"Z"oom in "E"very "R"oot of "O"rigin, you shall find a ZERO
Near a well in Karbala, Iraq, in the dense night, was a woman whining in pain. The atrocities of the world, jittered her to grieve her tears out in the well. Abandoned by whoever she knew, her only acquaintance was the child she was bearing. The mother was living through the 9th celestial planet, when finally pangs of cries started hustling around. The stars formed a zero over head in the infinite sky. The sand was swirling round and round. The zero well with zero water echoed with her last cries. The last cries of the Arab woman gave birth to the first cries of an alluring face. The cord connecting the woman and the child was somewhere connecting the little one with her fate.
A herd of camel riders crossing that dessert quarters found the baby after an hour she breathed her first. The incredulity of the hour was that a child was crying in the middle of a dessert beside a dead mother. The crown head of the camel riders descended the camel and carefully detached the child from the dead mother, using his small knife to cut the cord. The moment he freed the child and embraced her in his arms, he uttered, "Subhan-allah!, What a pretty face? She will grow out to be a fairy on earth. I name her as "Sharif-un-nissa". The followers of the crowned head repeated after him, "Subhan-allah, Sharif-un-nissa". They took her with them, cremating the body of her mother. Near an Oasis, was a great mansion at which a halt was made. The girl was still in the strong arms of the crown head. He entered his private residence and asked his wife to take care of the child, until he gets back. The head was supposed to go for a trade and had negotiations to make. His wife agreed to it and started feeding Sharif-un-nissa like her 7 other children.
Days passed by and so passed the months, Sharif-un-nissa started growing up. She had shinning skin, two beautiful brown eyes carved onto a winsome countenance, her brows dense as willows, lips greedy for dampness, cheekbones wrapped in pink tincture, neck slender and curved as long as necked water pot. Her body appeared to be a fine effigy of a fairy god. Such was her beauty, spread wide in the desserts and she was now addressed as Nadira Begum. All these days, the head of the quarter was missing. Trade negotiations used to take years during those times.
One fine day, when Nadira was around 16 years old, the crown head finally returned. The inhabitants of the quarter in the dessert were drinking to the return of the men. The head met Nadira and was knocked down completely by her beauty. He decided to trade her for riches in return. Decisions made by the heads were never defied by the inhabitants and so the lady of the head with damp eyes agreed to him. The next travel was planned a month later. Nadira was ornamented in most appealing manner on a sunny day for her departure. Finally the day had come and the caravan was ready, this time the trade was with a Britisher, William Finch. Journey was extensive and Nadira's tears were filling the craters of dunes, slowly evaporating in the heat of the dessert. Halts and the same atrocious faces were fragments of the journey for Nadira, fear had filled her heart entirely. In every mirage of the dessert, she imagined a fiend and not a friend. The dessert stretches were now left far behind and life was cruising on the ships of lucks. Nadiar's fate was already calling.
After a journey of two months, the caravan met the British trader and tourist, William Finch. The glitters of her beauty swept him off his feet and he smiled saying, "It's a pleasure to trade with you. Here are your bags full of gold. You can collect the bags and leave the lady behind". Two men guarding the head and Nadira, walked some 10 steps ahead, secured the gold bags and the entire fleet turned their backs on Nadira and William. Nadira turned back to bid them a good bye with tears welled up in her eyes. But none seemed to even jeer to her silent cries. The trader offered her to step on his horse back to which Nadira silently obeyed. The Britisher took her along on a tour. He used to feed her and dress her up with the most beautiful clothes. But Nadira would always think herself to be just a slave to him. Several attempts of his were ruined in the commotion of the language. They could never communicate their feelings to each other. Every time the trader spoke, Nadira interpreted it to be his scoffs and scolds. While, for the trader, she was just a speechless, incandescent effigy.
It was the 30th day with Nadira, when the trader finally decided to take her to some Indian states where he could get her some company. So he planned his rove to Lahore, undoubtedly with Nadira's dumb consent. It was 1608, when William traveled to Lahore for the first time that too with a beautiful lady. During those days Akbar was ruling the entire country. And so he hit upon the idea of presenting this beauty to the great emperor. "This would give her company and people of her kind", thought the trader. He presented the lady to the emperor on the occasion of his son, Salim's birthday. The trader instructed her to stay statue until the emperor acknowledges her beauty himself. As planned, the trader painted her into a statue and presented it to the emperor in his garden. Salim was mesmerized and blown up with the beauty of the statue, while the emperor, Akbar, quoted, "Her beauty can easily shy away any beauty of my kingdom. Who made this statue". In sheer respect, Nadira spoke, "I am just a slave and it's an honor to stand here in your garden as an effigy". Salim and Akbar both were startled at this and the emperor in excitement, named Nadira as "The Anarkali". He honored her with the crown of the most beautiful lady of the court and provided her the best of the facilities.
However, the arrows of love were exchanged between the beauty and the emperor heir without any assistance of the cupid. For days , appreciations behind the walls were bouncing. A single sight of the prince would bring all the blush of the world on Anarkali's face, while the prince would go lunatic to catch a glimpse of his beloved. Nipping in a bud, the love was boiling up. Slowly-Slowly, the court and the palace dwellers apprehended the love between the two. On any occasion, Anarkali would sing and dance in the name of the prince, Salim. On the other hand, Salim would everytime go gaga in her eyes on every performance. Love is something which can't be locked up in a opaque box. And, hence the day arrived when the emperor, Akbar, came to know about this.
Anarkali was arrested and chained, while the prince turned up against his father. The rampage started growing and so Anarkali decided to stay away from the prince. But the savor of love couldn't hold her back for long and she finally confessed in front of the emperor that she loves the future-crown prince. The fury burned up and Anarkali was demolished in the darkness of prisons. To avenge this, the love abducted prince, announced war against his father. Looking on the prince resentment, the ministers of the king advised him to free the chained girl and make the prince understand that he wasn't against their love.
The emperor visited the girl in the hallows of prison and threw an offer, "If you promise to stay away from Salim, I would spare your life and you can live where ever you want. Else, your love will fall prey of my animosity". Anarkali, with heavy heart cried loud, "Don't hurt the prince. I can do anything to protect him. If that is your condition, I am ready to do whatever you say". The war was about to begin, when the emperor sent a message to the prince stating Anarkali is free now, both of you can meet each other. Salim, rejoiced in his win against father in the battle of love.
But when he returned back to the palace, he couldn't find the golden beauty. It was told that Anarkali left him and evacuated the palace too. Salim refused to agree and searched for her relentlessly wherever he could. All in vain. The prince wasn't told that the emperor, Akbar, buried her alive in the wall.
It was when the message was sent to the prince, a cave which led to some outside world was opened for the guilty beauty. Anarkali was asked to step inside it and find her way out, while the way back to the palace were closed for her forever. Anarkali made that sacrifice for the only love of her life. She entered the cave and the opening was filled with concrete. With a dagger in her hand, Anarkali made a new journey to a new world, which was adventitious and full of dangers.
Leaving behind the most beautiful days of her life, Anarkali, Nadira and Sharif-un-nissa moved to an isolated island. Waters on every side of the vegetation on the small piece of land was the new house to her. Sky was her shelter, water was her mirror and the vegetation were her friends. She would sing all night, dance along with the animals in the praise of her love. She prepared a sculpture of her love in last years of her life and finally died early in her 20s longing for just one sight of her love. She happened to see a glimpse of her love in the well she created. So, she jumped into it and breathed her last.
The island where Anarkali took shelter is not yet known. But her songs of love can still be heard in those ripples of the waters and the humming of the birds.
Everything began with a zero and ended into a zero.