VII. What befell us in the Province of Sind.
Leaving on the first of Rebiul-Evvel we came, after a ten days' journey, to Parker/1/, a town of the Rajputs. Here we were surprised by the Infidels, but thanks to the letter of protection and a few presents, we were let free; quite anticipating further dangers, however, we were on our guard when next day a band of hostile Rajputs commenced a free fight with us. Immediately I ordered all the camels to be let down on their knees so as to form a ring round us, and then the firing began on all sides. The Infidels, not prepared for this, sent us word that "they had not come to fight, but to exact the passage money," to which I made reply: "We are not merchants and carry nothing but medicines and Mohurs/2/ on which we have already paid duty; but if there be anything further to pay we are quite prepared to do so." This had the desired effect; they let us pass, and for about ten days we wandered through deserts and sandy places, until we reached Wanga/3/, the frontier town of Sind. Here we hired fresh camels, and in five days we came to Djoona/4/ and Bagh-i-Feth. The throne of Sind was then occupied by Shah Husein Mirza. He had reigned for 40 years, but during the last 5 years he had become invalided and unable to mount his horse, so now he only went about on board his ship in the river Sihun/5/.
At that time Isa Terkhan, the commander of the capital of Sind, called Tata/6/, had put to death a number of able officers belonging to Shah Husein, after which he had captured the treasure, stored in the fortress of Nasrabad, and divided it amongst his men, and then proclaimed himself as Humayun Shah (It says literally that he had this title inserted in the Friday-prayers and ordered the Nakara/7/ to be played). Thereupon Shah Husein had nominated his adopted brother Sultan Mahmud as commander of the land troops, and he himself with 400 ships had set out against the rebels. Hearing of my arrival, he received me with great honor. It was then the beginning of the month of Rabia-al-Sani. He gave me festive apparel and conferred upon us the title of a God-sent army; he offered me, besides all this, the governorship of Bender-Lahuri or Duyuli-Sindi. Of course I refused this offer, but when I requested permission to continue my journey I was given to understand that I should not be allowed to do so until after the successful termination of the campaign. He also wrote a letter to our glorious Padishah, explaining matters; in a word, he did not rest until he had quite cleared us from being mixed up in this war with Isa Khan. The Mohammedans pleaded in vain that our arms could bring no evil upon them for, said they, "Are we not all of one nation, and are not many of our sons and brethren in the rebel army?" And this was perfectly true. I had an interview with Sheikh Abdul Vahab and received his blessing; I also visited the graves of the Sheikhs Djemali and Miri.
The campaign lasted a month, earthworks were thrown up and cannon raised thereon, but as Tata lies on an island and their shot did not reach so far, the fortress could not be taken. Nevertheless there was great loss of life on both sides. At last a compromise was decided upon. Mir Isa relinquished his adherence to Humayun Padishah, returned to his allegiance to Husein Mirza, and sent his son Mir Salih with presents of submission. On the other hand, Husein Mirza gave the remainder of the treasure, which Mir Isa had divided amongst his troops, to Mir Salih. Isa was reinstated in his former rank, and Mirza sent him a formal acceptance of his allegiance by the hand of the Vizier Molla Yari. He also sent him a Nakara by Tugbeghi, the chief standard-bearer, and released from prison the ten rebels from the tribes of Argun and Tarkhan/8/, which had sided with Mir Isa. Mir Isa, from his side, had sent back the wife of Husein Shah, called Hadji Begum, and in the first days of Djemadi-ul-evvel, Sultan Mahmud returned by land, and Shah Husein by water, to the city of Bakar. On the tenth day after his wife had rejoined him, Shah Husein died, and it was supposed that she had poisoned him.
Directly after his father's death, Sultan Mahmud divided the property in three parts. One part was for the wife of the deceased, and another part he sent to Mir Isa by a Khodja. The body was taken to Tata; he lent me one of his own ships, and providing himself with horses, camels, and other necessaries, returned by land to Bakar. While the body of Mirza, with his wife and an escort of 50 ships, was on its way to Tata, the soldiers attacked the remaining vessels and plundered them. The sailors took flight, and we, the passengers, were compelled to take command of the ships. Beset on all sides by the Djagatais (Central Asians), we relinquished our firearms, and barely escaped with our lives. At last, after struggling for ten days against the stream, we made our way to Nasirpur/9/. This town had been plundered by the Rajah, i.e., the Bey of the Rajputs.
We were greeted with the news that Mir Isa, with 10,000 valiant soldiers, was pursuing Sultan Mahmud, and that his son, Mir Salih, with 80 ships, was close behind us. This was very perplexing, but I decided at once to turn back. We prayed long together, and then started on our return to Tata.
Three days later we passed Mir Salih in the river. I went on board his ship with a few small presents, and he asked me where we were going. I said, "We are going to your father," whereupon he told me to go back with him. I said, "We have no sailors on board," so he gave me fifteen of his crew; and thus compelled to turn back, we had another weary ten days to get through. One day I chanced upon Mir Isa in a small town of Sind. Here I also found the former partisans of the late Mirza, who were tired of fighting and desired peace. Isa received me with great honor, forgave me the past, and allowed me to remain a few days, saying that he intended shortly to send his son Mir Salih to Humayun Padishah, and that I might as well travel under his escort, for, he added, "Sultan Mahmud will never allow thee to pass Bakar; he is a son of Ferrukh Mirza and wants to become Padishah."
This proposal, however, did not suit me, and I insisted upon continuing my journey forthwith, suggesting that he should give us back the ships lately taken from us, and also to send a messenger in advance, for with Allah's help he, Sultan Mahmud, would probably have to submit to the Padishah (Humayun), and thus peace be restored. Isa agreed to this, and gave me seven ships with their complement of sailors. He wrote to the Padishah to assure him of his unalterable loyalty, and so we went on our way. We were struck with the enormous size of the fish (Alligators?) sporting in the river, as also with the quantities of tigers on the banks. It was necessary to keep up a perpetual warfare with the people of Semtche and Matchi, through whose territory our course lay, and thus we reached Siyawan/10/, and shortly after we came to Bukkur by the way of Patri/11/ and Dible. Here I fell in with Sultan Mahmud and his Vizier Molla Yari. I offered a small gift to the former, who thereupon expressed his willingness to submit himself to Humayun, and also to make peace with Mir Isa.
I composed a Chronogram on the death of Husein Mirza and presented Sultan Mahmud with two gazels/12/, after which I requested permission to continue my journey. This was granted, but as the route past Kandahar was made unsafe by the inroads of Sultan Bahadur, a son of Sultan Haidar, the Ozbeg, and as the season of the Semum (hot winds) had now commenced, the Sultan offered to give me an escort by the way of Lahore, warning me to be on my guard against the Djats, a hostile tribe which had its abode there. But whichever route I chose I should have to wait a while yet, and as a matter of fact I waited for a whole month. One night in my dream I saw my mother, who told me that she had seen her highness Fatima in a dream, and had learned from her the glad news that I should soon be coming home, safe and sound.
When next morning I told this dream to my companions they were full of good courage. Sultan Mahmud, when he heard of it, at once consented to my departure. He gave me a beautiful horse, a team of camels, a large and a small tent, and money for the journey. He also provided me with a letter of recommendation to Humayun, and an escort of 250 mounted camel-drivers from Sind. Thus we departed about the middle of Shaaban, and reached the fortress of Mav in five days, traveling by the way of Sultanpoor/13/. As the Djats were very troublesome, we did not take the route of Djenghelistan (the forest), but preferred to go through the steppe. On the second day we came to the spring, but found no water, and many of my companions nearly succumbed with heat and thirst. I gave them some Teriak (opium), of the very best quality, and on the second day they were recovered. After this experience we deemed it advisable to leave the desert and to return to Mav, for the proverb says truly, "A stranger is an ignorant man." In the steppe we saw ants as large as sparrows.
Our escort from Sind was afraid of the wood, and I had to inspire my own people with fresh courage. I placed 10 gunners in front, 10 in the center, and 10 in the rear of our caravan, and thus, trusting in God's protection, we commenced the journey. The people from Sind also took courage after this, and went with us.
Thus after manifold dangers, we came after ten days to Utchi/14/, or Autchi, where I visited Sheikh Ibrahim and received his blessing. I also made a pilgrimage to the graves of the Sheikhs Djemali and Djelali. In the beginning of Ramazan we resumed our journey and came to the river Kara, or Kere/15/, which we crossed by means of a raft. The people of Sind gave us permission to proceed as far as the Machvara/16/, and this river was crossed by boats. On the other side we found 500 Djats awaiting us, but our firearms frightened them and they did not attack. We advanced unmolested, and reached the town of Multan on the fifteenth of Ramazan.
/1/ More correctly Parkar or Nagar-Parkar, the name of a district and a place in the Presidency of Bombay.
/2/ Muhre, a stone which, so says the legend, is found in the head of the serpent and the dragon, and possesses miraculous power. Many Dervishes carry one of these stones in their girdle, to trade upon the superstition of the ignorant people.
/3/ In the text, Wanka. As a town, Wanga is unknown to me, unless it be intended for Wanna, in the district of Cathiawar in the Presidency of Bombay.
/4/ More correctly Junaghar, the name of a Province and town in Cathiawar, Presidency of Bombay.
/5/ Sihun means the Indus.
/6/ Tatta (Thats or Nagar Thats) in the District of Caratchi.
/7/ xNakara, a band of music, was formerly considered in Central Asia as a sign of sovereignty.
/8/ Argun and Terkhan are two Turkish tribes in Central Asia, direct descendants of the Transoxanian warriors, which came with Baber to India.
/9/ Now Nasirabad, the name of several places in Sind.
/10/ Perhaps meant for Sehivan in Naushar on the Indus.
/11/ Patri, now a station on the railway line to Bombay, Baroda, and Central India; also the name of a small state belonging to Kathiawar.
/12/ Our author, according to the spirit of the age, was not only a brave warrior and sailor, but also a poet, using the East-Turkish Dialect (Djagatai). His muse has no special features, and with regard to his choice of words they betray a strong tendency towards the Osmanli dialect. It is nevertheless interesting to note in how short a time he mastered this dialect, and that more than 100 years after Baber, the Djagatai tongue maintained itself as the court- and book-language in India. In our translation we necessarily omit these poetic effusions, as irrelevant.
/13/ As there are several places called Sultanpoor and Mav, the stations here mentioned are difficult to identify on the map.
/14/ In Walker's large Map of India, called Utsch, a small place on the left bank of the Pandtjend, a tributary of the Indus.
/15/ On modern maps of India it is marked as Gharra, by which name the Sutlej is also known.
/16/ On the way from Utch to Multan there is a river called Trimba. But I have not anywhere come upon a river called Machvara.
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