Prince of Dariabar – Alif Laila
The beauty said that near Cairo there is an island named Dariabar. His king was happy in every way, but he was very sad for not having a child. After years of prayers and blessings of Siddhas, a daughter was born to him. I am that unfortunate. My father did a big ceremony on my birth. When I grew up, he got me educated about all the sciences and arts. He himself taught me the management of the state. His idea was that after his death, I should become the ruler of the state.
One day my father went hunting. He put a horse behind a deer and got separated from his companions. It was evening but the deer did not come. My father sat down under a tree and started thinking how to get back to the capital. At night he saw that light was coming from a place in the middle of the deep forest. He went there. He expected that this light must be coming from some village but after walking a long distance he saw that the light was coming from a huge building. When he went towards it, he saw that a tall negro sitting in the house was eating meat and taking pots and drinking wine from them. He also saw that a very beautiful woman is sitting nearby with her hands tied and a boy of two or three years old is sitting next to her.
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My father took pity on the woman and intended to kill the negro and rescue this beauty. He stood waiting for the opportunity. When the naughty had eaten half the bullock and drank the wine of all the pots, he said to the woman, ‘O Manmohani, how long will you stay away from me and how long will you not fulfill my wish. You see how much I love you and how I die in your meditation. You should also love me like this. The woman said, Wicked wild, what nonsense is you putting up. I, and will love you. First look at your face in the mirror. You are hurting me equally. Even if you inflict more pain on me than this, but even if you take my life, I will not even spit on your face.
Hearing this, Habshi went mad with anger. He got up and grabbed the woman with his left hand, and took out his sword from the right and was ready to cut off her head. Just then the arrow left by my father entered his chest and he fell to his death. My father went inside and untied the ropes of Sundari and asked her who are you and how did she fall in the hands of this demon. That said, a few miles away from here lives a tribe named Sarasang. Its inhabitants are semi-civilized. The king over there is my husband. This wicked niece, whom you have just killed, was my husband’s courtier. It fascinated me for a long time. He was always on the lookout for me to escape. One day seeing my husband inattentive, it ran away with me and this child of mine. By bringing me here, he tied me up and wanted to have sex with me every day. So far God has done such a favor that it could not lay hands on me. Today it was killed by your hands. My father said, don’t worry, I am the king of the court. I will take you to my palace. Stay there for as many days as you want. The beauty accepted this.
The next day my father walked with him and his child. After sometime my father’s abandoned companions were also found. All of them were surprised to see such a beauty in this deep forest. At the same time, they were also happy to see the emperor. The emperor told them in detail how this young woman was freed from the paw of a negro. One of the companions of the emperor took the woman and the other his son on the horse behind him and in a few days the whole convoy reached the palace.
My father gave a big and beautiful palace to the woman. He also arranged for the education of his son. For a year, the woman looked for her husband, but when she did not get any news of him, she became frustrated with him and started wooing my father. He was already attracted to her, so both of them got married. That child too became a handsome young man in a few years. He also became proficient in all the disciplines and state administration etc. My father and all the people in the court started liking him very much. Everyone was of the opinion that I should get married with that young man and after my father, he should get the throne. My father also agreed to this and the young man was engrossed in imagining his future.
But my father put one condition of marriage that he would not marry any other woman again. Up to four marriages are permissible among Muslims, so he found this condition humiliating and he rejected this condition. As such the marriage did not take place. He got very angry with this and started conspiring to take revenge. One day, getting an opportunity, he killed my father and came to my palace with the intention of killing me. But our minister had already taken me out through a secret route. The minister kept a friend’s house. In two days, after talking to the captain of a ship, he sent me to the country of a king whose king was a friend of my father.
When the ship started, everything was fine, but after a few days such a storm came, seeing that even the captain and the sailor fell down. In no time the ship broke into pieces and everyone in it drowned. But I found a plank on which I sat and after a day started coming to the shore. But I did not know that God has saved my life to cause more suffering. I looked to the side and I thanked God. I kept searching for a long time that maybe the minister or some other person on the ship might find me alive but it did not happen.
Remembering my father and finding myself all alone in that deserted place, I started crying and thought that I should drown in the sea.
Then I heard the voices of many men and horses behind me. Looking back, there were many horsemen with weapons in their hands and among whom was a young man. The young man was dressed in a zari dress and a gemstone belt was tied around his waist. I was very surprised to see him at that place. Their hero, the young man, who was actually a prince, sent me to find out who I was and how I got there. The man inquired about my condition in different ways. I felt even more afraid that these people do not know who they are and what will happen to me. So I started crying out loud. He was upset and returned. Then the prince sent many people to me at once. Those people also asked me a lot but I kept on crying and I did not give any answer. They found many boards, masts etc. broken on the shore and understood that some ship had sunk and this girl had escaped from it and started coming ashore.
He went and told this to the prince. He himself came to me and started asking softly my condition. He also said that if you tell your condition then we will help you and I will take you to my mother who will keep you very lovingly. I told him the whole situation. Hearing my condition, tears came to him. He gave me patience in every way. Then he took me with him and handed it over to his mother. When I narrated my story to that old lady, she too felt very sad. She used to like me already, so she married me with her son.
But after reaching me here, my luck turned again. A neighboring king of that kingdom was his old enemy. The day I was supposed to have a honeymoon, he attacked on the same day.
His army was very large and in a few hours he trampled the city. He sent men to catch my husband and me but we had already escaped and reached the beach at night while hiding. A fisherman’s boat was tied there. We both opened it and started moving into the sea. After going some distance, the boat fell into a sea current. We had no idea where the boat was going. After two days we saw a ship coming towards us. We assumed it was a merchant ship. That’s why we called for help. But here again lies the deception. There were five or seven robbers on the ship. They came on our canoe carrying maces and tied us up and took us to their ship.
When they picked up my mask on the ship, they were all stunned because they had never seen such a beautiful woman. Then they started quarreling. Everyone wanted to be my master. Then the sword started running in them and all were killed except one very strong robber. The robber said, I will take you to Cairo and present it to a friend, he had asked me for a beautiful maidservant. But who is this man? Is your brother closed or lover? I told that this is my husband, then he said, then his sorrow should be removed, how long will your condition be seen by this. Having said this, he tied my husband and threw him into the sea.
I cried a lot and agreed to jump into the sea after my husband but the robber tied me to the mast and started sailing the ship. The wind was favourable. And in a few days our ship came to the shore of a small town. The robber bought several slaves and many camels there and set out on the land route to Cairo. When we were passing through this forest after traveling for many days, we saw that demon-like ninja coming towards us. At first we wondered how this tower is doing. When he reached near, he saw that there was a man.
The wicked came near and picked up his mace and said to the robber, Tie the hands of your men and tie yours too and follow me with this beauty. But the robber and his slaves fought with him and then all of them were killed. The male eater left only the corpse of the robber on a camel and made me sit on the camel and brought it to this fort. It’s just yesterday. In the evening he roasted and ate the corpse of the robber and told me the whole situation, how he used to bring men to eat and how he kept men in the cellar so that if some day new food is not available, then any of these Eat to fry He said, Your flesh will be soft too, but I will not kill you, but I will take pleasure in you. Today you are tired and sad, so I leave today, from tomorrow you will have to sleep on my bed. But it didn’t happen, today you killed it.
Khudadad said, don’t worry about anything now. These are the forty-nine princes from the kingdom of Haron, of whom you should be married with whomever you wish. She said, I want to marry my Savior. Others also supported him, and there, along with Khudadad, Daribar was given a princely marriage.
That day was spent in marriage ceremony and laughter, on the second day everyone went from there to wonder. After walking for the whole day, seeing a nice place in the evening, he made a halt for the night. Everyone drank a lot of wine after having dinner in the evening. In this gaiety, Khudadad said to his wife in front of all the people, till now I had hidden my reality from everyone. Now I will tell my true condition. I am also the brother of these forty-nine princes, that is, the son of the king of Haron. I am brought up by my cousin Prince Sumer. My mother’s name is Piroj. Now you should also be satisfied that you have married a prince, not an ordinary person. The princess of the court said, you must have hid yourself, but I knew from your gait and behavior that you must be a prince. The ordinary man does not have at all the things that are in you.
Khudadad’s half-brothers were apparently very pleased to hear this, but the fire of hatred started burning in their hearts. They secretly began to consult among themselves. They forgot that Khudadad had saved them from the mouth of death the day before. One of them said, considering it as a foreigner, our father has made him our guardian, when he knows that this is his son, he will obviously hand over the whole kingdom to him and we will be nowhere. So it’s good that we end it here. All the princes agreed on this. They entered Khudadad’s camp in the night and inflicted mace injuries on him, and when he became unconscious, he himself took all the camels and belongings and left for the night at night. Upon reaching the wonder, he allayed his father’s concern by saying that we kept on hunting for a long time. He completely hid the matter of his arrest at the hands of the Nebshi and liberation by Khudadad.
On the other hand, in the morning when the princess saw her condition in Khudadad’s camp and found the princes missing, she understood the whole thing and started mourning for her husband. After sometime, when his grief subsided, he looked at Khudadad in meditation. He also saw his breathing moving and found his body hot. She closed the camp and went to a nearby town and brought a Jarrah from there. But when he came back and saw Khudadad was not in his camp. He understood that in the meantime some bloody animal came and took him away. Now she started crying by beating her head. Jarrah was kind. He took her to the town, kept her in a house and appointed two maidservants to serve her, and sometimes he himself would go and inquire about her well being.
One day, seeing the princess sad, she said, “Sundari, if you tell your condition in some detail, then I should try to help you.” When the princess saw him experienced and sympathetic, she narrated the condition of herself and Khudadad. Jarrah knew the condition of Malika Piroz, who was again called to him by the king of Harran and knew that Khudadad was his son. Jarrah took two camels on rent and went with the princess to Harran and reached an inn and camped. On asking the innkeeper about the condition of the city, he said, “The emperor is very upset about the disappearance of his son Khudadad. His mother Piroj searched for him a lot but he is nowhere to be found. Remembering him, his parents and chieftains were all sad. Although the emperor has forty-nine more sons, but no one reaches Khudadad. It is indeed a pity that such a prince goes missing.
When Jarrah told this to the princess of the court, she agreed to go to the emperor and tell him the whole situation. Jarrah said, It is not right. There is danger in this. If any of the forty-nine princes came to know about you, they would get you killed before they could reach your king. It would be better if he himself somehow reaches Khudadad’s mother and when I tell her the whole situation, I will call you. Till then you stay here in the inn.
The princess accepted this. When Jarrah went to the city, he saw a beautiful lady coming on a camel in a big way. The equipment of that camel was very valuable and many slaves were walking behind that camel. On seeing the camel, the villagers would stand humbly on the side of the road and greet him. Jarrah also stood on one side and greeted him.
Then he asked a man who it was. He told that this is Khudadad’s mother, Malika Piroj. Hearing this, Jarrah followed him. The woman went to a mosque and offered namaz and donated a lot to the poor and beggars. The emperor had told him that you should donate a lot to the beggars to get the blessings of the return of Khudadad. Jarrah entered the crowd and told one of the servants that I wanted to talk to Malika. He said, Brother, at this time he is only concerned about Khudadad day and night. She doesn’t talk to anyone other than this subject. Jarrah said in the ear of the servant, I have to talk to him about this. Das said, It is good. But there can be no talk on the way, you walk with us to the palace and then I will try to get the conversation done.
After reaching the palace, Das told Malika Piroj that a foreigner wants to talk to you and says that it is for your benefit. Malika called Jarrah in front of her and kindly asked what was the matter. Jarrah kissed the earth and said that I want to tell a long story. Saying this he asked the Habshi about the release of the princes and the princess of Daribar and then the condition of his injured and missing.
Piroj fainted on hearing this. The maidens brought him to his senses by sprinkling rose and kewda water. Then he said to Jarrah that you go to the inn and give your daughter-in-law the blessings of the princess and the king. Saying this she sent off Jarrah and started crying remembering Khudadad herself.
After sometime the emperor came there and asked Malika the reason for her crying. Piroj narrated in detail what he had heard from Jarrah.
Hearing the shamelessness of the princes, the emperor got caught in the fire. He entered the court without saying anything. Seeing his red face, the whole court trembled. The emperor ordered the minister to take a thousand soldiers and capture the forty-nine princes and tie them in ropes and throw them among the bloody prisoners. The minister complied with this order in no time and came and gave this information to the emperor. The emperor announced that there would be no court for a month.
Then he came with the minister to the palace of Malika Piroj. After some brief consultation, he ordered the minister to go to a certain inn and bring here the court’s princess and Jarrah with respect. The minister took a decorated camel and a fine horse and went to the inn and rode a princess on the camel and Jarrah on the horse. On the way this ride came out with great pride and everyone came to know that the wife of Prince Khudadad is the princess of Daribar. Everyone was happy, they hoped that now the prince would also come to know. When the ride reached the gate of the palace, the emperor himself came to receive him. The princess got off the ride and kissed the feet of the emperor and the Malika. Then all three hugged and wept for a long time in remembrance of Khudadad.
When the condition of those people recovered, the princess of the court said that I hope that the people who have killed my innocent husband so mercilessly will be avenged for it. The king said, trust me, although he is my son, I will not leave him alive. After that he started saying, the body of his son Khudadad has not been found, yet I want to build a mausoleum to keep his memory. After this he ordered the minister. The minister took a place in the middle of the city and got a huge and beautiful mausoleum made of white marble built in it by skilled craftsmen. When the emperor got information that the tomb was ready, he fixed a day when all the people would go there to mourn and recite the Quran.
That day also arrived. All the residents of the city reached the tomb. The emperor also reached there with his courtiers and chieftains. A black velvet golden work sheet was lying on the tomb. The emperor and the amir sat on it. After some time a group of soldiers came. Its young men had their heads low and their eyes half closed. He circumambulated the grave twice and then stood in front of the tomb and said, “Rajputra, if by our strength and bravery you can survive, we will give you our lives and bring you back to life, but if God’s will is something else, then we will People are compelled. Saying this they left. Then came a gang of mahatmas who lived in huts and did not resemble anyone. Their leader was an old man who held a thick book on his head. He also went round the tomb three times and stood in front of the tomb and said, O prince, If, as a result of all our penances, you become alive again, then we will offer the fruits of your penances for this. After saying this, those people also left from where they had come.
After this came fifty most beautiful virgins, riding on white ponies and wearing lavish robes, with axes of gems on their heads. He also circumambulated the tomb several times. Then the youngest and most beautiful woman among them stood in front of the grave and said in a loud voice, Prince, we are your maidens. Our beauty is on you. If you get life in return for this, then we are here for it. Although we know that these things don’t work where you are. After saying this, the gang of beauties also left.
Then the emperor stood up with his courtiers and chieftains. All of them also circumambulated the tomb three times. Then the king said in a loud voice, O prince, where are you? In your separation, my eyes have started losing light. Saying this he wept bitterly. The people with him also started weeping and mourning. After sometime everyone returned to their respective places and the door of the tomb was closed. The emperor made it a rule that one day a week there should be similar mourning at the tomb of the prince.
Then the king ordered that his forty-nine wicked sons be put to death for the crime of killing innocent Khudadad. This news spread throughout the city. Hanging tickets were being prepared for them. But in the meantime an interruption appeared. An enemy who was defeated earlier by the emperor, marched on the kingdom with a large army. The emperor said regretfully that today God was spared, as well as he had prepared to run away in the event of defeat. The war had not even started when a large contingent of riders came from one side. Earlier, no one knew whether they were friends or enemies, but they came and attacked the enemy and drove him away.
The king of Harran was in great wonder as to where did this divine aid come from. He thanked God and asked his servants to go to the auxiliary army and ask who is his chieftain and from where he has come. When the brothers went and asked his soldiers, they said that our Sardar himself will go to meet the emperor. After the complete elimination of the enemies, when the emperor’s happiness knew no bounds, he was so overwhelmed that he could not even speak.
Khudadad said, Father, I am your son Khudadad, whom you all thought to be dead. May God keep me alive so that I can be of your help in today’s difficult times. The king said, son, I am more glad to meet you than victory. I had only given up hope that someday I would be able to see your face. After this both the father and son got down from their passengers and hugged each other. The king said, “I have already learned the story of your bravery, how you killed the Nebshi demon and rescued your brothers, but they betrayed you.” Now you go to your mother because she has dried up and become a thorn in your separation.
On the way, Khudadad asked, did my brothers tell you my condition? The king said, what do they tell the wicked? They are counting the clocks of death in the prison. All this was told to me by your wife, the princess of the court. He asked me to avenge your death from your brothers. Khudadad was very pleased to hear that his wife was also present here safely. When Khudadad reached the palace, his mother and his wife hugged him and wept for a long time. When the people came to know that Khudadad is alive and the winner of the last war, then festivals started in the whole city and dance-singing and sports-tamatas started taking place all over the city.
On the king’s request, Khudadad told his condition, when my brothers left in the night knowing me to be dead, in the morning a farmer came out from there. When he saw me unconscious and bloodied, he brought me to his village. He applied ground herbs to my wounds and healed me. Being healthy, I was thinking that I should come here. I heard that your old enemy is about to attack you. I gathered soldiers from many villages. They all agreed to give their lives to protect you. I formed his army and joined your service on occasion.
The emperor greatly praised Khudadad and ordered the minister to hang forty-nine sons. Khudadad said with folded hands, “Undoubtedly, from the point of view of justice, they should get this punishment.” But after all he is your son and my brother. I have forgiven their offense from the heart and request you also to forgive them. The king said that if you say then I forgive them. Khudadad called his brothers from the prison. He once again opened their shackles and embraced them as he had done in the palace of the Negro demon. Prominent citizens and feudal lords praised the enormity of Khudadad’s heart. The emperor declared Khudadad as the crown prince and the lord of the kingdom at the same time. He sent off Jarrah and Khudadad’s assistant farmer with great wealth and also rewarded the soldiers of Khuddad.
When Shehrzad finished this story, Duniyazad praised it a lot. Shehrzad said that I have another very interesting story of a sleeping man, if the emperor does not execute me, then I will tell this story too, because it is morning and the story can be told only tomorrow. The emperor gave permission to start a new story on the second day.