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

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-VI

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-VI

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 

Musical number wafting from the distant desert, along with the sound of the desert wind generated a wonderful trance.  Abu Talib ran to the end of this palace with Dr. Iqbal.  This side of the palace indoor is very dark.  Then he took out a key from his pocket to unlock the door and said, “I thought earlier that I would give you a big surprise tonight, that’s why I have brought the key with me, see…”

The door creaks open as it is unlocked.  Dr. Iqbal felt as if Abu Talib opened the doorway of an unknown chapter of the past in front of him.  As soon as he got into the room, his mind became filled with a very elegant aroma.

As Abu Talib turned on the light, he found themselves standing in a huge hall, surrounded by a variety of architectural remains, ornaments, ancient figurines, various swords and more. Watching the collection of the swords of Abu Talib, Iqbal astonishingly said, “You have such a collection of swords!”

Abu Talib smiled and said, “That is most expected.  Because once my forefathers used to supply arms to the Caliph in the crusade.  As I am doing now.”

Folds were formed on Iqbal’s forehead, he said, really? I mean how? Explain to me…”

Abu Talib said, “My ancestors were Syrians. When the civil war started in Syria, we took refuge in Turkey.  When the caliph sent Muhammad bin Kasem by Hajjaj bin Yusuf to conquer the province of Sindh, the ruler of Syria helped him with troops and my progenitor supplied arms in that war.”

These swords are the sign of Arab conquest of Sindh.

Dr.  Iqbal asked, “where did you get all these?”

When the caliph sent Muhammad bin Kasem by Hajjaj bin Yusuf to conquer the province of Sindh, the ruler of Syria helped him with troops and my progenitor supplied arms in that war.”

— My forefather was also fond of collecting things like me. After conquering the Sindh he collected many things as souvenirs. Let me show you one of best of these things.

Raja Dahir - Bengali bookA beautiful music coming from outside, along with the beautiful aroma inside the house, producing an invigorating sensation. Abu Talib took a notebook wrapped up in a red cloth out of a wooden box.  Then on removing the cloth, a book came out, the book was tied between two flat wooden piece tied with organic string.  Iqbal realized after opened it by Abu Taib that the leaves were made of tree bark, with something written in black. Iqbal said, “Can I take a look?”

Abu Talib said, “Surely, you keep it with you all night. I will take it from you tomorrow.”

Dr.  Iqbal started reading the letters, he said while reading “this diary is written by Surya Devi.”

Abu Talib said: “Can you read the Sindhi language?”

Dr. Iqbal said, “My father knew. He had age old businesses with the people of Sindh. When they came to visit Istanbul, they used to stay at our house. I can read but not very well.”

Abu Talib exclaimed, “I see you are a magical person, didn’t I say, Allah has a great will behind our meeting.”

After the death of Mohammad bin Qasim, when Dahir’s two daughters, Surya Devi and Parimal Devi, were stoned alive, their belongings were auctioned after their murder.

—I have a great desire to know what is written in this book, but to this day I have not found anyone whom I can trust to give it, or who can explain it to me its meaning. You guessed it right, this is Surya Devi, the daughter of Dahir, the last independent Hindu king of Sindh.

Dr. Iqbal enquired, “How did this account come to you?”

Abu Talib said, “I told you, my forefathers were also fond of collecting artefacts like me. He collected many souvenirs of Islam’s conquest of Sindh. After the death of Mohammad bin Qasim, when Dahir’s two daughters, Surya Devi and Parimal Devi, were stoned alive, their belongings were auctioned after their murder. My ancestor collected this book from the auction.

Dr. Iqbal understood that night that why he was taught Sindhi along with Arabic. That night, removing a small, narrow part of his hair dryer a tiny small camera was brought out from a secret compartment inside the dryer, took every photo of Surya Devi’s account, and sent it to a secret e-mail address from that very camera.

Three days later one morning Abu Talib left for Syria with Dr. Iqbal. Before the start of the journey, When Iqbal went to give the book of Surya Devi to Abu Talib, he said, “Keep it with you. I gave it to you out of joy that you joined the crusade.” He put his hand on Dr. Iqbal’s shoulder and said, “You just explain me what is written in this book, that’s all, I don’t want anything else.” Dr. Iqbal became very happy to receive this gift. Noticing his charm Abu Talib said, “I know very well who likes which kind of gift. For people like you, these historical exemplars are invaluable resources.”

Dr. Iqbal said, “I know, no one can appreciate its value better than you.”

On the same day they arrived in the city of Raqqa, in Syria. But there was a problem while crossing the border. Seeing Dr. Iqbal, the Syrian soldiers seemed suspicious, so they removed all of Iqbal’s luggage from the car and brought him to their office to discuss with him. He was kept sitting there for a long time. Dr. Iqbal saw that the Syrian officer sitting in front of him was looking at Iqbal’s watch. Realizing the intention of the officer he took off his watch and immediately he was released without checking any of his luggage. When Iqbal came back, Abu Talib asked him why he kept you for so long. They haven’t even opened your luggage. I don’t understand why they suddenly did this.

Dr. Iqbal showed him his wrist and said, “The current market value of my watch is three lakh rupees, he liked the watch, but I was too late to understand his desire, he released me immediately after giving the watch.

Abu Talib laughed after hearing Iqbal’s words. Then he said, you know that Mardin was once under the rule of the King of Syria, but some years ago it became part of Turkey. Such discussions continue. At such a time Dr. Iqbal says, you told that you are an arms dealer. So why did you leave me at the border with that officer?

Abu Talib sarcastically replied, “Because I myself had doubts about you, so I checked once.”

Dr. Iqbal laughed.

Abu Talib has a flat in a secret place of Raqqa. There is no one except Iqbal and Abu Talib stay in this flat. The day when they Reached Raqqa, suggesting Iqbal to take rest, Abu Talib himself get out in the city. The city is now being rebuilt after a long war. He also left as he was uncomfortable sitting idle in the flat whole day.

The huge dilapidated buildings on both sides of the road are being painted yellow. (Continues)

Click here for Part-I Part-IIPart-III Part-IV , Part-V 


Debasree Chakraborti - authorDebasree 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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