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

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XIX

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Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XIX

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

The very short letter read, “Gauri, since I saw you, I have lost sleep, I really still don’t comprehend that the girl I met at Maheshwar Vanik’s house is a real being or Goddess of Heaven. After seeing you it is not possible for me to accept anyone else as my life partner. On that day, seeing you at that place of worship, I felt like I had witnessed Devi Sati, daughter of Maharaj Daksha. That day the lotus of love that has blossomed in my heart seeing you, if the same has blossomed in your heart seeing me, then let me know, because that which is good never be delayed. I will wait for your reply,” your forever Somaditya.

So the whole thing was done by Somaditya with the help of his friend prince Jaysingh. Gauri sends a letter with a precious diamond ring wrapped in red silk along with the gift given by her father. She told the sender that this gift should not be given to anyone but Somaditya. In that letter Gauri only wrote, ‘yes’. She did not have the ability to write much, because Somaditya was very smart and handsome and he is much older than Gauri, in that sense he was elderly person. A man of such age sent her a love proposal. She could not understand what answer a woman should write in such a situation.

But Gauri could not hide her feelings even from her friends. After Somaditya’s departure from Debal, Gauri’s behavior also undergoes a strange change, as if she has always forgotten herself and has become a resident of another realm. Who is she thinking about? When her friends notice this change in Gauri and want to know the reason for it, Gauri reveals her feelings for Somaditya. Gauri should not be blamed for this, because the nature of girls of this age group is like this, they are most emotionally dependent on friends. The news of Gauri and Somaditya’s love spread all over the city through her friends. Some citizens even fixed the date of marriage of Somaditya with Maheshwar merchant’s daughter Gauri by themselves and started campaigning.

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

On that fateful night, Gauri was standing in front of the window of her bedroom while enjoying the fragrance of those wild flowers; just then she saw a series of dotted light on the ocean advancing towards Debal. At night, ship lights can be seen on the ocean, but she has never seen thousands of light dots like this before. She thought, may be, caused by the disaster, thousands of ships are coming to take shelter in Debal port this night! Gauri saw these lights and without understanding drifted into the realm of fantasy. She thought that the grooms from Aror were coming with Somaditya towards Debal; she heard the sound of shahnai, her whole body and mind were enchanted by the fragrance of flowers. Suddenly a gust of wind extinguished the last burning lamp in the room. Gauri closed the window and walked towards the bed.

While the citizens were slumbering, Muhammad bin Qasim’s forces advanced by land from Armanbela and besieged one side of the city of Debal. And on the other hand, thousands of naval forces came from the sea and started to surround this city.

The flags and bells of the 120 feet high Shiva temple in the middle of Deval city were swaying in the storm, the sound of these bells was a symbol of confidence and security to the people of Debal. They believed that as long as Mahadev himself resides in this temple and as long as the crown of the temple is intact, this city is safe, no enemy can destroy this city. Keeping trust and faith in Mahadeva, giving him with the responsibility of the security of the city, while the citizens were slumbering, Muhammad bin Qasim’s forces advanced by land from Armanbela and besieged one side of the city of Debal. And on the other hand, thousands of naval forces under the leadership of Asmit came from the sea and started to surround this city. This enclosure is made in such a way that the people of Debal cannot get out of this barrier. When Muhammad bin Qasim‘s army started advancing towards this city from Armanbela, he entrusted Sahib with the command of this force. Moreover, this huge force was divided into four divisions, as it was impossible for Muhammad bin Qasim alone to manage such a large force. The right wing of this force was entrusted to Utbak, the left wing to Mushak and the front and rear of the force were on jihadis like Abu Rahman, Safian Arbad, Zarha and Mujashiyar.

The brave warriors of Debal fought fiercely with the jihadis of Islam that day. Before leaving their home they instructed their daughters and wives that if Debal falls, then burn yourselves. Never surrender to heathens for life.

They started their journey by sacrificing a huge camel, while leaving their camp at Armanbela for Debal. Then they proceeded by establishing the victory flag of Islam on the small villages that came in their route. Muhammad bin Qasim was instructed to set out after sunset, because the warriors of the infidels do not take up arms after sunset. Moreover, during the Islamic month of Ramadan, the hot weather and rough nature of Sindh would make it difficult for the soldiers to travel during the day. Also, because during the month of Ramadan, Muslims don’t even drink water for a month before sunset. After resting all day, after sunset, they offered prayers, had water and food and started their journey. Due to the rugged nature of Sindh no large cities or settlements were built between Armanbela and Debal in that sense. There are small villages along the way. The people of these villages fell asleep after sunset, as they had no entertainment to stay awake after darkness fell. Mohammad bin Qasim’s massive army began to enter these villages in the dark of night like hot lava erupting from volcano. The people of these villages suddenly hear the cacophony of Allah Hu Akbar in the darkness of the night in the vast expansion of dusty desert that stretches the horizon; this unfamiliar outburst sounds like a war cry to them. The history of the invasions of the Greeks, Sakas, and the Huns are described in the folktales and songs prevalent in these regions over the ages. Through these folktales, they were instructed that if ever a foreign army attacked, before being attacked, they should set fire to their daughters, wives and burn them alive and protect their culture, tradition even with their lives. These helpless people realize that those terrible times of the past have been repeated again. In the darkness of the night, the Arabs saw the fire burning in the middle of the village. The unarmed people of these villages were anticipating their death. Because these Hindu people thought that if someone hurt them, it should be accepted without injury; blood for blood is never desirable. Among these innocent villagers who converted to Islam, they were freed by looting their wealth, and those who did not convert to Islam, were indiscriminately killed by Muhammad Bin Qasim’s army.

Thus, on that day, the jihadis of Islam continued to march towards Debal, tying the flag of Islam and engraving their burning footprints. As they neared the city of Debal, a terrible disaster struck the coast of Debal. Hajjaj sent hundreds of special machines by ship, with these machines of the size of a five-story building used to catapult huge stones, could be used to break the walls of the city of Debal. The entire city was surrounded by these catapults. There is no shortage of stones in this rugged, rocky terrain. Utilizing those stones of this land, the aboriginals of Sindh were began to be slaughtered. In the night of this terrible calamity, the gatekeepers of the city also seemed to be enveloped in a peaceful and blissful sleep. Because the victory with the army of Islam had redoubled their confidence, and the people of Debal also believed that as long as the spire of the temple of Mahadev in Debal was intact, no one could harm Debal. That night Muhammad bin Qasim broke the wall and entered the city with the crusaders of Islam. By the terrible sound of the breaking of the wall the entire city had come to know that they had been attacked.

The gatekeepers were the first to become aware, then slowly the whole city began to wake up, the thunder of breaking down the walls of the city of Debal carried out the omen of the movement of a giant demon.

The warriors of the city armed themselves and got out of their houses and came down to the streets. It was dark all around with rain, terrible lightning flashes in the sky, while the brave warriors of Debal fought fiercely with the jihadis of Islam that day. Before leaving their home they instructed their daughters and wives that if Debal falls, then burn yourselves. Never surrender to heathens for life. (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-XVII, Part-XVIII 

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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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