Item Code: IDF229
by Sanjib Baruah
Hardcover (Edition: 2005)
Oxford University Press
Size: 8.4" X 5.4"
Weight of the Book: 460 gms
Price: $32.50 Shipping Free
An eyewitness account of the court of the second son of the last ruling Nizam of Hyderabad, this book reveals the multiple facets of feudal life in the largest princely state of India, in its twilight years.
The Nocturnal Court offers a vivid description of the courtly atmosphere-the sycophancies, the intrigues, and the empty chatter of the courtiers. Also included in varying degrees of detail are sketches of the leading personalities of that period, such as Josh Maleehabadi and Fani, both renowned poets of the twentieth century. Najm Afandi, the poetic tutor of the Junior Prince, is shown falling from grace in a whimsical and aribitrary manner. The celebrated singer, Begum Akhtar is also presented in a vignette, in her early days when she was a guest of the Prince and known simply as Akhtari Bai Faizabadi. An example of the Prince's extraordinary magnanimity is the story of the appointment of Dagh as the poetic preceptor of the sixth Nizam, on a mere whim.
Some of the characters arouse admiration, some scorn, others pity - but all of them evoke interest. The author also highlights the great contrast between the ornate and extravagant lifestyle of the Prince, and the austere court of his father, Nizam VII, reputedly the richest man of his times.
This book evokes nostalgia for a city and a way of life, which no longer exist. But more importantly, the English translation of the Urdu text makes this fascinating account accessible to a wider readership. The translation is complemented by an Introduction and Notes aimed at situating the narrative in its historical context.
About the Authors:
Sidq Jaisi was a poet, born in Jais, in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh. He came to Hyderabad in 1923 and was appointed teacher in the city Government High School. In 1931, he became honorary courtier of the Junior Prince for seven years, where he enjoyed a reputation for his quick wit and keen sense of humour. He passed away in 1967 in Kanpur.
Narendra Luther is a well-known humorist and an authority on the history and culture of Hyderabad. He has published several books: historical biographies, anthologies, and a novel, including Hyderabad: Memories of a City (1995), and Raja Deen Dayal: Prince of Photographers (2003). Some of his works have been translated into other Indian as well as foreign languages.
|List of Photographs||vii|
|Genealogical Tree of the Asif Jahi Dynasty||xv|
|Asif Jahi Rulers of Hyderabad||xvi|
|Map of Hyderabad State||xvii|
|The Nocturnal Court|
(Darbaar-e-Durbaar by Sidq Jaisi)
|Fani in Hyderabad Deccan||3|
|The First Night at the Court||8|
|The Second Night at the Court||18|
|The Night of Eid||25|
|Declining a Job||33|
|The Curse of Alcohol||40|
|The Horsemanship of Dagh||52|
|The Deccani Colonel Blimp||65|
|Nawab Shahab Jung||69|
|The Departure of Begum Akhtar||80|
|The Prince Goes to Europe||86|