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A Rose and County for Indraksi Ani Aravinda

It is obvious that in the elemental world there is nothing more magnificent and noble than the precious existence of monarchs, on whose high mindedness the external order of the world depends.  It is certain that to entrust a world to one person and to place the affairs of the world in the hands of one individual is to put the world of meaning to her, or rather to create the soul of the world of meaning - particularly a monarch who can detect whiffs of breezes of spiritual spring and grace the throne of success, who has attained a higher rank and has become a painter in the studio of meaning, a host of the banquet of reality, an intimate in the private apartments of the visible world, and a confidant in the pavilion of unity, and who graces the throne of felicity with good fortune.

Be it known by these letters patent, read into the court of Sultan Mohammad Al Wajdi Al Abderrafi Al Manil Ibn Horrah Ibn Gowan and Brenhines Corotica merkka Senebelnae, on October 1, AS 57,that the person known as Indrakshi Aani Aravinda is to be inducted into the Order of the Rose, and then the felicitous title of Countess, which she shall bear in honor as long as the moon waxes and wanes.


Reference:  Abu’l-Fizal, The History of Akbar, Vol 1, Translation by Wheeler Thackston, Harvard University Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 2015. ISBN 9978-0-674-42775-4 (Pgs 14 - 15)

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This scroll has been a dramatic little pain in my tuckas.

I discovered the existence of a Persian firman concerning how to treat the exiled Emperor of India Humayun while he was travelling in Persia. The entire thing was said to be contained in Abu'l-Fizal's Akbarnama, so I ordered a translated copy from a used bookstore in India. And then realized it would not be here for 3 weeks, after the scroll text was due. So ordered another copy from Amazon, which showed up within 24 hours. But volume 1 ends in 1542, and the Farman dates from 1543. I needed Volume 2. Swearing, I begged Magistrar Gunáµ­ormr Dengir, who works for Harvard University, to go dig up a copy of volume 2 and scan the pages I was looking for.


Now, I have a lot of experience with Turkish firmans/farmans, but the Persian one bore no resemblance to the format I was used to. There was no way to take the primary text and turn it into a recognizable scroll text which adhered to East Kingdom expected format.


I spent a little more time swearing.

In desperation I went back to the original text and found a section where Abu'l Fizal was waxing poetic about how wonderful Emperor Akbar is.


Yoink.


I changed the gender, and deleted some stuff about divine assistance and passed it off to the translator, Sara al-Garnatiyya of Meridies. ... who needed a month to translate it into Arabic.


Then... FOR ONCE! I had a genius idea. The copy of the book I ordered from Amazon had English on one side of the page, and Persian on the other. I took photos of the text and asked Sara if that would speed things up.

For a terrifying moment I realized that she had offered to translate it into Arabic, and the text was in old Persian in Naksh script, the language of the court of Akbar, Humayun's heir.


But Sara is a Goddess... she speaks enough Urdu & Farsi herself to be able to take this antique text and do the entirety of the second paragraph, and she got it done in a weekend.

The calligrapher was the East Kingdom Signet, Baroness Aesa Feilinn Jossursdottir

The illuminator was Baroness Liadan Ingen Chineada.


Other Sources:

The Inspiration scroll the Illuminator was working from.

https://www.themorgan.org/collection/treasures-of-islamic-manuscript-painting/118


Article about the Persian Firman concerning the former Indian Emperor Humayun

https://scroll.in/article/833610/how-was-emperor-humayun-received-by-shah-tahmasp-of-iran-manuscripts-offer-contrasting-views 


Eraly, Abraham, The Mughal Throne; The Saga of India’s Great Emperors, Phoenix, Orion Books, LTD, London UK, 2003, ISBN 0 75381 758 6.

Pgs 104, 105. 






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