Anarkali (late 16th century)

a poem by rm shanmugam chettiar, India

The fictional tale of Anakali
And Salim has been adopted into arts,
Literature and cinema in India
From the late seventeenth century onwards.
The love story of Anarkali-Salim
Is the story every lover would know
And is invoked to refer to the love
For its intensity and purity. 1

Nar Ud Din Mohammad Salim to be known
By his imperial name as Jahangir,
The son of Akbar, Mughal emperor
During 16th century in India.
Anarkali, born as Sharif un-Nissa
And also known as Nadira Begum
Was a courtesan from Lahore region.
Anarkali means pomegranate blossom. 2

Anarkali was the renowned beauty
And the talented courtesan in dance.
Salim was the man of passion in art
And the man of sensitivity for women.
He fell in love with her for her beauty,
And discounted her birth as courtesan.
She knows that their romance was forbidden
In the eyes of Mughal Emperor Akbar. 3

Salim could not hold himself from her charm.
Anarkali could not hold him away.
The emperor could not digest the fact
That a prince was in love with a courtesan.
He sent words to her to stop the romance.
He threatened her with dire consequences.
The prince revolted against his father
But was defeated and sentenced to death. 4

Sensing the trend, Anarkali renounced
Her love to save her lover from the death.
Yet she was entombed alive for her love.
The love episode was in their teenage.
The heart broken Salim lived to be the king
In the year sixteen five and later married
Nur Jahan after seeing her widowhood.
Salim built a rich tomb for Anarkali. 5

The audacity to be in love
And the pain that is endured in the journey
Of it is special and relatable
To everyone who have ever loved someone.
The love that fears and has inhibitions
Is not love but it is lust and is a sin.
Love destroys the life and lovers are known
Only when they are dead, so be they dead. 6
June, 2020
Nice to see this well known romantic tale of Saleem (later known as Emperor Jehangir) and Anarkali, the court dancer in the court of Akbar. Thanks for sharing. I am short of words to appreciate your engrossing style of narrating the tale and further course of events. I quote:
The love that fears and has inhibitions / Is not love but it is and is a sin (it reminds me of Shakespeare's Sonnet- Love is not love which alters it when alteration finds) . Thanks.
Rajnish Manga PH

Charity gives nine fold-goodness^

In the Charity that you make,
You find love, joy and peace,
Feel patience, kindness and goodness
And get faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

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