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

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XLI

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Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XLI

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

In no time when news of father’s death reached Rawar fort, our father’s wife Ladi fainted; it fell upon us like a terrible thunderbolt. We were not really prepared for this situation, father was like the huge banyan tree over our heads, under whose shade we were living peacefully; he considered the people of the entire country of Sindh as his children and he was the father of all. Suddenly we became orphans.

When everyone was overwhelmed with grief on hearing the news of father’s death, our mother Rani Bai stood in front of us with a burning torch in her hand. It was sunset, but the guards forgot to light the torch inside the fort on the news of father’s death. Mother was like a goddess who broke through the darkness and brought the rays of light. Mother said, “Even after the death of the Maharaja, everything is not over. We are here, we will defend to the last. We will also take up arms and fight along with the men who are in this fort. All is not over yet; we are an integral part of Maharaja; we still are. So do not breakdown, stand up and take up arms.”

I asked my mother, “If we lose, then?” Mother replied, “Thinking about defeat before the war! We will try our best, if we fail, then we will be Sati.”

That night the door to the secret armory of Rawar fort was unlocked. Amidst the dark and light atmosphere of the fort, Maa Rani Bai herself handed over weapons to us. Maa Ladi fell very ill regaining consciousness not for long time. After gaining consciousness when she realized that father was no more she fainted again. Maa Rani Bai asked me and my sister Parimal to stay with Maa Ladi. We are in southern part of the castle. Maa Rani Bai, other princesses and soldiers were on other sides of the castle. We knew the enemy would not wait much longer. They would capture Rawar fort that night. Because the conquest of Islam over Indus will be completed successfully when this fort comes under their control. The Arab bandits didn’t have any specific time for attack. They prefer to attack like cowards after sunset. Male soldiers went out of the fort in the middle of the night and built a defense around the fort, and Maa Rani Bai and her women troops waited inside the fort. At midnight Maa Ladi’s physical condition began to deteriorate; she was feeling suffocated into the closed atmosphere inside the fort; she began to have terrible breathing problems. Our Ayurvedacharya examined mother and said that her death was inevitable if she was kept in such environment; she has to be taken to Ayurvedacharya’s ashram secretly on the banks of the river Mehran, otherwise she cannot be saved. Maa Rani Bai ordered me and Parimal to take Maa Ladi to that ashram on the banks of Mehran River with the Ayurvedacharya. A few more sisters and the guards with us we left along with mother through a secret passage. From the southern side of the fort up to the river that path passes through the rugged desert. But after going some distance, spears showered upon us from all directions. Our guards got pierced into their chests. Within a moment guards lie all around us dead. Those who were carrying our mother Ladi, they also got their chest open by spears. Immediately mother fell down on the ground. Same happened with the Ayurvedacharya at the same place and he died. Nothing can be seen anywhere in the dark rough wilderness all around. Only you can feel of the warm desert wind, we sat around Ladi Maa and started crying, Sheetal was also with us. At that moment I for the first time realized that there was no difference between Sheetal and us. I had already heard that the Arabs were selling the Sindh girls in the market of Baghdad. All of us have now become slaves of the Arabs. That is our only identity. When I felt this, I couldn’t hold back my tears anymore. Father was a huge banyan tree over our heads, everything got shattered as he fell.

Mother Rani said, “Even after the death of the Maharaja, everything is not over. We are here, we will defend to the last. We will also take up arms and fight along with the men who are in this fort. All is not over yet; we are an integral part of Maharaja; we still are. So do not breakdown, stand up and take up arms.”

We didn’t have to wait long, the light of torches started coming all around us. Maa Ladi regained consciousness after hearing our cry. At that moment mother gained consciousness, which didn’t go back. Mother sat up and looked there. A pack of ferocious desert wolves seemed to be glaring at us, saliva dripping from their tongues onto the rough ground. We were chained on our hands and feet and taken to the Arab army camp. The father trusted and sheltered Muhammad Alafi, who caused us the greatest destruction. That night I saw Mohammed bin Qasim for the first and last time. Mohammad bin Qasim came to see us with Alafi. Alafi showed me and Parimal and said something to him. I understood that he was saying that I and Parimal are the daughters of Maharaja Dahir. That night Parimal and I were separated from our other sisters. Sheetal remained with our sisters. That night they were released to satisfy the hunger of a group of wild beasts. Ugh, what a terrible cry. The same night the Arab army attacked Rawar fort. We tried to defend this fort till our own last breath. Rawar fort could be seen from the Arab army camp. Parimal and I saw black smoke coming out of the fort at dawn. In no time the festival started in the army camp. Mohammad Alafi came to us with great joy and told us that Rawar has not a single Sindhu army alive, and that Rani Bai had committed Sati with other women the early morning. A fire raging inside the fort, the Arabs need not to do anything, the Sindhis themselves destroyed Rawar fort.

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

With the death of my father, the decline of the country of Sindh was complete. We do not know how our great elder brother Jaisingh died; he was the backbone of our kingdom; the fall of Yuvraj Jaisingh meant the fall of the country of Sindh. After Rawar’s victory Sheetal and our sisters were tortured day and night, but surprisingly they did nothing to me and Parimal.

One morning in front of our two sisters, Maa Ladi and Mohammad bin Qasim got married. Mother Ladi did not consent to this Nikah, but still everyone accepted that this Nikah was valid. I have never seen my mother since Nikah. Gradually Parimal and I were separated from the other members of our family. Then one day our two sisters along with other sisters and Sheetal were sent to an unknown destination on the river. We were taken by a large boat on the river to a port on the seashore, the name of which I do not know, from there we left for an unknown destination by a large ship. I knew this farewell was the last farewell, at that moment I vowed to my motherland that we would script the death of the person for whom we had this terrible fate; we would present him a terrible death. On that day, the sun was setting at the moment of bidding farewell to the Motherland, and in a while it got dark all around. That darkness makes us stronger.”

At that time Dr. Sabirbhai entering Iqbal’s room said, “Dr. Iqbal, there is no use in wasting time, there is no time at all, let’s go out on the way to Aror.”

—Sabirbhai, can you drive properly?

—Hey, I drove three days at a stretch without sleep, I am habituated, all right?

Dr. Iqbal smiled and nodded in agreement. (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-XXXIX, Part-XL 

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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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