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ڪتاب:مشهور سنڌي قصا

(سنڌ جا عشقيه داستان - 1)


صفحو :17





This is the Twentyninth book, in serial order, to have been compiles under the Sindhi Adabi Board’s Folklore and Literature Project. In 1956 the Board had approved this 5-year research project (1957-61 for collection, compilation and publication of Sindhi folklore. Subsequently, it was extended for a further period of three years.

The initial work on the project started in January 1957, and the first two years were devoted mainly to the collection of material both from oral tradition of the village folk and written record. The oral tradition was reduced to writing through a network of the field-workers, one stationed in each ‘taluka’ area. The compilation and publication work commenced from 1959.

The project aims at publishing representative works pertaining to the following main segments of Sindhi folklore (a) fables, fairytales and romantic stories; (b) folk-poetry; (c) folk-songs; (d) marriage songs; (c) ballads pertaining to wars and other events; (f) riddles; (g) proverbs; (h) wit and humor; and (i) folk customs and superstitions. It is expected that forty basic volumes will be completed and published under the above categories. By now, 15 volumes have been published, 10 are under print and the rest are under compilation.

This volume is the first of the series projected to codify the more popular and time-honored ‘folk stories’ of the lower indus valley which have captured the imagination of the people of sindh during the past eight centuries and have continued to be mentioned by the fire-side. Sung by the women-folk in their homely songs, narrated by the rhapsodists in folk-assemblies, recited by the professional minstrel at fears and festivals, versified by the folk-poets, and alluded to by the classical and other to differentiate them from ‘tales’. The folk-tales and fables have no clear historical background expect in-so-far as faint memories of the childhood of the human race, superstitions lingering from early times, or social mores and morals are dimly reflected in them. In contrast, the folk stories are those narrations which have some geo-historical basis. In them, names of some persons and places and references to some events and occurrences could be identified historically. The folk stories may be pseudo-historical or historical. Adventure, romance and intrigue are among their more conspicuous elements. They invariably have their heroes and heroines. A folk story usually reclaims from the historical past that which is more exciting and romantic, and uses it after diluting it with its own unbelievable.

Stories included in this volume are mostly the romantic ones, ranging from pseudo-historical to historical. According to the people, these are the ‘real’ stories rather than mere tales. They believe that at least the central characters of their stories did live once upon a time and that the main events in them did actually occur. Each story has its geographical habitat and a background in history. Through their continued keen interest and imaginative search, people come to identify the localities where events occurred and where their heroes and heroines lived or died.

The substance of each story with a brief discussion of its geo-historical setting follows.[1]

I. Mokhi and Matara (The Barmaid and the Devotees of Bacchus, (pp.3-20). An enterprising talented woman established a brewery (batthi) and opened a tavern for the entertainment of the care-free folk. Her daughter Mokhi, a thoughtful and courteous girl, served as barmaid. The fame of the tavern and the name of the Mokhi, the barmaid, traveled far and wide and many wine-bibbers, tipplers and revelers began to frequent the place. But, one day came the Matara, the real devotees of Becchus. They were the eight adventurous young men, two from each of the great Samma, Soomra, Channa and Chauhan clans,[2] who came all the way from their distant quarters to drink the verities of mandh (wine) at this famous tavern. They enjoyed their drinks and decided to visit the place again. After six months, they came again and enjoyed the experience so much that they now determined to take long journeys to be at tavern every six months. Mokhi served them whenever they came and they always left satiated after having a grand good time.

Once as they arrived, it so happened that no old wine was left to be served to them. Mokhi was much perturbed. But then she remembered an old mutt (wine jar) long since abandoned in a corner, and she hastened to have a look at it. The jar was full to the brim, but a cobra seemed to have fallen into it for long time; its flesh was all dissolved and only the skeleton was left. To serve or not to serve, was the problem for Mokhi. Obviously, the wine had the venom of cobra in it, though it was very colorful and had a long fermentation. Instead of disappointing her fond customers, she decided to serve them this wine apologizing at the same time that since no other wine was available, she had no choice but to offer an old abandoned jar. They welcomed her offer, had their first sips and enjoyed the taste immensely. Then they asked for more, and more, and drank cup after cup. “Never have we tasted such a wine”, they said. They were heavily intoxicated, but left in a happy hilarious mood praising Mokhi and the superb quality of the wine.

Next they came after a long interval of twelve months. Mokhi was happy to welcome them knowing that plenty of good quality wine was now available for them. She served them with grace and confidence, but after their first sips they returned the cups to her and asked for the wine they had been served last year. Mokhi was baffled. That old jar had been drained off and cleansed immediately after they had left last time. But there was a variety of excellent wine in the numerous jars stored inside, and Mokhi opened up another jar and served them with a different quality. They returned their cups again after the very first sip and entreated her to serve them the same old wine. Again an again Mokhi opened up a new jar to serve them with a different quality, but they returned their cups every time begging her to serve them the same old wine.

There was no other jar left to serve them with another variety. Finding them desperate, Mokhi now saw no other way out but to tell them the truth. “The wine that you had a year ago was from an old abandoned jar and had the venom of cobra mixed in it.” “Cobra! Cobra! What? – drank wine mixed with the venom of cobra!!” – They cried. The very thought of the venom and an instant effect: the shock killed them and they all fell dead on the spot.

There versions of this story have been recorded. The earlies references to it are found in the verses of the renowned poets, Shah Karim (d. 1620), Shah Inat (d. 1708-1713 and Shah Abdul Latif (d. 1752). Later on other poets have also alluded to it. The story finds numerous references in folk poetry. The centre of the attention has been the subtle psychological idea that in genuine zeal and zest one ______ survive a real hazard, but a conscious felling of the hazard may _____ to be fatal even after it is all over.

The tavern is said to have been situated near the present Kaunkar village (the area which remains green and fertile to this day), about 10 miles north-east of Karachi, where the graves of Mataro, Mokhi and her mother are pointed out in the old graveyard on a hillock.

The story appears to have originated in the pre-Muslim times, then the socio-political influence of Iran extended to Sind during the Sassanid period (4th to 7th century A.D.). Mokhi is obviously the Sindhized form of moghi derived from moghon, the Zoroastrian criests who used to serve the ceremonial wine on feasts and festivals.

II. Muree and Mongthar (pp. 21-29). A man named Mongthar used to live high up on the hill in his cave-like home and was well-known for his great muscular power all around in the area. He moved his young bride, Muree, immensely, and had nurtured her with great affection. He would go hunting far and wide every day to procure meat for her meals. One day, he could not hunt any animal, but instead of disappointing Muree he cut a piece of flesh from his thigh, cooked it and carried it home for her. Later he told her what he had done and said that he would do anything to make her happy.

A goat-herd, Khoratth by name, used to graze his goats down in the vale. He had long black curly hair on his head which attracted Muree’s attention. So, when Mongthar went out hunting, Muree could come down to meet Khoratth and show her fondness for him. Khoratth dissuaded her but she persisted in meeting him and professing love for him “Is it that Mongthar does not love you?” he asked her one day. “Oh, he is so very fond of me that once he cut a piece of his own flesh and cooked it for me; but, I am in love with you.” Then he said to her: “I am just poor goatherd while Mongthar is an invincible strong man in this area. Leave me alone; for, so far as Mongthar is alive I will have nothing to do with you.”

Muree returned home brooding over the black long tresses of Khoratth: “So far as Mongthar is alive Khoratth will have nothing to do with me”, she said to herself.

Once when Mongthar was very pleased with her, Muree asked him: “Is there anything stronger than your muscles?” “Yes”, he said, “a well-twisted rope made of the hair of young black goat.”

Next when Muree met Khoratth, she begged him to make for her a well-twisted rope out of the hair of his young black goats, and he made the rope for her. She would carry this rope with her, and once when she was with Mongthar on the high cliff, she told him she would like to see if the rope was stronger than his strong muscles. To make her happy, Mongthar let her tighten the rope round his arms and bind him down. Then he tried his strength to break the rope, but the more he tried the more the rope cut through his flesh to the bones. Now when Muree saw that Mongthar was absolutely helpless, she pushed him down the cliff and he fell down dead.

Muree then came to Khoratth and told him what she had done with Mongthar who was now dead, and asked him that he should now marry her. Khoratth was stunned when he heard this. “I would ask you a question”, he said to Muree. “Why did you kill him when he loved you so much?” “For the sake of your long beautiful hair”, she replied. Khoratth than took out his scissors, cut his hair and said to her: “Take this object of your love. It is yours, but leave me alone.”

Indeed, Muree killed Mongthar
Just for her love for the long hair.


So the story concludes.

One common version of this story has been recorded. The folk poets have frequently referred to it in their lyrical songs. Geographically, the story belongs to the hilly region north of Karachi where in deh Soreeng the two adjoining hills separated by a narrow cut in between are still being remembered after the names of Mongthar and Muree. Its primitive environment (living by hunting in the cave) suggests that the story is rooted in early times.

III. Udho Kehr and Hothal Fairy (pp. 30-71). Jam Mohrr son of Manaheen, of great Kehr clan of the Sammas, was the ruler of Kachh-Kakrala. His wife tried to entice his younger brother, the handsome Udho, but he refused her overtures and left the capital. In his wanderings, he met a ‘fairy’, Hothal by name, at the Chakasar Lake and had a great romance with her. Then he married her, and two sons, Jakhro and Jadam, were born to them. Hothal had warned Udho not to reveal her identity as a fairy, but once the secret was out inadvertently and Hothal fairy flew away.

Four version of this story have been recorded which differ in some details. Below its mythological cover (transforming Hothal into a fairy, the historical setting of this folk story can be clearly traced. (i) Names of ‘Mohrr’ and ‘Udho’ are traceable almost in every genealogical table of the Sammas of Sind. (ii) The rule of Jam Mohrr and others of the Kehr clan in Kakrala[3] is confirmed by the histories of Sind.[4] The folk story speaks of jam Mohrr as the ruler of ‘Kachh-kakrala’, that is both of Kachh[5] and kakrala. This is also confirmed by the Kachh tradition which mentions ‘Moad’ (i.e. Mohrr) as the first powerful Samma ruler of Kachh. The tomb of one ‘Moad’, ruler of Kachh, still stands in Kachh, one mile west of Gholaiya, and bears an inscription which is conjectured to be of the 14th century A.D.[6] (iii) Also the folk story mentions ‘King Banbhnia’ who attacked the territories of lower Sindh and Kachh. One of the versions describes him as “the king of Samuee Nagar”. Obviously, he is Jam Banbhnia of Samuee who was one of the founders of Samma dynasty of Sindh. He secceded his father Jam Feroze by about 1350 A.D. and extended the Samma power in Sindh and Kachh until about 1365-66 A.D. when he was taken as a political prisoner by Sultan Feroze Shah of Delhi. (iv) Jam Udho’s marriage with Hothal also appears to be a historical event. More than one versions of the story mention Hothal as the “daughter of Sangan Nigamara”. The Nigamara chiefs, according to Sindh histories, ruled the territories between the mouth of the Indus and present Karachi with their capital at the port of Dharaja. Thus, they were the neighbors of the Kehar Chiefs of Kakrala which included the eastern delta of the Indus and the territories further east and south including Kachh. Friendly relations between these neighboring chiefs are confirmed by the author of Tuhfat-al-Kiram who is usually well-versed in local details. Thus, there is a strong presumption matrimonial relation between them.

IV. Phul-Wadho and Bhori (pp. 72-143). When Prince Phul-Wadho did not show interest in any of the beautiful maids of his household, one of them tauntingly remarked: `Let him alone, he will marry none else than renowned Bhori of Oonchal Kote.’ The Prince vowed that he shall marry none else than beautiful Bhori.

Then, the Prince set out with one hundred selected companions-all disguised as Yogis. After reaching Oonchal Kot, by magic he by-passed the guards to the well inside the palace. There he influenced the maid servant of Bhori, who had come to fetch water from the well to convey it to Bhori that a mendicant was waiting outside at the palace door and he would not move until she herself brought the alms to him. When Bhori came out with alms, she fell in love with him on the very first sight, because besides his handsome looks, he had the halo of magic around him. Bhori then took him as her guest inside the palace and asked her father to marry her to him, but he refused her hand to a mendicant. Phul-Wadho then changed his dress and proved that he was not a mendicant but a prince and Bhori was married to him.

Bhori’s mother, however, was not pleased at all and she engaged an evil-women (dhooti) to break the marriage. The dhooti succeeded in creating doubt in Phul-Wadho’s mind that Bhori was not faithful to him. In spite of Bhori’s pleading, he left her and departed with his friend. On his way, Bhori’s sister planned situations for him which made him realies his mistake. He returned to Oonchal Kote and the lovers were reunited.

Three versions of this story have been recorded, of which two are in verse composed by two village poets about half a century ago. The graves of Phul-Wadho and Bhori (locally known as Bibi Bhori) are pointed out to this day on a hillock on the southern side of the town of Diji in the present Khairpur district (of the Khairpur Division). Adjacent to these graves on the west stands the towering Diji Fort built by Amir Sohrab Khan Talpur by the turn of the 18th century A.D. May be, this fort was built on an earlier site where Oonchal Kote (literally `High Fort`) might have stood. The area around the present Diji Fort is archaeologically old. A site on the western side was executed during the last decade and important ruins of the Indus Valley civilization were uncovered. May be that was the site of `Oonchal Kote` of this story. Reference to `Gorakh-Nath` in the story suggest that it may have originated later in the 13th century A.D. when Gorakh Nath, the celebrated Guru of the Yogi Panth lived. This reference, however, could be a latter interpolation by the story tellers.

  V. Lakho Phulani (pp. 145-183). The name of Lakho Phulani is well-known in the folklore annuals of both Sindh and Kachh.[7] There are more than one stories, instead of one story with more than one version, current about Lakho Phulani in Sindh. These centers mainly upon his romances, personal qualities, or his military exploits. His passionate wooing of and adventurous marriage with Mehr Rani (Queen Mehr) of Nuhato[8] and their subsequent separation is widely remembered and narrated by the villagers in the south-eastern part of Sindh, the area in which Queen Mehr lived or ruled. Subsequently, Lakho had his romantic love with a poor working maid, popularly remembered as `Odin` after her profession. She was the daughter of Bela, one of the headmen of the thousands of the Odes[9] whom Lakho had employed while founding his new capital Keragadh (Fort of Kera). Lakho’s marriage with `Odin proved to be a happy one, and to commemorate it he built two reservoirs, naming one in honor of his father-in-law as `Bela-ra` and the other after his own name as `Lakha-ra` both of which still survive and are locally known to the people. Lakho’s romance with the humble Odin maid has been alluded to by the great Sindhi poet Shah Abdul Latif (1690-1752 A.D.) and also sung by the folk-poets of Sindh. Among his personal qualities, Lakho’s munificence and generosity is widely recounted by the bards in Sindh and his great camping feasts on the banks of the Puran River[10] are rembered by the people to this day. In his exploits, he is known for his great personal valour and quick moves against the enemy whom he always vanquished. The name of his famous mare Lakhi (the Precious) is also remembered to this day. His expeditions against Habbo and Loonyo towns are recounted. His attacks upon or in defense of, the Rabaree people are mentioned. The two chiefs, Jasso and Jasraj, seeking revenge against the Wandhees,[11] and the fears of the Sanghar people, also figure in the context of Lakho’s military exploits.

Taking a comprehensive and critical view of the whole Sind tradition and piecing together all the available bits of information coming from the professional minstrels, poets, rhapsodists, country bards and the people, the story of Lakho Phulani has been constructed and denoted as narrative No. (I) in the text (pp. 145-162). The reference to Lakho’s attacks on the Rabarees in this narration needs revision in the light of original verse in Shah Abdul Latif’s Poetical Compendium (RISALO). More probably, Lakho’s actions were in defense of the Rabarees to whom his mother belonged. Three other narratives collected from the filed are recorded on pp. 163-184. Thus, the Sindh tradition about Lakho Phulani, including his genealogy, is fairly well optimized in these four narrations.

The Kachh lore is equally rich in its accounts of Lakho Phulani, and since it has not been included either in the text or reviewed in the Sindhi introduction to this volume, we propose to discuss it here in some details.

The Kachh tradition recorded so far is derived mainly from the official sources of the court of Kachh or from the professional minstrels either directly connected with the court or living in the Pavar district around the capital town of Bhuj. A complete picture is possible only when folklore record from all over the country, particularly from Kanthi, Abrrasyo, Gardo, Banni and Panchham areas becomes available. The recorded traditions centers mainly on the genealogical tables of the Raos of Kachh and their cousins (the Jams of Navanagr) and of their early Samma ancestors, and on the accounts of succession and rule of different rulers of Kachh in different periods. These accounts portray Lakho Phulani as a powerful ruler, conqueror and a great political figure of his times, but give little account of his personal life-his munificence and his romances which are the warp and woof of real folklore.

The Samatri (the genealogical record of the Sammas kept by the Doongar Bhats) and the oral or recorded accounts of the bards connected with the Court of Kachh, are the main sources which have been used by different writers who have been concerned chiefly with the history of Kachh. Alexander Burnes (1825), Captian Charles Walter (1872), James Burnes (1831), Mrs. Postans (1839, mainly following Alexander Burnes, S. N. Raikes (1854) and finally D. P. Khakkar (1879 (who supplemented the local accounts by references to the Gujrat annals and other outside historics) accumulated in their writings the local Kachh tradition mainly using the official and semi-official sources, and this record has been used by the subsequent writers, starting from the editors of the “Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency” (the volume dealing with Kachh and other States) in 1880 to the latest account of kachh’s history and legends in 1958 by Rushbrook Williams. All these writers* are either unaware of or unacquainted with the annals of Sind, the original homeland of the rulers of Kachh, particularly of the immediate ancestor of Lakho Phulani. Even the latest author, Rushbrook, is heavily influenced by the Gujrat annals even through these are neither corroborated by the Kachh record nor by the Sind tradition. In his fanciful account of Lakho Phulani as well as of the early history of Kachh, this author has Endeavored, rather too conspicuously, to read between the lines much than the Kachh lore warrants, and often produced a distorted perspective.

According to both the Kachh and Sind tradition, Lakho was son of Phul, and hence known as ‘Lakho Phulani’. Phul regained the territories of his father ‘Saand’ with the help of his kinsmen in Sind, and ruled over Gedi. Guntree, Pathgadh, Boladi and Anjar.[12] According to the ‘Genealogy’, Lakho was born to Sonbai, wife of Phul from the Rabaree clan, who was a paragon of beauty. According to Sind lore, Lakho was born on the 8th of Kartak Month of Samvat 976 (920 A.D.) while the ‘Genealogy’ records the date as ‘Wednesday, 10 Kartak, 922 S’ (866 A.D.).[13] All accounts agree that he succeeded his father Phul, and was a great warrior unequalled in velour. He founded ‘Kera Kot’ or ‘Keragadh’, the Fort of Kera or Keda, and made it his capital. It was a great city with architectural beauty of its own, as can be judged from its magnificent ruins which lie 13 miles south of Bhuj.[14]

The Kachh annals give the date of Lakho Phulani’s death variously as ‘Friday, 8 kartak, 901 S’[15] (844 A.D.), 1035 S’ (979 A.D.),[16] and 10 Kartak, 1041 S’[17] (985 A.D.). According to Sind tradition, since Lakho was born in 920 A.D., his death should be placed at about 1000 A.D. or even later, because he is credited with having lived a long life.

The circumstances of his death are equally shrouded in mystery. The recorded Kachh lore does not preserve any local memory of this event, but borrows from Gujrat sources and quotes verses in Gujrati according to which he died at the hand of his sister’s son Mulraj (Mulraj thee Lakho murrer-The Genealogy)-a statement which has been taken for granted by the later writers. Charles Walter (p. 93 has, however, recorded that “lake Phollance... was murdered by his son-in-law” which seems to represent the local Kachh memory. Sind tradition is unanimous in ascribing Lakho’s death to local family feud rather than to any battle; for unconquerable Lakho never lost any battle. According to Sind lore which finds support in one of the verses of the great poet Shah Abdul Latif (1690-1752), Lakho was murdered through an intrigue in which his uncle Khenghar was also involved.

A close look would indicated that Lakho Phulani’s great name and unequalled power and prestige in contemporary history as a renowned warrior, ruler and builder of Kachh power, later on lured the story-tellers of the neighboring countries of Gujrat and Marwar to claim his death at the hands of their own kings and commanders. Thus, Tod had all the evidence in the lore of Marwar that Lakho was killed by a Rathor chief, Raja Siyoji. The chroniclers of Gujrat, on the other hand, would credit this feat to none else than their chief Mulraj who, they assure, killed Lakho with his own hands in the battle of Atkot. Adkot or Akad on the banks of the Jambumati River. Moreover, in this battle Lakho was not alone but had with him the combined strength of the armies of Kachh, Sind and of great Graharipu “the lord of Wonthly”. Some of the writer’s excursioning into Kachh history now, not only readily accept these claims to grandiose of the Gujratis but even naively manipulate explanations to the ludicrous in their stories of Mulraj’s bravedo. “What happened to Graharipu’s Kutchi and Sindhi allies after his capture, and after the death of Lakho?” Answer Rushbrook William, “presumably they returned by sea to their own possessions” (p. 82). Bhagwan Lal was perhaps the first to conjure up a more ‘convincing’ proof of Lakho’s slaying by Mulraj at Akad in his ‘History of Saurashtra’ more than 80 years ago, by pronouncing  that a paliya erected on the spot where Lakho fell, still stood there with the date 1036 S. inscribed on it. Writing in 1958 Rushbrook Williams would still refer to the Paliya (p. 82) in spite of his knowledge of Khakhar’s conclusive evidence in 1879 that the Paliyas there bear no such inscription (p. 34, ft. n.).

Some scholars have attempted to evaluate the Kachh accounts in the light of circumstantial evidence from other historical events to determine the era of Lakho Phulani. Khakhar on the basis of 12 different arguments concludes “that Lakha Phulani must have lived between S. 1185 and 1212 or at least to S. 1235” (p. 37). But, this conclusion is challenged by J. Bugress (in footnote on the same page 37) who is convinced that Lakha’s era rather fails a hundred years later in S. 1379-1441 or 1322-1344 A.D. The writers of Gazetteer of Bombay Presidency give 1340 A.D. as Lakho’s death (Appendix-A, p. 254) while according to Tod Lakho was slain by the Rathor chief in 1212 A.D. which according to Khakhar may be more near to the truth (p. 34). These viewpoints need a critical evaluation in the light of the history of the Sammas in Sind, which provides a better perspective for the rise of the Samma chiefs in Kachh.

VI. Boobana and Jararr (pp. 185-227). After the death of their father, King Turk, the younger and the more intelligent Prince Nizam was put on the throne whereupon the elder brother Jam left the capital in wrath. After years of anxiety of having a child, Prince Jararr was born to King Nizam. When the Prince grew up he went out hunting one day and fell in love with a magician woman and refused to return to the palace. His parents died in anguish and his uncle Jam usurped the throne. The wise minister, Vazier Salim, tried to bring about reconciliation between the uncle and the nephew, assuring Jam to keep the throne to himself. On Vazier Salim’s advice, Prince Jararr also agreed to return to the capital. The Vazier banished the magician woman, and planned marriage for both King Jam and Prince Jararr with the two daughters of a chief of the Dahiri clan. The king was engaged to Kakee and Prince Jararr to Boobana. Jararr and Boobana saw each other and fell in love at the first sight.

The magician woman now wanted to wreck vengeance on Prince Jararr. She entered the service of King Jam and, after gaining his confidence, she told him that Vazier Salim was not sincere to him otherwise he should have engaged him to the younger and more beautiful Boobana. She urged him to marry Boobana and not Kakee. On the day the marriage procession was to leave the capital, this woman got intoxicants served to Prince Jararr and locked him up behind. On reaching the chief’s place, King Jam insisted that Boobana be married to him. Since Prince Jararr was absent the king’s proposal was accepted and Boobana was married to Jam. Boobana took with her a trusted servant and kept the king at a distance. Prince Jararr knowing what had happened sent Kakee back to her father’s home.

King Jam kept Boobana confined in his palace, but with the help of a clever woman, Prince Jararr found his way to her. Thus, the lovers continued to meet, though Jararr was once caught and punished, and subsequently banished. Jararr returned and continued meeting Boobana secretly. The magician woman informed King Jam, and Jararr was finally caught and put to death according to one version. According to another version, he was punished to death by being thrown into ocean. This was done, but he was fortunately saved by fishermen. People were against the tyrant king, and prince Jararr marched with an army against the capital and defeated his uncle. King Jam now repented, allowed Boobana to join Prince Jararr and the evil woman was put to death. Prince Jararr allowed his uncle to retain the throne, preferring to live a happy life with Boobana.

Five versions of this story have been recorded which differ in details but the central theme remains the same, viz., an intense and sincere love between Boobana and Jararr and their being true to each other despite all intrigues and hazards. Graves of Boobana and Jararr, of whose love the bards have continued to sing, is pointer out to this day in the ancient graveyard of Makli near Thatta, the old capital of Sind. Mention of the ‘Turk King’ suggests that this story may have originated sometime during the post-Samma period of Sind history (16th century A.D. after the advent of the Arghuns and the Tarkhans in Sind. However, ‘Turk’ is also the name of sub-branch of Sammas, and Boobana is mentioned as the daughter of Dahiri chief, the ‘Dahiris’ being an important clan of the Samma stock. As such, the story may have originated in the early Samma society before the 16th century A.D.

VII. Hammoon and Darya Khan (pp. 229-271). This folk story amply demonstrates how the people through their lore can reclaim a hero from history and make him as their own, by visualizing his grandeur through the mist of time and conjuring up tales about him by weaving myth around some hazy historical reminiscent of him. The lore of the folk has no place for a hero without some unbelievables about him. A truly historical hero as a human person hardly excites the curiosity or captures the imagination of the simple folk. To be entirely acceptable to them, the ‘historical’ must be diluted with the mythical.

Darya Khan, a boy of unknown parentage, was in the service of Lakhdhir, one of the ministers, when the ruler Jam Nizamuddin recognized his talents and took him in his own service. The young lad through the great Jam’s personal patronage and through self-education started his new career with great competence and confidence. The Jam eventually raised him to the highest position, above his other ministers and above his own son, as Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of his forces. The greatest military achievement of Darya Khan was his victory over the Arghun forces at Sibi, in 899 A.H.

After the death of Jam Nizamuddin (914 A.H he was succeeded by his son Jam Feroze whose mistrust of Darya Khan obliged him to retire from public service. Jam Feroze was a weak ruler, and soon Jam Salahuddin, one of the Samma chiefs from Kachh, attacked and occupied Thatta, the capital of jam Feroze. Jam Feroze’s mother appealed to Darya Khan for help, and as a loyal servant, he gathered the Sindh forces and marched against Salahuddin who vacated the capital and fled back to Kachh. Jam Feroze, however, did not change his attitude to Darya Khan and he retired once again. Jam Feroze now employed some Arghun Chiefs as his advisers and they sent intelligence reports to Shah Beg Arghun, the ruler of Kandhar (whose forces had been defeated at Sibi by Darya Khan some 20 years earlier), to attack Sindh. Darya Khan was a great patriot, and hearing of Shah Beg’s invasion, he appealed to his countrymen to join him against the Arghun army to defend Thatta, the capital of Sindh. There were long drawn battles outside the capital and the Arghun forces were held at bay till they contrived to kill Darya Khan treacherously.[18]

That is how history remembers the great patriot Darya Khan. But the people saw in him their own hero, probably even during his life time. How a boy of obscure origin could attain such a high position? The people had their own answer: he was no ordinary boy, but he blessed son of a Sayyid saint from the city of Joon.[19]According to them Darya Khan had, indeed, supernatural powers to have defeated the strong Arghun forces at Sibi, and the event must have been a fond subject of folk assemblies throughout the country when Darya Khan returned victorious marching all the way from Sibi to Thatta. The men high up knew Darya Khan as a great public figure and this is what was recorded of him in history. The people knew much more about him as a person. It was their privilege to rember and extols the greatest of the great events of Darya Khan’s personal life-his memorable marriage with beautiful Hammoon, which history has forgotten. Sure, the people knew the whole story of this romantic marriage and have not forgotten any of the details to this day.

Hammoon, they say, was the beautiful daughter of Balo, the Rathor Chief of the area around present Jhudo (in the Tharparkar district of the Hyderabad Division). Kauroo and Peroze were her uncles. Beautiful Hammoon grew up in the Jhudo area where the marked depression of Hammoon’s little lake (Hammon-jo-Talao) can be soon to this day. It was that lake, where she was taking bath along with her girl friends that Darya Khan met her first and they fell in love with each other. But, it was not easy for Darya Khan to have her hand. His merit was recognised only after he had killed, singles handed, a lion or some other ferocious wild beast and had conquered Kandhar.[20] Moreover, Hammoon’s hand had already been promised by her father to the son of Kahu, the Chief of Daunr or Dero clan, whose capital was on the site known after his name to this day as “The Mound of Kahu” (Kahu-jo-Darro,[21] near the present city of Mirpurkhas in the Hyderabad Division). Kahu was an influential chief, being a real brother of queen Murkhaeen, the wife of Jam Nizamuddin. But all opposition failed to prevent Hammoon’s marriage with Darya Khan who had the distinction of being the bridegroom, and is, therefore, remembered to this day with that appellation as ‘Doolah Darya Khan’ (Darya Khan the Bridegroom).

This romantic marriage of Hammoon with Darya Khan is central to all the current folklore about this great hero and history must turn to the folklore recond for details of this memorable event in the personal life of the great patriot.

VIII. Mir Bago and Sind Rani (pp. 273-283). This is another story with a clear historical perspective, which has been in the process of developing into folk story during the last two centuries. Here again, some of its topographical details have been preserved by the people but not recorded in history. The precarious fortune of a village girl who was to become Sindh Rani (Queen of Sindh) but never became one, and the ill-luck of the two ruling chiefs each one of whom wanted to have her as his bride but his rule did not last long enough to be able to marry her while the third chief had to renounce his title to rule in order to marry her-were events fascinating enough to capture the imagination of the common folk to treasure the whole story and continue to remember and recount it to this day while history is silent about it.

By about 1770 A.D., a beautiful girl was born in a village of the Odheja community, the ruins of which can still be seen about 7 miles south of the historical site of Thharee in the Matli taluka of the Hyderabad district. She was named Soneti (‘golden’), and as she grew up her beauty became proverbial in the whole neighborhood. The people talked about Soneti, the Paragon of beauty, and Prince Sarfaraz, the heir apparent to the throne of Sind, heard of this in Hyderabad. He sought her hand and the wedding took place with great rejoicings. Sarfaraz soon succeeded his father as ruler of Sindh, and the people now fondly called Soneti as Sindh Rani (Queen of Sindh. The marriage preparations were about to begin when Sarfaraz was imprisoned, and his greedy uncle Abdul Nabi got him murdered, and succeeded in capturing the throne. Since Soneti had been known as ‘Sindh Queen’, he decided to marry her. But soon the country rose in revolt against him and he was defeated on the battlefield in 1786 A.D. by Mir Fateh Ali khan, the leader of the Talpur Baloch Confederacy, Abdul Nabi fled the country and never returned to marry “Sindh Queen”. The people were left speculating as to who would marry Sindh Rani.

When Mir Fateh Ali Khan called the Talpur Chiefs to decide upon a plan of territorial division giving each chief an independent jurisdiction, he found rivalry between them to marry Sindh Rani so strong that their disunity was likely to defeat the objectives of the newly gained victory. He, therefore, declared that the one, who chose to marry ‘Sindh Rani’, would have to forego his territorial share and his status as a sovereign chief of the new confederacy. Thereupon all became silent except the young chief, Mir Bago Khan, who made the momentous decision: “I prefer to choose Sindh Rani.” When this became known, beautiful Soneti was much impressed by Mir Bago’s chivalry and agreed to marry him to become a commoner instead of ‘Sindh Queen’ which appellation had not augured well from the very beginning. Mir Fateh Ali Khan then married Soneti to Mir Bago, assigned an estate to him for maintenance, and bestowed a generous dowry upon the bride. The people admired Mir bago for his bold decision and reveled in the rejoicings of his marriage with beautiful Soneti whom they continued to call “Sindh Rani”.

Mir Bago was an able and energetic chief who excavated a new canal to irrigate his semi-barren estate, and this brought prosperity to the people in that area. Then he founded a new settlement at the canal head which soon developed into a busy market town. The people called the canal and the new settlement after the chief’s name as “Bago Wah” and “Tando Bago”. Mir bago was a generous man. His Otaq (Reception Hall) became a rendezvous for the people from all over the area and a place for feasts and folk assemblies. Mir Bago helped the relatives of his dear wife and made her brother Saeen Dino the chief manager of his estate. Mir Bago and ‘Sindh Rani’ now looked ahead to the happiest days of their lives.

Time had slipped quickly, and hardly had the economic prosperity and social popularity been achieved when Soneti fell ill. Mir Bago tried his best to provide her the beast treatment but the illness proved to be fatal and ‘Sindh Rani’ died in 1794 A.D. after having lived a very happy but short married life of less than ten years. According to her will, Mir bago buried her in her ancestral graveyard of Devano Shah near the Odheja village, and in her memory built a marble grave on a raised platform within a square enclosure with the most beautifully carved stone walls. There her grave stands to this day[22] with the following inscription on it:

“She joined God on the fifth of Ramadan The   month   of   mercy of the Merciful                   5th Ramadan,   1204 A.H.”

The canal ‘Bago Wah’ continues to flow and the town ‘Tando bago’ continues to flourish; and so also the people continue to remember and recount the story of “Mir Bago and Sindh Rani.”


New York City,                                        N.A. BALOCH

January 12, 1964.                             Director, Sindhi Folklore Project.


[1] For details see the introduction in Sindhi, pp. 1-34.

[2] These are still the well-known communities in Sindh. According to another version, they were twelve-   three from each of the Samma, Soomra, Marram and the Roonjha clans.

[3] The present Shah Bandar division of the Thatta district.

[4] cf. Tarihk-e-Sind of Mir Ma’sum, Tarikh-e-Tahiri and Tuhfat-al-kiram.

[5] The territory of Kachh State, lately (1956) incorporated into the new State of Gujrat of India.

[6] Vide ‘Report on the Architectural and Archaeological Remains in the Province of Kachh’, Bombay, 1879, p. 45.

[7] Kachh: socially and culturally aligned with Sindh through the long past, a separate independent state of the Samma chiefs since 12th century A.D. or earlier, a state of the Samma Raos of Kachh since 15th century, a British proctorate since 1830 A.D.-finally incorporated in the new state of Gujrat (India) in November 1956 when it lost its independent existence.

[8] The impressive ruins of the ancient Nuhato fort and city, Lakhe-ji-Wann (well of Lakho and the grave of Queen Mehr in the locality called after her name as Mehr-jo-Dahr lie in the Umerkot taluka of the Hyderabad Division.

[9] The professional plumbers who rase mud walls of all dimensions.

[10] An eastern upper deltaic branch of the Indus River, the abandoned beds of which are traceable to this day in the Tharparkar District of the Hyderabad Division.

[11] Literally, the poor communities who live in small settlements in rural areas.

* In their following works, to which references hereafter will be made by citing the name of the author only:
1. ‘Genealogy of the jadejas’, the ‘Samatri record kept with bard ‘Opadiya Gurji’ of Veerah in Bhuj area translated for Mr. Walter into Persian under the title ‘Nasab Nameh-e-Jadejah’ on February 27, 1822 (MSS.)

2. Walter, Capt. Charles: Brief sketch of the History of Kutch (dt. July 1827) published in Selections from the Records of the Bombay Government, No. XV-New Series, Bombay, 1855, pp. 92-95.

3. Burnes, J.: A Narrative of a Visit to the Court of Sind (And a Sketch of the History of Cutch, Edinburgh, 1831.

4. Mrs. Postans L Cutch or Random Sketches of Western India, London, 1838.

5. Raikess, S. N.: Memoir on the Kutch Stare (dt. Nov. 1854) published in Selections from the Records Bombay Government (same as under 2 above, pp. 8-9.

6. Khakhar, D. P.: Report on the Architectural and Archaeological Ruins in the Province of Kachh, Bombay, 1879.

7. Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, Vol. VL ‘Cutch, Palanpur, and Mahi Kantha’, Bombay, 188.

8. Rushbrook Williams, L.F.: The Black Hill-Kutch in History and Legend, London, 1958.

[12] Khakhar, Appendix-A (genealogical table): Rushbrook Williams, p.76.

[13] Rushbrook Williams writes (p.76) that ‘Lakho Fulani was born, according to Kutch tradition, in Samavat 976 (A.D. 920).’ This agrees with the Sind date.

[14] For details see Burgess, J.: Archaeological Survey of Western India, Memorandum on the Ruins of Kachh, Bombay 1875, p. 21; and Khakhar, p. 46.

[15] Raikes, p.9.

[16] Rushbrook Williams pp. 76 & 79.

[17] Genealogy of the Jadejas.

[18] Al-Makki: Zafar al-Walih bi Muzaffar wa Alihi, p. 137.

[19] The impressive ruins of this city flourishing in the 16th century A.D. lie some 40 miles south east of Hyderabad.

[20] ‘Sibi’ of History.

[21] An important archaeological site where excavations revealed, among other objectives, the remains of an old Budhist monastery.

[22] See the photo on p. 29 of the Sindhi Introduction.


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