Nov 24, 2007

Upon death of Akbar

By: Prof. Yashwant Malaiya

Banarasidas (1586-1643) was the first poet in India towrite an autobiography "The Half Story". He wroteit when he was 55. He lived during the reign of Akbar,Jahangir and Shahjahan.

Banarasidas was a friend of the nawab of JaunpurChini Kilechkhan. He was also an occasional chesspartner of Padishah Shahjahan.

When Akbar died suddenly, there was terror because noone was in charge. The condition is described byBanarasidas:

ghar-ghar dar-dar kiye kapaaT,
haTavaanii nahi.n baithe haaT.

bhale vastra aru bhuushaNa bhale,
te sab gaaDhe dharatii tale.

ghar-ghar sabani visaahe shashhtra,
logan pahine moTe vastra.

u.nch niich kouu nahi.n pahichaan,
dhanii daridrii bhaye samaan.

[At all the houses, doors were kept closed,
merchants stopped sitting at the shops.

Nice clothes and ornaments were
all buried under the ground.

People started keeping their swords ready,
they started wearing coarse clothes.

You could not recognize the status of a person,
the rich and poor looked alike.]

In a few days, Jahangir took charge. People relaxed. The rich started to again dress infine clothes and jewelry.

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