Rani Roopmati and Baz Bahadur
And this is how the story goes…..
She was a singer and he a music lover…..He a Muslim Sultan and she a Hindu Rajput…..
The ancient walled city of Mandu in the heart of Malwa is where this love story began.
Roopmati —— Her sublime beauty, vivaciousness, her chastity, her voice, her words and her flair for poetry—and that made her famous…………
Baz Bahadur ——- He the last Sultan of Malwa who ruled from 1555 to 1562.
As Baz Bahadur is on a hunting trip he sees a beautiful girl on the banks of Narmada river and is mesmerised by her bewitching beauty and melodious voice. He persuades her to come with him to Mandu and live with him. Baz Bahadur’s palace in Mandu is an imposing structure of grandeur. Lost in her beauty he forgets the kingdom and drowns in love and music.
And their love story continues till1561 when Akbar sends his General Adham Khan to attack Mandu. Baz Bahadur runs away from the battlefield and Adham Khan wins the battle and makes Mandu his, for keeps. The desertion of Baz Bahadur leads to the arrest of the Queen of Mandu-Rani Roopmati.
But her love is such that before she surrenders to Adham Khan, she consumes poison and thus sacrifices her life for love — The love who turns out to be a coward and who not only deserts her but eventually joins Akbar’s army to save his life.
The story has been told many a times. They say it was first narrated and given a magical love story form in 1599 by Ahmad-ul-Umri Turkoman who wrote it in Persian. Then in 1926 L.M.Crump produced it in English and called it The Lady of the Lotus: Rupmati, Queen of Mandu, A Strange Tale of Faithfulness.
Bollywood brought it on screen in late 50s and we got to see “RANI ROOPMATI”, by S.N.Tripathi, enacted by Bharat Bhushan and Nirupa Roy. Some beautiful compositions made the story line even musical…
…Some of which I present here ——-
As they meet on the banks of the Narmada River for the first time….……………
The Queen of Mandu sings for her love.…………..
As he deserts her and she pines for him…………….
And so ‘continues’ the majestic love story of Baz Bahadar and Rani Roopmati.
In the history of Hindustan when the greatest love stories are mentioned, the tale of Rani Roopmati has ruled for centuries.