Story narrated by Jew Hakim – Alif Laila
The Jewish Hakim bowed before the emperor and kissed the ground and said that earlier I used to do Hakimi in the city of Damascus. I had earned a great reputation there because of my healing method. One day the ruler there told me that there is a patient in such a house, he cannot come here, go there and see him. When I went there I saw a very beautiful young man lying on the cot. In response to my greeting, he gestured that you are welcome here.
When I asked him to show his pulse, he extended his left hand. I understood that it is not known that the pulse is seen on the right hand, but I saw the pulse without arguing and prescribed the medicine. For nine days I kept going to see him. On the ninth day I said, you are completely healthy now, take a bath. The prince of Damascus rewarded me handsomely and made me head of the royal dispensary. The young man whom I had treated also started accepting me a lot. He said, ‘I will bathe under your supervision.’ So I went with him to the bathroom.
|Alif laila kahani 5 alif laila natak|
|Alif laila kahani 6 bangla alif laila|
|Alif laila kahani 7 alif laila ki kahani|
|Alif laila kahani 8 alif laila ki kahaniyan|
When I took off his clothes, I saw that his right hand was severed. He had fallen ill due to amputation of his hand and for this reason used to show his left hand. I was very sad to see that. Seeing the compassion in my eyes, he said, ‘You are in wonder and sorrow just seeing my right hand cut off. You will be surprised even more if you listen to my story. After bathing when I sit down to eat, I will tell you the whole story. But tell me whether visiting the garden at this time will harm me.’ I said, ‘By visiting the garden, you will only benefit, not harm. He said, well, I will tell you the whole story as I walk around the garden. Then he ordered his servants to prepare the food. And we both went to the garden. We made two or three rounds and then sat down on a carpet lying there and the young man started his story.
He said that I am from Mosil. I am a boy from a big family. My grandfather had ten sons, of whom my father was the eldest. I was the only son of my father and none of my uncles had any children. My father paid a lot of attention to my education and not only got me educated in every subject but also made me proficient in many arts.
One day I went to Friday prayers with my father and uncle. After namaz, all the namazis went to their respective work and my father and uncle started talking. My uncle said that no country is as beautiful as Egypt. He admired the land of Egypt and the river Nile flowing in it so much that my heart started wildly looking at that country. The same discussion happened at home as well. My father was also a big fan of the country of Egypt. My other uncles were saying that there is no place as beautiful as Baghdad but my father opposed his point and praised Egypt very much.
He said, ‘He who has not seen Egypt has not seen the glory of God. The land there spews gold, the residents there are very wealthy. Egyptian women are very beautiful and clever. There is no river like the Nile. Its water is very tasty and digestible and works like medicine for many diseases. She keeps the whole country green. The soil there is very soft and it does not take much labor to cultivate. The people there sing songs in Arabic in praise of the Nile, which means how long the Nile travels for you and it will be a matter of great regret if you leave it and settle elsewhere.’
After saying this my father said, ‘There is greenery in all the things in Egypt. A variety of delicious fruit trees and a variety of animals and birds live there. The population of the capital, Cairo, is very high. Many fresh water canals flow there and the residents are very skilled in art and skills. The palaces there are very big and gems. I have visited many cities and met hundreds of artists and scholars. Never seen a country like Egypt and people like its inhabitants anywhere.’
The young man said that after hearing so much praise of Egypt from his father’s mouth, my anger became very strong and started praying to God night and day to create such a situation that I would get an opportunity to see the country of Egypt. Hearing the praise of Egypt from my father’s mouth, my uncles said, We should also go and see the land of Egypt. He told my father that you also come with us. He accepted it. My uncles, who were all tradesmen, bought a variety of Desawar’s goods to travel and trade in Egypt. Night and day, there was talk of traveling to Egypt among them.
When I saw these preparations, I went to my father crying one day and said that I also want to go to Egypt with you guys. He said that you are young now, you will suffer a lot during the journey, you stay here. I felt very sad but I did not give up, went one by one to all the uncles to recommend my father to take me along. He told my father that if the boy wants so much, then take him with you. My father did not agree to take me to Egypt but agreed that he would take me to Damascus and send it back to Mosel when I moved from Damascus to Egypt. Damascus is also a very good city in terms of climate, water and beauty.
Although I wanted to see the land of Egypt, I was lucky that I would get to see Damascus. A few days later I went on a foreign trip with my father and uncles. We reached Damascus through several cities. I found this city to be very beautiful and I was very happy to see it. We stayed in an inn. For several days we kept on visiting the gardens and palaces there. In fact, it seemed to me that if there is any place after heaven, it is here.
My father and uncles did a good business there. I also got a profit of five per hundred on the goods sold for my share. This profit amount was given to me. I’ve got a lot of money. It was decided that when everyone was back from Egypt, they would take me with them and go to Mosel. I have spent my money very wisely and sparingly. Rented a small mansion for his stay. There was a beautiful marble mansion with beautiful paintings on its walls and a beautiful flower garden inside. I hired him for two ashrafis.
I decorated my residence sparingly but elegantly. Its owner was earlier a person named Abdurrahim from whom it was bought by its then owner. This man was a famous jeweler. According to my prestige, I also bought some slaves and maidservants and got acquainted with the honorable residents of the city. Sometimes they used to invite me to eat at their homes, sometimes I used to have their feast at my house. This means that in the absence of my father and uncles, I lived comfortably in the city of Damascus.
One day after having dinner, I was sitting in the outside part of my mansion. Just then a woman came who was adorned with very valuable clothes and jewellery. She asked, are you a cloth merchant, but before any answer could come out of my mouth, she went inside the house. I also got up and closed the door from inside and sat beside him in a hallway, I said that I definitely do business of clothes but sorry I do not have space at this time. He almost reversed the mask from his beautiful face and said, ‘Where have I come to get clothes? I have come to meet you. I want to stay here till morning. But I am hungry, feed me something.’ I asked my servants to bring food etc. They also brought fruits etc. along with the food. Which I also started eating to support this delight. We kept on talking like this till midnight, then we went to sleep together. In the morning I took out ten Asharfis and gave it to him, but he did not refuse to take them, but gave me ten Asharfis. When I said that I will not take your money, but will definitely give you Asharfis, she said, ‘I used to think of coming to you every day, but if you do not listen to me and stick to your words, then I will not come.’
This time I was forced to take Asharfis from her and she left. She came again in the evening and we danced throughout the night and the next morning she again gave me ten Asharfis and said that I will come again in the evening.
On the third night when both of us were in a drunken embrace, he asked me, ‘Dear, do you consider me beautiful or not?’ I said, ‘What are you talking about? Don’t you know my love for you? I consider you the best beauty in the world.’ She laughed and said, ‘This is nonsense. One of my friends is more beautiful than me. If you see him once, you will not even face me. She is younger than me and very soft. He too longs to see you. I will bring him here.’ I said, ‘I only want you. If you want, bring him but I will remain your lover.’
The woman said, ‘Stand firm on what you have said. I will test you by bringing him in front.’ Saying this the woman left. That day he gave me fifty ashrafias which I had to take. While leaving she started saying, ‘After two days I will come and bring a new guest and make good arrangements for food etc. for his request.’
On the day it was decided, I got the house cleaned, got the floor cleaned without sweeping and kept various types of fruits and food items ready in the house. In the evening both the women came. They took off the masks from their faces. In fact, from the first woman to the new woman, she was the first to know about everything. If the first was seen once, the second was visited again and again. Her beauty was so adorable that the eyes could not move away from her. I used to get impatient when his love fell on me. I expressed my gratitude to both the women for coming to my place. The new lady said that I should be grateful that you allowed me to come to your house.
I made both the women sit at the meal. I sat down in front of my new guest and kept looking at her. Even if she wanted to, she could neither look at me with full eyes nor could she laugh or speak. It was as if he was afraid of the first woman. Still, sometimes she used to look at me with a prying eye. When he saw that love was blooming in my eyes, he also started looking with the eyes of love.
All this was not hidden in the eyes of the first woman. She laughed and said, ‘Why are you watching this again and again. You had promised me that you would never lay eyes on anyone except me. So soon I forgot my promise. I laughed like him and said, ‘You doubtlessly doubt me. After all, you have kindly brought them here. How can I do that to look at them like that? If I do this, I will become an object of hatred for both of you.’
We kept on drinking for a long time and we got intoxicated. Drunk, I and the new woman looked at each other with eyes full of love and lust. Seeing this open love business, the first woman started burning with jealousy and malice. After sometime she stood up saying that I am coming now. Within a few moments, the color of the face of the woman sitting next to me changed and she looked like a dying person. I got up and took care of him so that he would not fall, but seeing him, he died in my arms. I panicked and called my servants to take care of it and call the woman who came with it. He said that she had left the house and went to such a street.
Now I know that all this is the handiwork of the same evil. She went away after dissolving poison in the last wine vessel of this poor man. I was taken aback by this sudden trouble. I trembled in fear that now only God knows what calamity will befall me. I thought that whatever has to happen, it will happen, first the dead body should be disposed of.
I told the servants to gently remove the marble floor of the room. When they did this, I dug a pit and buried the dead body in the same pit.
Then I took all the money with me and sent off the servants and locked the mansion and sealed the lock. Then the landlord went to the jeweler, gave him one year’s rent in advance and told him that I was going to Cairo out of necessity. Then I went to Kohira and met my uncles. He asked how did you come, then I said that there was no condition of you people, so I came. I lived in Cairo for a long time. But I could not see Cairo well enough that they started preparing to go back to Moselle. I hid from his eyes. He searched a lot but could not find me. Under compulsion went back without me.
After this I lived in Cairo for three years. Year after year, I used to send the rent to the jeweler of Damascus. Then I came back to Damascus. Here the trouble fell on me that it is not said. Coming here, asking the jeweler for the key, got the house opened and saw that all the things were intact. I hired some new servants and got the house cleaned by them. During the cleaning, a servant found a gold necklace in which ten huge pearls were studded. He brought her to me. I recognized that it was the same necklace that was lying around the neck of the new woman whose body I had buried.
I wrapped the necklace in a cloth and put it around my neck as a memory of him. Then I started living there but I didn’t feel like doing anything. As a result, all the money I had was gradually spent and I started living by selling household items. When everything was sold out, I thought there was no way but to sell this loosely minted necklace. But the pearls were in it in such a way that I had no idea of its value. Still, I was compelled to sell it and by selling it I took a big trouble.
When I went to the market with that necklace, my landlord went to the jeweler’s shop and said that I want to sell a necklace. He called a broker. I went with the broker and showed him the necklace. He said that I also do not know the value of such pearls, you sit in the same jeweler’s shop, I show this necklace to other jewelers and ask for its price.
I sat at my landlord’s shop. After some time the broker came and said that its price has been imposed two thousand asharfis but at this time no trader is willing to take it, there is only one trader who is ready to take it in fifty currencies. I said sell it at the price you get. But when the broker went to the jeweler to sell the necklace for fifty ashrafis, the jeweler caught him and took him to the kotwali and wrote a complaint that this man has brought a stolen necklace, that is why he is selling it so cheap.
The broker said that I am a broker, the seller is sitting at such a shop, he is ready to sell it for fifty ashrafi. The Kotwal called me to catch up. He asked that you are selling this necklace. When I said yes, he said that this is a stolen product, that’s why you are selling it cheap. On my refusal, he beat me so much that I thought my life would be lost. That’s why I panicked and said that it was theft. On this, the Kotwal cut off my right hand. He also deposited the necklace in the warehouse.
I came to my house falling down in pain. The servants ran away in fear of the police. I used to run my own business somehow. On the fourth day many policemen entered my house and took me away. He was accompanied by the landlord and the jeweler who had accused me of theft. They abused me a lot and said that this necklace belonged to the prince of the city, it was lost after three years, since that time the prince’s daughter is also missing. Saying this he tied me with a rope and presented me in front of the prince. At first I was terrified that this bigger problem would be in its lap. Then I thought that the prince would at most get me killed and that too is better than this life of suffering, poverty and shame. But the prince looked at me and said, ‘This man cannot be a thief. Whoever has accused it of theft should be killed. So the merchant was killed.
Now the governor ordered all the people present to leave, only me stopped. On being solitude, he said to me, ‘Son, now tell me the whole situation, how did you get this necklace. Make sure that even the smallest detail is not hidden from me. So I told completely how the first woman had brought the second to me and how he poisoned her and killed her. I also told where the dead body of the other woman was buried.
Hearing all this, the prince took a cold breath and said, ‘Everyone is compelled before the will of God. I also humbly accept everything that happened by his will. I am very sorry for the trouble I have caused you. Now you listen to me, how can I be hurt. Both of those women were my daughters. The one who went to you first was my elder daughter and later the one she took was his younger sister. I married my eldest daughter to my nephew who lived in Cairo. He died suddenly a few days later. My daughter lived in Cairo for many years even in the condition of widowhood and there she learned various kinds of misdeeds. Then she came here.’
‘The other daughter who was younger than him and who died in your arms was very intelligent and virtuous. I did not complain to him but his elder sister convinced him to become a vagabond too. When the younger one died, I asked the elder the other day where is your sister. She said with a cold sigh, I only know that yesterday she had left the house wearing a very valuable garment and had not come yet. I searched my daughter a lot but she was nowhere to be found. After some time the eldest daughter too, who used to cry day and night remembering her sins, fell ill and died.
Hearing this account, the prince said to me, ‘Son, both of us and you have been killed by misfortune. But now don’t worry about anything. I will marry you my third daughter, who is more beautiful and intelligent than my two sisters. You consider my house as your home. I will posthumously write a will to give you the inheritance of my property.’ I said that you owe me in every way, I consider you elderly and will do whatever you order. Hakim said then what is the need to delay. He immediately called the witnesses and got me married to his daughter through a Qazi without the pretentious raga-rang.
Apart from this, he also wrote papers to transfer his property in my name posthumously. You must have also seen how merciful the prince is to me.
Saying this the young man said that yesterday a man has come from Mosil with the letter of my uncles. It was written in the letter that your father has passed away and you come and take care of your share in the property. I got them written that I am well here by the grace of God but it is not possible for me to come to Mosel. I also got it written that I am happily giving the property from my father to you people. Saying this the young man said to me that now I have told you my whole situation, how my right hand kept going.
After hearing this tale, the Jewish ruler wished that he had heard this story from the mouth of the merchant of Mosil when I was in Damascus. As long as the prince of Damascus was alive, I was in his service. When he died, I did not feel well there. I went to Persia. After visiting many cities there, he came to India. From there he came to your capital and put a series of Hakimi here.
The king said, ‘Your story is more entertaining than the first two. But you should not expect that your lives will be saved because of that. The story of the hunchback is still more strange than the stories of you guys. If a better story is not told than that, then all four of you are sure to die.’ Now the tailor got up and bowed his head and said that listen to my story too, I am sure that you will be happy to hear it.