The epic love tale of Salim and Anarkali
Histories and love stories have had their place in the scriptures of ancient India! There are several epic love tales that are perfect epitome for the young falling in love. From Romeo Juliet to Laila Majnu, from Shah Jahan Mumtaz to Jodha Akbar, our history is full of exotic love stories that will make your heart go awe. One such tale is of Salim and Anarkali, whose love is pure enough to be remembered for ages. A love story that has no happy ending had become an inspiration for the people around the world. It was an affair of a noble prince and mere courtesan that has made legends like no one else. So, let’s dwell on the nostalgia of the catastrophic love amour of Salim and Anarkali.
Salim and Anarkali- an amour of remembrance
The love story of Salim and Anarkali is a story everyone knows. The Mughal prince Salim falling in love with courtesan Anarkali is what legends are made of. It was this relationship that outraged Mughal king Akbar and led to a father-son war! Unfortunately, the mighty king won over their love.
According to the history, the crown Prince Salim (later known as Jahangir) was the son of Mughal King Akbar. Whereas, Anarkali, born as Sharif un-Nissa belongs to Sheikh Family, and also known as Nadira Begum, was a courtesan from Lahore. Her name means Pomegranate Blossom, and Anarkali was exactly the same. She used to work as a courtesan in the Kings’ premise and was highly recognized for her dancing skills as well as her beauty. The young prince Salim fell in love with her at first sight. Salim was of noble blood but Anarkali was an ordinary girl with no noble birth. During that time, the relationship between a king and a courtesan was forbidden. It was considered low to fell in love with someone lower than your standards, however, Salim’s love for Anarkali was above all such stigmas. Anarkali was very much aware of the fact that the King would never admit to this relationship, therefore she tried her best to keep away from the love of the crown prince. But as it is said, love got no boundaries; even Anarkali without realizing too fell head over heels for the prince. And from here started their love story.
Soon they started seeing each other although the matter was kept quiet. It was a kind of secret relationship that they were enjoying to the fullest until one day when Salim decided to confront his father about their relationship. Emperor Akbar who was already sensitive about his mother being a commoner rejected their relationship. The father-son argument got so violent that Akbar ordered his guards to imprison Anarkali in the dungeons of Lahore. This outraged Salim who with the help of one of his friends, helped Anarkali escape to the outskirts of Lahore. During this time, Salim created his own army through his trusted friends, and later set out a war against his own father- Akbar. The mighty king obviously had a troop much larger in number and strength to that of Salim which led the war easily won by Akbar. Akbar, then ordered Salim to either surrender Anarkali to him or receive the death penalty. Salim’s love for Anarkali could never allow him to hand over his beloved to his father and thus he accepted the death penalty.
Anarkali, seeing her lover dying came out of hiding and rushed back to king Akbar and offered herself to spare the life of Salim, however, her only wish was to spend a peaceful night with her beloved before she receives the death penalty, to which Akhbar agreed. Salim and Anarkali together spend that night forgetting about what has happened and what could happen next. That was the night to eternal peace for both of them. After spending the night, in the morning, Anarkali drugged Salim with Pomegranate blossom before the guards came in to drag her away. After very tearful and heart-wrenching goodbye to the unconscious prince, Anarkali was taken to the area near a present-day Anarkali Bazaar in Lahore. Here she was buried alive by Akbar’s soldiers. She was entombed alive in a brick wall!
Another legend says that Anarkali didn’t died. Instead, Akbar extracted a promise from her to never see Salim again and thus let her escape. It is said that the brick wall inside which she was buried was created at an opening of a tunnel unknown to everyone, from where Anarkali escaped to an unknown place.
Whatever the legend says, one thing that was indeed known was the eternal love affair of Salim and Anarkali. There love story even after centuries is remembered blissfully and every time you sat to read it, tears are all that you are left with! There are many Indian movies made on their love stories such as Mughal-e-Azam starring Mudhubala and Dilip Kumar. The love between these two was remarkably pure and full of sacrifices that states that when in love, their lives matter more than your own!