Fahad Hussayn Couture

Dara Shikoh Aur Sunehri Churail – The Becoming

October 17, 2017

Qala e Mu’alla ke samne phaile sabzposh maidan main ameeron, vazeeron, navvabon, mirzaon, rajaon aur mansabdaron ke hathiyon aur ghoron ke rupehle sunehri saaz o yaraq ka ganga jamni darya mojain mar raha tha. Zati rasalon, aur mahafiz daston ke savaar aur piyade makhsoos libason aur hathyaron se lais apne apne umra’ ke almon tallay khare the. Mahireen e fun naqar khanay main nobat baja rahe thay. Faseelon per topain charhi theen. Neechay aehini darvaze ke hama atraaf ikyavan ikyavan hathi zarbaft ki jholain aur sunehri umaariyan pehny salam ko hazir the.

Dara Shikoh ne Shajehanabad ki khil’at zeb e tan ki, jama’ masjid ki huma’il seene lagai, Qala e Mu’alla ke zevarat hath galay main pehne aur darus saltanat ki mundail per takht e taoos ka gauhar nigaar sarpaich bandh ker Shehenshah Abulmuzzaffar Shahabuddin Muhammad Shahjehan Sahib Quran e Sani ke huzur saat salam kiye aur Zil e Ilahi ke huzur nazar pesh ki jo qubul hui aur ehlan hua.

“Mabadaulat ne Shah e Baland Iqbal Sultan Dara Shukoh ko wo ehzaz ata farmaya jis se arsh ashiyani (Jehangir) ne is nacheez ko musharaf farmaya tha. Hukm dia jata hai ke aaj se Shah e Baland iqbal is takht e zarnigar per jalwa afroz hua karain.”

Ishara paa ker vazeer e azam Saadullah Khan ne Dara Shikoh ka haath pakra aur takht per bitha dia aur mubarakbaad pesh ki.

Haft-hazari mansabdaron ki qataar ke samne shahzada Muhammad Shujah, shahzada Aurangzeb aur shahzada Murad khare the. Shujah aur Murad nazrain pesh ker ke ulte paon wapis huay to ahista sy Dara Shukoh ko mubarakbad di lekin Aurangzeb bhari qadam rakhta aaya aur apne maqam per khara ho gaya. Shahjehan ne mutfakur nigahon se Aurangzeb ko dekha aur gehri soch main per gaya.

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Rams e intiqal e shehenshiyat ka yeh manzar jahan hazireen e majlis dekh rahe the wahin Qala e mualla’ se hazarha kos door bhi koi baitha umoor e saltanat ke manazir ba nazr e batin mushida kiye huay tha. ‘Jam e jamshed’ per tiktiki lagaye aik mahrukh sunehri badan ne Dara Shikoh ke waliehd e saltanat banaye janay ka manzar had darja izterar se mulahiza kia.

Sunehri faqat Sunehri to na thi. Youn kehiye ke Sunehri to Sunehri thi he nahin. Yeh to mehez aik ista’ara tha jo her daur ke roohul asar se nisbat pata tha. Pus Dara ki nisbat Sunehri, Sunehri kelai. Wo Zohra bhi thi ke Mareekh ke khameer ko apne ghmza o eshwa se bismil ker Zameen per la patkha, aik goon na goon wehm ke Hawwa ke batin sy uthi aur naqrai rang azhdhay ka roop dhar Adam ko ma’toob kiya.  Kabhi Shiv ji ko apsara ka roop dhar tigni ka naach nacha raqs e kehkashan sajvaya. Shankar bhole nath ka qadam is husn e atisheen ke faraib main sudh jahan parta gaya, zindigi namu pati gai. Sidharth ko behka ker junglon ki khak chhanvai to rajputr sy Budh maha-gyani ban gye. Nefertiti, Emelghalbi, Scherezad, Zulekha, Kali, Zubaida aur na jane kia kia mazahir is ki hasti ke chashmay se phootay the.

Sunehri ab ke bar ayan hui to misl e khawar noor e mujassam, sooraj dev bhi is ke sunehri mahal ke ooper se balisht bahr faslay se guzarta tha ke us ke jalway ki aab o tab se chundiha na jaye. Keunke ab yeh paiker talism o noor ‘Roshan Ara’ thi.

Sunehri zaman o makan ki qaid se azad thi. Iska daman, daman e qayamat sy bandha hua tha. Jiska aik sira azal aur doosra abad se munsalik tha. Lekin sab se ehm bat yeh thi ke aajtak koi usko samajh na paya tha.

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Aik pehr din charhe Dara Shikoh apne deevan khana e khas main vurud kerny wala tha. Jahan deewarposhon per waidon aur upanishadon ke behtreen aqwal, khattati ke nadir libas pehne chamak rahe the. Junubi deewar ke neeche takht araasta tha. Sonay chandi ke framon main mashriq o maghrib ke musaviron ke shahkaar aavaizan the. Zarnigar chatt per murassa’ fanoos jagmaga rahe the. Taqon mian motiyon ki chilmanon ke peeche khushbu sulag rahi thi. Dara ke takht per Shankar Shivam Nattraj ki tasveer saya kiye huay thi.

Khawjasara Maqbool ne Dara ki amad ki ittela’ di. Meer Munshi Chandrabhan andar dakhil hua. Us ke saath ghulam kaghzat ke atlaseen bastay aur sunehri qalamdan uthaye huay the.

Dara eewan main dakhil hua. Uska qad ooncha aur jism siddol tha. Motiyon ke sarpech se bhojal siyah mundail ke neeche oonchi farakh peshani chamak rahi thi. Khinche huay siyah abru’on ke saye main sochti hui lambi siyah ankhon se fazal aur fikr ka noor tapak rah tha. Siyah shahjehani darhi ne uski jameel shaksiyat ko jaleel bana dia tha. Wo akbari saltanat ka sufaid khirkidar jama pehne tha. Farakh seene per pari hui ilmas ki aarsi main ‘Shiv’ ki tasveer khuddi thi. Seedhe hath ki pehli lambi nazuk ungli ki asrafi ke barabar angoothi main ‘Prabhu’ ka lafz kanda tha. Bazu’on ke joshan aur kamar ka patka rapooti tarz e aarayish ka namuna the. Agar us ke chehre se darhi tarash li jati to hu-ba-hu Akbar e Azam ki tasveer ban jata.

Waliehd e saltanat ne takht per nashist ki. Basant-hazari poshak main khwjasara aqb e takht khara tha. Dara ne dekha to ishara pa ker Meer Munshi choki se utha, takht k samne aa ker teen salam kiye aur dozanu baith gaya.

“Jan ki amman paoun to bargah e aalijah main arz guzar houn.”

“Bayan ho”

“ Huzur nacheez ki zuban is purfasoon khabar ke bayan per atak atak jati hai.”

“Bayan ho”

“Jis nagihani ka andesha salha saal sai huzur ki jaan e aqdas per saya fughan raha

woh makrooh ghari aan pohnchi”

“Saaf saaf bolo”

“Noor e nazar e shah e baland iqbal, sukoon e qalb e aalimaqam, Sultan Nadira Kareemun-nisa Bano begum nisf shab Bano Mahal se purisrar tareeq ghayab hain. Shahsawar aur piyadon ne saltanat ka chappa chappa chan lia magar shahzadi ka koi suragh na mila. Qehr yeh ke haram ke nigehban aur mahal ke chokidar tou dour, hujla e muharram ki rajpooti pehrehdarniyon aur khawjasaraon tak ne sultan begum ko bahr atay ya kisi ko andar jatay na dekha.

Gumaan hota hai goya Sultan begum ko zameen nigal gai ya woh misl e bukhar hawa main tehleel hoyin.”

Dara ke chehrey per karb aur jalal e taimuri ke tasurat ayaan thay. Magar who janta tha keh is main sipah e pehradari ka koi qusoor nahi tha. Zabt ka daman aur iftekhar e sultani ke taqzon ko mad e nazr rakhtay huay irshad kia.

“Ahwal e deegar?”

Meer munshi ne char itraf gardan ghuma ker dekha. Shah e baland iqbal ne irshad kia.

“Takhliya”

Ghulamo, mansabdaron aur hazireen ke eewan se rukhsat hotay he Dara ne iztirari nazron se Meer Munshi ko dekha. Us ke chehray se ayan tha ke who janta hai ke munshi kia kehnay laga hai magar dil he dil dua go hai ke us ka andesha darust sabit na ho.

Meer munshi ke lab kusha huay to Dara ka rukh e roshan ta’suf se zardi ma’il ho gya.

‘Shah e baland iqbal, Sultan begum ke hujra e isterahat sy “Sunehri varq” per tehreer aik pegham banaam e aalijah yeh mila ke Shah e Baland Iqbal aur Sultan begum ka visal faqat usi surat mumkin hoga agar Sahib e Alam Qandahar fateh kernay ke badh Shahzada e soyam ko jang main maat dain aur Shehnshah a Alam ko ta-hayat nazarband ker dain. ”

“Takhliya”

Meer munshi barkhastgi ka hukum sun ker bijli ki si tezi sy utha, sehri varq bargeah e aalijah main pesh kia aur ultay qadmon mujra baja latay huay eewan ke dabeez pardon ke peechay ghayab ho gya.

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Qala e mu’ala ke ehm hison main yeh khabar aik zakhmi parinday ki tarah mandlanay lagi. Paishaniyan shiknon se bhar gayen. Ankhon ke goshay simat gaye. Sochti hui nigahain parda e ghaib se namudaar honay wali suraton ka intezaar kerny lageen.

Roshan Ara Aurangzeb ka ehtibar hasil ker chuki thi aur Mughal saltanat ka muqaddar likhnay ka mansooba bana rahi thi. Ab tak us ne jo chaha tha jesy chaha tha sab usi tarah hua tha. Waqt ke qaid aur dua’on ka hisaar na hota to ab tak Roshan Ara sltanat ki eent sy eent baja chukka hoti.

Nobat khanay se aramgah e shahi tak phaili hui sab devarain is sazish main shareek theen aur kan lagaye khari rehti theen. Mehraabain Roshan Ara se sargoshiyan kerti theen. Sutoon chughli khatay thay aur dareeche apni ankhain pharay suraton per likhi ibaratain parha kerty thay.

Roshan Ara ke mahal ki devri par roshan chokiyon aur talai jhaarron ki rupehli roshni pehra de rahi thi. Nezay ki tarah baland sang e mar mar ki sillon sy tarashi hui bhari jimson, sharbati ankhon aur sunehray balon wali uzbik auratain reshmi mardani surkh qabaon per chandi ke kamarband aur saron per surkh shahjehani pagriyan bandhay, kamar main talwarain aur khanjar lagaye, gudaz mazboot hathon main naizay liay madron ki tarah be-jhapak pehra de rahi theen.

Andar sehn ki taraf siyahfam habshi kaneezain sufaid libas pehny hukum ki tameel main ur rahi theen. Khawjasara bhaari pishvazain pehny sar se paon tak zevraat main gundhay maghroor haseenaon ki manind thumak thumak ker chal rahay thay. Eewan ke andar bahar halabi sheeshon ke sunehry fanoos munavvar thay. Talai shamadaon main lata’daad kafoori sham’ain roshan theen jinki ujli naram roshni imarat ko “Roshan Mahal” banaye huay thi. Sonay ke pani se munaqqash chatt rangarang sheeshon se dhanak bani hui thi. Vast e eewan main sonay ke munaqqash takht per chareeray badan aur daraz qamat Roshan Ara masnad se lagi bethi thi. Oonchi naak aur qaus ki tarah khinchay huay abru, maghroor ankhon aur mazboot thori se jalal tapak raha tha. Dono sunehri mayil sufaid hath angoothiyon aur ungushtanon se dhakay huay thay. Jawaharnigar jhoomar taaj ki tarah chamak raha tha. Woh qadmon main baithay khwajasara ko fatihana nazron se dekh rahi thi. Bargah ke bahar khwasain khari theen. Devri per shor sun ker khwajasara Faheem khara ho gaya. Aik khwas ne ittela di.

“Biradar e dolat panah, shahzada e som tashreef latey hain.”

Faheem eewan se bahar nikal gaya. Roshan Ara peshvai ko daalaan main nikli he thi ke Aurangzeb aa gaya. Siyah tez ankhain, siyah khinche huay abru, maheen lambay nathno per khari oonchi naak, siyah ghani darhi, thukka hua kasrati jism aur nikalta hua qad. Har qadam se ehtiyat tapakti thi. Shajehani pagri main uqqab e zareen ka par laga hua. Sufaid sooti jamay ke saath shar’ai paijama aur zard charmi paposh pehny matanat o viqaar ka mujasima bana ahista ahista chala aa raha tha. Shahzadgi ke iltizamat main safay ke ilava sirf zamurad ke dastay ka aik khanjar siyah makhmaleen patkay main laga hua tha.

Roshan Ara se nigah milte he Aurangzeb tasleem ko jhuka. Roshan Ara ne barh ker peeth per hath rakh sath eewan main la takht per bithaya. Khud us ke pas chandi ki tapahi per baith gai. Aik mughlani sonay ki kashti main itrdaan liye hazir hui to doosti paan. Roshan ara ne apny hath se itr lagaya aur dua di;

“Parvardigar! Aurangzeb ke iqbal ki khushbu saray jehan main phela de”

Khwason ne amen kahi. Roshan ara ne gilori anayat ki to Aurangzeb ne takht se uth ker salam kia aur pan mounh main daba ker bola;

“Aap ne bewaqt yaad farmaya”

“Qol nibhanay ki ghari aan pohnchi Aurangzeb”

“Aaj?”

“Aaj!…. aur Nadira ke Dara se visal ki aik shart fateh e Qandahar bhi hogi. Suno Aurangzeb! Jo Qandahar ‘Be-shikoh’ (Dara Shikoh) ki rubahi chalon ki wajah se tumharay hath per fatah na ho saka, woh Qandahar agar Dara ki talwar ne zair o zabar kar diya to yaad rakho Takht e taoos tumhare qadmon se aur dour chala jaye ga”

Aurangzeb ne ta’eed main gardan hilai aur rukhsat ke marasim ada ker ke eewan se bahar nikal gaya. Roshan Ara divan main banay talab main anginat sunehri machlion to nachtay huay dekhti rahi.

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“Meheenpur e khilafat, vali-ehd e sultanat, chiragh e darmaan e taimuri o changaizi, shah e baland iqbal, sultan Dara Shikoh e azam.”

Avaz khatam honey se pehly Dara, Badshah Begum Jehan Ara ke mahal main dakhil ho chuka tha. Badshah begum jin ke Akbar e Azam ne chonchle kiay thay, Jehangir ne naaz uthaye thay aur jin se Shahjehan ne mashvare mange thay. Vazir e Azam, Khan e khanan, Khan e Azam aur Benazir sipah salar jin ki sawari ka paya pakrne ko iqbalmandi tasavur kerty thay. Woh Jehan Ara ahista ahista chali. Das qadam ke faslay se he takht e taoos per takht nasheen hone walay shahzade Dara ne ghutno tak sir jhuka ker salam kia. Badshah begum ki rafter main koi farq na aya. Qareeb ponch ker shahzady ke jhukay sir per hath rakha, sath lia aur la ker ilmas ki choki per bithaya. Kaneezain saat javaharon, saat dhaaton aur saat anaajon ke tabaq, khwan aur tashtariyan le ker hazir hueen. Dara ne sadqat e shukr per hath rakha aur mohtajon main taqseem hone chale gaye. Aik mughlani ne zamurrad ke piyale main aab e zamzam pesh kia, Dara ne seir ho ker pia aur khara ho gya. Badshah begum ne das bars Jehangir ki kamar se bandny wali talwar ‘Daab e Jehangiri’ ko Dara ke kamar se utara aur Dara ko aghosh main le ker mubarakbad di;

“Qandahar ki fateh mubarak ho Dara. Khuda ne dua suni aur Shah e baland iqbal ki aik rakaab main Hindustan ki fateh aur dusri main ghaneem ki shikast likhi”

Badshah begum ki ankhon ke samne saat mah giyara din pehle ka woh manzar ghoom gaya jab Qala’ e mu’ala ke naqarkhane main nobat per chot perty he topkhane se jama’ masjid tak phaila hua lashkar harkat main aya tha. Saat bari, satra homi aur tees choti topain, aik sau suttar jangi hathi, suttar hazar savaar, das hazar paidal bandooqchi, panch hazar barqzaar, teen hazar ohdi teer-andaaz, chhe hazar baildaar aur tabrdaar, panch sau sangtarash aur naqb-kan, panch sau saqqay, aur das hazar khuddaam ne Qandahar ki taraf kooch kia tha. Teen oonton per laddi kitabain Dara ki ilm-dosti ki gavahi deti theen. Saat hathiyon per Arabi, Farsi, Sanskrit aalim, kavi, shayar, munjam, dast shanas, aur hukma’ bhi sath shahrah ki dono atraf imaraton ki chhaton, darvazon, chabutaron aur dareecho main kharay tamashaiyon ke gulab-pashon aur tashton se khushbudaar phulon ki barish main se guzar rahe thay.

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Woh kacchi aur oonchi sarak nihayat he andeshanak aur pur-khatar thi. Kashmiri Laddakh se guzarti hui Himalaya ke purpech darron ko shamalan junuban qata’ kerti hui dhund ki chadar main gum ho jati thi. Mudatton se is sarak ka yeh hal tha ke koi bhula basra qafla aa nikalta to din dihare lut jata aur begunahon ki lashon ko baraf aur sardi mazlumi aur gharatgari ki yadgaar bana ker salha sal tak baqi rakhti. Qareebi bastiyan bhi meelon dour theen aur wahan tarah tarah ke afsanay zaban e zad e aam thay ke aik pariwash, mahjabeen in darron ke ba’eed apnay mahal main sadyon se basti hai.

Qisa mash’oor is jamal-paikar ke mut’alq yeh bhi tha ke yeh boseeda lashain jo in ghatiyon main ja ba ja bikhri milti hain asal main un kambakhton ki theen jin ke jimson se jawani ka ras choos ker yeh malika e noor o jamal, husn ki jila pati thi. Ek do zaeeful umr shahidon se sun’ne main ata tha ke unho ne is pari-paikar ko chandi raton main aik sunehri yak per savar ganga nadi ke shamal main apnay mahal ki taraf jatay dekha tha. Us ka chehra goya sonay se tarsha hua aik shahkar tha aur us ne sonay ke taron se bunni qaba zeb e tan ki hui thi jo teen kos tak barfani ghatiyon main us ke peechay ghisit’ti chali jati thi. Kuch log kehtay the ke who us sunehri machli ki talash main thi jis main uski jan aik soofi bazurg ne qaid ker di thi aur jo kisi badshah ne fareb se hathiya ker ganga main baha di thi.  Isi liay urf e aam main is ko ‘Sunehri’ ke nam se jana jata tha. Magar sahib e ilm o aqal aur hoshmandon ke ta’een yeh sab aik devmalai qisay kahani se barh ker kuch na tha.

Dara Shikoh apnay ghoray ‘Fateh jang’ per savar is sarak per ajab alam e bekhudi main youn chalta jata tha goya kisi khwab ki kefiyat main ho. Dundh ke par kisi undekhi manzil per nazrain jamaye woh yak goona rafter se youn chalta jata tha goya rastay ka naqsha us ko azbar tha. Shamali Hindustan ki akhiri basti ke jo Himalaya ki barfani ghatiyon main abaad thi se kooch kiay aj chotha roz tha. Din ke auqat main bhi roshni youn dari sehmi dhund ki parton main se chan chan ke guzar rahi thi jesy us ko bhi apnay qaid ker diay janay ka guman tha.

Yaka yak Dara ki bujhi hui ankhon main aik chamak baidar hui jab uski nazar dhund ke par ghata top andheray main aik roshan sunehri meenar per pari aur woh vaheen ghoray se gir ker be-hosh ho gaya.

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Ghaflat o khud-varaftagi ki madhoshi main kai bar Dara ki aankh khuli aur who har daf’a apnay ap ko naye maqam per pata tha. Kabhi shadab khulay maidon main hoti jahan neelgoon asman kisi gumbad ki tarah saya-fugan hota aur kabi vehshatnak aur dildoz ghatiyon main. Her baidari main aik sehr-angaiz avaz e ghayabana us ko Sunehri Mahal ke aur ziada qareeb honey ka yaqeen dilata. Akhir aik dafa ankh khuli to aik dosheeza hareer e sufaid ka jama pehne ke jis per sunehra kaam tha, us ke pas khari thi. Us ke sar per nihayat he besh qeemat taj tha aur us main aa’la darjay ke murassa’ javaharat jaray thay. Dara ne us khubsurat haseena jo ghor se dekha aur usay apni awaz kahin door se aati hui mehsoos hui;

“Tum Sunehri ho?”

Haseena ne hairat bharay andaz main aik zordar qehqaha lagaya;

“Nahin shahzaday”

Aur samnay ki taraf ungli se ishara kia. Dara jis ne ankh kholi to aish o ishrat aur asa’ish e dunyavi ki koi cheez aisi na dekhi jo muyasar na thi. Shahi mahallat ka jah o jalal aur ajeebul khalqi aik taraf magar samnay ka manzar dekh ker Dara ki ankhain virta e hairat se phail gyen.

Dara ne us rafi-u-shan qsr ko dekha to dekhta he reh gaya. Sunehri Mahal jis ka zarra zarra khalis sonay se takhleeq tha aur uska iklota sunehri minar baldon ko cheerta hua asman main gum ho gaya tha.

Haseena Dara ka hath thamay mahal ke afaqi zeenay ko uboor kerti tanno wazni talai darwazay se hoti hui makazi aiwan main dakhil hui to aik aur hairankun manzar Dara ka muntazir tha. Mahal ke oonche gumbad main barfani khunk hawa atay jatay aisi awaz paida kerti goya hazarha pariyan apas main sir joray sirgoshian ker rahi hon. Samnay qad e adam talai takht per ‘Roshan Ara’ teen kos lambi sunehri poshak zeb e tan kiay kisi mujasamay ki manind eestada thi. Aaj woh her trah ke zevarat se mubarra thi bajuz aik talai zanjeer jo uski kamr ke gird ghoomti jati thi. Jis ke beechon beech aik sunehri machli ki shakal ki aarsi munsalik thi jis main se phot’ti noor ki sunehri kirnain ankhon ko kheerah kiay deti theen. Uska baiyan hath takht per dhara tha to dosra ‘Jam e jamshed’ ke sunehri abkhoray main mojood pani main harkat e ungusht se bhanwar pida ker rha tha.

“Khush amadeed birather e mohtram, Shah e baland iqbal”

Dara jiski girift ‘Dab e jehangiri’ per mazbot hoti jati thi. Hairat se yeh manzar dekhte huay us ke halaq se atakti hui awaz baramad hui;

“Roshan Ara?”

“Qandahar ki fateh mubarak ho sahib e alam”

“Magar?”

“Ap is pehle imtehan main surkhru hoye magar isko intehai imtehan mat samjhiye ga”

“Yeh sab…..? Kia hum koi khwab dekh rahay hain? Kesa seher hay yeh sab?”

“Sultan begum apki muntazir hain. Unko boht der intezar mat kervaiye ga verna yeh intezar abadi bhi sabit ho sakta hai jesy aap ke valid e mohtaram ne boht dair ker di aur Malika e Alam Mumtaz Mahal begum ko apni jan de ker waqt ki qasoti per pura utarna para. Jis saltanat ko Shehanshah na bacha sakta tha usay Malika ne apni jaan de ker davam bakhsha.”

“Kia kehti ho Roshan Ara?”

“Taaj jisko Mughal saltanat aur us ke chahaar atraaf Abbulmuzaffar ki Mumtaz Mahal se bepanah mahabbat ka mazhar gardana jata hai dar-haqeeqat aik pachtava hai. Us gham o yaas ka mazhar hai jo akhri saans tak Shehenshah ko apni kam-mayigi ki yaad dilata rahay ga. Aaj jahan tum kharay ho shahzaday kabhi yahan Shahjehan, Jehangir aur Akbar bhi kharay the. Kia Sahib e Alam bhi aik Taaj khara keejiye ga?”

Roshan Ara takht se uthi aur yak jumbish e mizhgaan main Dara ke rubaru aan khari hui. Chashme zadan main Dara ne Roshan Ara ke chehre main hazarha chehron ka aks dekha. Us ke lab thartharaye;

“Kon ho tum?”

“Mera ta’arruf zamanay ke pecheeda taaron main uljha hua hay shahzaday. Main zameen o zaman ke mutvazi aik alag jeht houn.  Main karvat karvat waqt houn. Main lamhon ka ansar houn. Mera suragh khud se alag dhondo ge to kabhi na pao ge. Shahjehan ne bhi yehi kia tha aur ma’toob hua. Zindigi ki khushiyan us se chin gayen aur mera itab akhri sans tak uska peecha kerta hai bashartiqe tum isay badal do. Mughal saltanat kid or ab tumharay hath main hai shahzaday”

Us ka chera pighle huay sonay ka tha jo us ki thori ke bareek kham se tapak tapak ker us ke chatiyon se hota hua sunehri phigle sonay ke libas main gum ho rha tha. Dara ke dil main aya zab e shamsheer se is afat ka kam tamam ker de. Us ne ‘Daab e jehangiri’ ko miyaan se azad kia aur ek bharpoor var kia. Talwar Sunehri ki bayen shanay aur gardan ke beech se hoti hui dayen pehlu se you nikli goya pani main se guzzri ho. Sunehri ke labon per tabassum ka halka sa ta’sur dikhai da;

“Jao shahzaday aur Mughal saltanat ki baqa aur Nadira Bano ki zindigi ke liay koshish kro. Tum ne Qandahar fateh kia. Ab jao aur us Shajehan ko marte dam tak qaid kero jis ne makr o faraib se mujhay is machli main qaid kia”

Sunehri ne kamar se bandhi zanjeer main latki machli ki traf ishara kia.

“Jao aur jab tum Shehanshah ko ta hayat nazarband ker do to teesri aur akhri soorat jo saltanat ko tarajgi aur Nadira ko maut se bacha sakti hai woh Aurangzeb ki maidan e harb main shikast e fash hai.”

*********

Shehanshah takht e taoos per juloos ferma tha. Gurz-bardaar aur shamsheerzan, yasawal aur walashahi, naqeeb, hajib aur chailay, khwajasara aur khidmatgaar, mansabdaar aur rajgaan, khawateen aur nawabeen dastoor ke mutabiq apni apni jaghin per mumkin aajizi aur khaksari ke sath kharay thay. Ameeron ke vakeel, sho’bajaat e hukumat ke mo’tamid, sa’il aur mazloon aur mazloomon ke bhes main jasoos sab ka ghermamooli azhdham tha. Umra e kubbaar apne muqqarab ham-rakabon ke sath maidaan e jang main jane se pehle akhiri salam o deedar ko hazir thay.

Boorhay shehanshah ki nazarain nobatkhanay ki phatak per jami theen. Phir Dara Shikoh apne khadm o hasham ke sath namudar hua. Us ke saath naqabil e shumaar kumar aur kunwar, khan aur Najeeb aur ameer chal rahe thay. Jahan se takht e taoos nazar aya vaheen se jhuk ker salam kerta hua agay barha. Shehanshah ke khad o khaal tabassum se munavvar ho gaye. Dara apny takht per nashist lene ke bajai takht e taoos ke samne haath bandh ker khara ho gaya. Zil e subhani ne dast e khaas se uski nazar qubul ki aur paanch hathi ma’a umari e zareen, saat ghoray ba saz murassa, khilat e khasa e haft parcha ma’a tamam raqoom javahar, aik lakh ashrafi aur do crore dirham ka in’aam ata kia. Dara her bakhshish per salam kerta raha. Mughlon ke ehd e zareen ki yeh pehli mohim thi jisay rukhsat ata kerty vaqt shehanshah sakit tha. Kuch ba-wajah e zo’of aur kuch is wajah se k janf main dono atraaf is k apnay he farzandan e arzumand thay. Waliehd ko naseehat na ki gai. Sipahsalaaron ko hidayaat na di gayeen. Yateemon, bewaon, boorhon, amaan mangne walon, faslon aur baghon aur makanon aur dukkanon per zulm ki padash main koi had muqarrar na hui. Shehanshah sir se paoon talak sufaid libaas main apne mehbood aur mas’oor e alam javaharat pehne do zanu baitha tha. Gardan takiyon se lagi thi, dayen haath main tasbeeh thi jo laraz rahi thi. Deevan e aam ke suttoono ki manind hazireen e darbar sakit khare thay. Pankhay saans rokay chal rahe thay ke Dara ne guzarish ki;

“Banda e dargah ko jang ke liay rukhsat ata farmai jaye ke sa’at qareeb aa pohnchi”

Zil e subhani ke jo khala main nazar jamaye halat e guzashta main gum thay ke jab isi imtehan ki ghari se who guzray the. Lekin woh waqt or halaat aur thay. Dara per nigah ki. Kamzor, beemr aur ghamzada nigah. Gao takiyon per hath rakh diye. Gulbaar se nobatkhane tak khare naqeenon ne aik sath darbaar e aam ki barkhastgi ka ehlan ker dia. Hazaron sir gutnon tak jhuk gaye. Haath salam kerny lage. Paon ulty chalne lagay.

Aahista aahista takht e taoos ki seeriyaan utarte shehanshah kanptay hathon sahara liay yeh soch raha tha ki khud apne he hokum se banvaye huay takhte taoos se who akhiri bar utar raha tha aur phir kabhi baithna naseeb na hoga. Akhiri seerhi per Dara ne sir jhuka dia. Shahjehan ne dono hathon main chehra le ker seedha kiya, seene per dam kia, purnam ankhain Dara ki mo’addab ankhon main dal deen aur khare kanpte rahe. Phir qibla rukh huay aasman ki taraf haath utha ker fatiha parhi. Chehre per haath pherne ke bahane aansu ponch diay ke aadaab e shahi se vaqif hazireen per raaz faash na ho. Haath barha ker Dara ko seene se laga lia. Harchand ke bhari baktar ke kante natavaan aur hareerposh jism main garhte rahe lekin der tak usay kaleje se lagaye khare rahe. Muqaddas hathon ki girift dheeli parte he Dara aik qadam peeche hat ker itna jhuka ke us ke aankhon se chalakte aansu mulahiza na farmaye ja sakain. Salam khatam ho gaye magar woh usi tarha jhuka raha. Jab takhe taoos se ziada qeemti moti jo ankhon se beh rahe thay zardoze qaleeno main kho gaye tab Dara ne sir uthaya. Deevan e aam ki seerhiyon per khare rath main sawar ho ker Dara Deccan ki traf ru ba safar hua jahan Aurangzeb apni baaghi sipah ke saath jang ke liay tayyar tha. Shahjehan ne Dara ko alvidai nazron se dekh aur hath ko jumbish di goya keh rahe hon;

“Aaj sab kuch lut gaya.”

Alam panah Zil e ilahi Shehanshah e Hindustan e azeem ne Jamna kinare us mahal ki janab bojhal qadam barha diye jis ke jharokon se darya ke us par khara Taaj Mahal Shahjehan ko ehd e rafta ki yad dilata tha. Shahjehan ne baqi manda ayam apne issi shahi ‘qaid-khane’ main guzarne thay.

to be continued…

Summary:

Qala-e-mu’alla, the high castle, where sits the throne of greater Hindustan witnesses the ceremony – in all its royal grandeur – of prince Dara Shikoh declared the crown prince and the succeeding heir to the throne. The aura is of joy and hope with a jealous Aurangzeb (younger brother) present with all his poisonous hate scheming in his head. The king (father) notices and goes worried from content.

Sunehri the beautiful witch that feeds on the hate in Auranzeb’s heart. She is present through times. Now and what’s past and what’s to come. She lives in this reality and in all the parallal realities. She’s destined to appear as the nemesis angel to every zeitgeist. Dara’s fated to confront her in his younger sister Roshan Ara. Sunehri looks into her golden magic pensieve and knows this is her time.

Dara gets out of his sleeping chamber into his private court. The decorations of the court’s interior speak volumes about Dara’s thirst for knowledge and wisdom. The priceless wall hangings from the east and the west show his egalitarian approach towards his quest to knowledge. Among those beautiful works of art brought into his courts as gifts from foreign lands also hangs embroidered verses of thousands of years old local wisdom brought to his generation by sacred and liberal texts of almost all the established religions and cutures of the region.

Dara’s informed about his beloved wife Nadira’s mysterious disappearance and he instantly knows this is Sunehri and this is what he was warned about by the royal astrologers.

Aurangzeb gets to know about Nadira and visits Rashan Ara in her palace inside Qala e mu’alla after returning from seizing Qandahar for months and getting defeated horribly. She informs him about how it’s the right time to use his authority being the military head to stealthly extend his claim to the throne and how the throne is destined to a prince that captures Qandahar. She warns him of the consequences if Qadahar falls at Dara’s hand. Roashan Ara (sunehri) sits by an indoor pond with a hundred golden fish as he leaves. Her insightful stare shows her fixation with the golden fish.

Dara comes back victorious from Qandahar and meets his elder sister Jehan Ara. Jehan Ara recollects the enormity of Dara’s forces marching towards Qandahar in her mind

Shahjehan sees Dara off to the Battle of Samugarh.

 

Photo Credits:

Featuring: Mikaal Zulfiqar, Amna Illyas & Rubab Ali.

Photography:

Meekal: Aabroo Hashimi

Amna & Rubab: MHM

Back Drop Visuals: MHM Studio

Hair & Make Up: Maram Azmat

Jewellery: GOLD By Reama Malik

 

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