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

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XVI

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XVI

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 Maheshwar merchant was one of the biggest traders of Debal as well as of entire Sindh. He donates a huge amount of revenue to the treasury of Sindh every year, hence his position was at the Pinnacle. In celebration of the victory of prince Jaisingh and the people of Deval, he organized a special puja in his house in the evening and also organized a grand feast in the city of Deval. As the people of Deval rejoice in the feast, a special worship of Lord Shiva begins at the house of Param Shaiva Maheshwar Banik. Maheshwar sat on one side of the puja room with his two sons and endowed Jaisingh to sit in the puja with the priest. The priest painted sacred Tilak on Jaisingh’s forehead with turmeric and sandalwood. Everyone present saw him as a living Mahadev. It is as if a radiant prince is sitting, whose spiritual aura is ​​shining all around. In the middle of the puja, the priest stopped chanting and looked at the Maheshwar Banik and said, “in whose name do you want to dedicate this puja?”

In reply, Maheshwar Banik folded his hands and said, “This puja will be in the name of Sindhu Naresh Maharaja Dahir and his son Jaisingh.” The priest started chanting again as instructed. Vedic mantras and the roar of the sea combined to create a spectrum of energy all around. After a long puja, the homa (fire sacrifice) started, while offering ghee at the canter of the homakunda, the fire of the homa as if exploded, through the veil of fire Jaisingh saw a girl in white clothes standing behind the priest and staring at one of his closest friends Somaditya who is standing just behind jaysingh.

He noticed Soma, his eyes also get caught with the girl. Being conscious of jaysingh’s gesture he leaned towards his friend and told, “Seeing the girl, I remember Sati, the daughter of the king of Himalaya.” The girl has no jewels on her body, she adorned herself gracefully only with garlands of white floras and white silk costume to complement her bright complexion. Somaditya’s mind was completely withdrawn from this puja ceremony as soon as the two pair of eyes became one, he felt that he had got the results of this worship. This sudden transformation in Somaditya did not escape the notice both of Maheshwar Banik and his wife. This puja was organized for the welfare of Deval, so they did not want any interruption in the puja. So Maheshwar Vanik instructed something to his wife by gesture, immediately his wife took her daughter inside. Jaisingh was a very intelligent person, he scolded his friend by gesture and Soma became very ashamed of his stupidity and concentrated in worship again.

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

That night Jaisingh was accommodated in the palace of Maheshwar Banik, Somaditya was with him. At night when Somaditya was spending time with family members of Maheshwar Vanik, the mesmerizing coastal symphony amidst of the sublime tranquillity of the night hypnotizing Somaditya’s body and mind, he stood up and went out of the room, Jaysingh was accommodated in the southern part of Maheshwar Vanik’s palace, his room was just beside of him, he stood outside the room for a while and looked at the sea. Suddenly he saw Jaysingh, standing a few steps ahead hiding himself in the darkness of night. He covered those few steps in hurry and placed his hand on Jaysingh’s shoulder from behind. Jaysingh felt the touch and became aware of Soma’s presence. He turned around and asked Soma, “Didn’t you sleep?” Somaditya noticed something in his friend’s eyes. He enquired, “What happened? We have won the battle, then why are you worried?” Jaysingh started slowly, “Look at the floating ships, these ships seem to be a light of hope in the dark sea. Another name of sea is Sindhu, Sindhu country and this dark sea is synonymous to me today, our victory in the battle of Deval is a light of hope like the lights of these ships, but Bazil was beheaded by me. With his blood drenched body and head, the defeated army left for Makran, knowing that neither the Caliph nor the Hajjaj would ever accept this terrible defeat, so they had to prepare for the next attack. Following my father’s orders, I did not capture the foreign soldiers, father said, ‘son, it is your duty to protect Deval, but do not capture the defeated soldiers, it is not our intention to capture them and turn them into slaves, no one is a slave to anyone in this world, so never do such a thing.’”  Sometimes, his father statements seem very unrealistic to Jaysingh. Because how the current Arab aggression is going on, It is very difficult to maintain one’s existence by following the motto of his father. They address non-Muslims as Kafir- infidels, they consider that they have god sanctioned right on the properties and over the women of infidels. Jaisingh recalls the tragedy of Kikan. He was not born during this Kikan victory, but he heard from his military trainer that after the victory of Kikan Sindhi women and children were sold in the slave market of Baghdad. These news reached the Sindh country through the Arab merchants. Jaisingh’s was so much concerned for Deval. In the darkness of the night when he sighed looking at this city decorated with yellow flowers and garlands and lights, It seems that the city which is now drowned in the ecstasy of joy was counting its last watch today!

This sea breeze manifested itself as snivel to him. At this very moment, a soft charming sound of Nupur (traditional Indian anklets) kept coming towards them. Both of them noticed that but Soma made a few steps ahead following the sound. He again saw that girl. Amidst of the play of light and shadow She was like a Devi of Heaven , the sea breeze blowing her hair, beset by the light and dark atmosphere of this coastal palace of Deval, it has become impossible to Somaditya in denying the charm of this girl. The eyes again fall on each other, a long silence between the two, how long that was no one knows, finally the girl said,” I am Gouri, daughter of  Maheshwar Banik of Deval.” The girl introduced herself and held her head down shyly and looked at Soma again. When Somaditya was about to say something, Maheshwar Banik came and stood behind Gauri. He said, “Come, let me take you to your resting-room. It’s not right to not to be asleep so late in the night with so much exhaustion.” “And Gauri Ma, it is not right for you to come here like this at night, you should go to your place.”

That night an unspoken relationship was born between Somaditya and Gauri. Early the next morning Somaditya left Deval with Jaysingh for Aror with a new dream with him. That day Maheshwar after bidding them adieu said to his wife,” I hope you have noticed what I have noticed. His wife said very worriedly, “but he is the best friend of the prince, will their family ever recognize this relationship?” The merchant said, “Don’t forget that Maharaja Dahir’s father son of a Brahmin Chach married to a Kshatriya kanya, they are ahead of this small caste barrier and so for Somaditya’s family. So there is no question of Somaditya not accepting our daughter.” (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 


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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