Friday, 26 September 2014

Roopmati -- Baz Bahadur ...... A forgotten love tale.

 *     Baz Bahadur, a music lover, was the last independent ruler of Mandu. Once out on hunting, he met Roopmati, a shepherdess frolicking and singing with her friends. Smitten by her enchanting beauty and melodious voice, he begged her to accompany him to Mandu. Roopmati agreed to accompany him on one condition that she would live in a palace from where she could see River Narmada, which she loved so much.  

 *     Baz Bahadur built Roopmati's palace to which water was supplied from the Rewa Kund, equipped with an aqueduct. Queen Roopmati's Pavilion was built as an army observation post. It served a more romantic purpose as Roopmati's retreat. From this picturesque pavilion perched on a hilltop, the queen could gaze at her paramour's palace, and also at the Narmada flowing by.  

*      Roopmati and Baz Bahadur fell in love with each other and got married according to Muslim and Hindu traditions. The Mughal emperor Akbar sent Adam Khan decided to invade Mandu. Baz Bahadur with his small army went to challenge him but was defeated. Roopmati poisoned herself to avoid capture. Thus ended, the magical love story steeped in music, poetry, romance, war and death.

*   Tale of Roopmati and Baz Bahadur has been immortalized by Ahmad-ul-Umri Turkoman, who wrote 26 poems in Persian. This manuscript later got translated into English by L.M. Crump under the title, The Lady of the Lotus: Rupmati, Queen of Mandu: A Strange Tale of Faithfulness in 1926.

*     It's one love tale that has remained forgotten in the land of its origin. It's surprising and sad that no Bollywood filmmaker never thought of telling this wonderful story on celluloid. Hopefully somebody someday does it. 
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