Lost Love: Hindal Mirza-Hamida Bano

Strange are the ways
Where the river of love flows,
Those who jump into it, are drown
Those who are drown, get across.

A poem by Amir Khusrau

Hamida Banu was the daughter of a confidant of Miraz Hindal, Akbar Khan. Hindal had known her from childhood as her father was his confidant. Hindal Mirza was 22 years old and Hamida was 17 years old and the year was 1541.

Humayun saw Hamida Banu daughter of Shaikh Ali Akbar Jami first time in Mirza Hindal’s palace at Alwar. Humayun asked “Who is this?” and Khwaja Muzzam said she is his relative. Humyaun had come to meet Dildar Begum, his step mother and mother of Gulbadan and Hindal Mirza that day. Another day he came to meet Dildar Begum he said “Mir Baba Dost is our relative, it is fitting that you should give me his daughter in marriage”. When Hindal Mirza heard this he made objections to the marriage and Humayun got angry and left the palace.

Dildar Begum admonished Hindal Mirza and sent a letter to Humayun stating that the girls mother was using persuasion to marry Hamida to him but he went away in anger. So Humayun wrote back to her saying she must arrange his wedding to Hamida and he is ready to pay any alimony.

Dildar Begum kept a party and called Humayun and others for party at Hindals palace. Humayun sent message to call Hamida Banu to their presence after party. Hamida Banu refused saying “If it is to pay my respects i have paid it other day(at party). Why should i come again?

Another day Humayun send message to Hindal Mirza to send Hamida Banu to his presence. Hindal Mirza replied “Whatever i may say she will not listen. Go yourself and tell her”.  When Subhan Quli went her with message she said “To see kings once is lawful, second time forbidden, i will not come”. When Humayun came to know of this he said “If she is not a consort, we will make her a consort”.

The proposal of marriage was sent to Hamida Bano. For 40 days Hamida Bau resisted giving one reason or another. Dildar Begum went and adviced her “One day you have to marry, who better than a king?”. Hamida replied back “Oh yes i will marry. But it will be a man whose collar my hand will touch and not whose skirt it does not reach.” Dildar Begum tried to persuade her many times.

After 40 days of persuasion finally in September 1541 Humayun married Hamida Bano paying Two Lakhs rupees. Hindal Mirza left to Qandahar, something Humayun did not permit him to go for long and finally permitted immediately after his marriage. A heart broken Hindal Mirza left Humayun with his troops only returning to rescue Akbar from Kabul fort after a few years.

Excerpts from Humayunnama by Gulbadan Begum

Note: The entire episode taken from Humayunnama

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