|[PART ELEVEN] Humayun's
march to Qandahar, a problem with camels, Humayun's march to Khurasan,
life in Khurasan [[163-171]]
At length the Emperor went on board boats, with kinsfolk and family, army and the rest, and travelled for three days on the great river. At the frontier of Shah Husain Mirza's territory is a village called Nuasi. Here they halted, and his Majesty sent Sultan Quli, the head camel-driver, to fetch the camels. Sultan Quli brought a thousand, all of which his Majesty gave to his amirs, and soldiers, and others, ordering them to be apportioned.
The camels were such that one might say they had not known city, or load, or man for seven, or rather seventy, generations. As the horses were few, many people took camels to ride on, and what were left were assigned for the baggage. Every camel which was mounted, at once flung its rider to the ground, and took its way to the jungle. Every pack-camel, when it heard the sound of horses' feet, jumped and bounded and tossed off its load, and went off and away to the jungle. If a load was fixed so fast that, jump as it would, it could not get it off, it carried it away and ran with it into the jungle. This was the way the Emperor started for Qandahar. Some 200 camels must have gone off like this. []
In Khurasan his Majesty visited all the gardens and the flower-gardens, and the splendid buildings put up by Sultan Husain Mirza, and the grand structures of olden days.
There was hunting eight times while he was in Iraq, and each time trouble was taken for him also. Hamida-banu Begam used to enjoy the sight from a distance in either a camel or a horse litter. Shahzada Sultanam, the Shah's sister, used to ride on horseback, and take her stand behind her brother. His Majesty said (to Hamida-banu) "There was a woman riding behind the Shah at the hunt. She stood with her reins held by a white-bearded man. People told me it was Shahzada Sultanam, the Shah's sister." In short, the Shah showed the Emperor much hospitality and courtesy, and laid a charge (on his sister) to show motherly and sisterly hospitality and sympathy (to Hamida-banu Begam).
One day, when Shahzada Sultanam had entertained the begam, the Shah said to her: "When (next) you offer hospitality, let it be arranged outside the city." It was on a beautiful plain, rather more than four miles out, that they pitched tents and folding-tents and an audience-tent, and also set up chatr/1/ and taq./2/
In Khurasan and those parts they use enclosing screens, but they do not put them at the back. The Emperor set up an all-around screen after the Hindu fashion. Having pitched the tents, the Shah's people put coloured chicks [bamboo screens] all round. His kinswomen and his paternal aunt were there, and his sisters and the ladies of his haram, and the wives of the khans and sultans and amirs, about 1,000 women in all splendour and adornment.
That day Shahzada Sultanam asked Hamida-banu Begam: "Are such chatr and taq met with in Hindustan?" The begam answered: "They say two dang/3/ with respect to Khurasan, and four dang with respect to Hindustan. When a thing is found in two dang, it is clear it will be found better in four."
Shah Sultanam said also, in reply to her own paternal aunt, and in confirmation of the begam's words: "Aunt, it is strange that you ask, 'Where are two dang? Where are four dang?' It is clear anything would be found better and more wonderful (in four than in two)."
They passed the whole day very well in sociable festivity. At the time of eating, all the amirs' wives stood and served, and the Shah's ladies placed food before Shahzada Sultanam.
Moreover, they were hospitable with all sorts of stuffs, embroidered and others, to Hamida-banu Begam, as was incumbent and fitting. The Shah went on in advance and was in his Majesty's quarters till the prayer before sleep. When he heard that Hamida-banu Begam had arrived, he rose from the presence and went home. To such a height of pleasantness and kindness was he amiable! [[169-171]]
N O T E S
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