Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Zorawar's War Horses

A monument dedicated to
 General Zorawar Singh in Jammu

Zorawar kay ghoday dhoday
Kuch log ujhday
Kuch desh bhasay

My Great-Great-Great Grandfather was a man named Kamal Joo Razdan/Raina, a cashier in Zorawar's Army, posted at times in Gilgit. The family lore has it he even had a sword, a royal gift.

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Fragment from a painted scroll: Zorawar Singh's army marching through the mountains

A Buddhist Shrine: detail from a painted scroll. [In the bottom left corner can be seen Zorawar's Army, looking on]
From Kashmiri Painting by Karuna Goswamy, 1998.




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In Leh, we hear Ladakhi women singing the song of Zorawar Singh's wife:

I do not wish to eat bread received from the sinful northerners
I do not wish to drink water received from the sinful northerners
Amidst the inhabitants of this land I have no friends and relations...
When arriving at the Zoji-la-Pass, my fatherland can be seen...
Although I can see my fatherland, I shall not arrive there...

In Jammu, a wife of a soldier sings:

Tera miga ladga i manda, O gadda,
tera miga lagda i manda,
Eh Patwari migi khat rehyum liki dinda,
sau sau karnian Chanda.
Kehsi banai Rama
Jange di Chakri

I am sick of separation, my love,
I am sick of separation,
I entreat the Patwari again and again,
To write a letter for me, but he refuses,
So you leave the army and return home.
Why, O God Rama, have you created a permanent institution like the Army?


lines found in book, 'Jammu and Kashmir' by Somnath Dhar (1982) [link]

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Map of Kingdom of Kashmir from David McCormick's 'An artist in the Himalayas' (1895).

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