The Stories of Nizami Ganjavi’s Seven Beauties

Posted: 26 October 2011 in Nizami Ganjavi
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The Story of the Resident of the Green Pavilion

Dressed in green, on Monday, the day of the moon, Bahram crossed the meadow and entered the garden of the pavilion of his emerald-eyed, cypress statured Tartar beauty. After spending the day together, he asked her for a story. And she obliged.

“Once upon a time,” she said, “there was a man who continuously denied himself all worldly pleasures but one: the pleasure of daily walks in a nearby park. Otherwise, confining himself to his study, he denied himself even the pleasure of taking a woman as his wife.

As fate would have it, on one late afternoon, when he was returning from his daily walk, his situation changed drastically. When looking at the shape of a woman passing him by, the wind briefly lifted the woman’s veil, displaying a most beautiful and desirable face. A face that our scholar could not forget. When the woman left the alley, he continued to long for seeing her again. Day after day he searched for her. She was nowhere to be found. His longing became so intense that he could not eat, drink, sleep or carry out his studies.

Desperate, and to save his sanity, he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He thought a change in scenery might make him forget about her. In Jerusalem, he met a pseudo-scholar, a know-it-all who convinced him that rather than wait for the caravan, he should cross the desert with him and reach home sooner. They traveled together in the desert for a few days until the pseudo-scholar admitted that they were lost. Eventually, driven crazy by the sun, the pseudo-scholar mistook a well for a pond and dove to his death.

Back home, the love-stricken scholar took the effects of his deceased companion to his family. The wife who answered the door was none but the woman he had seen in the alley a long time ago. After they talked about the pseudo-scholar, the real scholar realized that his companion’s wife showed no affection for him. On the contrary, she was glad to have been freed from her abusive husband. Within a short time after his return, the reclusive scholar married the love of his life and together they lived happily ever after.”

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