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Gule Bakawali


Gule Bakawali a popular medieval romance in several Indian languages. The seventeenth-century poet nawajish khan was perhaps the first to write a Bangla version of Gule Bakawali, a story in verse about the love of Prince Tajulmulk for the fairy Bakawali. There are numerous adventurous and miraculous incidents in the story, which is set in India. 'Bakawali' is the name of a flower there. The Sprinter catalogue records an Urdu Gule Bakawali written in verse in 1625. In 1722, Sheikh Izzatullah, a Bengali, wrote a prose version, Tajulmulk Gule Bakawali, in persian. It is not known on which version Nawazish Khan based his poem.

There were several variant versions of Gule Bakawali, such as the poetic versions by Muhammad Mukim (1760-70), Muhammad Ali, Munsi Ebadat Ali (1840), Umacharan Mitra (1834), and Abdus Shakur, and the prose version by Bijaynath Mukhopadhyaya (1904). Kedarnath Gangopadhyaya wrote a play based on the story in 1978. Ebadat Ali's Gule Bakawali is a dobhasi puthi.

The story was also popular in urdu. Thus, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Munsi Nehalchand Lahori wrote a prose version titled Mazhabe Ishq (1803), and Dayashankar Nasim wrote a masnavi (poem) called Gulzare Nasim (1835). [Wakil Ahmed]