Jahangir’s Paradise

Eagam Khaling

“Agar Firdaws ba roy-i zamin ast,
Hamin ast-u hamin ast-u hamin ast”

A kingdom, and inside the kingdom, a village.
But in a remote village in Kashmir
A dead body returning and crossing
The international border
Dwells all around the village
Searching for a corpse
The whole night.

Jahangir, who was searching for heaven,
After his death, fears to investigate
The dead body, but he keeps reading
His own autobiography hiding inside a tomb.
Who knows, tomorrow, the dead body
Might be proclaimed either a martyr,
Or an anti-nationalist,
Or a terrorist!

The deviated spirits of the artisans
Who made the Taj Mahal
Keep waiting for Jahangir outside the tomb
that whole night.

Note: The fourth Mughal Emperor Nur-ud-din Mohammad Salim was known by his imperial name Jahangir (30/08/1569-07/11/1627). He is considered one of the greatest Indian Emperors and the fourth of the Grand Mughals in Indian historiography. Emperor Jahangir once said about Kashmir, “If there is Paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this.”