As a part of the Maratha campaigns, the imperial camp was shifted to Khawaspur on 30 August 1700. However, the new terrain at the peak of the rainy season presented it’s own share of troubles to Aurangzeb and his men. The night after they shifted the camp, while most of the camp was fast asleep, an alert was suddenly raised. The alert and the commotion spread chaos in the camp and in time, it was understood that the waterless Man river burst into a flood and inundated the camp in the night. The camp was flooded to an extent that “Many men and animals perished; many more, including even the nobles, were left absolutely poor and naked; nearly all the tents and property were damaged“. The damage was that severe, Mughals had to buy more than 4000 horses and enlist more levies to shore up their numbers in due time.

But, being a new place and an alarm being raised, the news quickly spread that there is a Maratha attack on the camp though the commotion died down when water started coming into the camp. What was Aurangzeb doing then? Did he take charge of the situation as is his wont? Not exactly.

Alexander was in his privy when commotion started in the camp. Fearing a Maratha attack, he got up too swiftly only to loose his balance and broke his leg. The limp stayed on with him all his life and to console the grumpy old man who limped all his life, his court jesters equated him to his limp ancestor Amir Timur and claimed that he will become a world conqueror for his ancestor!!

Notes Jadunath Sarkar in his magnum opus on Aurangzeb,

When the flood first struck the camp, a little before midnight, and the tents began to fill with water, men tried to run to safety, but could see no path of escape in the darkness, only waves on all sides. A loud cry arose throughout the army. The Emperor was in his privy when this universal outcry reached his ears. Imagining that the Marathas had burst into the camp, he rose in alarm, but stumbled and dislocated his right knee. The doctors failed to set it properly, and he remained a little lame for the rest of his life. The Court flatterers used to console him by saying that it was the heritage of his ancestor Timur the Lame and a token that he would repeat the victories and success of that world-conqueror!

May be, one way want to conjecture that the word Langda Timur or Timur the Lame became famous because of an old man who fell in his privy in terror and broke his leg amidst a campaign which ruined not just his prestige but the whole empire painstakingly built by his ancestors as well?

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