Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Dark Dusk Settles

Utter a word of truth
That goes against the king,
And behead yourself with
The sword of your own tongue.

Amir Khusrau was away from Delhi when Nizamuddin Auliya died. Pir sahib’s dying instructions to his followers were that Khusrau should not be allowed to come close to his grave, lest he break the ordinances of Allah and rise from beneath the earth to embrace his friend. So, a very tearful Khusrau was halted a few paces away from his pir sahib’s grave. He composed a memorable elegy:

Gori sovay sej pay, mukh par daray kes;
Chal Khusro ghar aapnay, saanjh bhaee chahu des.

(My beloved sleeps on her bed
Her black hair scattered over her head;
Come Khusrau for you it’s also time to go
Shades of twilight over the land have spread)

(The fair maiden rests on the bed (of roses), her face covered with a lock of hair; let us oh Khusro, return home now, the dark dusk settles in four corners of the world).

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