Man expresses his emotions and feelings in different ways. He sometimes represents his ideas through pictures and at times, he also resorts to the engraving of stones and molding of clays for the vivid display of the warmth of his days and the agonizing moment of the night along with the restless pulsations of his heart. These are the representation of a restless heart. But the best manifestation of one heart’s cravings is possible only through poetry. Poetry is that natural aspiration which helps him express beautifully through words whatever, he perceives, conceives and feels with intensity. Now here I would like to draw a sketch of Sher Mulk’s poetry and love.
The character of Sher Mulk has always haunted the writers, in particular, and the people in general, with a strong feeling of suspense, mystery, awe and a passionate romance. Sher Mulk (1895c-1940) was a Khowar poet from Nogram Mulkho in the reign of Mehtar Shuja ul Mulk. He was commonly known as Gadari Lal in the Khowar folk language. He was the contemporary of other celebrated Chitrali poets Gul Azam Khan, Ziarat Khan Zirak and Khuda Rehmat Sher Mulk was a member of the Muhammad Doste (Mah Doste) a sub-section of the Reza Khel tribe, Shuja ul Mulk alias Shujal Lal, was his ancestor. Shujal was a notable warrior and had great influence in tribal politics during the early period of Mehtar Aman ul Mulk. He was the Jagirdar (fief holder) of Shagrum Tarich but his lands were located in different parts of Chitral i.e. Nogram, Muzh Gol, Orghouch, Mori, Warijun, Buni and Nogram (Kitabul Qalang). He was killed to war against Dogras in Gilgit with his sons Sahib ul Mulk and Hasan ul Mulk (Ghufran 1921). Sher Mulk was his grandson. He was born at Warijun. During his early childhood life was very tough for the reason that most of his lands had been confiscated. In this critical junction, Mehtar of Chitral had ordered him to become part of his royal service (Shadari) but he refused then astringent relations had developed between them. His romance is well-known in the folklore of Chitral. He was married to a woman of Yarkhun (Rehmat Karim Beg 1997 and Karim Khan Lal). After his marriage, he fell in love with another woman who was in his in law in relation and he could never marry her. One of his couplet he says just khongor hanu no bir mulka ashkar khur roi khabar. Professor Rehmat Karim Beg revealed the love story in the following words “ Sher Mulk received the news of the success of the mission and was overjoyed to have the prospects to mary whom he loved clearly. Young Sher Mulk avidly counted days and hours to meet his fiancé but according to Kho social taboos they would be spouses are not allowed to meet till the Nikah unceremoniously take place. His would-be in laws had decided among themselves secretly to give the elder sister to Sher Mulk in lieu of the younger for whom he coveted but give out that younger of the two sisters is going to be married to him but at the movement of Nikah the elder was dressed in her bridle attire plus a veil and Nikah was struck, with groom totally unaware of the trick played against him. Its thus the departure of the marriage party took place with a bride whom they had wooed. Soon after the feasts and festivities at the groom house the secret became known to the ill started lover that his beloved the only object of his aspiration, had been replaced by someone else whom he knew but nerve wooed”.(Rehmat Karim Beg 1997:188)
His beloved was married to someone form village Reshun. One day he was asked by rival to his house for entertainment in the evening after dinner he’s requested to sing a song with sitar. This concert had been continued till to early morning when nightingale began to warble at down. Sher Mulk has sung following couplet in a complaining tone.
Mayon-e mo cholay ki ma dinnar orray sur
Tu tantay pur ulis bes madusto har mar chiyur.
O, nightingale with hold your song for which as my beloved is asleep. Your song shall disturb her.
May be she will be annoyed with me. You will fly away having her blasé and that to lose not to be tolerated.
The husband of his beloved remained alarmed of his love. Later his beloved was killed. At the instant he started poetry; fortuitously Gul Azam Khan and Zirak were also residing the same area in Molkho temporarily later on a sister of Sher Mulk was married to Gul Azam Khan. These poets had great sway in singing, Sitar and composing romantic lyrics (ghazals). At once state officials had arranged a musical program in Molkho for the crown prince Shahzada Nasir ul Mulk, Sher Mulk sung famous lyric of Gul Azam Khan. In this song, he described the social conditions and role of the aristocracy at that time. On the presentation of this song Shahzada Nasir ul Mulk became reluctant and irritant and went out to the place with Ataleq Sarfaraz Shah and Qurban Muhammad. With the passage of time, his livelihood has been stiff and sturdy and he was suffered mentally retarded and eventually died near naroyeyo tali (the symbolic tree of inhumaneness) in Koghuzi in 1940.