More on the case of Rudaki and Nasr II… and how it affected me too

A couple of days ago, I was telling you about the effect of ابوعبدالله جعفر ابن محمد رودکی …. I mean Abu Abdullah Jafar ibn Mohammad ibn Hakim ibn Abdurrahman ibn Adam Rudaki Samarghandi’s poem “Booye Jooye Moolian aayad hami” had on Samaanid Prince Nasr II ibn Ahmed. According to eyewitnesses, the Prince, midway through the recitiation, sprung up, and did his own rendition of one of the characters in “How They Brought The Good News From Ghent To Aix” (and if you haven’t heard of this immortal Browning poem, then I am shocked…singularly shocked).

Anyway, this is an English translation of Rudaki’s poem by A.J.Arberry

The Ju-yi Mulian we call to mind,
We long for those dear friends long left behind.
The sands of Oxus, toilsome though they be,
Beneath my feet were soft as silk to me.
Glad at the friend’s return, the Oxus deep
Up to our girths in laughing waves shall leap.
Long live Bukhara! Be thou of good cheer!
Joyous towards thee hasteth our Amir!
The moon’s the prince, Bukhara is the sky;
O Sky, the Moon shall light thee by and by!
Bukhara is the Mead, the Cypress he;
Receive at last, O Mead, thy Cypress tree!

But, if you want to experience the same effect as the Prince, then read it in the original.

Booye juye Mulian ayaad hami
Yaad-e-yaar-e-mehrbaan ayaad hami
Reg-e-Amu-o-darashtihay-e-aan
Zir-e-payam porniyan ayaad hami
Ab-e-jaihon az neshat-e-roye dost
Khang-e-maara ta mayan aayad hami
Ae Bukhara shad bash-o-shad zee
Mir zee to shadman ayaad hami
Mir mahast-e-Bukhara aseman
Mah sooye-aseman aayad hami
Mir sarvast-o-Bukhara bustan
Sarv sooye bustan ayaad hami

I dont know about any of you, but when I read it, the poem had the same effect on me and I straightaway went a booked a ticket for home. As I did the formalities, mera tassavur harkat mein aa gaya… I mean my imagination went into action and I could picture the scene in Herat one balmy night…. all is quiet and peaceful and the guards nod approvingly as old Rudaki tunes his musical instrument and begins reciting, while the nobles can barely conceal their impatience as they wait to see if their plan succeeds……

And it does….. and they might be surprised themselves at what transpires. One moment, Rudaki is reciting and THEN…. 

Nasr II, who was peacefully reclining, springs up and bootless, runs towards the stables as consternation spreads among all those not privy to the plan and even those behind it are taken aback. Meanwhile, disregarding the anxious questions of those who can keep up with him, the Prince reaches the stables where as per his command, a saddled steed is ready. He jumps up and in a flash, is riding hell for leather towards the direction of Bukhara as stupified courtiers and guards gape. A few quick-witted rapidly mount up and gallop behind the prince, while as the news spreads, many many more follow…..

What a sight it must have  been…….. I wish I had been there.

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