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The Story of Shay Murid and Hani

27 May

By: Longworth Dames

Murid and Chakar were both betrothed. They went out hunting and became very thirsty. Then Chakar said, ‘ Go to my betrothed and drink water with her, and I will go to yours.’ Chakar came to Murid’s betrothed, and Murid to Chakar’s. She gave him water to drink and he became very sick. When Chakar went to the other woman (Murid’s betrothed), she put straw into the cup and then gave him to drink, so that he was not sick. In the evening, when the people returned to their homes, both drank together, and Murid lost his senses from drunkenness.
Then Chakar said,
‘ Give me thy bride/ and Murid replied,
‘ She is thine.’ Then Chakar said,
‘ All the Rinds are
witnesses that Murid has given me his bride ; and he also
said, ‘To-morrow I will celebrate my marriage.’ When Chakur had been married Murid left that land, and his father searched over the whole country that he might behold him again. Chakar had then settled at Fatehpur, and Murid’s father had searched over the whole country
without finding him, and said :
Si sal hamodha gar khuthaun
Af gharoa dohithauri
Main sar syah-saren kirman jatha
Fatehpure khohl kilat
Suny bath sunya rawath
Nodhe mawarathi zare
Binge rawant ma bhana.
That is: Thirty years have I wasted there carrying waterpots on my head, so that black-headed worms have attacked my head. May the hill-fort of Fatehpur be deserted, may it lie waste. May rain-clouds never bring it wealth, may dogs howl in its cattle pens ! And since then rain never falls in Fatehpur ! [The verses given above are evidently part of another poem on the same subject, and resemble the curse with which this poem concludes.]

COMMENCEMENT OF BALLAD.

The Rinds held an assembly below Mir Chakar’s tent, and Mir Chakar said, ‘How many times was there lightning last night?’ No one gave any information. ‘Sardar, there was neither cloud nor storm. How can there be lightning, after the storm is over, on a fine winter’s night ?

Then said Murid the Mad :
‘ Let not my lord be angry, and I will tell thee the truth : If my manly body be not destroyed, I will give a true token. Last night it did lighten thrice. The third time it was but feeble, but twice it blazed out.’
Then said Chakar the Amir :
‘ Well done ! son of Mubarak, with thy unworthy stones about Chakar’s moonfaced lady/ Then Mubarak pulled off his shoe and hit Murid on the head, saying, ‘ Leave off, Murid, thy evil deeds and shameful works with Chakar’s moon-faced lady. Chakar is not a man of bad reputation. At his call a thousand armed Rinds ride forth on sturdy horses.’ Then said Murid the Mad :
‘ Oh, my excellent father, he is but Chakar, and I am a shaikh. I too am not a man of bad reputation. He rides out with a thousand horsemen, and I with my own companions. It were well he had not seen my fair one, the par! ; the palace-shaker, with bare head in her narrow hut, the maiden of towns and camps, Hani of the seamless garments. For she belongs to me, who am ready to answer for her, though I wander and am lost, and have but a Kuran with me. I am not in chains and fetters, nor are my hands confined in iron manacles. I flee at the disgrace of the blacksmith’s touch. When the breath of the south wind blows I am, as it were, a madman. Bring no forge for me, no mulla with many documents. There is no plague among my cattle. I will not become either mulla or munshl, nor will I say many prayers. And, with hands joined and head bent, I swear that on account of that blow from Mubarak’s shoe I will cut off my hair, and will at once depart and go to a far land. I will lay down my noble weapons, put off my rustling clothes from my body, and I give them to Mir Mando, Hani’s royal father. Fair Hani will keep them white from the moisture of storms and clouds. My carpet I give to ‘All, my crossbow to Isa. And I leave my horses tied up, tethered inside my hut, I leave them to Mir Chakar. Myself I will go with a cubit of cloth for a waist cloth. I am a mendicant and beggar, and go with those men, the naked brotherhood; I will go as a pilgrim to salute the blessed shrine of the prophet. Thirty years will I pass thus, thirty years and part of a year, and one day I will return and come to a camp of the Rinds/ The Rinds had set up a mark below Mir Chakar’s tent. ‘ Now let the faqlr shoot arrows at the mark.’ When he drew the bow the wood snapped.
The Rinds then guessed and perceived that it was Murid of the embroidered garments, the lord of the iron-bow: ‘ Bring Murid’s bow-string.’ They brought his iron-bow to him ; he kissed it and laid it on his eyes ; the unstrung bow he strung. With the first arrow he hit the mark, with the second arrow he hit the notch of the first Then the Rinds knew him that he was certainly Murid of the embroidered clothes, the lord of the iron-bow. Then they placed Hani and sweet-scented Murid in a house. Murid, as mad as a mast camel, bit Hani on the cheek and her two soft lips.
Then said Murid the Mad :
‘ Hani, as long as I had need of thee there was no kindness in thy heart of stone, thou wast with thy lover, Mir Chakar. Now the powder is spilt from the pan ; I am not in a fit state for thee. Do not separate me from my companions. From a seeing man do not make me blind.’ As soon as Murid had turned his back the Rind women began to lament, and Hani said to her companions : ‘I will put my sari around my neck and go twenty paces after him. It may be I shall turn Murid back from the naked brotherhood, and if I do not succeed I will get a token from his hand.’ Then Hani called after him. This was the answer of Murid : ‘ May Chakar the Amir be destroyed, may thy house be burnt with fire, may thieves carry off thy horses. (If I consent) may the token of my hand be destroyed, may my body be laden with the burden of sin.’

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