Friday, November 16, 2018

American Queen Happy Thanksgiving

All Things That Matter Press once again true to its mission of supporting Literature has accepted to publish another book, the American Queen./ This book delineates the true life story of a young girl, Ora Ray Baker, born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. /She fell in love with an Indian mystic by the name of Hazrat Inayat Khan./ He was not only a mystic from India, but a Sufi Master and a great Musician./ He came to US with the intention of uniting the East with the West in God Realization./ Against the wishes of her stepbrother who was Ora Ray Baker’s ward, she decided to elope to Europe to marry Hazrat Inayat Khan who was traveling there to give lectures and concerts. /She met him in Belgium and they were married in London. /God was the king in Hazrat Inayat Khan’s soul and Ora Ray Baker became the Queen of his Heart. /They lived in London and France for a while, and then went to Russia where their first daughter was born in Kremlin./ Soon the First World War started, so they had to leave Russia and came to London. /During the war two more children were born, both boys, and one girl after a year later. /After the WW1 they moved to France and settled there in a suburb called Suresnes. /When the children were little, Hazrat Inayat Khan traveled alone all over Europe and even returned to America for a few months to spread his Sufi Message of love, unity and harmony./ Ora Ray Baker lost her Love of Life in India when Hazrat Inayat Khan went there on a tour to give lectures on Sufism, their eldest daughter was barely thirteen year old at the death of her father. /Then began the lone journey for Ora Ray Baker with all the agony of loss and grief. /She lived through the ravages of WW11. / Her eldest daughter Noorunissa became a British Spy, was arrested by Gestapo and killed in German Concentration Camps./ Finally four years after WW11 of much grief and sorrow, Ora Ray Baker died in France./ Her love, courage and perseverance still lives on in Fazal Manzil in France, her home and shrine of Love, now a Sufi Retreat./ Her grandson Pir Zia lives in Richmond, Virginia USA, carrying on the tradition of Inayati Order. /A movie was made about the life of Noorunissa titled Spy Princess, still available in video and online./ Child of Light/ First chapter explores the childhood and youth of Ora Ray Baker born in Albuquerque New Mexico./ As a young lady she is drawn to poetry and mysticism. /Her fond memories of her teen years are with her father since her parents divorced and her mother remarried. /Especially her memorable trip with her father to Manhattan illumined by electric lights invented by Thomas Edison./ Royal Musicians of India 1911/ Ora Ray Baker meets her love of life while attending a concert in San Francisco. /Hazrat Inayat Khan from India is the young musician and Sufi Master who steals her heart at first meeting. /He in return hopelessly falls in love with Ora Ray. /During this brief meeting both pledge their love to each other, Ora Ray becoming his Sharda and he her Daya./ He also becomes her teacher to give her music lessons./ Music of Love 1912/ Utterly and profoundly in love Inayat Khan proposes marriage to Ora Ray before returning to New York for a performance in Carnegie Hall. /With many joyous dreams the lovers part, while Inayat Khan promises to write to Ora Ray’s brother asking formally for her hand in marriage./ Agony Supreme 1912 (continued)/ Unfortunately, Ora Ray and Inayat Khan are separated by cruel hands of fate as she confesses her love for Inayat Khan to her brother who is her ward. /He becomes furious and forbids her ever to see Inayat Khan./ He also intercepts all Inayat Khan’s letters mailed to his sister. /Meanwhile Ora Ray falls ill and after her recovery starts sending letters to Inayat Khan. /Not knowing that he is already on a tour to Europe to give musical performances. /Despondent with grief in not getting any responses, by some lucky chance, she stumbles upon his old address in Baroda India./ Glorious Wedlock 1913/ Ora Ray writes to Inayat Khan at his address in India. /His relatives forward her letter to Inayat Khan in France where he is scheduled to give concerts. /Finally after exchange of many letters on both sides, Ora Ray elopes, landing at Antwerp in Belgium./ Two days later Ora Ray is married to Inayat Khan at the Civil Register Office at St. Giles in London, registered as Amina Begum, her new title of high rank in Sufi terminology. /They travel extensively, then make France their future home./ City of Lights Paris 1913 (continued)/ Paris becomes Amina Begum’s dreamland of love and romance with Sufism and Literature as her dear companions. / She also gets pregnant and before the birth of the baby they are invited to Moscow to meet Great Russian poets, artists and musicians./ To Russia with Love 1913-1914/ On New Year Day in Kremlin Amina Begum gives birth to a daughter. /This baby girl is named Noorunissa, but she is only five month old when the family has to leave Russia due to threat of Great War./ From Paris to London 1914-1920/ Amina Begum with Inayat Khan and baby Noor return to Paris, but soon the threat of WW1 compels them to move to London./ During the war they suffer hardships since Inayat Khan’s lectures and concerts are cancelled./ Yet joy visits them when they are blessed with a son whom they name Vilayat. /Also blessed twice again during and after the war, one boy named Hidayat and one girl Khair-un-Nissa. Again they return to France./ Heart of Europe 1920-1922/ Amina Begum and children stay in France while Inayat Khan goes on trips to Belgium, Holland and Switzerland giving lectures and concerts. /A little pamphlet of his sayings called Bowl of Saki is published in Switzerland. /Upon his return to France one of his wealthy disciples a widow by the name of Fazal Mai purchases a home large enough for his whole family. /Inayat Khan names this house Fazal Manzil./ America The Land of Destiny 1923/ Inayat Khan returns to America to give lectures and to enlarge Sufi Circle which he has had established before going to Europe. /He travels extensively in America, visiting Boston, Detroit, Chicago, New York and his beloved city San Francisco where he had met his Beloved./ Christmas at Fazal Manzil 1923-1925/ Fazal Manzil is Amina Begum and Inayat Khan’s heaven on earth./ One year they surprise their children by secretly buying a Christmas tree. /After they decorate it and light it with candles they are rewarded with joy inexpressible by watching the reaction of their children speechless with awe and wonder. /Happy times and happy travels for Inayat Khan, back in America once again./ Vilayat’s Ceremonial Initiation 1925-1926/ In America besides giving lectures Inayat Khan visits the Rockefeller Institute./ In one of his letter to Amina Begum he describes how he meets Henry Ford in Detroit who presents him with a model T Ford as a gift. /Newspaper caption: A Mystic and a Magnate Meet!/ Back in France Inayat Khan initiates his son Vilayat as his successor. /The same evening he bestows the title of Pirani on Amina Begum. /Pirani meaning literally the Queen of Pir./ Pirani Without Pir-O-Murshid 1926-1927/ Inayat Khan is invited to give lectures in Venice and from there he is to visit his homeland India./Enroute from Venice to India Pirani receives one telegram from Inayat Khan: ‘Safe in Karachi, will write.’ /Unfortunately that is his last communication since he falls ill in India. /Later, Pirani receives two consecutive telegrams, one saying he is ill and the other announcing his death at Tilak Lodge in India./ India welcomes Pirani 1928-1929/ Pirani and children travel to India to visit the grave of Inayat Khan. /After visiting the grave, Inayat Khan’s brothers and cousin take Pirani and children on a tour in India. /They visit famous sites, including Taj Mahal and Red Fort. /Extending their visits to palaces and tombs of Sufi Saints in Ajmer before returning to France./ Sufi Movement Alive at Suresnes 1929-1930/ Life at Fazal Manzil is sad for Pirani, though Inayat Khan’s disciples keep Sufi Movement alive and try their best to keep their Master’s family comfortable and entertained. /At the death anniversary of Inayat Khan, Pirani casts away her mantle of sadness and celebrates this occasion with flowers and feast for friends and disciples./ Burial of Grief before Big Storm 1931-1939/ Finally, Pirani succeeds in burying her grief and starts taking interest in her children’s education while encouraging them in their music aptitude for learning. /Time seems to move swiftly as Pirani experiences some semblance of joy in watching her children excel in music and studies. /But then the reek of war again shatters her peace./ Germany invades Czechoslovakia, forging alliance with Italy, dread of war hovering all over Europe./ Exodus to England 1939-1943/ Pirani’s world is shattering once again after gaining a semblance of peace for only a few years. /The King of Belgium abdicates and Belgium capitulates to Germany. /Now that Germany has declared war on Paris, Parisians are fleeing to south of France and Spain./ Pirani and children, with the exception of Hidayat, decide to move to England./ WW11 is in full swing while they try to settle in London./ Rubies Four Scattered 1941-1943/ Europe is smarting under the assault of Germany and uniting hands to defeat armies of Hitler./ Pirani trained as Red Cross nurse volunteers in the hospitals. /Her youngest daughter nicknamed Claire studies pathology while also helping in the hospitals./ Vilayat joins British Navy. /Noor is trained as a British spy, though none of her family know about her secret mission as she returns to France to decode messages of German spies and transmit them back to London./ Great Tragedies of WW11 1944-1946/ Pirani has become the victim of her own fatigue and loneliness while Germany keeps gaining victories. /Since months she has not received any letter from Noor, only a brief note from War Office that her daughter is in good health and sends love./Vilayat is docked on the beaches of Normandy to deliver men and weapons to the allied forces while US General Eisenhower comes to London. /Finally WW11 comes to an end May 8, 1945. /After several anguished months of hope and wait, Pirani learns about the tragic death of her daughter Noor who had died July 6, 1944 at the Natzweiler Concentration Camp./ Liberated from Life 1947-1949/ Pirani has lost interest in life, finding consolation in her poetry and solitude. /Almost a year after the war Pirani and Claire return to France. /Vilayat stays in London since he is still working. /Pirani and Claire lived in Fazal Manzil till the American Queen died May 1, 1949 in a hospital in France./ Fazal Manzil is still open to visitors in Suresnes, France, holding dear memories of Beloved Family with roots in India and America. /1947 also marks the partition of Hindustan from British Rule, into India and Pakistan/