aisa upay ho ki hum aapko bhi sahayta kar sake or Sujamal ke sath sandhi ki shartyen bhi bhang na ho to hum prastut hay." [I have sent troops for Sujamal's help. They can't be your force, as it will be a cheat with Sujamal... If there is any way that I could help you without breaking the conditions of treaty with Sujamal then I am ready.]
"Parantu aap Kabul ke mamle me to humara madat kar sakte hay na?" [But you can help me regarding Kabul?] Sarifuddin insisted.
Samar Singh looked at him silently for some moments. The fiasco of the conspiracies in Agra, Kabul's hand in all these, all are informed by Sarifuddin just some time ago. Sarifuddin clearly wants his assistance to link up with the rest of the conspirators. He came up with a wonderful proposal... Abul Mali is still with Sarifuddin in Kabul; Agra is upset right now, and the emperor's days in Amer have been extended. They just need to plan an attack together... if Amer and the other captured territories of Rajputana can be attacked by the soldiers of Raipur and they can manage to captivate his majesty there by hook or crook, the border areas could be bounded by the outsiders and Agra manages to start an uprising against the authority, it will not be tough to bid adieu to the rise of Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar, who is both famous and infamous in the same way in Rajputana... This is a greater reason, obviously, and going by Sujamal's attitude by now, if he comes in the way in between, he is bound to be wiped out from the way... told by Sarifuddin.
"Kya aapko Agra ki halat pata hay Sarifuddin Sahab?" [DO you know the latest update of Agra?]
Sarifuddin shook his head. Samar Singh smiled reluctantly before giving him the latest news. "Aapke pita Khwaja Moin or kuch or Maulaviyon ko bandi bana liya gaya hay. Ek ek bidrohiyon ko chun chun kar nikal raha hay Mughal Fauj, or Agra ki prajaaye abhi bhi aapne Shahenshah ke sath hay, unke birudhh koi ek sabd bhi nehi sunai de raha hay!" [Your father Kwaja Moin and other priests are arrested. The Mughal force is finding out each and every rebels one by one; and the mass is with His Majesty, none is telling anything against him!] After a pause he added-"Kya aapko nehi lagta ki iss samay Shahenshah ke birudhh jana or atmahatya karna ek hi baat hay?" [Don't you think now going against the emperor will be equal to commit suicide?]
Sarifuddin gulped before he could say something. "Par abhi bhi Mah-Chuchak or Abul Mali hay humare sath... Agar aap humara sath de to..." [But even now Abul Mali and Mah-Chuchak are with us... if you help me...]
"Kis tarha ki sath ke bare me baat kar rahe hay aap Sarif sahab?" [About what help are you talking about?] Samar's voice was amused. "Or hume aapne aapko, or humare rajya ko khatre me daal kar aapse haat milate hue Shahenshah Akbar se satruta karne me kya lav hoga? Abul Mali Agra ki sinhasan par baithe yeah Jalaluddin, humare liye to dono me koi antar nehi hay..." [What will be my benefit to join hand with you and forming enmity with Emperor Akbar joining hand with you? It does not matter to me whether Jalaluddin be the emperor or Abul Mali. Both are same for me...]
"Agar aap humare sahayta karenge to aapka fayda zarur hoga, yeh samajhne ka dimag aapme hay." [If you help us then you will must be benefitted, and you have enough intelligence to understand it.] Sarif said. "Or to or, uss fayda ki kimat aapke purane dhabalgadh killa se kafi zyada hoga- jo Sujamal ne aapko wada kiya hay!" [And also, that will price more than your old Dhabalgadh Killa, which Sujamal has promised to you!]
"Hmm!" Samar nodded. "Hum zarur gaur karenge aapke baat par. Par hum Sujamal ko diya hua shart nehi torenge." [I will think about it, but I will not break my conditions with Sujamal.]
"Agar o aapke shart tore to?" [If he breaks your condition?] Sarifuddin smirked again.
"Uspar aap nazar rakhenge." [You will take care of him.] Samar said. "Agar o Amer se sandhi karke hume nicha dikhane ka prayas bhi kiya to hum..." [If he thinks to insult us by joining hand with Amer,] he smiled. "Hum kisi bhi vachan ki dor se bandha hua nehi rahenge..." [I will not be bound by any promise anymore...]
While going back to his own tent, Samar Singh was thinking about Sarifuddin only. His words may fulfill a lot of his ambitions, but they are highly risky... Amer is a smaller goal, Jalaluddin is a bigger hurdle... If Samar helps Sarif, and Sarif can manage to compensate and fulfil his half-ruined plot, Amer will come under Raipur's territory automatically along with a lot of opportunities... But Sujamal is his partner- not Sarifuddin... Sarifuddin is Sujamal's captive, and Sujamal will not join hand in this plan with him... Sujamal may bend in front of Amer at the last moment, and if it happens, both Samar's prestige and aspirations will go for a toss! He cannot poke his nose directly in Sujamal's business and war strategy here as per the statements of treaty hence can't force him to go for action, but Sarifuddin may do something...
Should he take a chance, with the risk of enmity with the mighty emperor which may tell upon their land? But this enmity is obvious if Raipur sends force to Mughal's territory Amer, no matter he helps Sarifuddin or not. Rather if by any chance he can take control over the emperor by any chance while helping Sarifuddin, it will open ample of scopes.
"Kya hua Kunwar Samar Singh? Yeaha kya kar rahe hay?" [Kunwar Samar Singh, what are you doing here?]
Samar Singh looked at the speaker with a shocked face, as it was Sujamal. He seemed to be in a good mood, and not much interested to get the answer of his question, as he started talking without giving Samar a moment for a reasonable excuse. "Hum aapke pas hi aa rahe the. Suchna mila hay ki Shahenshah kal-parsu ke andar Agra raoyana honge. Amer ki sena abhi bhi yudh ke liye taiyaar nehi. Hum uske baad turant Amer ki aas-paas akraman karenge... Fir dheere dheere Kille ki andar..." [I was coming to you. We get information that the emperor is going for Agra within two days. The soldiers of Amer are not ready for war. We will attack the sides of Amer after that... Then slowly inside the fort... ]
Samar Singh kept on listening, without letting his inner excitement to be imprinted on face. Sujamal wants the imperial caravan to go out from the territory of Amer fully to avoid maximum damage, but to help Sarifuddin it is essential to stop or engage Jalaluddin here so that the confidence of Mughals breaks. What can be done? Another secret attack on the emperor?
"Kya hua Samar Singh? Aap khush nehi dikh rahe?" [What happened Samar Singh? You do not seem to be happy?] Sujamal smiled after putting his words. "Soch kya rahe hay?" [What are you thinking about?]
"Kuch nehi!" [Nothing!] Samar Singh sighed while shaking his head to and fro.
NO BROTHER... ONLY HIS MAJESTY'S FOE...
The delightful moon was sprinkling her glory of silvery beam on the bed of the royal couple; the whole room was floating in the soft romanticism of moonlight. The lights and lamps were put off, the light of moon had enlightened the room sufficiently enough, and gifted the ambience a gentle touch of tender peace. Jodha had sat on bed, her back leaning against the pillow in a resting gesture and Jalal's head was lolling on her lap; her fingers were running through Jalal's thick layer of hairs with utter care and concern, and Jalal was playing with her left palm. It was quite night but they were not in a mood of sleep, both were casually talking with each other in a relaxing mode.
"Fir kya hua?" [What happened then?] Jodha asked eagerly as Jalal was telling her an old story.
"Fir charyon or se gola barasne laga. Maut ke bich khare the hum usdin, or itne hi chote the ki pata hi nehi tha ki maut hota kya hay!Sayad ushi waqt koi hume ek dhakke se bara kar diya... Tin saal ke umar me maut ko itni karib se dekh liya ki darr ka matlab hi vul gaye!" [Then balls started raining from those cannons. I was standing between death that day, and was too small to know what is death! Perhaps that very moment made me matured in a single jolt... I witnessed death from so close in the age of 3 that forgot the meaning of fear! ] Jalal sighed while going through down memory lane. "Bohot darr gaye the usdin Jodha... Or uss darr ka ehsaas kya hay o aap kabhi samaz nehi payennge. Ek tin saal ka baccha, jo kuch samajh ta hi nehi, jisne dunia dekhi hi nehi, jiske liye darr ka matlab kal tak bhi kahaniyon ka saytaan tha, jab lakho toap ke samne ekele khara ho; jab toapyon ki awaz or dhuya dehsaat bankar sara asmaan me cha jaye, or aankho ke samne maut ko dheere dheere aapne taraf aate hue dekhe, tab o darr kya hota hay usse samjhane ka takat humme nehi hay! Baas aj bhi nind me kabhi kabhi kaap uthte hay hum... Uss din ki yaad me!" [I was very much afraid that day Jodha... and you would never feel what was the feelings of that fear! When a boy of 3 years, who understands nothing, who did not witness the life and the world, and for whom the definition of far was only the monster of stories till last night, when is stood in front of thousands of cannons; when the noise and smoke from the cannons slowly grabbing the sky like a cloud of terror, when he witnesses his death to come towards him, then how that fear feels, I cannot make you understand! Only, even today I sometimes shiver in fright in my sleep... remembering that day!]
Jodha sighed deeply while her hand had gripped Jalal's automatically. It is not that she is hearing this story for the first time, but Jalal's style of telling is so lively that she was once more able to see and feel the whole scenario in front of her eyes... In the age when she was relishing her childhood with dolls and toys under the safe shade of her father, her love was made to stand in front of hundreds of cannons just in urge of revenge of his relatives, the very feelings gives her goose-bumps every time she hears this. Jalal was a little lost in his words, perhaps he was by now completely in the ground of 20 years back, in the moment the innocent world of a little boy had been harshly broken by the grudge of violence and hatred...
"Pata nehi kya hota humare sath..." [God knows what would have happened with me...] he told after a moment, his voice sinking in an unknown emotion, "agr Mahamanga na aati hume bachane..." [... if Mahamanga would not have come to save me!] He sighed and that deep sigh jolted inside Jodha's heart. She touched his face, but hardly Jalal felt. He was flowing with his own words... "Sayad hum rona bhi bhul gaye the jab sar ke upar se ek gola chala gaya... Kuch sunai nehi de raha tha, aankho ke samne kisine ek kala kapra daal diya tha... Kuch sochne ka takat bhi kho chuke the darr ke mare baas umeed kar rahe the koi aaye... or... Tabhi aayi o!" [Perhaps I even forgot to cry when a cannonball just passed ver my head... I could not hear, someone had dropped a black curtain in front of my eyes... I had lost my sense of thinking, only was hoping someone to come... and then she came!] He paused a little before starting again. "Aapni jaan ki paroya na karte hue, hume bachane ke liye o maut ke kuye me kud gaye... Lapet liye the hume aapni sine me, taki humare baal bhi baka na ho! Darr ke mare kaap rahe the hum, or o humare kan me kahe ki ki... sab thik hay beta... Tumhari badiammi aa gayi hay..." [She did not care for own life, to save me she jumped in the well of death... She had taken me in her chest to ensure even a scratch not to be there! I was shivering in terror, and she told in my ears that... that everything is alright my son, your Badi Ammi has come...] The last word echoed in his anguished voice... "BadiAmmi aa gayi hay!!" [BadiAmmi has come!]
Silence for a moment. The surrounded air was suddenly overpowered by the cloud of anguish...
"Sayad unhe bhi nehi pata tha ki..." [Perhaps even she didn't know that...] Jalal spoke out again, his voice almost muted, "unki uss ek baat ki kimat kya thi uss chote se bacche ke liye! Badi Ammi aa gayi hay; kuch bhi nehi hoga... Ek aisa varosa taiyaar ho gaya unke upar ki..." [that what an impact this little sentence can leave on that little boy! Badi Ammi has come; nothing will happen now... Such a belief had grown up for her that...] He took a long breath perhaps to hold the tears. "Kaise tod diye unhone sab kuch! Itni asani se..." [How did she break everything! So easily...]
"Bhul jaiye Shahenshah!" [Forget it Shahenshah!] Jodha tried to console him as Jalal was rubbing his eyes constantly to clear the cloud of gloom to gather in the curtain over the eyes. "Kyu bar bar ek hi baat soch kar aapne aapko dard dete hay?" [Why to think those things who give you pain only?]
"Bhul nehi sakte Jodha... Bhul nehi sakte!" [I can't forget Jodha! I can't!] Jalal uttered in a choked voice. "Ek shahenshah aapna badappan se ek gaddar ko bhale hi maaf kar sakta ho, par ek beta kabhi bhul nehi sakta! Bachpan me har ek raat jiski haat kaske pakdkar sone jate the taaki nind me bhi o humare sath rahe, agar wohi maa aisa kare to..." [An emperor can forgive a criminal out of his greatness, but a son cannot forget! In childhood I used to sleep holding her hands tightly so that she stays with me even in my sleep, and if the same mother does this then...] Jalal's voice sank completely... "Kash Shahenshah na hote hum Jodha!! Kash!!" [If only I would not be the emperor! If only!]
"Saalo pahele aapne hi humse kaha tha... ki aap bhagya ko nehi chune, bhagya ne aapko chuna hay... Yaad hay aapko?" [You had told be years ago... that you have not chosen your fate, the destiny has chosen you... remember that?] Jodha said. "Iswar unhe hi chunte hay jinme dunia badalne ki khsamta ho... Unhone aapko chuna hay, or aap iss asirwaad ko aapman nehi kar sakte!" [God chooses him who can have the power to change the world... He has chosen you, and you cannot insult his blessings!]
"Thik kaha aapne!" [Yes you are right!] Jalal smiled. "Hume yeh sochna bhi nehi chahiye... Par kabhi kabhi dil dehel jaata hay! Bohot kimat chukaye hay Shahenshah hone ka... chukaye jaa rahe hay..." [I should not think this. Only sometime heart stings! I have paid a lot for being an emperor, and continuing to pay!]
Jodha kept on caressing his hairs and Jalal closed his eyes weakly. A deep melancholy had enveloped the ambience of the peaceful night suddenly. Perhaps they were thinking how many dreams of them have been crashed under the weight of the heavy crown of the empire! Jodha tried to touch his cheeks to wipe out his tears but Jalal held her hand. "Aanshu nehi nikal ta hay Jodha! Adaat par gaya hay!" [Tears do not come Jodha; it has been a habit now!]
"Kya soch rahe hay aap? Mahamanga ki bishay me yeah Mirza Hakim ke bishay me?" [What are you thinking? About Mirza Hakim or Mahamanga?] Jodha asked...
In reply Jalal smiled again. "Hum abbujaan or chachajaan ke bare me soch rahe hay! Hayraat hay na? Dono bhai, ek sath pale bare hay... par bichme jab taqt or taaj aa gaya Chachajan Abbujaan ke khoon ki piyasi ho gaye! Kamran chachajan ne unke 3 saal ke maasum bacche ko toap ke samne rakh diye kitni asaani se! Kamran Mirza ko maaf karna asaan nehi tha humare Abbujan ke liye, par o the hi aise... Itna insaaniyaat nehi rahena chahiye ek Shahenshah ke andar!! Abbujaan ne chachajan ko andha bana diye, or uus baat ki badla unke beta ne humare baccho se..." [I was thinking about my father abd uncle! So strange, is not it? Two brothers, grown up together... when the question of the throne aroused uncle became the threat of life for father! Kamran uncle left his 3 years son in front of all cannons so easily!It was not easily for my father to forgive Kamran Mirza, but he was like this only... an emperor cannot afford to have so much humanity!! Father made uncle blind, and the revenge is taken by his son on my two sons... ] His voice choked before he could complete pronouncing the cruelest reality of his life... "Bhai bhai ka dusmaan hay! Jis Shahenshah ka jitna bhai, uske dusmaan ki ginti bhi utni hi zyada... Badshahat me koi kisika bhai nehi hota hay Jodha, hota hay srif dusmaan!" [Brothers are enemy of each other! The many is the number of brothers, the many are the enemies! There is none called brother in empire, only his majesty's foe!]
Jodha told nothing. In mind she was recalling the famous story of the epic... two team of cousins- 100 brothers verses 5 brothers... they fought for getting the throne, and the whole dynasty finished in the fire of that war! The same story is going on eras after era... with same cause, same consequence... Jodha remembered the very old incident taken place years ago in the court of Amer... the day when Sujamal Bhaisa announced rebellion against Amer's injustice with him... a single incident followed by the end of Amer's individuality in whole Rajputana...
"Baas or kuch bhi ho jaye Jodha...Ek hi dua hay ki Mirza Hakim bhi dusman na ban jaye humara! Yeah Khuda!!" [Anything may happen Jodha... Only one wish is there that Mirza Hakim never turns out to be my enemy! O God!!] Jalal uttered in a tired voice, perhaps knowing that his prayer is going to be in vain. "Bohot kuch chhin liya hay humse, bohot dard diya hay... Sab qubul kiya hay humne, par yeh ek dua sun le meri maula!"[You snatched a lot of things from me, has given a lot of pain... I accepted everything, but listen to my prayer my lord!]
Jodha closed her eyes and prayed along with him heartily... God! Let the brothers to get enough love to end hatred! And give Sujamal Bhaisa peace wherever he is!
The dim lamp of the grand room had hardly decreased the darkness of the night. The fort of Kabul is as silent as a cemetery nowadays. The whole surrounding is upset outside; the flame of the war is still burning with full rage, grabbing thousands of souls under the grudge. The fight between Haidar Qasim, Abul Mali, Faisal Beg and Begam Mah-Chuchak had already lessened the number of soldiers violently from the troop of Kabul; further the sudden attack from Mughal camp broke the defense of Kabul from core... After Abul Mali's sudden escape Mirza Hakim, the heir of Kabul took a sudden entry in Kabul with a big army from Badakshan, and surprisingly they told upon the Mughal soldiers. The fort is now under the control of Mirza Hakim, and the king of Badakshan keeps a lot of expectation from him which are perhaps not good or beneficial for the empire of Hindustan... The latest news is, Emperor has sent a troop in Kabul again, and the army of Kabul is getting weaker in front of them. The emperor wants to eradicate the thorn named Kabul forever from his path!
In that dim lamp Mirza Hakim was reading a letter... The same letter sent by her sister Fakhrunnissa a month ago with a message attached with that...
"Bohot sakht haalat hay Kabul ki siyaasat me. Kon dost hay kon dusmaan pata nehi chal raha. Ammijaan ki tabiyaat bigarti jaa rahi hay. Hume darr hay ki Abul Mali Sahab Ammijaan se or Kabul se gaddari kar rahe hay. Unke tijori se hume yeh khat mila. Pata nehi hum kare bhi to kya kare. Aap jald se jald aa jaiye or humari or Ammijaan ki hifazaat kare. Ekele maat aiyega, dusmaan kabhi bhi humpe bhari par sakta hay!" [A very tough situation in Kabul's politics... It's not clear who's friend and who's foe. Mother's health is deteriorating. I am afraid that Abul Mali Sahab is betraying mother and Kabul. I got this letter from his chest. I don't know what to do. You come fast to protect me and mother. Don't come alone, enemies can overpower us anytime!]
And the letter attacked with it... a small piece of paper, but sealed with the emblem of the emperor. Clear and prominent. The language of the letter is confusing, but one can fathom that easily after knowing the aftermaths of this letter... In a very poetic verse, the emperor has ordered his secret spy to work his best to clear the garbage from Kabul, and he will manage the rest!
Mirza Hakim put the letter down on the desk and sighed. The garbage of Kabul... any single head is not there in Kabul by now to raise against the emperor... Begam MahChuchak Begam, the high ambitious woman is no more in this world. She is dead! She has been killed in the most vicious way, most disrespected way, by a mere soldier named Abul Mali; the spy of emperor Akbar, Abul Mali!
The cloud of tears hazed his sight. Yes she was cruel, she was evil... but she was his mother who lived him the most! She had become evil for the world to give him the honour of an emperor! And she had been killed this way, in this cheap conspiracy!
Bhaijaan can't do this! Someone from Mirza's heart screamed to make him believe. He knows his bhaijaan, does not he? He knows his love for his brother is genuine; no matter how much Begam Mah-Chuchak dances on his head, his respect for the dowager empress of the empire cannot compromise in this cheap way! He would never appoint Abul Mali to kill her from behind... he cannot! His blue blood will not give him the permission to murder the consort of his father this way!
But again another word knocked in his ears. Something that his mother warned him long back- If you stay under Jalal's feet he will respect you. Else he will smash you under his feet... Emperor Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar can do anything... anything if he wants to do!
And after this proof, his sealed letter to Abul Mali, there is hardly anything to disbelief the fact that Abul Mali was the betrayer of his mother whom she was finding from years, and with the order of the emperor, he wiped out the last trace of her from this world!
"Hum badla lenge!" [I will take revenge!] Mirza suddenly whispered in uncontrollable rage. "Hum tumhe nehi bakshenge, Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar!!" [I will not spare you, Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar!]
"Mirza!" A soft hand touched his shoulder suddenly. "Kya soch rahe ho? Socha hay kya karoge Shahenshah ke fauj se ladne ke liye?" [Mirza! What are you thinking? Have you planned what to do to fight with the army of the emperor?]
"Aapajaan!" Mirza came back in real world. "Mughal fauj bhari par raha hay! Pata nehi kaise unhe pata chala ki hum Badakshan se fauj lekar aa rahe hay! Itni jaldi Hindustan se yeaha tak sipahi bhej diya..." [Mughal army is getting tough! Don't know how he knew that I am coming with Badakshan's army! How did he send troops here from Hindustan so fast...]
"Wohi to! Jalal ko pata kaise chala... Waise bohot shatil hay o!" [How did Jalal know? He is very cunning...] Fakhr said in her mind. "Chorie, yeh sab sochne ka koi fayda nehi, aage ki bare me sochiye. Abhi abhi khabar aaya ki or bhi Mughal sipahi aa raha hay. Badakshan ke sultaan ke paas itni taakat nehi ki o unke samne tik paye. O jab dekhenge ki haarna tyar hay o madat karne se muh mor lenge. Tab aap bilkul ekele par jayenge... Mirza..." [Leave it, no use of discussing on those. Let's think about future. News came that another troop of soldier is coming. King of Badakshan do not have that much strength to combat them. He will turn back the moment he will see a definite defeat. Then you will become alone... Mirza? ] Fakhrunnisa helf his arm. "Aap sun to rahe hay na?" [Are you listening?]
"Aapajaan?" Mirza suddenly clasped her arms. "Aapko yaakin hay na ki Abul Mali ke iss kaam ke piche bhaijaan ka hi haat hay?" [Sister, are you sure that brother has direct hand behind Abul Mali's act?]
"Mirza!" Fakhrunnissa cupped his face. "Hum samajh sakte hay aapke dil me kya chal raha hay. Par yeh siyaasat hay... Yeaha mohabbat ka koi kimat nehi!" [Mirza! I understand the plight in your heart. But this is politics... There is no price of love!] She sighed. "Hume bohot din se shaq tha Abul Mali sahab par, par o yaakin me badal gaya jab ye khat humari haat ayi! Hum tab hi aapko bula liye Ammijaan ko mehfooz karne ke liye par... Aapki aapne se pahele hi sab kuch khatam ho gaya!!" [I had suspected Abul Mali sahab from a long time, but I was sure after getting the letter! I called you to save mother but... Everything was finished before you come!] She wiped a drop of tear from her cheek. "Mirza, hum Ammijaan ko kho chuke hay; humari sauhaar sare zindegi ke liye humse dur chale gaye hay. Par hum aapko khona nehi chahte! Meri manie, Shahenshah Jalal ke samne ghootne tek dijie. Unke dusmaani Ammijaan se tha, o aapse mohabbat karte hay. Aapko maaf karke o aapko Kabul ki subedaar banayenge! Tab hum sab mehfooz rahenge!" [Mirza, I have lost my mother; my husband has gone too far to meet me again; I can't lose you! Listen to me, bend in front of his majesty. His enmity was with mother, he loves you. He will make you the ruler after forgiving you! We all will be safe!]
Mirza stared at her for a moment. "Ammijaan ki katil ke samne ghootne tek denge?" [I will bend in front of the murderer of my mother?]
"Or koi chara bhi to nehi hay mere bhai! Kabul ki toota hua chota sa fauj Mughal fauj ke samne tik nehi payega... Badakshan agar muh fer le to hum sab jung ki aag me jal kar rakh ho jayenge!" [You have nooption left my brother! The fragmented small force of Kabul will not be able to stand in front of Mughal Army for much days... If Badakshan turns back then we will burn to ashes in the fire of war!] Fakhrunnisa tried to convince him. "Aap hi to kahete the na, Jalal bura nehi hay? O Kabul ki bhala chahte hay? To jhukaiye na sar aapne Bhaijaan ki samne! Bhul jaiye Ammijaan ki katal ke bare me. Agar aap Jalal ki khilaaf khara hue, to o aapko kuchal denge." [You used to tell that Jalal is not bad. He wants good for Kabul. So bow your head in front of him! Forget about mother's murder. If you stand against your brother, he will smash you!]
"Nehi!" [No!] The young prince declared with a high gravity in his voice. "Aab chahe humari jaan hi kyu na chali jaye, hum Jalaluddin ke samne sar nehi jhukayenge! Ho sakta hay ki iss jung me humari haar ho, par hum usse haar nehi manenge!" [Now even if my life is too sacrificed, I will not bend in front of Jalaluddin! Maybe I will lose the war, but I will never accept my defeat!] His voice echoed in the room. "Aab chahe job hi ho jaye, hum zindegi bhar aapne ammi ki katil ko maaf nehi kar payenge!" [Now whatever may happen, I will never be able to forgive my mother's murderer!]
The dim lamp suddenly was put out by a sudden breeze from the window, the darkness prevailed the room. "Hum chalte hay Aapajaan! Hindustan ki fauj ke khilaaf hum jee-jaan lagakar larenge!" [I am going sister! We will fight with all our strength against Hindustan's army!] Mirza got out of the room with determination.
Fakhr again put on the lamp. A vicious smirk appeared in her face suddenly. Poor boy! Emotional fool! He missed his birthright of being the king of Kabul due to a small misunderstanding with his brother. They will definitely lose the war. Jalal will definitely capture Kabul fort again. The heir apparent of Kabul fort is going to be labeled as the leader of rebels of the empire by law. And a rebel who conspires against the emperor can never be given the right of ruling one of the important territories like Kabul! Her dear younger brother, who could become a big barrier between her and her aspirations even without knowing, has went away smoothly from his own. Now Jalal has only one friend in this land of frosty desert whom he can trust. He will have no way but to depend on her...
Picking up the letter she smiled again. Mirza is really innocent. He even did not doubt that this letter can be written to someone else and not Abul Mali, can convey completely another meaning which has no connection with present scenario and can be used to make him fool? Misplacing a secret sealed letter, sending that to him to whom it was not supposed to go, and it became enough to break the so-called bond between the emperor and his youngest brother... isn't it funny?
PRECAP: "Stop your Majesty!" Maan Singh rushed with all his breath and stopped His majesty and her highness... "You cannot go! There has been an attack!"
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