Habiba, alias Habba Khatoon, was a great poetess of the late sixteenth century. Born in Chandhar (Pampore), fifteen kilometers from Srinagar, her parents used to call her Zoon (Moon) due to her extreme beauty. They educated her but did not appreciate her innate poetic talent. They married her to an illiterate peasant, a total mismatch to her poetic bent of mind, but the marriage ended in a divorce as she could not reconcile with her illiterate husband.
It is said that one day she along with her friends was heard singing love lores, in the saffron fields, by Sultan Yousuf Shah Chak. The Sultan was so much intoxicated with her melodious voice and poetry that he fell in love with her at first sight and proposed marriage which her parents willingly consented. In this way Habba Khatoon the poetess became the queen of Kashmir and a very wise adviser to the King.’ Her poetry scaled new heights of imagination and her poems became an important part of Kashmiri’ s folk literature.
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