Story of Nooruddin and Paras Desh Ki Maid – Alif Laila
Before the next morning, Shahrzad began a new story, saying that in the past Basra was under Baghdad. Baghdad was ruled by Caliph Harun Rashid and he made his cousin Zubayni the governor of Basra. Zubayni had two ministers. The name of one was Khakaan and the other was Suekhakan. Khaqan was generous and forgiving and therefore very popular. Suekhakan was equally cruel and unjust and the people were angry with him. Suekhakan was also hostile to his colleague, Minister Khaqan.
One day Zubaini told Khaqan that I want a maid who is very beautiful and also skilled in singing and other arts. Even before Khaqan could speak, Suekhakan said, Such a maid will not come for less than ten thousand Ashrafi. Zubayni said with a tear in his eyes, do you think ten thousand ashrafis are a big thing for me? Saying this he got Khaqan ten thousand Ashrafis. Khaqan came home and called the brokers and told them that you should find a maidservant who is very beautiful and skilled in all the arts and sciences, no matter what the price. All the brokers started looking for the desired type of maidservant.
After a few days, a broker came to Khakan and said that a merchant has brought such a maid as you said. At the behest of Khakan, the broker brought the merchant along with the maidservant. When Khaqan came and inquired, he found the maid to be virtuous in every way and more beautiful than Zubeini’s expectation. When he asked the merchant its price, he said, Swami, this gem is priceless. But I will sell it to your hands for only ten thousand ashrafis. I have worked hard on its upbringing and education. It is well versed in singing, playing, literature, history and all other disciplines and is still intact. The minister counted ten thousand asharfis without saying anything.
The businessman said, Government, there is one more request. Take it to the prince after a week. The reason is that it is very tired from long distance travel and within a week, if you feed it well and bathe it with hot water twice, then its appearance will be such that even you will not be able to recognize it. Khakan accepted this. He handed over the said maid to his wife and said that feed it for a week and send it twice in a hot hammam, then I will present it in front of Zubayni. He also said to the maid, whose name was Husn Afroz, ‘Look, I have bought you for my master. You stay here comfortably but very smartly. Beware, you should not have contact with any man. Especially you beware of my young son Nooruddin. He comes to his mother several times a day. Husn Afroz told Khaqan, the government, You did a great job giving me this warning. Now be at ease. Nothing will happen against your orders.
Khaqan then went to the court. When Nooruddin came to his mother at lunch time, he saw a Kanchanvarni, Mrignayani, Gajagamini Shodashi sitting beside his mother. On seeing this image of beauty, his heart became restless for that maidservant. On asking her, her mother told that this maid, who has come from Paras country, has been bought by your father to serve the ruler of Basra, Zubayni. Despite this, Nuruddin could not take his mind off her and started thinking of such a trick so that the maid could be caught by him. Nooruddin was very handsome. That’s why Husn Afroz also started praying to God that such a thing should happen so that I can stay with this handsome young man instead of the prince.
From that day on, Nooruddin made it a rule that he would often come to his mother and talk to Husn Afroz eye-to-eye. Husn Afroz too, shielding the eyes of Khaqan’s wife, would look affectionately with Nuruddin and express the desire of his heart in a gesture. How long does this silent sight-exchange hide? Nooruddin’s mother understood his intention and said to him, dear son, now you have become young by the mercy of God. Now it is not appropriate for you to sit more among women. You have lunch and immediately go outside to Mardana. Nuruddin compulsively accepted this.
Two days later, Khaqan’s wife sent Husn Afroz to the hammam along with some maidservants. They bathed him with warm water and then put on new golden clothes. When she came to Khakan’s wife, the old lady could not recognize her and said, Daughter, who are you? where did you come from? She laughed and said, I am your maid Husn Afroz, I have come only after taking a bath. The maidservants that you sent with me were also saying that you have become so good after bathing that you are not recognized. Khaqan’s wife said, You are not really recognized. The maidservants did not say this in your favor. I couldn’t even recognize you. Well, tell me if there is still some hot water left in the hammam or you have spent it all. I too have not taken a bath for a long time and want to freshen up after taking a bath. Husn Afroz said, definitely take a bath. There is still hot water in the hammam.
Khaqan’s wife, before going to the hammam, appointed two maids to protect Husn Afroz and said that in the meantime, if Nuruddin comes and tries to go to Husn Afroz, then you should not allow him to do so. Saying this she went to the hammam and started bathing with excrement. Incidentally, Nuruddin came at that very moment. She saw that the mother would not leave the hammam till late, this is a good chance. He grabbed Husn Afroz’s hand and started taking her to a room. The slaves stopped him a lot but where was he going to believe? He pushed both the maidservants out of the palace and took Husn Afroz himself and went into the room and closed the door from inside. Husn Afroz himself was infatuated with her, both of them enjoyed a lot of love meeting.
The maids whom he had pushed out came weeping at the door of the hammam and started pleading with the name of the mistress. When Khaqan’s wife asked, both of them told the whole situation. She trembled with panic and came to her palace without taking a bath. In such a long time, Nuruddin had gone out of the palace after enjoying the pleasures.
Husn Afroz was surprised to see Khaqan’s wife beating her head. He asked, mistress, what has happened like this? Why are you so upset? What happened that you came without taking a bath? He gritted his teeth and said, ‘Fucking, you ask me what happened? You don’t know what happened? Didn’t I tell you that you were bought to serve the tongue? Then why did you allow Nooruddin to come to you? Husn Afroz said, mistress mother, What mistake have I made in this? It is true that the government told me that I was bought for the prince, but at this time your son told me that my father has given you to my service and will not send you to the prince of Basra. Now that I am theirs, why stop them? Then the truth is that ever since I saw him, my heart was eager to meet him. I myself wish that I should do service at his feet for the rest of my life and never see the face of Basra’s Hakim Zubayni.
Khaqan’s wife said, my heart will also be happy in this that you stay with Nuruddin. But the boy has lied. I am afraid that when the minister hears this, he will get him killed. Now what if I don’t cry? Just then the minister also came. He asked the wife the reason for crying.
The minister’s wife said, there is no use in hiding the truth. I had gone to take a bath in the hammam, meanwhile your only son spoiled this cauldron by saying that you had given it to him. Have you given her a maiden or not?
On hearing this, Khakan started beating his head and started shouting and shouting that this rogue boy has destroyed all of us. Spoiled the Akshat maid who was taken for Hakim Zubayni. All my reputation has been mixed in the soil. And it’s not just a matter of insult. If the prince knows this, then he will get me killed and that unfortunate person too. His wife said, Swami, what is the use of regretting what happened? I take off all my jewelry. If you sell them, you will get ten thousand Asharfis. You buy another maidservant from them and give it to the prince.
The minister said, do you think that I am crying for ten thousand Ashrafis or I cannot spend this amount myself? I am sorry that my reputation is in danger. Suekhakan will definitely tell the prince that the maidservant I had bought for the prince was given to his son. His wife said, Suekhakan is undoubtedly your enemy, but what does he know about the condition inside our house? Then even if someone chuckles, then you should tell the prince that I had definitely bought a maidservant for you, but it was known from her physical examination that she was not worthy of you. In this way the complaint of drought will have no effect. Here you again call the brokers and ask them to bring a new maidservant full of all virtues.
The minister was consoled by the wife’s persuasion. He was not so angry with Nuruddin but he could not forgive him either. Nooruddin would come to the palace at night hiding from his father and go out before his father woke up in the morning. Still, his mother was afraid and worried that if the minister saw Nuruddin, her anger would flare up again and he would definitely kill her. When she asked her husband about this one day, he said that if I find it, I will definitely kill him. The wife said, “Look, he is your only son.” Man always makes mistakes in his youth. It happened even more. The thing is that if he comes to know about the seriousness of his crime, then I will tell his trick. You grab him and take out the sword to kill him. Then I will rescue him with your pleasure. The minister liked this suggestion.
The next morning at the behest of his wife, the minister went to the door and caught Nuruddin and took out his sword and raised it to kill him. Then his wife came and grabbed his hand and said, if you want to kill him, then kill me first. Nooruddin also begged for his life and said that if you kill me for so many faults, then what will you answer to God in the doom? Throwing the sword, the minister said, you fall on your mother’s feet, not mine, I have left you at her behest. I also give you Husn Afroz, but beware, treat her as a married man, not a maid. And do not sell it under any circumstances.
After this Nuruddin happily lived with Husn Afroz and the minister was also pleased to see their mutual love and started living with contentment. In front of Zubayni, he told the same thing about the maidservant as his wife had said.
It is a year later. The minister took a long bath with hot water, but suddenly something like this happened that he came out. Due to sudden change from summer to winter, he became ill and his disease increased. Seeing his end time near, he said to Nooruddin, who used to stay with him regularly to take care of him, said, I have said that before and now I will say again to keep Husn Afroz with love and never sell it. After that he left the body.
Nuruddin cremated him with great pomp and mourned the father for forty days. Meanwhile, he did not allow any friend etc. to come near him. Then gradually his friends started coming to console him and within a few days there was an influx of friends to come. Nooruddin was young and inexperienced. His friends took undue advantage of this. He suggested Rasrang and Nuruddin started plundering money with both hands and his friends started filling their house with money. One day Husn Afroz explained to him, you have spent a lot on your bastard friends, now be alert and stop these wasteful expenses. Nooruddin laughed and said, what are you talking about? Did my father take it with him when he died and will I take it? Then why not use my wealth to enjoy life?
After two or four days his house-manager came to him and after opening the books of account and telling him the whole situation said to him, you have spent a lot in this short time. This waste of yours is not seen by your devoted servants. That’s why many of them have left work. If this continues, I will not be able to serve you for long. Either you stop your wastage or clear my account and send me away.
Nooruddin did not leave alle-talla even after the manager understood lakhs. His friends started robbing him more than before. Sometime someone would come and say, I have liked your garden and the house built in it very much. You have no shortage, you give it to me. And the foolish Nuruddin would write the garden and the house inside it in his name. Similarly, someone would praise his Arabian horse or a giant elephant and Nuruddin would have given it to him too. Within a few days, it became such a condition that he had nothing but the palace to live in.
Now his friends started scolding him. They did not come to him. Terrified of loneliness, if he had called someone, he would not have come and even if he did, he would have sat for a couple of minutes and left. Sometimes a friend would make excuses for his wife’s illness or something similar from home. Similarly, being surprised by the indifference of friends, he one day mentioned this to Husn Afroz. He said, dear, I had already said that all these men are selfish.
It was not even the indifference of friends. There was no income. Gradually household goods and slaves were sold. The salaried servants had already left. Now there is nothing to eat in the house. After fasting for two days, on the third day Husn Afroz said with tears in her eyes, dear, now there is no other way but to sell me in the market. And try your luck with what you get. Nooruddin said, it is impossible to sell you. But I hope from some friends, they will definitely help me during this time. Husn Afroz said, this is your thought. None of your friends was your well-wisher. Nooruddin said, it is not like that. Do you know how those people are? She kept quiet. Nooruddin got up early in the morning and went to a friend’s house to ask for some loan. On sounding at the door, a maid came out. Nooruddin told him his name. He said, you go inside and sit, I just report. After making him sit, the maid told her master that Nooruddin has come to meet you. The owner said angrily, why did you make him sit inside. Now go and tell him that the owner is not at home.
Nuruddin overheard this conversation. The maid came out and talked about the absence of the master in a ashamed voice. Nooruddin got up silently. He started thinking in his mind that this man turned out to be very evil. Till yesterday, he used to build bridges of my praise, lives in my own house and now he is not getting it from me. He went to another friend who was a little less rich than the first friend. The same thing happened to him there too. In this way, one by one, Nuruddin went to the houses of his ten friends, but no friend even spoke to him, far from giving help.
The poor man came home very hurt and broke down in front of his beloved. She said shedding tears, how lowly this world is. These same people used to take pride in straightening my shoes till yesterday and today it is the condition that no one wants to talk to me. My condition has become like a fruit tree. As long as it was laden with fruits, all the men used to roam around me, now no one even beats the pass.
Husn Afroz said, now you know this. I knew from their very beginning that they are all very selfish. That’s why I used to tell you not to accompany them.
Well now what to cry about the past, now it is to be thought what will happen next. Now even in the house there is no such thing which can be sold and you have already sold it as a slave. If you sell the house, where will we live? So do this to take me to the slaves’ market. You will remember that your father bought me for ten thousand ashrafis. Now I will not be worth that much, but I will definitely sell half of it. You trade with him and when you get money from the business, buy me again.
Nooruddin cried and said, “Firstly, I want you more than my life, then I have promised my father that I will not sell you under any circumstances.” Husn Afroz said, dear, you are right. I also love you more than my life. But according to our religion, the promise can also be broken in case of calamity. What else can you do in a calamity like that is upon you.
Now Nooruddin was compelled to take Husn Afroz and went to the market. Calling the old broker, he said, it has been many years since you had sold a maid of Persia for ten thousand ashrafis at the hands of my father. Now I want to sell it. You look for buyer for that. The broker obeyed him and locked Husn Afroz in a house and locked him outside, like the sellers do with the slaves and slaves. Then he went to the merchants who bought the slaves. Those traders had bought slaves of many countries and Greece, France, Africa etc.
The broker said to them, you have taken slaves of country and country, but I will show you such a maid of Persia, in front of whom no one will stand. You must have heard the saying of the scholars that not everything round is a betel nut, not every flat thing is a fig, not every red thing is meat and not every white thing is an egg. Similarly, what this maid is, cannot be any other maidservant.
Going with the broker, the traders saw Husn Afroz. They started saying that there is no doubt that we have not seen such a beautiful and intelligent maid anywhere else, but we will all buy it together and put four thousand asharfi on it, it is not within our control to give more than this. Saying this he stood outside the house. The broker also came to him to bargain after closing the house. Meanwhile, the wicked minister Suekhakan’s ride came out from there. He asked how was this crowd. The broker said that all of them have come to take a maidservant and they are costing four thousand asharfi. Suekhakan said, I want a good maid too. You show me that maid.
The broker took the Wazir to the house and showed it to Husn Afroz. The Wazir said that I will give four thousand Asharfi for this, if anyone else puts more than this, then take it. But at the same time, he told all the traders with a hint that beware not to over-price it, so they stood silently. The broker said, I will go and tell its owner that you have charged four thousand ashrafis for it. If it is ready to sell at this price, then you can undoubtedly take it to your home by paying the price.
After this the broker came to Nooruddin and said, I am sorry that your maid is being sold at less than reasonable price. When I showed it to the merchants, they agreed to pay four thousand asharfi for it. I was worried that I should wait for some more time, maybe someone will be ready to give him five six thousand. At the same time the ride of Wazir Suekhakan was leaving. Seeing the crowd, he asked what was the matter. Upon learning that a good maidservant was being sold, he wanted to see her and on seeing her imposed four thousand asharfis.
Along with this, other traders were also indicated not to charge more than this. Now tell me, what do you say?
Nooruddin said, Suekhakan is an old enemy of our family. I absolutely do not agree to sell my dear maidservant to him at any cost. The broker said, by the way, he can charge her a little more and I will be forced to sell the maid to her. But if you really don’t want to sell it at any price then there is only one trick. If I start giving her in the hand of the vizier, then you come at the same time and slap the maid on the face, drag her towards you and say that I got angry with this maid on one thing and I had made a promise That I will make your deal standing in the market. The deal was done and my promise was fulfilled. Now I do not want to sell it and will not sell it at any cost. Nuruddin happily accepted the broker’s request and secretly followed him to the slave market.
When the broker started giving the hand of the maid to Suekhakan, then Nuruddin came in the middle. Holding Husn Afroz’s other hand, he pulled her towards him and hitting her face lightly with two slaps said, where are you going? It was because of your insolence and disobeying that I told you to sell it. You are now sold. You go straight home. Saying this, Nooruddin dragged him towards his house. Suekhakan was stunned for some time because of this sudden incident because he did not even know that the maid was the property of Nuruddin. Then he got burnt in anger because of the insult and ran a horse and caught Nuruddin on the way.
He tried to beat Nuruddin with a whip but Nuruddin was already smart. He saved the whip and grabbed Suekhakan’s hand and pulled him down from the horse. Now there was a fight between the two. Wazir was old and Nooruddin was young. He picked up the wazir and threw him on the ground several times and rubbed it a lot. All the people in the market stood to watch the spectacle. Since everyone was angry with Suekhakan, everyone silently watched his plight and no one helped Suekhakan. Even when the servants of the vizier went to save them, the people present there stopped them saying, you guys do not fall between these two. You do not know that this young man is also a minister-son, the son of the late minister Khaqan. So they also stopped in fear.
Nuruddin ruined the old Wazir. Blood came out from his body in many places and all his clothes and all parts of his body were stained with blood and mud and he fell to one side feeling breathless. Nooruddin Husn took Afroz and went to his house. Suekhakan took the same clothes and body stained with blood and mud and went to the prince Zubayni. He was surprised to see the vizier in such a condition and he said, who killed you? Suekhakan folded his hands and said, “Government, Nuruddin, son of old minister Khaqan, has done this plight to me. When Zubayni wanted a detailed description, Suekhakan said –
When I came out of the market today, I saw a crowd at one place. On enquiry, it came to know that a maid was being sold. I also needed a maidservant to do my homework, so I stayed too. On seeing the maid, I found her suitable for your service, so I made a deal with her for four thousand ashrafi. In this Nuruddin came and said that I will not sell my maidservant to your hands. I explained a lot to her that I am not buying this maid for myself but for the prince, but she did not listen to me. Told you good or bad and took me to the maid after beating me.
Sarkar, you will remember that three or four years ago you had given ten thousand Asharfis to Khaqan to buy a maidservant of all virtues. He bought this maid with this money and gave it to his son. Since then that maid is with him. After the death of his father, Nooruddin spent all his wealth in luxury. Now he has nothing except his own house and this maid. Tired of hunger, he was selling his maidservant, but because of his enmity with me, he did this to me.’
Hakim Zubayni remembered the old thing and was filled with anger. He sent off the vizier Suekhakan and ordered one of his chieftains to take forty soldiers, tie Nuruddin and his maidservant here, and dig his house and level the ground. This Sardar was more obliged than Nuruddin’s father. He hid himself and reached his house and told him the order of the prince and said, take these forty ashrafis. That’s all I have at the moment. You immediately take the maid and run away somewhere else you will lose your life. I also run, if someone sees me here and tells the prince, then I will also be killed.
Saying this the Sardar went away hiding in the same way. Here Nuruddin went and told all this to Husn Afroz and taking him, he reached the back wall of the house and ran to the bank of the river. Coincidentally, at the same time a small ship was lifting anchor on its way to Baghdad. As soon as Nuruddin and the maid boarded, the ship lifted anchor and headed for Baghdad.
On the other hand, after some time the same Sardar, bringing armed soldiers with him, started knocking on the door of Nuruddin with such anger as if he had actually come to arrest him. When the door did not open, he broke it down and went inside and ordered the soldiers to search the house and nab Nuruddin and his maidservant. The soldiers found neither any item nor any person in the house.
He asked the neighbors where Nooruddin was. Two or one of them knew that he had run away from the backyard, but everyone wanted him, so they said that we do not know at all where he has gone. When the Sardar went to the prince and told the whole situation, he said that get his house demolished and level it. And make a statement in the city that whoever captures Nuruddin will get a reward of one thousand ashrafis and if anyone gives shelter to him or his maidservant, he and his relatives will be put to death. That’s why it was done.
On the other hand, when Nuruddin’s ship reached Baghdad, the captain explained to the passengers that this city is wonderful, here in a moment the poor becomes rich and the rich poor, so foreigners here need to be careful. Well, after reaching Baghdad, the other merchants went to their respective places, Nuruddin rented five Asharfis to the captain and landed with Husn Afroz. The city was completely unfamiliar to him and he could not understand where to stay. After wandering for a long time, both of them reached a garden which was on the bank of the river and whose door was open. Here after washing hands and feet and drinking water in the pool of the garden for a long time, they sat in a hallway. Both of them were very tired so lay down and fell asleep while lying down.
This garden belonged to Caliph Harun Rashid. He used to come here for night walks. Candles were lit night and day in that garden. There was a huge bard in it, which was so high that the light on its roof could be seen throughout the city. There were eighty gates in that barahdari, whose doors were made of silver. The keeper of the garden was named Sheikh Ibrahim. No man could enter the garden without his permission. That day he left the garden door open for a while and went out. Then it took him a while.
When Shaikh Ibrahim came out in the evening, he saw that two men were sleeping with thin sheets on their faces in the hall near the pool. He got very angry and intended to lift the stick and beat both of them. Then it stopped thinking that maybe they are foreigners, it is not right to punish them without thinking. First ask them why and how they came here. He removed the sheets of both the faces and saw that there is a more beautiful woman and man than one. He woke Nuruddin by shaking his feet. He woke up and saw that a white-bearded old man was present, so he immediately got up, kissed his hand and greeted him with respect and said, Father, what is the order for me? The guard was impressed by his modesty and said, son, who are you? Where do you come from? Nooruddin said, we are foreigners. We don’t know anyone here. You please allow us to stay here overnight, we will leave as soon as it is morning.
Old and impressed. He said, you will have trouble sleeping here. you come with me. I will make you a place where you can sleep comfortably. From there you can also take a tour of this whole garden. Nooruddin asked, does this garden belong to you? He smiled and said, yes, this is my father’s property. Then he accommodated them in another comfortable building in the garden from which the whole garden was visible. He showed them other buildings there. Then Nuruddin placed two Asharfis in the hand of the guard and said that from this we should ask for luscious food for the people. The old man thought that it was good that I did not kill such a rich and cultured man. Even if I bring the best food from these ashrafis, I will still have a lot left. So he made them sit in the barahdari of the garden and went to fetch food. Here Nuruddin wanted to go upstairs and take a walk, but after going he saw that there was a lock in his life.
When the guard of the garden brought food, Nuruddin said that we want to go upstairs and see, can you show us? The policeman took out his clap and opened the lock. Both of them were very happy to go upstairs. Nooruddin said that you please allow us to sleep here.
He also said that you also have a meal with us and take rest here. The old man thought that today the Caliph is not going to come, if he had come, he would have sent the message by now. He also thought that the talk of such a generous man should not be avoided. So he not only agreed to give them a place, but he also served them food in inlaid vessels kept for the Caliph. When everyone had washed their hands after eating food, Nooruddin said, can I get something to drink?
The guard said, I can bring syrup, but the syrup is drunk before eating, not after. Nooruddin said, you are right, but I did not mean sharbat, I was referring to angoori wine. The garden-keeper said, Look, alcohol is forbidden in Islam. Then I have come to Hajj four times, can I drink alcohol, can’t touch it even with my hand. But I’ve never even seen alcohol. Nooruddin said, I will tell you a trick. A donkey is tied near the ditch of the garden. Bring him I will tie an Asharfi in a handkerchief and put it on his back. You drive him to the tavern and show the Ashrafi with a gesture to the owner of the tavern. He will understand and will take Asharfi and load the bottles of wine on the donkey. Then you bring the donkey here. Here we will take those characters. You won’t even need to touch the wine or ask for it with your mouth.
The old man didn’t see anything bad about it. He did what Nooruddin had said. When the donkey came back, Nooruddin took off the mats from the donkey and said to the old man, You have done us a great favor, now have a little more mercy. Bring some fruit to eat with two-three glasses and wine. The guard of the garden brought these things as well and after laying clean cloth on the ground, cut the fruits on it and put them in saucers and glasses too. After doing this, he sat some distance away so that these people would not ask me to drink alcohol.
When both of them got intoxicated after drinking alcohol, Nooruddin told Husn Afroz that how lucky we are that we have got to stay in such a beautiful place even in this completely unknown city. Then they both started singing. Hearing his song, the inspector was happy and some came closer and started listening to the song. Nooruddin said to him, Daroga sahib, you are a very good man. You too can join us in this joy. I will sing a song in praise of you. The inspector laughed and said, I am enjoying the joy of both of you, what more joy do you need. Saying this he sat away again.
Husn Afroz said to Nooruddin, if you ask, I should also give liquor to this old ritualist.
He said, if this happens, it will be a lot of fun. Husn Afroz said, you call him and give him a glass of wine from your hand. It is okay if he drinks it, otherwise you yourself drink that glass and lie on the cot and pretend to sleep. Then see how I get it on track. Nooruddin accepted this.
Nooruddin gave voice to the inspector and said, elderly man, it is not good that you sit in the living and let us enjoy the moonlight here. We will not force you to drink. You please come here and sit next to this beauty. The old man was happy to hear that he would get to sit next to such a beauty, but apparently came with a nose and eyebrows and Husn sat next to Afroz. When Nooruddin signaled, Husn Afroz started singing beautifully. At the end of the song, Nooruddin filled a glass and gave it to the inspector and said that if you are happy with the song and want to reward it, then drink this glass.
The old man said, I have already told you my helplessness. Otherwise why would you avoid talking to you? Nooruddin said, as you wish. Saying this he drank the glass himself. Now Husn Afroz cut an apple into two pieces and extended one piece to the old man and said, if you do not drink alcohol, then take fruit, religion does not stop from eating it. The old man took the apple with thanks and started eating it. Husn Afroz started singing again. Now the magic of Husn Afroz was starting to take over the old man. Nooruddin went to the bed and started pretending to sleep.
At the end of the song, Husn Afroz said to the old man in a voice of complaint, see what a bad habit he has. After drinking two glasses, he goes into the lap of sleep. I am left alone. Now please don’t leave me alone, come and sit near me. The old man was already engrossed in his hair, he sat beside him. Husn Afroz understood that now it can be made to drink. He drew a glass of wine towards her and said, “Look, you swear on my head, don’t deny it.” I take on my head the sin that will fall on you by drinking it. Saying this he put the glass to his mouth with a gesture. The old man drank it and ate the remaining half of the apple. When Husn Afroz extended the second glass, he drank without hesitation. After this, when he got intoxicated, he himself drank many glasses by filling it with his own hand. In the meantime, Nuruddin also got up from the bed and said with a smile, Big Miyan, you were very discreet, What happened now. The old man laughed and started saying, where is I drinking, this is what your soulmate forced me to drink. In the same way, they sat and drank liquor with laughter till midnight.
When the inspector got very intoxicated, Husn Afroz said that now the darkness looks scary, tell me to burn the shamadan (candle pot). The old man said, well, if you want this, then burn it, but burn only two or four. But Husn Afroz burnt all the cemeteries there.
The old man was intoxicated and also mesmerized by the beauty of Husn Afroz. Husn Afroz asked him, if you say then I should also burn the cemetery of life so that no one who comes and goes should suffer. The old man without understanding allowed this too. He was ready to accept everything Husn Afroz said at this time.
Khalifa Harun Rashid was engaged in the administration till late that day. In the middle of the night, he wished to go to the garden and get rid of his tiredness. When he looked from the palace, he saw a beam of light above the barahdari of the garden because Husn Afroz had burnt all the cemeteries. He said to his minister Jafar, I do not understand. I am here, who has got the light of this garden illuminated. Nothing came to Jafar’s understanding but he was a good man at heart. To save the inspector of the garden lied, the inspector of the garden had agreed and said that if it is fulfilled, then I will give a feast to my friends. He must have served a feast today.
The Caliph did not believe this, he himself dressed as an ordinary citizen and got Jafar and his chief bodyguard Masroor also dressed and took both of them secretly towards the garden. Going there and saw that the outer gate of the garden was open. He was furious at the carelessness of the inspector and started saying why this door is open? How would Jafar answer this? Then the Caliph made these people sit in the garden and climbed to live quietly and started watching the spectacle of the roof. He saw that an indescribable beauty was sitting with a very handsome young man and the superintendent was giving a glass of wine to the woman and said, O Paramasundari, I have not heard your song with all my heart. sing a song After that I will also sing you a song. But instead of listening to the woman’s song, he started singing himself. It was clear that he did not know how to sing, was just ranking.
The Caliph was surprised to see this. He thought that what had happened to this inspector, he was very virtuous. He got down stealthily and brought the minister Jafar along and showed him what was happening here. He said, Sarkar, I could not understand anything. The Caliph said, I will punish them all severely, but if this beauty sang well, I will forgive. They both started listening secretly. The old man said, sing such a thing that the soul becomes happy. Husn Afroz said, If there was a flute here, I would have recited that song that you too would remember. If you can, bring a flute.
The old man got up rejoicing and opened a cell and brought out the flute from it. Husn Afroz started playing the flute. The Caliph said to the minister, “This woman plays the flute very well. Because of this I forgave his guilt and because of that his partner too. But the old man’s actions are a matter of administration and it is your responsibility, so you will definitely be hanged. The minister said, God would have played that bad. Khalifa said, why are you talking about this?
The minister said, if this had happened, both of them would have been killed and there would have been happiness in dying with both of them. The Caliph laughed at this clever answer.
When Husn Afroz repeatedly took out the same melody from the flute and throat, the Khalifa was blown away. He was a good connoisseur of music. Fearing that he might lose his temper in life, he came down quietly with the minister and said, Brother, this woman is unique in both singing and playing. Our court singer is world famous in singing and playing, but in front of him he looks like a clumsy child. I want to go nearby and listen to its singing, but I do not understand how this thing can happen.
The minister said, you are absolutely right. If you go in front of those people, the inspector will recognize you even in these simple clothes and will die in fear. And both of them will also forget to play the song for the fear of you. After thinking something, the Caliph said, you sit in the garden with Masroor. I’m going out. Wait till I return.
As soon as the Caliph left the garden, he saw a fisherman coming from the river with four or five big fish. The caliph stopped him and said that sell me two good fish. The fisherman recognized the Caliph even in simple clothes and trembled with fear. The caliph said, do not be afraid. I will reward you well. But you put on my clothes and give me your clothes and go home quietly. He did exactly the same. Wearing his clothes, the Caliph came to the garden with two big fish.
Jafar and Masroor could not recognize him on seeing him in this guise. The minister understood that this fisherman had come untimely to ask for some reward. He shrugged and asked her to run away. At this the Caliph burst out laughing. Now when the minister looked carefully, he recognized him and started apologizing that such a mistake was made for not recognizing you. He said, when I could not recognize you in this garb, then what else would anyone recognize? Now you fearlessly go to the terrace of Barahdari and listen wholeheartedly to the song of that beauty.
The Caliph, disguised as a fisherman, went upstairs with two more fish and knocked on the door. The inspector asked, who is it? The Caliph saluted by opening the door, bowing down so as not to be recognized. Then he said, I am Karim the fisherman. I have heard that you have hosted your friends’ feasts. That’s why I have brought two very good fish at your service so that you can satisfy the guests to the fullest. The inspector did not recognize the intoxicated Khalifa at all and said, are you a fisherman or a thief? Do you roam like this at night? Well, come here and show me what you bring.
When Khalifa took the fish, Husn Afroz liked them. He told the inspector that if you get them roasted then it will be fun. The inspector ordered, Karim, immediately go to the kitchen and fry these fishes. Khalifa said, Very good government. After saying this, he came down and told Jafar and Masroor that these fish have to be cleaned and roasted. Jafar was well versed in culinary arts. So all the three chefs went to the kitchen and after finding oil, spices etc., cleaned the fish and roasted them well. He also cut some lemons and decorated them in plates with pieces of fish and carried them upstairs. The three of them tasted and ate the fish because Jafar had made very tasty fish. Husn Afroz said, Actually I had never eaten such delicious fish in my life. Nuruddin also liked fish. Then the praise of Husn Afroz further affected him. He took out the bag of ashrafis and gave it to the caliph who had become a fisherman and said, Look brother, I have given you everything that I had. I wish you had come to me earlier when I was actually in a position to reward. Then you will see how I reward when I am happy. Be content with what you got now.
When the Caliph opened the bag, he saw that there were twenty-four Ashrafis in it. He wondered who is this maniac who is putting twenty-four asharfis for the cooked fish. He said, Master, may God keep you skillfully and happily for ages and ages. I have never seen a philanthropist like you in all my life. Now if you don’t get angry then I have a request. I have seen your beautiful soulmate holding a flute. It seems that he is fond of playing the flute. I also love listening to music. If you allow me, I too sit for two minutes and watch their playing arts and then go back to my house giving blessings to you guys.
Nooruddin was in tune with generosity. He said to Husn Afroz, let’s hear this poor thing too. Where would you get to hear it singing? Husn Afroz was also very much intoxicated with alcohol, and she was also very happy after eating luscious fish. He thought I should show my best. He picked up the flute and simultaneously took out the same melody from the flute and the mouth with such skill that there was not even a difference of a vowel between the two. The Caliph greatly admired. Then he took out a very difficult melody on the empty flute.
The Caliph praised openly. He said, Master, I have never seen such a quality woman. He also has musical dexterity and nectar-like vocals. There will be no one like this in the world. You are blessed to have got such an indescribable beauty and such a beautiful soulmate.
It was the habit of Nuruddin that if anyone admired his thing very much, he would give it to him. Husn Afroz was his maidservant. He said, if you like this woman like that, then you can take it. I gave it to you You seem to have a penetrating music, you will appreciate it well.
Husn Afroz had a lot of trouble that instead of such a handsome owner, he would have to live with the fisherman. Nuruddin got up and started walking. Husn Afroz said full of tears, Master, keep on listening to my another song while walking. Nooruddin stopped. Husn Afroz secretly wiped away the tears and started singing a well composed song of separation, which meant that keep me with you, do not give it to the fisherman. Nooruddin understood his feeling, but he remained compelled to keep quiet, how could he say that I will not give it to the thing given.
The Caliph asked in surprise, is this woman your maidservant? When he found sympathy in his voice, Nooruddin started saying with a cold sigh, Karim, what are you surprised at this. If you listen to my full story then you will be really surprised. Saying this he narrated the whole story to him.
The caliph who became a fisherman said, where will you go now, what will you do? Nooruddin said, whatever God wills will happen. The Khalifa said, you don’t go anywhere, go back to Basra. I will write a small letter to the governor there. Give it to Zubeni. After this all your sorrows will go away.
Nooruddin chuckled and laughed. Said brother, is your mind okay? Where is the king and where is the rook. What will Zubaini pay attention to your letter? The Khalifa said, you do not know. Zubaini is my childhood friend. He has called many times to make me a minister, but I prefer to do parental business instead of taking his favour. Nooruddin agreed to receive the letter on this. The Caliph took pen and paper and wrote a letter like this:
I shall defeat the Khalifa, son of Mehndi, Rashid, ordering my cousin Zubayni, who is the ruler of Basra, that on seeing this letter, Nuruddin, the son of the minister Khaqan, in whose hands this letter is going, should make him the governor of Basra. And put him on the throne of governance. This command should not be violated even by the slightest. After writing this, the Caliph closed the letter and gave it to Jafar. He quietly put the seal of the Caliph on him. Then he gave the letter to Nooruddin.
Let it be known that at the same time when the Caliph had gone to roast fish, he had asked Masroor to bring me a royal dress from the palace. The dress had arrived. The Caliph had also said that you should wait on living and when I hit the door of life, you take the clothes with the soldiers and come to the roof.
Here the old inspector was watching all this in a state of intoxication. When Nooruddin went with the letter, Husn Afroz also went to the door of the living weeping behind him and then came back. The inspector said to the Caliph, Karim, you are a fisherman of one or two pennies. The value of your two fish is not more than two or four annas. In return you got so many asharfis and such beautiful and quality maidservants. You will not be able to digest all this alone. Give me half of these or else I will put you in big trouble. Khalifa said, I do not know whether there are Asharfis in the bag or anything else. Whatever happens, let’s split it in half. But you give up hope of getting a share in this maid. I got it and I will keep it. Now whether you are happy or unhappy in it.
The inspector was intoxicated, but he got so angry at the so-called fisherman that he threw a sugar saucer and hit the caliph on the head. The Caliph escaped injury by turning his head, and the saucer broke after hitting the wall. The officer was further enraged by this and took the light and went to a cell to bring wood from there and kill the fisherman. In the meantime, the Caliph hit the door of life. On this Masroor and four slaves came on the roof. There was also a small throne lying there. The Caliph, dressed in royal robes, sat on it and behind him stood the four slaves, and Jafar on one side and Masroor on the other. A small court was set up on the roof of Barhadari.
There the old man came with a thick stick and started looking for the fisherman. He did not see the fisherman, but the Caliph was seen sitting on the throne. He rubbed his eyes to see whether it was a dream or truth. After a few moments, the Caliph said, “Big Miyan, what’s the matter?” Why are you looking around in panic? Now the old man recognized that the Caliph had become the fisherman. He fell at her feet and began to apologize for his crime by rubbing his beard on the shoes of the caliph. The caliph said, you have not one but many crimes. They left the garden open, drank wine with strangers, shared what others got, and when they did not get it, they started beating. But I take care of your old age and the virtue of your whole life, so I forgive all your transgressions. But be smart in the future.
Now Husn Afroz understood that the owner of this garden is the Khalifa himself. He got great satisfaction from the fact that it was not given to any fisherman. The Caliph said to him, by now you must have known who I am. I have never seen a man with a bigger heart than Nooruddin in the world, who can give away his dearest thing only on praise. I have appointed him by letter as the ruler of Basra. When he finishes his work, I will send you to him too. Till then you will stay in my palace. Hearing this, Husn Afroz’s happiness knew no bounds. The caliph took him to the palace. The next day he handed over Husn Afroz to his queen Zubeida and said to take care of it, it is the wife of Nuruddin, the new prince of Basra, and to send it to her after a few days.
Here Nuruddin, sitting in a ship, which was leaving at the same time, reached Basra and without meeting any of his friends or acquaintances reached directly to Hakim Zubayni. He was adjudicating cases at that time. Nooruddin rushed to him fearlessly and said, Your old friend has given this letter to you. Zubayni, seeing the handwriting of the Caliph, kissed the letter and asked the minister Suekhaqan to read it. When the minister saw the letter, he lost his life. He came out on the pretext of reading the letter well in the light and ate the portion of the envelope bearing the seal of the Caliph with his teeth. Coming back to the court, he said that in this letter it has been written to make Nuruddin the ruler of Basra, but this letter appears to be fake. He said, Govt. It seems to me that Nooruddin has created this pretense to avenge his insult to me and you. He must have complained to the Khalifa about us, but the Khalifa is not a child who can be deceived. He would write as much as possible not to punish him or give him a job. How will he make such a foolish man the ruler of the shelter?
He also said that you hand over Nooruddin to me, I will search and find out the real facts. Why would Zubeini also give his position easily? He accepted Suekhakan’s point. Suekhakan brought Nuruddin to his house. He was thirsty for his life. Thus, he made Nuruddin be beaten up so much that he fell unconscious and was near to death. Then he locked it in a tight cell and put a tight guard on it and ordered that it should be given some bread crumbs and water only once a day, nothing more than that.
When Nuruddin regained consciousness, he was confined in a sealed, foul-smelling and cramped cell in which he could not even move. He did not even know what was written in the letter to Zubayni. He started weeping and said, Wow, fishermen! I have given you my everything. Along with the Ashrafis, he also gave his beloved maidservant more than his life. And you have repaid this favor of mine in this way. God will never forgive you for your wickedness. How ignorant am I also that I have come to say that fisherman.
Suekhakan kept Nuruddin in such trouble for six days. He wanted that Nuruddin should die, but he was not having the courage to kill him in his house, he wanted to get him the death penalty from the prince. On the seventh day he loaded baskets of good things on the heads of the servants and presented them to Zubayni. He asked what is this, then Suekhakan said crookedly, the new governor of Basra has sent it to you so that you can make him the ruler of Basra instead. This made Zubayni very angry. He said, is he still alive? I thought you must have killed him. The minister said, I do not have the right to execute anyone. Zubayni said, I order that you take his neck off. fucking kidding me? Suekhakan said, Your order is on the head and eyes, but I want him to be killed in front of the general public,
Zubayni agreed. It was announced in the city that tomorrow Nooruddin, who had openly insulted the minister, would be beheaded at a certain place. Suekhakan, extremely humiliatingly, brought him to the slaughter-place on a blind, Bezin horse. Nuruddin said, old Khabis, you are making me innocent by lies and deceit humiliately killed. But remember that God never forgives a man who sheds innocent blood. Suekhakan gritted his teeth and said, Wicked, you are insulting me in this way in front of all the people? Well, what should be the punishment for this? You are going to get the biggest punishment.
Nuruddin was taken to a large ground adjacent to the palace where people were killed in front of the general public. The executioner said, I remember your father’s era. I am your servant but my duty at this time is to kill you. If you have any last wish, say so. Nooruddin said that I have to drink water. The executioner asked a man for water and Nuruddin started drinking.
Suekhakan started getting upset at the executioner that why is he delaying, why doesn’t he cut his neck immediately. The people who were present there started abusing the minister for his harshness but to no avail. The executioner saw that the minister was getting angry, so he took out the sword. He wanted to attack that Zubayni took out his head from the window of the palace and said, don’t kill it now. I see a large army is marching, first of all let us know what is the matter. Suekhakan wanted Nuruddin to be killed as soon as possible. He said, This dust has been raised by the arrival of those who are coming to see the spectacle of killing this sinner. You command the executioner to do his work immediately. Zubaini said, no, this is the army. Now the executioner kept holding his hand. Let me first find out who is coming.
What happened was that the Caliph had forgotten about him and Nuruddin by sending Husn Afroz to his wife. After two or four days he heard a sad song in his palace.
He wondered who was singing so sad. When asked, the servants told that it is the maid of Nuruddin whom you had given shelter, she is singing the song of separation in the separation of Nuruddin. Calling the minister Jafar and said, there should not be any delay in Nooruddin’s case. You yourself go with the army after taking my Sanad and order. If Suekhakan has conspired to have Nuruddin killed, you must have him killed immediately. If Nooruddin is alive, immediately bring him and Zubayni to me. I will get all orders written in this regard.
Fortunately for Nuruddin, Jafar arrived just when the executioner was about to kill Nuruddin. When his army came to the city, people greeted him with respect. Jafar reached Zubayni’s court. Zubaini got down from his throne in his honor and came to the door to welcome him. Jafar asked, what is the condition of Nooruddin? Didn’t kill him? If he is alive then bring him in front of me immediately. Nuruddin was brought tied up in the same way. Jafar untie his rope and showing the order of the Caliph got Suekhakan tied in the same rope.
Jafar stayed there that day. The next day, Nuruddin, taking Zubayni and Suekhaqan in captivity, headed towards Baghdad. On reaching there he and Zubayni told the whole story to the Caliph. The Caliph said, Nuruddin, God’s grace is on you infinitely. If it had been a while to reach Jafar, you would have been killed. Now kill this old enemy of yours with your own hands.
Nuruddin kissed the land in front of the Caliph and said, Sarkar, there is no doubt that this is my old enemy, but it is such a great sinner that I do not want to paint my hands with its blood. You forgive me about this. Khalifa smiled and said, you are really a very cultured man. Don’t kill it if you don’t want to. Saying this he gestured to the executioner and the executioner immediately severed Suekhakan’s head from his torso. On the matter of making Nuruddin the ruler of Basra, he said, “Government, you are very kind, but I do not want to go to that wretched city.” Allow me to be at your feet.
The Caliph accepted his word. Giving him a big manor and a huge building, made him his courtier and gave it to Husn Afroz. The Caliph was also angry with Zubayni as to why he did not obey the first commandment. But Jafar recommended to him that it was this which stopped the killing of Nuruddin in the last moment. Therefore the Caliph gave his post back to him.
Duniyajad said, Sister, a wonderful story has been told. You know great stories. Don’t tell another story. Emperor Shahryar also supported Duniyazad’s talk with his silence and Shahzad started the next story.