Rubies for a Dog is a short story written by Shahrukh Hussain who is a Pakistani-born British writer born in 1950 in Karachi. At the age of eight years, she published her 1st story. She migrated to Britain in 1970 and has lived there since. Shahrukh Hussain writes fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. She is a translator, a screenwriter, and a practicing psychotherapist dealing with intercultural issues. Mecca and Tales from the Opera are her books for children. Adult fiction includes The Virago Book of Witches later published as Daughters of the Moon. Rubies for a Dog
She has written a non-fiction work The Goddess: Power, sexuality, and the Feminine Divine. Screenplay for Ismail Merchant’s 1993 film, In Custody from Anita Desai’s novel which was nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA award and received the President of India Gold Medal.
Rubies for a Dog Summary || Rubies for a Dog by Shahrukh Hussain
Rubies for a Dog is based on “The Tale of Azad Bakht” from the great Urdu classic Bagh-o-Bahar (A Tale of Four Dervishes) by Mir Amman Dehlvi. Bagh-o-Bahar is 1st prose work in Urdu literature. King Azad Bakht is the narrator in the original story and Wazir’s nameless daughter. In Rubies for a Dog, Wazir’s daughter is named Samira who is the protagonist. There was a king named Azad Bakht. He was much loved and respected. He jails his Grand Wazir. No one knows why he had done so.
Samira (daughter of Grand Wazir) :
Samira (daughter of Grand Wazir) wants her father to be free. She visits her father and asks about the reasons why did Azad Bakhat do so? Grand Wazir denies telling Samira because Samira is a woman. After some days Wazir sends a message to Samira to inquire about her health. Samira cuts her hair.
She wears the clothes of her father and then goes to visit her father. Samira (pretending to be a boy) says that he is the brother of Samira. Then Samira tells her father that she is his daughter. She insists to know the reason. Wazir then tells that some merchants from Badakshan visited Azad Bakht. They presented him with some gifts. Among those, there was a very rare Ruby.
Azad Bakht liked it very much as he forgot every other thing. Azad Bakht started to worship Ruby. His interest in affairs of state was distracted due to the Ruby. One night, I visited Azad Bakhat and I talked to Azad Bakht about Ruby. I told them that a merchant from Nishapur has a dog and there are twelve rubies in his collar. At this Azad Bakht got furious. He jailed me.
Samira’s visit to Nishapur:
Samira seeks permission from her father to go to Nishapur. Grand Wazir permits Samira to go to Nishapur. She changes her look as a boy. Samira along with her servant goes to Nishapur in search of the dog that has a collar of twelve rubies. After some days, she reaches Nishapur. There she finds that dog in a shop.
She asks about the story of the dog from the merchant. The merchant tells the name of the dog as “Wafadar”. He tells the entire story. Samira tells the merchant that she is a girl and daughter of Grand Wazir of Constantinople. She tells the entire story to the merchant and she asks him to help her.
Merchant agrees to help Samira. Samira falls in love with the merchant. When the merchant proposes to Samira for marriage, she accepts his proposal with the condition that he must go to Constantinople.
The next morning, Samira and the merchant along with Wafadar starts their journey towards Constantinople. Samira visits her father and tells him that she has found the dog.
Samira, in the court of Azad Bakht, tells the story, and Azad Bakht orders to release the Wazir. Azad Bakht seeks an apology from the Wazir. Samira is very happy as she has proven what a woman can do.