Adam Khan and Durkhanai
Posted in by melma/melmuna on Wed, 2007-11-28 21:56
Supposedly taking place during Akbar the Mughal's rule, Adam Khan and Durkhanai's story is belived to bethe classic romance of Pashto. Kept alive through written and and oral tradition the story has been passedfrom generation to generation.To me the story means a lot more, not only because it took place in Swat, but because we are related toAdam Khan and his blood courses through our veins. There is a hujra in Barikot where young musicians goto break a twig off a yellow flowering shrub that supposedly Adam Khan had used to strum his rabab with allthose centuries ago.Adam Khan was from Kooza (lower) Bazdara and Durkhanai was from Upper Bazdara. Adam Khan the sonof Hasan Khan was a very handsome young man and by all accounts seems to have been a spoiled youngman who had nothing better to do than walk around his village with his friends.Durkhanai daughter of Taus Khan was an extra ordinarily beautiful young woman who was very intelligent toboot. Not having a son Taus Khan showed incredible open mindedness for his times when he indulged hisdaughter by providing her learned tutors who schooled her in all there was to learn. She did obey localcustom and culture by keeping strict purdah, not only would she be veiled but also took the step of sittingbehind a screen and having an elderly servant sit there to chaperon them at all times.A man named Payu Khan heard of the beauty of Durkhanai and her love for knowledge, he fell in love withher without ever seeing or meeting her. His love made him pale and he took to bed pining away for a womanhe could only fantasize about. His father on seeing him waste away worriedly inquired as to what ailed him.Payu Khan revealed the cause of his pale pallor and fast pulse. His father laughed at his predicament andtold him not to worry and that before the day was over he personally promised that Durkhanai would onlyand only be betrothed to Payu Khan.A formal proposal was sent to Taus Khan's house for the hand of Durkhanai. Payu Khan's family was of good stock and a positive reply was sent back. Thus Durkhanai found herself engaged to a man who thoughmadly in love with her she had not seen either. A date for the wedding was set in the near future.Durkhanai had an aunt in Upper Bazdara, whose daughter was getting married. Having spent many happydays together when they were children running around bare headed in the streets, it was natural thatDurkhanai would want to attend her wedding.Taus Khan refused to let her go on the grounds that she was now promised to another, and it would not beright. Durkhanai's aunt made enough of a fuss that she took Durkhanai with her when she left, the auntpromised that no harm would befall his precious daughter.At the wedding everyone was enchanted by the grace and beauty of Durkhanai and all remarked how luckyPayu was to have such an intelligent wife.That evening the women gathered near the outer wall of the house that was adjoined to the hujra. Thegrooms friends had gathered there and were singing couplets and ballads accompanied to the beautifultunes of the rabab. The rabab's melody touched Durkhanai's very soul and she found her self mesmerized.She felt her self drown in the music and uttered, “Oh how the music moves the very strings of my heart.” Her cousin laughed at her and said “Oh Durkhanai, you have to get a glimpse of this man, his name is AdamKhan and he is as handsome as he sounds.”The other women present there were as equally hypnotized and a small conspiracy formed that if they tookturns and helped each other up they would all get a glimpse of the legendary musician. The commotion theycaused did not go unnoticed and as they were taking turns not only Adam Khan, but the whole gatheringchanced to glance up as Durkhanai lifted her head over the wall.