NAND CHAND, of the village of Darauli Bhai, who had been a playmate of Guru Gobind Singh, served as a masand or officiant and later as the Guru`s diwdn, looking after his accounts and stores. His grandfather, Umar Shah, was a masand during the time of Guru Arjan. Nand Chand is said to have had prepared under his supervision the famous drum, Ranjit Nagara. Tradition also goes that he was deputed by Guru Gobind Singh to go to Srinagar (Garhval) with wedding presents worth one and a quarter lakh of rupees for Raja Fateh Shah`s daughter.

The presents were refused by Raja Fateh Shah on the instigation of Raja Bhim Chand. When Nand Chand was returning home. Raja Bhim Chand`s men tried to intercept and forcibly seize the gifts, but Nand Chand foiled the attempt and reached Paonta Sahib safely. In the battle of Bharigam in 1688, he fought valiantly. Guru Gobind Singh recalls his feats in his Bachitra Ndtak: “Nand Chand rushed into the fray in a rage, wielding his spear and brandishing his sword. As the sword broke, he drew out his dagger and with great determination saved the honour of the Sodhi race.

” According to Bhai Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Pratdp Suraj Granth, Nand Chand in the end faltered in his devotion. It is said that an Udasi sddhu brought a newly calligraphed copy of the holy Granth Sahib to Anandpur to be signed by Guru Gobind Singh. Nand Chand retained that copy with him and refused to return it to the Udasi, who made a complaint to the Guru. The diwdn, feeling ashamed, escaped from Anandpur and took asylum with Dhir Mall at Kartarpur who, taking him for a spy, had him murdered. The copy of the Granth Sahib which Nand Chand is said to have carried with him is preserved at Darauli Bhai, his ancestral village.

References :

1. Bachitra Natak
2. Sukha Singh, Gurbilas Dasvin Patshahi. Lahore, 1912
3. Kuir Singh, Gurbilas Patshahi 10. Patiala, 1968
4. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35
5. Gian Singh, Giani, Panth Prakash. Patiala, 1971
6. Harbans Singh, Guru Gobind Singh. Chandigarh, 1966