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

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XXXII

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XXXII

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

There is a small coffee shop two minutes’ walk from Babar Khan Library. Many times on the way to the library Iqbal saw this coffee shop. This coffee shop is like a small show-piece on the busy streets of Lahore. They went to the second floor of the shop and sat in a corner. There are a few people on the ground floor, while the second floor is quite empty. Dr. Iqbal forwarded the menu card towards Fiza and said, “Order anything of your choice.”

Fiza smiled and lowered her head, looking at the menu card. Dr. Iqbal noticed that Fiza had bruises on her hands and below his neck. These are all signs of a recent injury. Fiza ordered two veg sandwiches and two Lahore special coffee.

The coffee is late to serve. Fiza opens the Mirza Ghalib omnibus moving her eyes on the pages; she placed her hair of right shoulder to the back. Iqbal noticed bruise marks on his shoulder again. Very little time in hand, he has to utilize this one and a half hour time in right way. When he was trained by Chadda sir, he discovered a simple method of controlling the human mind and brain easily. Dr. Iqbal said to Fiza, “If you don’t mind, I can see the marks of injury on your shoulder, hand and neck, what are these marks?”

Fiza lowered her head and bit her lip with her teeth, tears falling from her eyes onto the book. There are many people around us who are very lonely, who have no place to express the past of oppression and pain that has accumulated inside them. So at a special time it comes out with a special soft touch from outside. Dr. Iqbal felt that Fiza was in need of that gentle touch at this moment. He handed a tissue paper towards Fiza and said, “There is no one here except me and you. Open your heart and cry. You will feel light.” After listening to Dr. Iqbal, Fiza started to weep. Dr. Iqbal closed Ghalib’s book and kept it aside and sat quietly. Seeing the tears Dr. Iqbal aka Panchajanya recalled Bapida: Within a week, Bapida’s wife became romantically involved with Bapida and within a month, Bapida married her. When Bapida was asked about this, he said that after the breakup of my wife’s previous love, there was a lot of emptiness occurred in her mind, and she was looking for someone at that moment. That’s why I entered so easily.

Dr. Iqbal realizes that the terrible fate of Fiza’s life has made her very lonely; the scars on her body show the torture she has to endure on a daily basis.

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

This hour and a half in the coffee shop gave her some freedom. During this period Iqbal arrived in her life. A small gift, a cup of coffee or a car to deliver home. She has developed a slight dependence on Iqbal.

Meanwhile, the coffee and sandwich came. Fiza is sipping coffee. After looking at him for a while, Iqbal said, “My name is Dr. Iqbal Ferozi. I am the son of a Kashmiri business family. My family has been destroyed in the war in Syria, and I have no one in this world.”

“We have a house in Istanbul. I have studied archaeology for a long time from Istanbul University, I came to Pakistan because of the attraction of archaeology. You can open up your mind to me, I can take you far away from this country if you wish.”

Fiza looked at Iqbal and said, “My name is Mithila, it is not possible to tell the long story of Mithila becoming Fiza in this time. To be very brief. I was a B.Sc. first year student at a College of Computer and Education in my home town of Tharparkar. Apart from my father, mother, sister and buddha baba, I had no friendship with anyone. I was very bright in studies since my childhood. My buddha baba used to say that one day I will make my family proud. Our neighbors also dreamt big about me. One day I was sitting in the library in the off period in the college and was reading poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, when Ahmed, the student leader of our college came running and said that my father had an accident, his condition is very bad, father has been admitted to the city hospital. Baba is my life, I ran with Ahmed crying after hearing about his accident, I saw a black colored car standing in front of the college gate. Ahmed took me with him and got into that car.”

“I did not realize that two people were sitting inside the car on the back seat. Hearing about father’s accident, my mind was not working right, so I did not pay much attention to the surrounding situation. As soon as the door is closed, one of them held a handkerchief to my face from the back seat. Then I fainted. When I regained consciousness, I found myself in a white-walled room, with a mattress in one corner of the floor, on which I was lying. After regaining consciousness, the door of the room was opened and Ahmed and Sarfarosh, also of Tharparkar, came and stood in front of me. Sarfarosh told me that after six days I will be married to someone, and before marriage I will be converted.”

Fiza continued, “I have always been a very quiet and calm girl. So realizing my condition, I started crying. Ahmed said, if I don’t listen to them, then they will kill my entire family; they will gang-rape my sister Sanghamitra. I was remembering the faces of my parents, sisters and buddha baba. Sanghamitra is my twin sister, she studied in the same college of mine in Botany. Attacking my sister and father was the easiest thing to do. And mother and buddha baba are the weakest members of our family, it was very easy to attack our house and finish them off anytime. Moreover, there was no way not to listen to them in captivity. So I agreed to their proposal.”

Dr. Iqbal is listening to her very attentively; he turns on the voice recorder of his mobile without Fiza’s knowledge and starts recording her voice. Fiza took a sip of coffee and paused for a while and started talking again.

“Six days after the abduction, I was forcefully married to a stranger, I had never seen this person anywhere before that day. I was first converted to Islam by reading the Kalma, and then Nikah was done. After Nikah, I was forced to say in front of the media that I got married voluntarily and no one pressurized me for this marriage.”

Now Fiza stopped for a moment, tears rolling down her eyes.

With a trembling voice she says, “Iqbal, I got married just to show the society. A series of physical tortures started from the very night of the Nikah. I was first raped by Sarfarosh. Then my photos and videos were put up for auction on a secret site. Basir Ahmed, an ex-military officer from Rawalpindi, bought me for fulfilment of his lust in last phase of life for a huge sum of money. Basir Ahmed’s wife, grandchildren, son and daughter-in-law live in Rawalpindi. He lives with me in Lahore. Sometimes she has to entertain various other leaders, including his friend, ex-servicemen.”

Dr. Iqbal placed his hand on Fiza’s hand and said, “No need to say anything else, I understand everything. Now answer me one question, do you want to get out of this conspiracy? Do you have any desire to start a new life?”

Now Fiza’s eyes and face became hardened. She said, “They want to send me on a special mission in India. But before that I have to be admitted to the hospital. That Basir Ahmed who does not allow me to leave alone in Babar Khan Library, how can he let me go alone to India? And why should I go to India? And the biggest thing is why I have to be admitted in the hospital before going to India. These various questions are circulating in my head. Iqbal, I feel like I am the victim of some big conspiracy. You save me please.”

Dr. Iqbal said, “I will save you, but you have to trust me blindly. You have been fooled a lot in life; try to trust me for the last time.”

Fiza aka Mithila nodded shyly and agreed.

That day, when leaving the cafe, Fiza stopped a little and turned back. Looking at Iqbal, she said, “Tomorrow he will go to ‘smile hub clinic’ in Johar town; actually he has no real teeth at all, implanting fake teeth into the gums by screws, which look exactly like real teeth. Among them, three teeth are causing problems, they will be removed and replaced with new ones. So I have a lot of time tomorrow; if you don’t mind, we can visit somewhere. So tomorrow at 12 noon at the library gate?”

Dr. Iqbal nodded in agreement.

That night Dr. Iqbal went to a shop before returning home. He bought chicken chow and egg toast from the shop and returned home. Then he removed the SIM card from the toast packet and inserted it into his mobile phone and called from that number. Dr. Iqbal said, “I have to go to Basir Ahmed’s house on Friday with ten million rupees. They have planned to carry out a more terrible attack than the Mumbai attack on India; they have no money to buy weapons and suicide bombs. I have to pay this money. Fiza is being sent to India on a special mission, she needs to be hospitalized before going to India. Fiza feels that she is going to be the victim of some big conspiracy, from which she wants to get out. Basir Ahmed, Abu Talib, Sarfarosh and Ahmed are big names connected with this plot in different ways. My task now is to deliver ten million rupees to Basir Ahmed’s bungalow. And I am responsible for all the food and drinks of the party that day.”

That night Dr. Iqbal did not sleep. He found astounding similarities with Mithila and Surya Devi, daughter of Maharaja Dahir. Both of them were victims of a terrible plot but foiled another plot to destroy the original. Dr. Iqbal started reading Surya Devi’s diary. (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


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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