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Mehboob Ki Mehndi
The early producer directors of Hindi Cinema knew well that Indian Muslims were more obsessed with theatre and films. The tickets of picture halls were very cheap in those days.

That was the time in Bollywood when Muslim social, musical drama were popular and everyone loved them. It is now long dead and truly buried. Gone are the displays of heroes dolled up in sherwanis and leading ladies in shararas and ghararas.

The language of cinema was Urdu. It is still the same but they want to name it different. There was the ambience that overflowed with Lucknawi, Hyderabadi and Bhopali tehzib (culture); Aligarh was the name of aristocracy. There was a surfeit of ghazals, geets, songs, lilting lyrics all in romantic Urdu with beautiful meanings and expressions, and of course endearing music. A qawwali or mushaira was very common for silver screen. It is now changed with the flood of jaundiced blinkered pseudo-nationalism. Now the pictures are made that no one recalls or remebers once you are out of Mall.

Art is the other form of love and films symbolize romance.

Years ago, I'd read somewhere and put a note in my diary – "The philosophical discussion regarding love logically begins with questions concerning its nature. This implies that love has a "nature," a proposition that some may oppose arguing that love is conceptually irrational, in the sense that it cannot be described in rational or meaningful propositions………….love may be an ejection of emotions that defy rational examination."

However, Love and Romance have inspired Kings, Princes, Paupers, Tillers, Writers and Poets for generations since time immemorial. I've met several disciplinarians and misanthropes who feign ignorance about this Oasis of life's desert.

My conviction is that they might have had no chance to meet someone or their efforts were unproductive, unrequitted. Love knows no boundaries. But love is complicated also; love is capable of eliciting strong emotions from elation to sacrifice; from sacrifice to heartbreak. True, love relationships go through ups and downs - from that initial, intoxicating "honeymoon" phase to a sense of disappointment; from Everest to Bay of Bengal and ultimately from dream to acceptance of real. It is a challenging journey through all these phases. For a weak romantic brat it is a chamber of darkness; for a practical realist it is a lesson of life that always offers a healthy reward in terms of experience, in success and fiascos. It makes the life rich.

My readers must be wondering why I have jumped from politics to quandary of love. Well, right now I'm visiting the city of Hyderabad – a city that was founded upon thrills of romance.

History bears witness that for some strange reasons almost all love legends have a tragic end. In fact, Salim-Anarkali, Romeo-Juliet, Laila-Majnu, Heer-Ranjha, Sohini-Mahiwal, Sassi-Pannun, Dhola-Maru, Saif-ul-Malook-o-Badi-uj-Jamaal – the list of unhappy lovers is inexhaustible. They were separated by dogged Kings, satraps, the cruel hands of society, scheming relatives, jealous rivals......difference of status, misunderstandings between coward aspirants and last but not the least – the plain simple divine design.

However, amidst such tears and tragedies, deceit and chicanery, Hyderabad is a story that makes you believe that this world isn't all that bad. The hero of my fascinating story is prince Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah and the name of his beloved queen was Bhagmati.

The city of Hyderabad was initially known as Bhaganagar. It was later renamed Hyderabad once Bhagmati was given the title Hyder Mahal. So, you don't need a handkerchief or a tissue once the story comes to an end. It is a truth of living history; it's a legend; it's a story of success.

It is said that the prince Quli Qutub Shah was passing through a village when he came across a very beautiful girl and fell head over heels in love with her. Luckily, the woman had also reciprocated the sentiments. They began to meet regularly but surreptitiously. The prince was unsure how the relationship would evolve. The girl was non-Muslim, not royalty. She was a dancer and a singer.

Her village was across the river. Once, the river was rising and the village was inundated. The prince urged his horse to jump into the raging torrent and made to the other shore and succeeded in rescuing her beloved. Luckily, the father of prince, King Mohammed Qutub Shah was no Akbar-e-Azam who had declared – "Hamara takht kisi raqqasah ki pazeb naheen jisey pighla kar Mughlon ka taj bana diya jaye." Our throne is not the anklet of a danseuse that would be wrought to make the crown of Mughals. The Bhamani king was only worried that the infantile displays of bravado of his son would cause unhappiness among the members of his court. But he also knew that he won't be able to stop his son from crossing the bridge. The benevolent king got a bridge built across the river. Good Heaven …he was better than most of the ideal father of all generations.

According to authentic history, the prince Quli Qutub Shah was born in 1565. He came to the throne after the death of his father in 1580 and ruled till 1611. This made him a contemporary of Akbar for the last 25 years of Akbar's 49 year rule, and a contemporary of Jahangir for the first 6 of 21 years of Jahangir's reign. Some say that at the time of his coronation, he prince was only fifteen, others insist he was 17.

Shortly after becoming king he married his lady love and built a new capital city that he named after his beloved, now his queen.

Happy ending …. No politics! I love you Hyderabad!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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