Interesting Quotes from Baburnama - the autobiography of Babur

While I was working on Jaisi Main Aave Khasam Ki Bani, I read Babur's autobiography and I found the some passages very interesting. First the video of the shabad, and then the quotes from Babur. 

On being truthful:
I have not written all this to complain: I have simply written the truth. I do not intend by what I have written to compliment myself: I have simply set down exactly what happened. Since I have made it a point in this history to write the truth of every matter and to set down no more than the reality of every event, as a consequence I have reported every good and evil I have seen of father and brother and set down the actuality of every fault and virtue of relative and stranger. May the reader excuse me; may the listener take me not to task.

Babar's geneology:

Babar was the great-great-great-grandsom of Timur and he claimed that from his mother's side, he was descended from Genghis khan. In his autobiography he describes the genealogy of his maternal grandfather Yunas Khan as:
Yunas Khan, son of Wais Khan, son of Sher-'ali Aughlon, son of Muhammad Khan, son of Khizr Khwaja Khan, son of Tughluq-timur Khan, son of Aisan-bugha Khan, son of Dawa Khan, son of Baraq Khan, son of Yesuntawa Khan, son of Muatukan, son of Chagatai Khan, son of Genghis Khan

"Pillar of heads"

We had been told that when Afghans are powerless to resist, they go before their foe with grass between their teeth, this being as much as to say, " I am your cow."  Here we saw this custom ; Afghans unable to make resistance, came before us with grass between their teeth. Those our men had brought in as prisoners were ordered to be beheaded and a pillar of their heads was set up in our camp 
I first heard the word sangur after coming to Kabul where people describe fortifying themselves on a hill as making a sangur. Our men went straight up, broke into it and cut off a hundred or two of insolent Afghan heads. There also a pillar of heads was set up.
After dismounting in Bannu, we heard that the tribesmen in the Plain (Dasht) were for resisting an4 were entrenching themselves on a hill to the north. A force headed by Jahanglr Mirza, went against what seemed to be the Kiwi sangur, took it at once, made general slaughter, cut off and brought in many heads. Much white cloth fell into (their) hands. In Bannu also a pillar of heads was set up. After the sangur had been taken, the Kiwi head-man, Shadi Khan, came to my presence, with grass between his teeth, and did me obeisance. I pardoned all the prisoners.

On his "wretched" Mongol cousins compared to his own troops:
The Moghul troops who had come as reinforcements had no endurance for battle. They left the battle and began to unhorse and plunder our own men. It was not just here they did this: those wretched Moghuls always do this. If they win they take booty; if they lose they unhorse their own people and plunder them for for booty.

On the deplorable "Hindustan":
Hindustan is a place of little charm… There are no good horses, meat, grapes, melons, or other fruit. There is no ice, cold water, good food or bread in the markets. There are no baths and no madrasas. There are no candles, torches, or candlesticks.

On killing "infidels"
For the sake of Islam I became a wanderer,
I battled infidels and Hindus,
I determined to become a martyr
Thank God I became a Killer of Non-Muslims!

Babar and Music

Mentions Musicians that need to be remembered.  This among many:
ShaikhT the flautist {ndyt) was another ; it is said he played also the lute and the guitar, and that he had played the flute from his 12th or 13th year. He once produced a wonderful air on the flute, at one of Badl'u'z-zaman Mirza's assemblies ; Qul-i- muhammad could not reproduce it on the guitar, so declared this a worthless instrument ; Shaikhl Ndyi at once took the guitar from Qul-i-muhammad's hands and played the air on it, well and in perfect tune. They say he was so expert in music that having once heard an air, he was able to say, "This or that is the tune of so-and-so's or so-and-so's flute." 
Discerning good and bad music; for him being "in tune" was important.
Amongst the musicians present at this party were Hafiz HajT, Jalalu'd-din Mahmud the flautist, and Ghulam shadt's younger brother, Ghulam bacha the Jews'-harpist. Hafiz Haji sang well, as Herl people sing, quietly, delicately, and in tune. With Jahangir Mirza was a Samarkandl singer Mir Jan whose singing was always loud, harsh and out-of-tune. The Mirza, having had enough, ordered him to sing ; he did so, loudly, harshly and without taste. Khurasanis have quite refined manners ; if, under this singing, one did stop his ears, the face of another put question, not one could stop the singer, out of consideration for the Mirza.
Musicians are named in parties:
Having ridden out at the Mid-day Prayer for an excursion, we got on a boat and 'araq was drunk. The people of the party were Dost Beg, Mirza Quli, Ahmadi, Gadai, Muhammad 'All Jang-jang, 'Asas,5 and Aughan-blrdI MughilL The musicians were Rauh-dam, Baba Jan, Qasim-i-'all, Yusuf-i-'alT, Tingrl-qull, Abu'l-qasim, Ramzan Lull. We drank in the boat till the Bed- time Prayer ; then getting off it, full of drink, we mounted, took torches in our hands, and went to camp from the river's bank

Babar's Poverty
During my stay in Tashkent, I endured much poverty and humiliation. I had no country or hope of one! Most of my retainers dispersed; those who remained were unable to move about with me because of their destitution. This uncertainty and want of house and home drove me at last to despair. I thought, 'It would be better to go off by myself than live in such misery; better to go as far as my feet can carry me than for others to see me in such poverty and humiliation. 

On Melons (he loved melons!):
In all Fergana no fort is so strong as Akhsi. Its suburbs extend some two miles further than the walled town. People say of Akhsi, "Where is the village? Where are the trees?" Its melons are excellent; one variety of them is known as Mir Timuri and may have no equal in the world. The melons of Bukhara are famous. When I took Samarkand, I had some brought from there and some from Akhsi. They were cut up at an entertainment and those from Bukhara could not compare with those from Akhsi. The fowling and hunting of Akhsi are very good indeed; white deer abound in the waste on the Akhsi side of the Syr-Darya; in the jungle on the Andijan side, abundant and well-fed bucks and does, pheasant and hare are had.
Samarkand has good districts and subdistricts. Its largest district, and one that is its equal, is Bukhara, 162 miles to the west. Bukhara in its turn, has several subdistricts; it is a fine town. Its fruits are many and good, its melons excellent, none in Mawara'u'n-nahr matching them for quality and quantity. Although the Mir Timuri- melon of Akhsi is sweeter and more delicate than any Bukhara melon, still in Bukhara many kinds of melon are good and plentiful. The Bukhara plum is famous; no other equals it. They skin it, dry it and export it from land to land with other rarities; it is an excellent laxative. Fowls and geese are bred in abundance in Bukhara. Bukhara wine is the strongest made in Mawara'u'n-nahr; that was what I drank while in Samarkand.
One of those on the south is Andijan, which has a central position and is the capital of the Fergana country. It produces much grain, fruits in abundance, excellent grapes and melons. In the melon season, it is not customary to sell them out at the fields. There are no pears better than those of Andijan. After Samarkand and Kesh, the fort of Andijan is the largest in Mawara'u'n-nahr (Transoxiana). It has three gates. Its citadel (ark) is on its south side. Water flows into it by nine channels, but, oddly, flows out by none. Round the outer edge of the ditch runs a gravelled highway; the width of this highway divides the fort from the suburbs surrounding it.

Just as 'Arabs call every place outside 'Arab (Arabia), ' Ajam, so Hindustanis call every place outside Hindustan, Khurasan. There are two trade-marts on the land-route between Hindustan and Khurasan ; one is Kabul, the other, Qandahar.
From all these the mountains of Nijr-au, the Lamghanat and Sawad differ in having masses of cypresses,^ holm-oak, olive and mastic {kkanjak) ; their grass also is different, — it is dense, it is tall, it is good neither for horse nor sheep. Although these mountains are not so high as those already described, indeed they look to be low, none-the-less, they are strongholds ; what to the eye is even slope, really is hard rock on which it is impossible to ride. Many of the beasts and birds of Hindustan are found amongst them, such as the parrot, mina, peacock and liija {lukhd), the ape, nil-gdu and hog-deer {kuta-pdt); some found there are not found even in Hindustan.