A TURK GIRL IN LAHORE
ONE WHO RODE LIONS
Sister of Governor Ayaz al-Najm
History moves with a momentum all its own. A Turk boy slave bought in Ghazni by Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi grew up with talents surpassing many of the royals of his times. Sultan Masood sent him as a chaperone, with his son Prince Majdud to administer Lahore. In a short period Ayaz had made Lahore a city of Culture. Everything which went in the Muslim world came here. Intellectuals, poets, artists, calligraphers, wood carvers, carpenters, architects, lace makers , in fact Baiqai list 200 types of professionals who came to make Lahore, Lahore.
A lady, we do not know her name, but we are told that she was either a sister or a cousin of Ayaz was invited also to come to Lahore. It was she who gave the ladies touch to the cultural developments here. Sultan Mahmud was very much in love with her but his courtiers had advised him not to marry her. History does not tell us if the marriage took place or not. At that time the environment of Lahore was full of lions. The Lahore Fort of Mahmudabad also had a collection of lions and lion tamers. It is said that this Turk girl used to ride a lion on her way to the court and as she would pass the street, people would cheer her up. It was a Royal custom of the times. People would shout SHER DE BACHI, that is daughter of lion. This phrase is such a stereotype in our culture, that even today, any brave girl is referred as Sher de Bachi.
Today Lahore boasts of all types of women population. From the extreme conservative to the extreme modern, we have all of therm here. Where Saudi Arabia does not allow women to drive cars (very anti-Islamic), we have women of Lahore driving motor cycles, including police women. Not many but they are there. Lahore girls have been not only flying aeroplanes, but also teaching flying to pilot learners. They are in the fore-front of the women revolution of Pakistan. Indeed they are Sher de Bachis in all ways.