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  • Writer's pictureFolkloristan

The Son of a Peasant who Became Shah Jahan's Wazir

Once upon a time, in the district of Jhang, nestled within the Punjab, there lived a humble peasant and his expectant wife. As her due date approached, she yearned for the taste of a ripe apple, a simple craving her husband struggled to fulfil. Fate intervened when a caravan from Kabul passed through their village, offering a glimmer of hope. The peasant requested one of the merchants for an apple, promising a future favour in return.

The merchant, intrigued by the request, proposed a curious agreement: in exchange for the apple, the peasant's son when grown and appointed as a Wazir, would relieve the caravan from transit dues. Perplexed yet desperate to fulfil his wife's wish, the peasant consented, sealing the pact with his mark.

When the child was born, he displayed remarkable intelligence from a tender age. One day, while napping near a well in his father's field, he experienced a vivid dream. A venerable old man clothed in emerald robes, wielding a sceptre, appeared before him and commanded him to journey to Delhi and pursue his education. Initially hesitant, the boy ignored the dream until the old man's threat of punishment compelled him to heed the call.

Arriving in Delhi, the boy immersed himself in his studies, diligently mastering various disciplines. Despite his intellectual prowess, he was forced to toil as a day labourer to sustain himself. Fate smiled upon him one day while he worked within the confines of the Emperor's palace.

In a stroke of fate, Shah Jahan, the Emperor, received a perplexing letter from the King of Persia, its contents shrouded in mystery. Observing the dilemma from afar, the youth realized the letter's hidden message could only be deciphered by reading it from the reverse side. Overcoming his initial trepidation, he summoned the courage to approach the Emperor and share his insight.

Initially met with scepticism, the youth's revelation piqued the Emperor's curiosity. Impressed by his intellect and perceptiveness, Shah Jahan extended his patronage, bestowing upon the youth a courtly attire and privileges. As time passed, the youth's favour within the court burgeoned until he ascended to the position of a Wazir.

True to his father's promise, the newly appointed Wazir fulfilled the agreement made years ago with the Kabul caravan. He waived the transit dues, honouring the pact forged in humble beginnings. Thus, the tale of the peasant's son, from a humble birth to a position of power and influence, became a cherished legend in Mughal folklore.

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