Home Books & Authors Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-L

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-L

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-L

The English translation of a novel ‘Maharaja Dahir’ authored by Kolkata-based renowned novelist Debasree Chakraborti in Bengali language. The novel has been translated by Rajesh Giri

Tharparkar, Sindh

Year 2021

Dots of light from the border can be seen through the window. Biryani is being cooked in one corner of the room. The entire room has been diffused with mouth-watering aroma of biryani. A few people are sitting in another corner of the room; they have finished their prayers a while ago; in the light-shadow environment of the room the exhaustion of their physique and the fierceness in their eyes together have yielded an unusual mix. Even in the dim light in the darkness, their eyes resemble to that of wolves. The old man who was standing in front of the window, turned his eyes towards the biryani pot and called, “Amir, they have to go out in a little while, take down the pot and serve them.” The shadow of the biryani pot falling on the wall manifests like the stomach of a monstrous demon. The gentleman is looking at it. At once a young man entered, his face covered with a black cloth; he held the pot on both sides with two pieces of cloth and placed it between four bricks placed on the floor. The others are staring at the man; the veins in his arms are bulging. He took a knife from the pocket of his pajama and very ruthlessly peeled off the flour sealing from the lid of the pot, then opened the lid and starts mixing the biryani with a plate. The old gentleman looked at the people sitting in the corner of the house and said, “You all eat and get ready.” The young man quickly arranged fifteen plates and started serving the biryani. The cold desert night wind wafted through the window, carrying the smell of gunpowder from the barbed wire of the border. They started eating Biryani; the old gentleman sat on the opposite side of the room supervising their meal. The old man said, “After this, you will have biriyani directly in the jannat (heaven), besides you have much laborious tasks ahead of now, so eat as much as you can and  fill your stomach.”

The young man named Amir is serving them biryani as much as they are eating. Their shadows fall on the wall, and horribly peculiar sounds coming out of their mouths. It looks like a group of ghouls consuming their last meal. When they finished eating, the old man said, “Amir, give them chilled sweet drink. This sharbat will help in digestion.” Amir kept pouring the sharbat in the glass and holding it to their mouths. A strong smell of gunpowder is coming from the outside window, this smell is very strong at night. The creepy sipping sound of the drinking and the trembling shadows on the walls represent medieval barbaric consort. After some time, the shadows began to tumble down with sudden thud. It was all over in a few moments. Amir rushed towards them and raised the hand of one of them, examined his pulses and looked at the old man and said, “Khallaas” (Finished)”.

The old one closed the door, sat under the window and said, “Give me a plate of biryani and you eat too, now we have to wait. I am waiting here; you go and handle the other side now.” The young man put a lot of biryani in a big tiffin box and a good amount of sharbat in a milk can; he opened the door as per the old man’s instructions and left the room. The old man closed the door from inside and turned off the lights. At one side of the room there are bodies of fifteen dead people and on the other side there is biryani. There might be the odour of the dead body which get mixed with the aroma of biryani and made the atmosphere gloomy; also the smell of the gunpowder coming outside the window turned the atmosphere into a valley of death. He was sitting on the floor leaning against the wall in the dark room, the eyes and face of the old man has turned rock hard, emotionless. He was trying hard to involve himself into the combat with the current situation, and maybe a little while, thereafter he can get out of this situation. His job is no less than a deep asceticism. He closed his eyes and let out a sigh in order to calm his mind and waited for the right moment. At that time, the ringing of the mobile phone came to his ears. Fifteen years ago, there was a similar ringtone on his phone, when he was deployed in Baramulla for an operation. One evening his phone rang, that must be Mrs. Chadha from Delhi, as their ten-year-old son became extremely restless to talk to his father once a day.

He picked up the phone and saw an unknown number. Many times when a terrorist enters the village, the spies call from such an unknown number, so Major Chadha picks up the phone, a child’s voice is heard; the child is calling him and saying in Kashmiri, “Dadu asked you to call.” At first, Major Chadha was a little surprised to hear the voice of such a small child; similar voice like his son, so a sympathy for the child was formed at the beginning. He said, “Yes beta!” The child replied that all the children in their village were being taken to the other side of the mountain, from where they were to be taken to the land of Allah, that he too would be taken, but he was unwilling to go at all.” As the child could not speak clearly, Major Chadha asked him to transfer the phone to someone adult with him. The child handed it over to his grandfather, he described the whole story. Young children from remote villages in Kashmir are trafficked to Pakistan and trained by terrorists for future suicide attacks. In these villages as they have several children influenced by some religious superstition and due to some financial reasons, many families voluntarily hand over their children to this vicious trap, and the families of those who do not want to give, are robbed of their children with various threats. The boy’s name is Haider, his grandfather has been threatened that if he doesn’t hand over Haider, his father and uncle will be killed and the girls from their home will be taken away. When Haider’s grandfather told this incident to some of his acquaintances, one of them gave him the number of Major Chadha. Major Chadha thought that the person might be working as a spy. The bodies of that village gang who are involved in this were found by the next day. Concerned for Haider’s safety, Major Chadha took him to his own house in Delhi and brought him up with his own son. Haider grew up in his own identity by a Hindu foster father, but his foster mother never treated him differently from his own child. As time went by, his two sons grew up and Major Chadha started working for the WAR. His son Somnath is now working as a captain in the WAR and another son Haider is working for the WAR as a spy. Haider took refuge in a Madrasah in Sindh under the identity of Abdul and later prepared to become a human bomb. Being Abdul on one side and Amir on the other side, he continued to lead the mission Maharaja Dahirsen towards the end.

Raja Dahir - Bengali book
Maharaja Dahir – A novel authored by Debasree Chakraborti in Bengali language

Chadha Sir opened his eyes and looked at the dead bodies and thought, maybe these were the children of a good family, and kidnapped and trained as militants in their childhood, just like the terrorists of the Islamic State kidnap and train the children of Yazidis and Christians in Syria. Again, many young people are brainwashed and come this way voluntarily. If there was a Chadha sir in their life, maybe this terrible situation would not have happened to them.

Not enjoying any comfort and happiness while alive, they accept this horrible death only driven by the lust of going to Jannat after death. A man is not born evil. He deteriorates, driven by time and environment. About two hours passed by thinking about various things like this. Then a car arrived outside. As soon as the sound of the car came to his ears, Chadha sir sighed and stood up. Then he opened the door after knocking. A small truck is parked outside. Haider starts to unload the wooden boxes from that truck.

Then the wooden boxes were brought into the room and the dead bodies are placed into it one by one.

Chadha Sir said, “Haider, son, be careful, the stitches in your stomach are still fresh”. Haider said, “Papa, you are here, the work will easily be done together.” Chadha Sir replied, “But who will help you when you unload the boxes at the house of Sarfarosh?”

—Papa, Sarfarosh is now in Lahore. He has a bungalow in Tharparkar; none of his family lives there, his family lives in Karachi. I gave biryani and sharbat to the two security who are guarding the house and told them that langar (free food) is going on in the house of Maulvi sahib in the madrasa; these things have been prepared there, so I brought them for you. After hearing this, one of them came to me and hugged me, and said, “Brother, I will remember you very much; go to Allah and pray for us, so that we can also deserve Jannat.”

“As soon as I opened the lid of the biryani, their eyes lit up. Then they ate biryani together and then had sharbat. After my operation I stayed in that bungalow for some time. Then I developed a good friendship with them. They knew very well that I would be sent to India as a human bomb. I myself told them. They knew my time was running out. So they ate that food believing me to keep my wish. Because I told them that after coming here I have not made any friends except them, so I informed Maulvi Sahib and brought food for them. They used to pick up little girls from the village for Sarfarosh. I heard these from themselves; they happily told those things to me. There are a lot of drugs in that house which are supplied to India from Pakistan; they showed me the drugs kept in a huge hall just below the bungalow. Drugs are smuggled in this truck. I also knew where the truck keys were kept. In these few days I was mingled with them very well.”

Chadha sir now notices that Haider is dressed as a security guard. Haider said, “When everything is cleared, I took the key of the bungalow and opened the door of the basement and removed the two bodies there. There is another set of costume of someone, wear it. We have to remove the bodies of these fifteen people to that dungeon.”

Chadha sir was about six and a half feet tall and even at this age his body strength was much more than that of many young men. He didn’t put much pressure on Haider in any way, because Haider might be facing difficulties in moving such heavy bodies, moreover, this kind of training was given to them while in the army. By midnight that day, they lifted all the bodies in truck, then drove that truck to Sarfarosh’s bungalow. The complete control of this bungalow was then in the hands of Haider. He himself got down from the truck and opened the outer gate of the bungalow and took the truck inside.

Chadha sir said, “I picked the most important body in this black colour box. Take a look at the stitches on the stomach.” Haider opened the lid of the box and saw that the corpse had stitch marks on its stomach. A trolley was placed in a corner of the bungalow, the boxes filled with drugs were taken to the basement, in one of the trolley; the body in the black box was taken to the basement through a certain path.

When all the work was done, Chadha sir said, “Haider, now you have to cross the Wagah border and enter India with your passport and visa identified as Abdul. Because if you don’t cross the border, news will be reached to them from there. When they ask you to stay in the National Library of Calcutta. Mrs Chadha has instructions to take you and Mithila to Delhi. She is coming to Atari border to pick you up. Mother’s mind will insist, but you will not go, otherwise all our efforts will be in vain.”

Haider was surprised and said, “Why are these instructions being given?

There is higher authority over our head too; these are their instructions. But once you cross the Atari border you won’t have any more worries, then everything is under our control.

Haider hugs his father while leaving, his father puts his hand on Haider’s head and says, “Now you need rest, you have to return India as soon as possible. You go now.” (Continues)

Click here for Part-I Part-IIPart-III Part-IV Part-V Part-VI Part-VIIPart-VIII Part-IX Part-XPart-XIPart-XIIPart-XIII Part-XIV Part-XV Part-XVIPart-XVIIPart-XVIII Part-XIXPart-XXPart-XXI Part-XXIIPart-XXIII Part-XXIV Part-XXV Part-XXVIPart-XXVIIPart-XXVIIIPart-XXIXPart-XXX , Part-XXXI, Part-XXXIIPart-XXXIII Part-XXXIV Part-XXXV Part-XXXVI Part-XXXVII Part-XXXVIIIPart-XXXIXPart-XL #Part-XLI Part-XLII Part-XLIII Part-XLIVPart-XLV Part-XLVI Part- XLVII Part-XLVIII , Part-XLIX


Debasree ChakarbortiDebasree Chakraborti is a renowned novel writer of Bengali language. Based in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, she has done Master’s in Modern History from the Kolkata University, and authored some thirty books, mostly the novels, with historical perspective and themes. Her most recent novel is ‘Maharaja Dahir’ that covers the history of Sindh from 662, the year of first attack on Sindh by the Arab armies till date.

Rajesh Giri - TranslatorRajesh Giri, born in Kolkata, had his early schooling from Kolkata and then from Medinipur—a village in Bengal. He graduated from Calcutta University with Physics and Maths and Master’s from Burdwan University in 2016. Now he is associated with Adhdhyaan educational institution teaching Physics. History enthusiastic Rajesh Giri is particularly interested in the ancient civilization of India and other regions like Egypt, Mesopotamia, and North America. He loves traveling.



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