The Dance of Death- A Retelling: Part I


A mild breeze flies in through the open balcony, ruffling the thin white sheets of curtain that hang down the long pure white walls. The sky is a decent gray, punctuated by clouds that keep rolling through the layers of the sky, pregnant with water but unable to deliver the rain. The sun behind them is too strong and intense to allow them run loose and share the blessings of the sky with the arid skin of the ground, which is lined with the thirst for water for several centuries.

Down below, overlooking the balcony of the large palace is a beautiful garden, dotted with flowers in a rainbow spiral of colors and greenery that adds freshness to the area. A man with a sober profile looks down upon his subjects, his achievements.

I am not really sure who he is. But I am sure I know him very well, as though I am familiar with every inch of his soul and being. However, in this very moment, I do not have even a slight inkling of who he is or what he looks like. Somewhere, in the background I know him to be the great Badshah of this Sultanate that is prospering with every sunrise and blooming with more productivity as the minutes tick by.

I have prior knowledge that this Badshah has stretched the horizon of his land from a small fertile place to a large land that feeds the bellies of all his subjects. All his people are rather happy with his arrival from the Central Asia. I don’t know how but I know that this Badshah has had to battle with some really difficult times that have pinched his soul and mark him to this day.

As I get closer to his profile, I see sorrow in his deep brown eyes. Those eyes, I know them somewhere…

An orange tang of the sun suddenly shows its presence behind my eyelids and I wake with a jolt. I can recognize those eyes anywhere. They penetrate my soul and my being and I know the details of the dark brown in his eyes that slightly rise at the edges and the way his eyelashes curl.

I am not aware when sleep cloaked me in its fold. Sleep has jittered away from my eyes and insomnia accompanies for most of the nights. It is a surprise that sleep came today and I could not praise the Lord while the sun sunk in the seas and a low crescent slice of a moon stitched into the fabric of the sky.

I had just offered the salah for the prayers when the sun starts its slow descent in the sky and somewhere between calling for His mercy and holding high hopes in His eternal powers, I slept on the prayer mat.

The dream is an unusual one but the sort I would like to see kiss the feet of reality, for it is the day, my heart aches to see. When my son, Humayun would take the hold of the land I have conquered and strengthen it into a mighty empire.