A Pashtun (Afghan) love story, of a couple who fell for each other at first sight, but were destined not to be together, both dying of grief. Live the Lovers of Valdaro, they in their common grave are in embrace, legend tells us, though when buried they were not. Not even death can get in the way of love for hearts that are true…
Silent now her tambourine
She played while yearning for Adam Khan
For whom she fell at fleeting glance
As only true lovers can
Durkhani won his heart too
As he caught her peeping over the wall
On the urging of her friends who said he was beautiful
Modest she hid, and hard did fall.
Both on the ground, and in love
Pined on being taken to her bed
She could not stop thinking of him
He could not get her from his head.
A fleeting glance is all lovers need
To be of their love for another sure
When both they and those that they desire
Please God, and their hearts are pure.
Adam Khan to his freind declared
She was the one for his life
But he was too late, in the Pashtun way
She was to be anothers wife.
Friends being friends did what they could
Found a way to get the lovers to meet
Delighted, they exchanged gifts
Their time together it was, too short, too strong, too sweet.
Their day as come, the reluctant bride
Married Payu, and shares his bed
But she will not be his lover
She desires Adam Khan instead.
Payu knows not what ails his wife
To hunt sets out – for ten days and nights
His wife sends word for Adam Khan:
Love now has destiny in its sights!
“Come quickly to the fine bazaar of beauty!
The gardeners gone from his empty garden where I sit
The Black Crow on the bough she sits
Cries folorn in grief for it!”
Word reaches Payu that his wife is gone
His heart with anger flames and burns
He summons the elders of the town
Sets his case and wins it when he returns.
Men being men, of fists and blood
In passion, angers rage, there is a fight
The honour of men, inflamed by love
Adam Khan best friend dies from his wounds that night.
The reluctant bride to her marriage bed returns
But madness the soul it seizes
She will not wash, or cook or eat
Her husband can do what he pleases.
Young Khan to wandering the wilderness takes
His mind lost though love and guilt
Mourns his lost love and his dead friend
His cried echo the skies as his tears are spilled.
He wanders and wails as a man possessed
Till one day he falls to the ground
Wide Hindu Yogi’s kind stop to help
When they prostate there him found.
He cannot speak, cannot explain
They decide him to help, ask not why
He shaves his hair, and dons their robes
In time he tells why he is in pain and does cry.
To Bazdara they set out, to Pay’s door
Being hospitable, the sets them down for a meal
They tell they sense sorrow of him and his wife
They would like in thanks both to heal.
Payu distressed thinks there can be no harm
Brings Durkhani into the room the Yogis to see
She knows Adam Khan, though no one else does does
She calms, smiles, as does he.
Payu amazed at the sudden change
Tells the Yogis to stay for a while
In the garden makes accomoodation
Glad to see his wife once again smile.
But time it passes as it always does
The Yogis in life have their station
They cannot stay, and must go away
Back to their life of prayer and meditaion.
To his fathers house Adam Khan returns
Is married to Gulnaz, fair of face and form
The most patient wife, she hears and consoles his woes
With a heart thats pure and warm.
But Peya knew his wife was lost
Her love he never had
He moves on to another wife
Leaves Durkhanai alone and sad.
The maddness of the heart seizes Adam again
The wanders and cries until he is struck blind with tears
Asks kind strangers to he home to be brought
He drops dead as her home he nears.
She on hearing this to her bed she takes
Till death in its kindness takes her from her pain
The lovers who in life could not be together
In death would lie in one grave for all time to remain.
Some time on, the grave by the villagers was opened
Shocked they were there they were to find
Not two skeletons side by side as buried they were
But in an embrace, entwined!
Reset in their plot, they were covered again
And a hundred years had passed or so
Again the grave was opened, all were shocked to see
Them embraced again, how? No-one did know.
Kindness and sense this time prevailed
It was descided so that they could stay
So they lie, awaiting the Day of Judgement
The Lovers of Bazdara, to this very day!
rabab: a Pashtun musical instrument.