Sadiqullah Khan


“Hanuz Dehli dur ast”


“Delhi is yet far away”

Do not panic,
Bring wine in the cup.

Let the evening be celebrated,
Tambourines and rebeck.
Let the rout be dissolved,
Let victory take its course.

The news is that;
“Neem Delai ye leet ka, neem kanjraey gadawee”
“Half the Delhi is looted, and the other half watching dances”

Whoever takes the reign,
The fate is predestined.
Let the King take head of the saint,
Or be taken himself.

Do not panic,
Bring wine in the cup.

Sadiqullah Khan
Peshawar
February 1,2013.

“Hanuz Dehli dur ast” was the reply of the fourteenth century Sufi saint, Nizamuddin Auliya to King Muhammad Tughlaq who had wowed to deal with the saint on his return to Delhi. The King died on the way before reaching Delhi. It has also been used by the later Kings and rulers of Delhi. When Muhammad Shah was informed that Nadir Shah of Iran was only forty miles from Delhi, he is said to have said, “Hanuz Dehli dur ast”.

In early 19th-century Delhi, one of the sights of the town was the afternoon parade of the British Resident – or ambassador – and his 13 Indian wives, each travelling on the back of her own elephant. According to legend, each evening Sir David Ochterlony would leave the British residency and take his household around the Mughal Red Fort for their airing, before heading back for dinner: By William Darlymple.

Submitted: Saturday, April 13, 2013
Edited: Sunday, May 25, 2014

Topic of this poem: love and art


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