Monday, 18 June 2012

Blog Rebirth: Anarkali Loves Me

Image Source: HSY
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Yesterday is but today's memory, tomorrow is today's dream.
Time has been transformed, and we have changed; it has advanced and set us in motion; it has unveiled its face, inspiring us with bewilderment and exhilaration.
-Kahlil Gibran
When this blog was created not much thought went into the title. What resulted was a clever yet very narrow and self focused title, That Haute Dude. A title that only told the reader that the author was a fashionable dude. As time went on I realized I wanted my blog to encircle more than just fashion, I wanted to encompass my life, experiences and, other interests. This was the cause of my recent hiatus. After months of brainstorming ideas for a new blog title and social media identity many ideas were considered. Among them was something I came up with when watching Mughal-e-azaam, a legendary movie entailing a true mughal love story: Anarkali Loves Me. I wanted a title that did not limit this blog to a fashion blog, was inspired by my cultural background, was concise and meant nothing in particular. The new title, Anarkali Loves Me, does all of this perfectly.
Anarkali (A girl's name meaning Pomegranate Flower , equating the girl to the beauty of a pomegranate flower) pertains to the legendary slave girl who, in myth, was the target of Prince Salim's (later to become Emperor Jahangir) love. 
The Story- Emperor Akbar and Jodha Bai have a son that is spoilt and disrespectful for which he is sent to the army for 14 years. Finally Akbar allows his son to return to the main palace, in Lahore. The day was one of great celebration, upon which the harem held a Mujra (dance performance) by a beautiful girl, Nadeera. Because she was so beautiful, Akbar gave her the name Anarkali equating her to the beauty of a blossoming flower. During this Mujra, Salim is said to have fell in love with Anarkali, it is later revealed she loves him as well. When Salim revealed his intentions of marriage with Anarkali to Akbar, Akbar refuses due to her not being of noble blood and a common maid/dancing girl. Due to this the two had a huge argument in which's result Anarkali was arrested and placed in a dungeon. After many attempts Salim rescued Anarkali, with the help of his friends, and took her to the outskirts of Lahore. Here Salim prepared a army against his father and began a attack on the city. He was defeated and offered to live and forget Anarkali or to die, he chose to die. Upon this Anarkali came out of hiding and approached the emperor asking if she could give up her life in exchange for Salim's life. The emperor agreed upon which Anarkali asked for one last wish: to spend one night with Salim. The emperor agreed and after a night with Salim Anarkali drugged him with a pomegranate blossom. Following a sorrowful goodbye with the unconscious Salim, Anarkali is taken by guards and immured alive in a brick wall. Other versions of the story tell her being buried in a ditch alive and another tells her being buried in a ditch alive but allowing her to escape through secret tunnels to spend a life away from Salim and the palace.
This 200-300 year old love story, whether completely true or not, is beautiful. The new title to this blog is inspired by Anarkali and her true love. The new title also honours my mughal ancestry and heritage. 
That Haute Dude has moved to and I hope everyone enjoys my evolving blog! 

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