The Death of Doda

27 May

By: Longworth Dames

The good woman Samml came with her cows to Doda for protection. Ramen, a youth who dwelt near by, saw Samml’s cows ; the Children of Mlral (i.e. the Buledhls) raided them, and wickedly drove them away. In the first watch of the day the alarm was raised. Doda was lying asleep when his wise mother came and roused him, saying :’I bore you for nine months in my womb, and for three years I suckled you. Now, go forth in pursuit of the cattle, for who is so swift of foot as you ? and either collect and bring them back or bring destruction on your own head ! ‘ And his wife’s mothen with great dignity, said,’ Men who promise to give protection do not lie asleep in the day-time.’ Generous Doda arose, and thus spoke to his mareSurkhang, in excuse ‘The lady has brought you cold water on her head, and a relish of fat sheep’s tails; lentils in a broad dish she has given you, and for your heart’s content grain in a red nosebag, and water in a fine bucket. Now is the time of Doda’s need; I go forth through the craft of my foes. That day (for which I reared you) has come to-day, and somewhere we must overtake the cattle.’
In a place below two cliffs, where the water flows through the gorge close to Garmaf, Doda the Brave overtook them, and fell upon them, the young man, his mother’s beloved son. The Angel of Death brought him thither, him and Jam ‘Umar together, with Surkhl his mare of the light paces. A youth struck him from one side, and Doda fell from his mare’s saddle on to the plain, and together with Jam ‘Umar he died there, with red boots on his feet and glittering rings on his hands !

Balach son of Hasan sings: the Gorgezh Baloch
sings : the avenging Baloch sings.
Take away Blvaragh’s black-pointed sword ; how has he become as a foolish boy, and taken leave of his childish wits! He came and plundered the cattle which grazed in Doda’s charge on Mir Hamal’s sandy waste, leaving the owner enraged, the grey tiger in his wrath. For me and you, oh my enemies, such thefts were not to be carried out, picking out and counting the cattle! You saw Doda in his wrath when he came raging after you ; he was not in a pleasant place. You killed his mare, striking shoulder and hip-joint ; blood bubbled from her mouth. Doda followed on foot, wearing red boots on his feet ; your horsemen overtook and slew him. You slew my brethren, Rals, Chandram, Kawarl the bold ; you killed fiery Rals, and had no fear of what was to follow! Doda, thy lordly armour, thy harness and kingly weapons, thy feathered arrows the plunderers divided ; the makers of butter carried away thy helmet! The women in the camp were scattered ; they saw clearly what had happened. Tears of blood they shed on their shoulders and bodices which were wet with their grief. ye, who have slain this man, the Baloch women are left without their lord, and wander about outside. I see the bay mares running loose, roaming about turned out of their stalls ; I see the children naked, the women go to earn their bread in dreams, no lover comes to comb their hair and spread it out over their shoulders. My lordly body grows hot at the sight like a log of ^afar-wood 1,charcoal, like wax it melts and wastes away in its soft outer garment. I sit and fight with my heart, and my heart thus answers me : ‘Balach is a tiger, a hailstorm. That wealth which Blvaragh carried will never become fair clothes and raiment, nor will he be able to give away in presents much of that cloth and Khorasan coats. This is my Chief’s token : Doda’s gold-hilted sword and brave Rals’s tigressmare on Blvaragh’s bull-neck !

Balach sings: in reply to Blvaragh he sings.

The mountains are the Baloches’ forts, the peaks are better than an army ; the lofty heights are our comrades, the pathless gorges our friends. Our drink is from the flowing springs, our cup the leaf of the dwarf-palm, our bed the thorny brush, the ground we make our pillow. My white sandals are my steed, for my sons you may choose the arrows, for my sons-in-law the pointed dagger, for my brethren the broad shield, for my father the widewounding sword.
I and Nakhlfo went forth, yesterday evening we went down to the valley, and in a village we saw a bard, a cunning man in singing songs. We tarried awhile in the assembly and heard the bard sing a new song containing a taunt from Blvaragh.
Blvaragh ! Thy wits are in thy head, thou knowest that to flee is not for a Baloch. The blood of seven of mine is on thy head, and on the band of thy young brothers. The deaths of Summen and Doda are on thee, of Chandram and Kawari the bold, of Tota and sweet Murid, and of Rals the foremost in battle. Thou slewest them, and hadst thou no after-fear?
I have not made war like a jackal, but like a tiger have I burst through my foes. I have no bay mare worth a thousand rupees, nor any swollen army, but I swear on my head that every night I will burst forth like a storm-cloud in the Rains, I will come forth to fight when your young men are all sleeping in their huts in the arms of their fair ones, and your priceless mares are all tethered in their sheds.
Blvaragh ! Thou dost not speak as one of understanding when thou sayest in the assembly, ‘The death of Balach by God’s will will come one day through a trick of mine/ Blvaragh ! How many jugglers, such even as thou art, has Nakhlfo slain with his blade through God’s help, how many have we devoured with the edge of the sword ?

1, The Kahir (Prosopis spicigera) gives out great heat in burning.


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