Joined: 15 September 2015
Joined: 19 December 2015
Joined: 19 December 2015
ODOUR OF BLOOD...
"Abul Mali!!" Mah-Chuchak exclaimed in an amplified voice mixed with all her surprise and rage. "Tum??!!" [You!!]
"Jee haa Begam Sahiba!"[Yes Yours Highness!] Abul Mali bowed down to her with a smirk at the corner of lips. "Hum!!" [Me!]
"Zalim!"[You traitor!] Mah-Chuchak tried to get up, but could not. The sharp blade of Haidar's sword had affectionately touched her throat. "Tum itne din se humare pith pichhe baar karte aye ho Abul Mali! Hum nehi chorenge tumhe!" [You are backstabbing me for such a long time Abul Mali! I will not spare you!] She threatened, and the vacuum threat made Abul Mali to crack up in laughter for a moment. Haidar Qasim joined him too. The soldiers of Mah-Chuchak inside the room, who had already gripped all the men of Haidar, perhaps was too confused and shock to take any steps. So when the new troops of Abul Mali came forward to combat them, they literally could not fight as expected, and soon the room flooded with the thick red blood of the faithful security guards of Mallika-E-Kabul! The odour of blood was flowing in the room through the cold breeze. A massive war had been started suddenly outside with armed Abul Mali's entrance along with the troops in the field, which was taking the form of an annihilation gradually... the dwellers of the fort, irrespective of women and kids, were running away from their death which had grabbed over the fate of Kabul. The house-fight between three crucial official heads of Kabul's politics has welcomed the inception of devastation!
"Abul Mali!!!!" Mah-Chuchak shouted again as she was being captivated by some armed man of Abul Mali.
"Chillaiye maat Begam Sahiba!" [Don't shout Begam Sahiba!] Abul Mali sniggered most cruelly. "Marne se pahele Allah ke naam kijie; aapko jannat nasib hogi!" [Rather take God's name before dying, you will get heaven!] Haidar Qasim laughed out with this, as if he has heard the funniest jokes of the era!
Mah-Chuchak cast an angry glance on Haidar, then a hopeless glare to the two armed soldiers who have held her in their strongest clutch. Had she been the Mah-Chuchak Begam of one month back, these two men would have a tough time even to think of imprisoning her. But alas! Not even a least strength is left in her body to fight against these traitors... nowadays she can hardly move her limbs on her own!
"Bandho inhe! Le jao Kayed khane me... Fir dekhte hay kya kya kiya jata hay inke sath!" [Arrest her and take her to prison. Then it will be decided that how would we treat her!] Abul Mali ordered idly while wiping out the trace of blood from his face. The soldiers came with an iron chain to tie her. Mah-Chuchak ogled fire to their expressionless faces! "Maat bhulo hum kon hay Abul Mali! Shahenshah Humayun ki Begam hay hum! Mughal Saltanant ki Mallika hay!! Tum hume zanzir me kayed karoge?? Tum humare nasib thik karoge? Tum??" [Don't forget who am I! I am the queen of Emperor Humayun! I am the empress of Mughal Empire!! You will arrest me? YOU???] She laughed a frustrated laugh mocking at his status, for the last time. Abul Mali grinned- "Mughal Saltanant ki Mallika, aab jaake yeh kheyal aya hay aapko?" [So now you remembered that you are the empress of Mughal empire?] Then he looked at his men- "Chor do inhe. Kayed karne ki zarurat nehi!" [Leave her. No need to arrest.] He came closer to the queen. "Chinta maat kijie aap. Mallika hay aap, aapko rusbaahi wali maut hum nehi de sakte. Koi kayed nehi karega aapko!" [Don't worry. You are the empress, I will never give you an insulted death. None will arrest you!] He raised his sword in front of her.
The uncontrollable mad anger of Mah-Chuchak's eyes had been reduced to a gallant and calm yet fierce stubbornness. The queen has never abide by any chain of regulations, has never bowed head under anyone's superiority; she has never learnt to lose. How can she lose so easily today? She, with difficulty took a sword left at side in her hand, and tried to attack on Abul Mali gathering all the strength she had just at the point of sword, and...
And then the head of Mah-Chuchak Begam started lolling on the floor after being chopped off from her body... the crazy ambition of getting the whole Hindustan under her feet finished in a moment along with just a thrash of a sharp blade of the sword; so fast and so momentarily that none could have imagined before!...
"Mallika jaisi maut! Khuda inhe sukur bakshe!" [Indeed a death of an empress! May God give her peace!] Abul Mali uttered with a lazy sigh while wiping up the blade of his sword. There is a strange odour of blood... it acts as an intoxication to the warriors. Abul Mali was under that intoxication too!
"Kille me Mah-Chuchak Begam ki jitney wafadar hay sabko khatam karo! Ek makkhi bhi zinda na rahe paye!"[Kill all the faithful of Mah-Chuchak Begam in the fort! Wvwn a fly should not be spared!] He suddenly ordered like a king! The smell of blood can do anything!
"Iske liye kya hukum hay mere aaka?" [What's the order for him my lord?] A soldier pointed to Haidar Qasim, who was smiling towards him being kind of relieved. Abul Mali moved towards him. "Haidar Qasim?"
"Aap sahi waqt par aye the Abul Mali! Nehi to o Faisal Beg to hume..." [You came just at right time Abul Mali! Else that Faisal Beg would...] Haidar smiled heartily.
"Aap bohot chalak samajhte hay aapne aapko?" [You think yourself very clever?] Abul Mali grinned in a same tone of Haidar that confused him. He looked at his eyes with lot of questions. Abul Mali laughed out heartily and embraced him. "Bohot khub! Humse haat milane ki wada karke aap jaise humare piche hi khel khel rahe the uske liye badhai ho aapko..." [Very good! Congratulations for playing a bigger game behind me after joining hands with me...]
"Par Abul Mali Sahab humne kuch..." [But Abul Mali Sahab I have not...] Haidar was puzzled. "Aisa bohot kuch ho gaya hay jiske bare me hume kuch nehi maalum. Jaise ki Hakim Sahab ki maut; uss khuni ki maut... or achanak se sab kaise..." [I don't know many things such as the death of the Hakim, the death of that killer... and suddenly everything...]
"Sachme bohot chalak hay aap!" [Really you are very cunning!] Abul Mali tightened his embracement.
"Thik hay, aab hume humare hissa barabar de dijie." [Ok, now give me my share.] Haidar was trying to be professional. In return Abul Mali started giggling only. Gradually that giggle took the form of hard laughter. Along with this, the sharp blade of the sword that was still in his hand suddenly pierced Haidar's belly without giving him a moment to defend himself.
"Maaf karna Haidar;" [Forgive me Haidar;] Abul Mali looked at him with a fake sadness. "Par mujhe aab tumhari zarurat nehi!" [I don't need you now!]
The dead-bodies of Faisal Beg, Haidar Qasim and Begam Mah-Chuchak were lolling on the floor along with thousands of blood bathed dead soldiers. Abul Mali viciously strolled through them with a casual and relaxed glare in eyes... he in a relaxed way sat on the seat of Mah-Chuchak, rested his head at the back of it, held the sword properly just like a king and suddenly started laughing like an insane in the joy of victory...
Welcome your new king, Kabul!
TO GET BACK THE FAITH...
The blazing sunrays compelled Jalal to open his eye-lids after a sound sleep, and after waking up he understood that it has been quite late. Generally he is an early riser and the beauty of the dawn is very much known to him; but the condition of health did not allow him to get up in morning today! Yawning two times, he slowly tried to stretch his wounded arm. No way! It will take some more days to be healed. Touching the bandage tenderly he scrutinized the wound delicately, then sighed. A very small wound it was supposed to be; he has tolerated a lot of severe wounds than this many times, but this one, with a little drop of poison on the arrow, was going to take out his life! Deadly poison had been injected in his body, still he is alive... What is this called? Luck? Miracle? How his life gets save at last after each and every calamity? From the childhood to this full youth he has faced the challenge of death countless times, and got out of that with victory... How it becomes possible every time? As if there is some force which pulls him backwards each and every time his soul gets ready to leave his body. What is the source of that force- he does not know... but he feels it every time that he has to come in the earth to do something bigger and greater, and he is not allowed to give up his life before knowing the greater reason of his life! Suddenly he felt zeal of confidence from his heart; as if he has got a new meaning of his meaningless life which he was spending from a whole year. Enough time has been spoilt... now he has to move on... from this new morning of his new life...
"Jodha?" He called out in an affectionate voice as he did not notice that she is not nearby. None responded. "Jodha..." He called louder this time seeking her sight in the room. No, she is not at near. But right now he really wanted her; to talk with her; to open up all his thoughts in front of her... After all she is the source of all energy, all vigour and all self-confidence he has within him... She is the one who has been the reason of his life; she is the only one who will remain his support in each and every calamities of life, to protect him, to save him and to stand beside him; no matter whatever happen, she will never go away from him... there is a strong divine thread in between them which will never let them to go too far than each other... Jalal smiled in his mind. The suppressed agony of the whole one year; the hidden yearning for her and the trial to console the burning heart with forceful indifference seemed like a long lost nightmare now. Is it even possible that he can leave in such a world where his Jodha does not exist?
What would have happened to him if she never comes to his life? Jalal sighed with the smile intact on his lips. She is the only reason for what he has won the battle with death this time. She is the only reason for whom he again got bank the link with his life and ambitions that had lost under the sea of depression...
"Shahenshah ki jay ho! Humare liye kya adesh hay Huzur?" [Hail to His Majesty! What can I do for you my lord?] Jodha's special attendant Moti Bai sought his attention from behind the curtain. She must have been appointed by Jodha to serve Jalal in her absence. Jalal turned his head to her while trying to sit up on his own. "Jodha kaha hay?" [Where is Jodha?] He asked with his usual gravity of being an emperor.
"O mahel ke bahar gay hui hay Shahenshah! Abhi lautkar ayenge. Unhone hi hume aapka kheyal rakhne ke liye adesh diye hay." [She has gone out of the palace Your Majesty! She will come back soon. She has ordered me to serve you.] Moti informed. "Aapko kisi bhi bastu ki avasyakta..." [If you need anything...]
"Nehi hum thik hay." [No I am alright.] Jalal forbade. "Tum ja sakte ho. Kuch zarurat pari to hum bula lenge..." [You may leave. I will call you whenever I need...]
"Jee Huzur." [Yes my lord/] Moti was about to leave, Jalal called her. "Or suno..." [And listen...]
"Adesh kijie Shahenshah..." [Order, your Majesty!]
Jalal had sat straight resting his back on the back pillow by then after a bit of trial and pull. It takes only a moment to set back his all attention in the rationality of his majestic, political world from the world of thoughts and dreams. He stretched his right hand for a while, rubbed his eyes to get away the dizziness and spoke out- "Todarmal Sahab kaha hay pata hay tumhe?" [Do you know where is Todarmal Sahab?]
"Jee nehi... Sayad..." [No... Perhaps...] Moti looked confused this time.
"Unhe yeh paigaam bhejna ki aaj shaam ko hum unse miilna chahte hay." [Send his message that I want to meet him at evening.] Another order came just then.
"Jee Shahenshah!" Moti nodded, bowed down to him and then went off.
Jalal took a long breath. He was feeling much better and lighter now. His head is not spinning anymore, the inner suffocation has gone away, and body temperature is normal. Only the weakness is still there, but it will go away very soon. Idly he hung his head on the pillow and started thinking. He has completely detached with the surroundings in these two days. The instability in the ambience of Agra, the war wedged in Samarkand, the betrayer Sarifuddin and the mysterious Kabul- all are bound in a single thread, which he has almost managed to cut off; and all of a sudden this unpleasant incident took place and he became detached with every happenings. The courtiers told him about the arrest of Maulavis, but how is the situation of the capital after this? How Begam Mahchuchak will turn up after Samarkand's defeat? Is there anything cooking bigger inside the darkness of Kabul fort, or they will simply turn back when the force of Hindustan will confront them? And how much dangerous a lost, frightened, escaped Sarifuddin can be? Sometimes a small scratch becomes the most painful wound...
"To uth gaye aap?" [So you are awake?] His thought got distracted by her sweet voice. Jodha had come inside the room and stood just beside Jalal's bed. Jalal looked at her. Sometimes the very known face seems to be unknown in new attires; just like Jodha is looking so different now. Jalal keenly stared at her dazzling face in sun. She has worn an off-white lahenga with maroon border and golden embroidery, hairs loosely tied in a bun and very less golden ornaments. A red tikka of vermillion is gleaming on the forehead and the sacred plate in hand signing that she is coming from temple.
"Aap kafi swasth lag rahe hay Shahenshah! Bukhar bhi nehi hay." [You are looking much better today! You have no fever too.] Jodha said happily touching his skin. She sat beside him, took a flower from her plate and touched it on his head murmuring something. Then she joined her hands and touched those on her forehead with an expression of drowned devotion. "Raksha karo maa!" [Protect us, Mother!] She murmured, and then touched his cheek. "Aab aap bohot jald accha ho jayenge..." [You will be fit very soon now...]
With an uncanny surprise Jalal was gazing to Jodha and her act of simple faith and devotion. It is not the first time he is witnessing this beautiful form of her divinely pure nature, but just after breaking the unbreakable shield of coldness, this was quite unexpected. She kept the flower back in the plate and held a piece of sweet in front of his mouth. "Prasad hay. Khaiye." [It's Prasad. Eat...]
"Kaha gayi thi aap?" [Where were you?] Jalal asked taking the sweet in his hand. "Hum dhund rahe the aapko..." [I was searching for you...]
"O hum Ambe Maa ki mandir gaye the..." [Actually I had gone to Ambe-Maa's temple.] She told. "Bohot din baad Ambe Maa ki darshan or puja kiye... Man shant ho gaya. Aaj lag raha hay jaise hriday se ek bohot bari bojh nikal gayi ho!" [After a long break I worshiped for Ambe Maa... Mind has become refreshed! It's feeling that a heavy load has got out of the heart!]
"Aap puja karne mandir gaye the!" [You went to temple for worshipping?] Jalal kept on staring at her bright face. He was remembering the words of Jodha that she had told only some days back- Why should I bow down in front of Him who is not even able to secure some little happiness of my life?... She was adamant to abandon her deity from her life after the hugest shock she got from the life; but today she herself...
"Kya hua aapko? Prasad khaiye?" [What happened? Eat it?] Jodha nudged him.
Jalal did not tell anything, only moved his eyes from her face and looked at the sky out of the window. The almighty God, the Ultimate... the source of all the energy and life... the divine force which he used to feel while sinking himself in prayer... but still He is nowhere... He is nowhere! If He had been among all over the world, how could He would allow that to happen with them? Why He did that to them? Why He snatched everything from them after giving them all the happiness of heaven? Jalal had closed his eyes to control the drop of tear in his eyes which had melted out from the rock of emotion inside... It is hardest to breath when the deep-rooted belief and the tormenting grievance clashes with each other! The piece of sweet remained inside his hand and he was lost in his thoughts. The sense of the inner force within him, the return of his confidence and zeal before some moments blended with these thoughts. He remembered the first day he was taught to pray long long years back; he remembered the day he could completely surrendered his life and death to Him before going to the first war of life and hence became more vigorous; he remembered how he had cried his heart out for the first time in front of me to get his Jodha back from the grab of death; and he remembered that cruel and gloomy day of his little kid's funeral... his one month old baby, as little as a soft cotton doll, had been killed by some devils, and he was on the way to bury his small lifeless body under the ground... and he had denied His existence for the first time! He had shouted like an insane declaring that he has no faith on Him! He has no faith on Him!
"Shahenshah!" How Jodha gets to know everything running inside his heart? She slowly placed her head on his right shoulder. Jalal gulped once and widened his eyes to remove the blur curtain of eyes. "Kahi nehi hay Khuda! Nehi hay!" [God is no where! No where!] He whispered almost silently. "Agar o hote to..." [If he would have been there then...] He stopped suddenly without completing his sentence.
"Yeh dunia kitni bari hay Shahenshah! Is dunia ki bahar or bhi kitni dunia hoti hogi... Iss bramhand ki bisalta ke bichar se hum or aap ka mahatvya hi kya hay? Bohot bohot samamnya hay hum Shahenshah! Or humare sukh-dukh-bhavayen or bhi samanya. Humare na manne se unki astitva mithya nehi ho sakta hay!" [This world is large your Majesty! May be there are more worlds beyond this world... What is your and my value in front of this vast universe? We are very very small Majesty! And our happiness, sadness, emotions are even more small. His existence does not depend on our thought.] Jodha said in a very low tone, her voice lost in deep... Jalal kept silent for a long time, his eyes moved to Jodha's eyes. Then he smiled sadly. His wet glare and the silent tears gathering at the corner of eyes said a lot on his behalf. Sighing, Jodha pulled his head towards her chest and hugged him. He released himself in her embracement without any dilemma and exhaled a deep sigh.
"Humne bhi to bohot yudh lari hay Shahenshah, Iswar ki astitva ko aswikar karne ke liye!" [I too have fought a long war to deny God's existence majesty.] Jodha uttered. "Uss yudh ki agni me jalke swayang ko vashma karne ki atirik or kya mila hume! Fir..." [I got nothing but to burn myself in the fire of that war! Then...] She cupped his face, "Fir jab mrityu aapni vishan rup lekar firse humari samne aayi, hume pata chala ki hume Iswar ki jarurat hay! Unpar atoot biswaas ki zarurat hay... Aapni hriday ke shanti ke liye hum unke upar astha rakhte hay Shahenshah, aapne aapse jitney ke liye hum unke puja karte hay. Unse kuch wapas pane ke liye nehi!" [Then when death again came in front of me in her terrible form, I got to know that I need God! I need the unbreakable trust on him... We keep faith on him for our own peace of heart majesty, we worship Him to win to our own. Not to get back something from him!] A drop of tear had come in her eyes, she immediately wiped that out. "Nirbodh to hum the shahenshah, aapne sukh or suraksha ki badle me unhe puja karte aaye... Kya hume pata nehi tha ki vakti or byapar ek nehi! Sacchi vakti or astha kisi bhi parinam ki apeksha nehi rakhti hay Shahenshah! Kyuki vakti me hi vakt ki asli anand hay!" [I was stupid Yours Majesty, that I used to worship Him for my happiness and security... Didn't I know that devotion and business can never be alike! The real devotion never expects anything in return Your Majesty! Because the devotee finds the real joy in his devotion only!]
Jalal was looking at her with all of love in his eyes. His eyes blinked in appreciation. "Inti bari baat kitni ashaani se kahe di aapne! Kab se pata chala itna kuch?" [You told such great words so easily! How did you know all these?]
"Jabse gyat hua Iswar kaha par hay..." [From when I realised where is my God!] She smiled. "Iswar nahi uss ashmaan me hay, or na hi meri Kaanha ki murat me. Iswar to yeaha hay Shahenshah!" [Neither God lives in the sky, nor inside the idol of my Kaanha. God is right here your majesty!] She touched his chest. "Iss dil me... Iswar par astha rakhna to aapne aap par biswaas rakhne ki saman hay. Or aapne aap par biswaas na rakhkar ek jivit byekti kaise jee sakta hay?" [Inside this heart... So keeping faith in God is equivalent to keep faith on own. And how can an alive person live without keeping faith on himself?]
Jalal smiled and took her hand on his heart gripping that tightly. As if he is fetching all her faith and belief inside his heart to feel that divine power within himself. After a moment Jodha hurried. "Chalie baato baato me bohot samay nikal gaya. Abhi aapka khane ka waqt aa gaya hay. Fir aaj..." [Look how time passed while talking. Now it's the time of your food. And today...] She caressed her hand over the 2-day's unshaved beard of Jalal- "Kya haal hua hay aapke chehre ka! Iss haal me or bhi osusth lag rahe hay... Hum naee ko bula rahe hay or..." [What a bad condition of your face! You are looking more weak in this look... I am calling a barber and...]
"Jodha!" He almost whispered which compelled her to stop. But Jalal did not say anything, only strengthened the grip of her hand. Jodha came closer to his face; he too came closer, his eyes pierced inside the deep of her glare, they were breathing together, both could feel each other's breath. After some time Jalal pulled her closer and placed a kiss on her forehead. "Aap hi hay o noor jiski bajay se hum hay Jodha! Khuda ne aapko mere liye bheja hay! Taki hum kabhi rasta na bhatke!"[You are the light who keeps me alive Jodha! God has sent you only for me so that I never distract from my aim!] He said!
PRECAP: "Let's see how you qualify this test of love, my Emperor!" She smirked. "I have never lost any test in my lifetime, yours highness!" He smirked back...
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