Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Last of the royal poets

Last of the royal poets
By Narendra Luther

Mohd. Quli’s successor, who was his nephew and son-in-law, Mohammed Qutb Shah (1611-1626) was his polar opposite. As against his philandering predecessor, he was a serious-minded person who observed all the injunctions of Islam scrupulously. When he started the construction of the Mecca mosque, he threw a challenge to any one to come forward and lay the foundation stone if he had not missed any one of the five daily prayers enjoined by his faith. When none came forward, he did so himself declaring that since the age of 12 he had not never missed any prayer.

In keeping with that austere outlook, he scrapped all the celebrations of festivals like Basant, Mrig, and even the Idd on the birthday of the Prophet. Naturally, the patronage of arts and letters too suffered.

He published the anthology of his father-in-law and wrote a poetic preface to it. In that he said:

‘Bajid ho ke ‘Zille Ilahi’ naval --- pade sheir ta paeen kar hiz sakal
Apas dil mein kar fikr sab ek rat—kiye khutba kah mustaid kulliyat
Jo alhaq sune koi gar yo zaban --to dur hal kain marhaba be takan’

(One night I resolved to compile the anthology
So people can enjoy the beauty of his(Quli’s) poetry
Having determined, I decided to write a preface to that
So whoever hears that language, will immediately hail it)

He was also a poet in Persian and sported the pen name of ‘Zillillah’ which means the ‘Shadow of God’, but his anthology has not been found.

Abdullah (1626-1672) succeeded his father Mohammed Qutb Shah at the age of 12. His period marked the decline of the dynasty. He was forced to sign a ‘Deed of Submission’ to the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in 1636. Aurangzeb also made his first foray into Golconda in 1656. This was averted due to the intervention of Abdulla’s mother, Hayat Bakshi Begum.

Abdullah was a hedonist and was considered the reincarnation of his grand father, Mohammed Quli. He loved life and indulged in revelries. He reintroduced all the festivals which wee suspended by his father. His accession was welcomed by all men of arts and letters. They emerged from their eclipse and rejoiced. Vajahi, the favourite of Mohd. Quli, rejoiced at his reinstatement and haile the new era as the ‘return of Mohd. Quli’. Similar sentiments were expressed by Ghawwasi and Maqeemwho, in’ Chander Bbadan aur Mahyar’ sang in ecstacy:

Dakhan ke Shahan dekh phir yun kahe Mohammad Quli phir ko aya ahe

‘Seeing the king of Deccan, it seems that Mohammad Quli has returned)

Vajahi even substtuted the name of the previous Sultan with that of the new one and presented the old eulogium to him!

Abdullah’s anthology is not available. Only 97 ghazals and a elegy is extant. According to Dr. Mohd. Ali Asar, a well-known scholar of Dakhni, thiryof these ghazals are repeated in the Ghawwasi’s anthology. It is therefore doubtful if the compositions can be attributed to Abdullah. In some of his poems there is the cadence of taranas .Note these:

Main ai lala,dikhi fala,hangam ala hai dhupkala
Hai matwala, tu pi pyala, ho khush hala, na kar chala

(My love! the time is auspicious; it is sunny
Get intoxicated, be merry, don’t demur)

Then as from a woman to her lover:

Nainan mere asman hon batan dekhe is lal ki
Ho chand is asman ka ko jagmagaga dekhna

Then she becomes more explicit:

Mere sej aa re mere rajna Do hatan mein le tu yo do jobana

(Come to my couch, my prince! Hold my breasts in your hands)

Tana Shah (1672-87) was the last Sultan of Golconda. He had a strange life. His life span of 76 years wa neatly divided into four parts of fourteen years each. He was a remote relatin of the Sultan and so stayed in the palace for the first 14 years of his life . Then he was expelled and spent next 14 years in the monastery of the Saint Shah Raju. He sprung a surprise on him and made him ruler. He remained the Sultan for fourteen years. In 1687 he was defeated and captured by Aurangazeb and spent the last 14 years of his life as a prisoner.

He was also a poet and his most famous poem is :

Again there is a poem in which like Amir Husro he has a duet full combination of Hindi and Persian. Note the following in first line in Hindi and the second line Persian
Maha dani, maha gyani, maha chatter, maha chani
Buland pala, buland danashiq, buland himath, buland aqther.

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