An Historical Romance by C.
The fictional story of
Satyavati derives from the many popular romances of
The speaker is Hushang ibn Dilawar, ruler of the small
Malwa in what is now Madhya Pradesh in north-central
came to the throne in AD 1406, inheriting the kingdom
from his father
who had declared himself independent of the Sultans of
Tamberlane's invasion of 1398. Hushang introduced a
policy of religious
toleration, encouraged sufis and Islamic clerics to
settle in the
kingdom, and employed many Rajput (Hindu) soldiers in
his army. Most of
Hushang's wars were with neighbouring sultanates, but he
is shown in
the poem as a typical Islamic ruler — dispensing justice
at the durbar,
maintaining a splendid court, and in extending the power
Hushang died in 1435, his ineffectual son was deposed a
year later, and
Malwa was then ruled by other noble families until
annexed by Akbar in
India has many poems telling
the love of Islamic rulers for Hindu princesses, most of
badly. Hushang's misfortunes stem from his character -
his distrust of
Satyavati's brother, whose death he engineers, his
Chatrapati's court, and his attack on the stronghold of
family at Ujjain. The Rajputs practised sati, and
Satyavati's death is
likewise inevitable: she dies by taking powdered
in pdf format.
PART ONE (Excerpt)
durbar's ended and the hours,
stiff and yellowed in this heat
calico or sun-browned wheat,
as supplicants — asleep.
I leave for prayer and soft
bodies as the years are shed
hot breath falters on my head.
And afterwards there's music,
midnight dew-pressed in the grass,
ripples in the fountains lingered
as the night winds pass.
India Oudh for evening,
Benares, shimmering white,
dusty as it is Mandu
its splendour for the night.
Hushang ibn Dilawar.
Sword of the Sultanate,
of the World and Faith,
not in all a poppy-weight
of what I would be were my fate
just relation to my state,
if the plucked sarangi spelt
syllables that choke the heart.
Wide are my realms — hot,
thick with cotton and
saffron, pomegranates, yellow
scented all of them
with pungent odours of the
smell of rodents and of oxen,
cool that every coppice yields
steeps of quietness and shade.