Here is one more of those classic love story from the mughal royal family. Now all of us are aware about Salim-Anarkali, Jehangir-Nur Jahan and Shah Jahan-Mumtaz love stories. Also Salim-Anarkali story is a story of fiction not real and Nur Jahan by her conduct and greed for power totally disgraced true love, Shah Jahan also became a womaniser after Mumtaz death so all these three were not real love stories.
But there have been other great love stories that never came to the fore because the prince could not become emperors like Salim and Shah Jahan and are buried in the anals of history. Here is one such true story that surpasses easily any of the above mentioned stories. But it is a tragic one.
Dara Sukoh was the crown prince of Mughal empire and the eldest son of Shah Jahan. He had three wives. First was Nadira Begum his cousin sister, second was a christian from Georgia(wdaipuri begum) and last but not the least was Ranadil an orphan. Dara met this orphan Ranadil dancing and singing on streets and grew fond of her and finally married her despite oppositions.
Ranadil an destitute became the 3rd and last wife of the Dara Sukoh the future Mughal emperor and crown prince of Mughal dyansty. If there was a sufi saint kind of person among all Mughal princes it was this Dara Sukoh. He was very selfless and honest so much that Shah Jahan loved him to death but also was sacred of how his son will rule this empire with such a good heart and soul.
Dara Sukoh loved Ranadil very much and was very kind and considerate to her. He knew as an orphan she had a tough life so he ensured he gave her a family that she never had. Dara ensured that Ranadil got whatever she desired or did not even ask and took nice care of her. But Aurangzeb killed him and some of his sons in the most cruel manner. Nadira his first wife swallowed poison after hearing that he had died, Udaipuri begum joined Aurangzeb’s harem but Ranadil refused and was imprisoned.
Ranadil was a great composer and singer, so to overcome her grief she started composing songs in memory of her beloved husband Dara Sukoh and sang them in prision. Aurangzeb had banned poems and singing in his kingdom but Ranadil defied him. Her songs constantly reminded him of the cruel deeds he had done to his elder brother and his family members. Aurangzeb was infussed, he warned her that if she does not stop her singing he would tear her to pieces and feed her to dogs. But Ranadil was made of stronger stuff she would continue singing even when he visited her. That irritated Aurangzeb a lot. He would speak of all sort of cruel ways to torture her or kill her.
Slowly Aurangzeb started falling for her and one wrote her a letter that he wants to swing using her hairs. Ranadil replied back sending a silver plate with a white cloth covered on top(errily reminding him of Dara’s head sent to Shah Jahan at Agra fort). Aurangzeb removed the white cloth and it had her hairs with a note “Oh emperor, here is the hair follicles that you liked”
Aurangzeb did not learn his lesson. Once he again wrote another letter to her that he want to see her lovely face every day and to be his mistress in his harem. Ranadil took a knife and disfigured her face and wrapped this bloodied knife in white cloth and sent to him with message “Oh emperor the face that you said is lovely has now turned very ugly. As evidence i am sending this knife and cloth. Please understand till my last breathe my heart, soul and body only belongs to Dara. Let me die with his thoughts only”.
Aurangzeb tried many times to change her mind but the great lady never cowered to his threats, torture or bowed down to him. An ordinary orphan girl who sang and danced on streets to make a living thus tortured the great emperor Aurangzeb(which no one else dared). She was a great lady always loyal to her husband and his memories. She stood by him till her last breathe making him very proud.
Here is to the epitome of true love of crown prince Dara who honoured an orphan singer and dancer by making her his wife and Princess Ranadil who stayed loyal and gratitude to him and his memories till last breathe of her life undergoing many tortures and persecutions in a dungeon but never bending to the mighty emperor Aurangzeb.
She could have joined his harem and lived a life of luxury as Aurangzeb was totally smitten by her making him dance to her tunes or killed herself like Nadira. But she lived despite all tortures and threats because she wanted to remind him of his evil deeds that he had done to her husband, her step sons and daughters(dara’s kids) and to his siblings and father.
If there is a love story that can be truely called immortal it is this story of love between the crown prince of the mighty mughal empire and an orphan street singer and dancer. Even death and torture could not make them apart and they stayed loyal despite trial and tribulations.
Dara Sukoh may not have built Ranadil a Taj Mahal or Ranadil did not become his children’s mother but their actions and their loyalty to each other under trying circumstances and never ending love stands testimony to an immortal love. Its just that Aurangzeb destroyed all documents and testimonies which had references to these two’s love. But that sands of time still testify the undying love of Crown Prince Dara Sukoh and Princess Ranadil