Maulana Daud’s Candayan: A Critical Study
By- Naseem A. Hines
Candayan is the pioneer work in a series of Sufi love-narratives, the Masnavis, composed in India. The Indo-Sufi Masnavi genre continued to flourish for over 500 years, resulting in a substantial volume of every rich literature. Candayan also served as a model for subsequent Masnavis, such as Kutuban’s Mrgavati and Jayasi’s Padmavat.
In the Mahakoshal region of Madhya Pradesh, Canaini, a pastoral folk-tale also known as Lorikayan, was very popular. Maulana Daud based his Candayan on this oral epic. Lorik lives in Govar, a town on the banks of the Ganges river, with his wife Maina. One day he catches a glimpse of Canda, the princess of Govar, and falls in love with her. Canda also loves Lorik, and both elope to be able to live together.
After many adventures, Lorik and Canda return to Govar to live with Lorik’s family.
Until recently it was believed that the Sufi love narratives of India were substandard works, not quite representative of the Indian morals, and did not meet the Indian literary standards.
Consequently, for years, the Hindi Masnavi literature remained neglected. This study opens a window into the true nature of the Masnavi, and invites the reader to take a new look at the Indo-Sufi Masnavi genre and determine its rightful place in the history of Hindi literature.
Naseem A. Hines teaches Urdu-Hindi languages and Literatures in the Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies at Harvard University. Her articles, fiction, and English translations of Urdu poetry have been published in a number of American and International Publications. She is now working on bringing out a Critical Edition of Candayan and its English translations.
ISBN 978-81-7304-619-0 2009 256p. Rs.645/ Pounds 45
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