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

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XXXV

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XXXV

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

A place near the city of Jitor

Year 712 AD.

There is significantly a great difference in nature between day and night of this time. In the hot nature of day time when one gasps for last breathe, in the far reaches of the wilderness, there only mirages can be seen, nothing else. Looking at this mirage far from his camp, it seems that the conquest over Sindh is slowly turning into a dream like the mirage. As the days go by, the soldiers are getting sicker due to the fatigue of the prolonged battle and the disability to cope up with this dry scorching hot desert environment. On the other hand, the natural obstacles, in which prolonged staying results in a psychological fatigue, body is getting weaker due to constant mental lethargy.

But there is a strange comfortable nature in the evening near the city of Jitor. There is a small lake here amidst the rugged nature around. During the evening time, when the setting sun falls on the distinctive terrain of this region, a quirky blue-green hue is projected; amidst this tint, groups of white birds flock to the banks of the lake. There is a sensible peace in their cacophony.

Muhammad bin Qasim tried to unify himself with this nature for some time after the evening prayer. Sometimes he remembers his village. And remembers Reshma the most. Reshma’s presence in his life was like a golden crescent moon of Eid in the expanse of blue sky amidst of the arid desert. Young men of his age are getting married and living happily together, but he endures these terrible hardships and continues to conquer the country of Sindh for only one reason – Reshma. Victory over Sindhu and over Reshma are synonymous to him. So he is destroying all the obstacles in this terrible path with the force of his sword. Getting blocked in this way means getting away from the goal of reaching Reshma.

Reshma is the daughter of his uncle Hajjaj. Qasim is now only fighting for the moment when the conquest of Indus will be completed and his uncle will say to him, ‘Qasim, what do you want for the great work you have done for the honour of Islam and Allah Almighty.’ Then he will say, “I want your nikah with Reshma.” A grand feast was organized on the night that Muhammad bin Qasim was chosen as the commander of this crusade. Reshma along with other women of the family was also present in the palace that day. That night, in a secret room of the palace, Mohammad bin Qasim came to bid Reshma a final farewell. That day too, a sliver crescent moon rose in the sky similar to Eid. From one side of the window of that room of the palace, a creeper tree has reached the ceiling, the white flowers on that tree are swaying in the breeze, spreading a sweet smell in the room. The teardrops on Reshma’s cheeks seems like firefly in the light-dark environment. Reshma said in a choked voice, “Qasim, may your conquest over Sindh become successful. You go, don’t worry your Reshma will be waiting for you.” Qasim picked up Reshma’s hands and kissed them and stormed out of the room because he was unable to ignore this attraction. If the mind was weakened at the beginning of this difficult path of the crusade, it will not be possible for him to proceed. So, raising a terrible lust for Reshma in his mind, he started walking outside the room.

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

Although far, far away, even today Reshma’s presence is very dominant to him. As he walked this dark path, he took that light as his path every moment. It is this light that motivates him to conquer Sindh even in moments of great sadness.

Amidst the chirping of the returning evening birds and this nature, he felt the presence of Reshma weeping in that room. At that time Mohammad Alafi came to him. It’s been a week today since Alafi completed his mission and joined the Arab forces. The ailing Arab army seems to be invigorated by the presence of such a worthy soldier as him. The next day they were to attack the Bet Fort, and he wanted to discuss strategy with Alafi before the beginning of the battle.

A torch is burning in one corner of this camp, and Muhammad bin Qasim and Alafi are sitting face to face. In the dark and light environment of the camp, the map of the Sindh country pops up; in the depths of that map two great warrior of the Arab country entered in search of its roots. Alafi said that in order to destroy a nation, its weakest point must be identified first. If that weak spot can be taken under our control, the downfall of that nation is assured.

Muhammad bin Qasim said, “Muhammad Alafi, you have been in the country of Sindh for a long time; what is their weakness no one knows better than you.”

Alafi said, “Since coming to the country of Sindh, I have seen that Hindus worship cow as the feminine mother form of divinity; with this particular animal they possess a deep connection in their religious life. I have seen with my own eyes that a soldier may be rushing to a certain destination riding on a horse; if he sees a cow on the way, he will bow his head down first and do pranam, then he will go. The bull is their deity. They also have their deep emotional feelings with bull; we have to use ‘cow-mother’ in the battlefield; if we can bring ‘cow-mother’ in the battlefield, then they will lay down their arms, because cow-slaughter is a great sin for a Hindu. As they are regularly attacking our army camp in dark of the night, if we keep bulls tied around our camp, they will not attack at night. You ask the soldiers to collect the cows. We will use this ‘special creature’ as a weapon in the battle against King Dahir. As you move towards Aror across the Mehran River, there is presence of cows in every house. They worship the bull as the vehicle of Mahadev and keep them free on the road. In the early morning the village boys bring their cows along with the sheep to graze in the meadows by the river. It is very easy to collect those cattle by killing these boys, besides we will loot the women, wealth and cattle from the places we attack. I heard that there is huge demand for the cattle from Sindh country in the whole of South-East Asia, including the Hindustan.

Their milk are supposed to be of very high quality, I heard that the cows of Sindh country is physically very strong compared to the cow of other places, so if they are used in the farming land for ploughing, the agriculture would be rich.

Mohammad bin Qasim said, but I did not see the existence of this mammals anywhere since the Sindh invasion, but they are on the other side of the Mehran River, why is this so?

Because cows are herbivores. From across the river, the abundance of greenery has started to increase in nature. Hence the existence of the cow here is for natural reason, similarly how the camel exists in the desert.

You inform every commander in charge of the army that cattle will be given the highest priority among the loot of war. We will not attack Jitor tomorrow. We will wait now. The task of our army will be to collect cattle for now. In the morning, when the village boys come to graze the cows in the green meadows by the river or the lake, then kill them and snatch the ‘mother cows’ of the people of Sindh. (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 


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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