, , , ,

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.comJahangir2Coffee is pleasing to princes
The water of Khidr is concealed within; In the gloomy kitchen filled with smoke, The coffeepot seems like the source of life!

– Qati’i in praise of coffee

PROHIBITION MAY BE IN PLACE in the Mughal Empire, but there’s another beverage that’s sending waves among the trading community, nobility and by extension those lucky to manage their kitchens. Jahangir enjoys a cup of coffee himself from time to time and he already sees how helpful it is in keeping one awake. Just as surely as wine and opium sends him to sleep. Qati’i, the composer of the above verses tells the Emperor that the beans were discovered by a revered Sufi mystic of North Africa named Shadhili. 


Following an ancient Indian custom, Jahangir will be weighed on his birthday just as his son is here. Image: From 17th C painting Image Source: British Museum

Nur Jahan meanwhile, is busy organising celebrations to mark Jahangir’s birthday. This day will, according to tradition, feature his weighing on golden scales against bags of gold, silver and precious stones, brocade and food. Like more than a few Mughal customs, this one is taken from the long-held practice among local rulers known as tuladana

Once the weighing is concluded, the coins and bags against which the sovereign have been weighed, are then thrown among the invitees and courtiers. Even citizens of the Mughal Empire are on occasion honoured with such weighing, after which they are rewarded with their weight in coins.

Later this afternoon Nur Jahan has a game of polo scheduled. Jahangir, meanwhile, has been mulling over gifting a suitable honour to his son Shah Jahan for an impressive string of recent conquests on the field. He finally calls in his scribes and instructs them to compile his memoirs into a single volume. This volume he will present to his son.