Thursday, September 5, 2013

breaking and making


shud sang-e astanaye din har buti ki bud
kafir biya u sajdah kun in astanah ra

ruzi ki gul zi bagh bagharat barad khizan
bulbul ba bad dih sabad-e ashiyanah ra


Transmuted into a shrine's threshold
is every idol of the past
Infidel, come and bow before it

The day autumn plunders
the rose from garden,
Nightingale, give up
your nest to the storm

~ lines from a Ghazal by Ghani Kashmiri (d.1669), a 17th century Persian poet who lived in Kashmir during the time of Aurangzeb.*


Bibin karamat-i-butkhanah-i' mara ay shaykh
 Ki chun kharab shawad khanah-i' Khuda gardad

Look at the miracle of my idol-house, o Sheikh
That when it was ruined, it became the house of God!**

~ lines of Chandrabhan 'Brahman' quoted by Nek Rai.

In time of Akbar, Bir Singh Dev Bundela killed Abu'l Fazal near Gwalior at the behest of Prince Salim. In return Bundela got Adul Fazl's property in Mathura on which he built a temple. In time of Aurangzeb, Husain Ali Khan, the faujdar of Mathura tore down this temple on the order of Aurangzeb. A local poet Nek Rai, in sadness, quoted lines these attributing them to Chandrabhan Brahman.

Chandrabhan 'Brahman' (1582-1661), was son of Dharam Das of Lahore (a mansabdar, at the court of Akbar). He was a disciple of 'Abdulhaklm Saialkoti'. In Shah Jahan's court (1626–56) he was employed as a private secretary of Prince Dara. He later went on to serve Aurangzeb too. His muslim friends thought of him as a muslim. His son was Khwaja Tej Bhan.

In 'Bahar-e-gulshan-e-Kashmir', an anthological two volume, more than 1000 page work containing verses by hundreds of Kashmiri Pandit poets and brief biographical notes, commissioned by Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru in 1931-31, Chandrabhan 'Brahman' is given as a Kashmiri Pandit.

-0-

* Ghani's lines found in 'The Captured Gazelle: The Poems of Ghani Kashmiri'. Tahir Ghani Translated by Mufti Mudasir Farooqi and Nusrat Bazaz.

** Chandrabhan's lines given in 'Writing the Mughal World: Studies on Culture and Politics' By Muzaffar Alam, Sanjay Subrahmanyam.


1 comment:

  1. According to Pandit Anand Mohan Zutshi Gulzar Dehalvi, Munshi Chandra Bhan Birahman was the first one to create an (urdu) ghazal from matla to makta (first sher to the last) and present in front of Shahjahan.

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