Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Umid Ali writes


Feelings of hazrat Babur after eating a slice of the melon delivered from the Homeland.

The melon cleaved tongue and soul too,

Nostalgia cut into slices – a sharp grief.

A sorrow became companion rather than happiness,

On the glorious way night and day

Every moment a soul flutters,

Every moment an embodiment misses.

In the moment the tongue seals,

“You became my dissatisfaction, Andijan!”

If a dove flies in the sky,

Or suddenly the wind blows,

Appears the spread of thoughts,

“Even if it is not from homeland…”

I became a king in Indian land,

O, but I still aspire to motherland!

I am alive however I will die a thousand times,

I have my sky, but I don’t have the sun, the moon. 

My soul is burned in the fire of a parting,

If only oppressiveness would stop.

A soul is expiring in the storm of a life, 

At the edge standing while pierced to my soul. 

--tr. Asror Allayarov, from "The Gate Opened by Angels"


1 comment:

  1. Ẓahīr-ud-Dīn Muḥammad (known as Babur, "Tiger") was the first Mughal emperor of India. He was directly descended through his father from Timur ("Tamurlane") and from Genghis Khan through his mother. Born in Andijan, Uzbekistan, he ascended the throne of Fergana in 1495 at the age of 11. Most territories around his kingdom were ruled by his own quarrelsome relatives, who were descendants of either Timur or Genghis Khan; for instance, Samarkand (350 km [220 mi] to his west) was ruled by his paternal cousin. In 1497 Babur took the city after a seven-month siege but only held it for 100 days: A rebellion in favor of his brother caused him to lose Fergana, and when he marched against the usurper, a rival prince seized control of Samarkand as well. In 1501 he was defeated by Samarkand's new ruler Muhammad Shaybani Khan (another descendant of Genghis Khan) and fled into the mountains with a small band and took refuge with hill tribes before joining hisuncle in Tashkent. Then in 1504 he conquered Kabul, which he ruled until 1526; the following year, due to the low revenue generated by his new mountain kingdom, he raided across the Khyber Pass into India before uniting with Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqarah of Herat, a distant relative, against Shaybani. However, Husayn Mirza died and his two sons abandoned the campaign; at their invitation, Babur visited the city, the cultural capital of the eastern Muslim world, for two months and, in particular, became acquainted with the work of the great Chagatai poet Mir Ali Shir Nava'i, the former schoolmate and advisor to Husayn. Soon thereafter, Shaybani took Herat, making Babur the only reigning Timurid ruler; as a result he assumed the grandiose title of "padshah." A mutiny forced him to flee Kabul, but he was able to regain control. Ismail I of Persian finally defeated Shaybani in 1510, sent parts of his dismembered body to various cities for display, and had his skull bleached and coated in gold and jewels, which he sent to Babur to use as a goblet. Babur and Ismail then co-operated to gain control over parts of central Asia; in 1513 Babur took Samarkand and Bokhara but lost both of the to the Uzbeks. His rule in Kabul then became relatively peaceful, and Babur behan pursuing his interests in literature, art, music, gardening, and, after he was 30 years old, alcohol laced with opium. Seeking to expand into Punjab, which used to be part of Timur's empire, he advanced to Chenab (in modern Pakistan) in 1519. His claims over northern India were stoutly rejected by Ibrahim Lodi, but in 1525, after a three-week campaign, Babur conquered Punjab then marched against Lodi. In April 1526 he defeated Lodi's 100,000 soldiers and 100 elephants at Panipat, then entered Delhi and Agra. Rana Sanga of Mewar, the leader of the Rajput Confederacy, marched against him but was defeated in March 1527 at Khanwa (in modern Uttar Pradesh). He quit drinking before the battle of Khanwa, and demanded that his court do the same, but he did not stop chewing narcotic preparations, writng, "Everyone regrets drinking and swears an oath (of abstinence); I swore the oath and regret that." Babur died at 47 in 1530 and was buried in Kabul.

    Though he considered himself to be a Timurid (a Turk), he is a national hero in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, where many of his poems have become popular folk songs, and the "Baburnama," written in Chagatai, is one of Asia's great autobiographies.

    "Hazrat" (from the Arabic "Hadrat" [Presence]) is an honorific title with charismatic denotations, comparable to Western phrases such as "Your Honor," "Your Majesty," or "His Holiness."


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