It is almost impossible to say for sure when the story of prince Manohar and princess Madhumalti was told first and by whom. It may be safe to surmise that it is essentially a travelling tale that reached different people through folklorists. Supposedly, Sheikh Manjhan was the first to write this story in Hindi under the title of Madhumalti sometime in the mid-sixteenth century. During different periods of history, this story was written and re-written at least nine times in Persian and thirteen times in Urdu with different titles. The one written by Mohammad Nusrat Nusrati in 1657 is a memorable literary memento from the garden of love, so appropriately titled as Gulshan-e-Ishq.
Traced back to a canonical Sanskrit source—Saptashati—the stories of a parrot and a myna have reached larger sections of readers through Persian, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Rajasthani, Bangla, and Urdu languages in India and English, French, German, and Czech languages elsewhere. There are at least six retellings available in Persian and eight in Urdu. The one told in Urdu by Ghawwasi, a prominent poet supposed to be born during the reign of emperor Ibrahim Qutub Shah of Deccan, is much more valued than others.
आँखें वैसे तो शरीर के दूसरे अंगों की तरह एकअंग ही हैं जिनके द्वारा हम संसार को देखते हैं और उसके दृश्यों से सम्बंध स्थापित करते हैं, लेकिन हमारी ज़िंदगी में इनकी अहमियत शरीर के दुसरे अंगों की अपेक्षा कुछ ज़्यादा ही रही है. अदब व शायरी में भी आँखों के इर्द-गिर्द नये नये मज़ामीन… continue reading
Literary narratives are known to have a latent relationship between their oral and written forms. Two analogous Indian narratives–Singhasan Batteesi (Thirty-Two Tales of the Throne) and Baitaal Pacheesi (Twenty-five Tales of Baital)–that have passed from the oral to a variety of written forms over a long period of time may be mentioned in this context.
Traced back to the Mahabharata, here is a story that Rishi Markandeya narrated to Raja Yudhishthira. The story which praises the virtues of a zealous woman and a devoted wife is that of Savitri who figured in Devi Bhgwat Purana and also became the subject of several literary compositions in the East and the West.
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