Folklore: Wailings of love

'سنڌي ادب' فورم ۾ عبدالحڪيم راڄڙ طرفان آندل موضوعَ ‏22 مئي 2011۔

  1. عبدالحڪيم راڄڙ

    عبدالحڪيم راڄڙ
    سينيئر رڪن

    ‏13 ڊسمبر 2010
    ورتل پسنديدگيون:
    ايوارڊ جون پوائينٽون:
    Sachal Goth, Karachi
    Folklore: Wailings of love

    ڏونگر مون مَ ڏوکوء،
    آئون اڳ ڏکوئي آهيان
    ساريان ڪونه سکوء،
    سور گهڻئي سنڀران.
    شاه لطيف_

    “O mountain, do not become harsh
    to me as
    I am already afflicted;
    I do not recall any pleasure,
    miseries I remember”

    So laments Sassui when she wanders through the Pubb mountain — the harsh terrain and a desolate place in Pubb range leading to Kech Makran. It is here that a desperate Sassui longing for her lover Punnu loses her life. She cannot unite in life but does not lose hope and rests in eternal peace. Today, Pubb, Harrho, Kech all symbolise the great love immortalised by Sindhi, Punjabi and Seraiki poets for over seven centuries. As I pass through this inhospitable vicinity, I hear the laments of Sassui.
    This is Sanghar, a small valley surrounded by grey shale rock of the Pubb range, cradling a green chador-clad grave — the mortal remains of Sassui-Punhoon, symbol of their earthly union. It is this unsurmountable devotion that brought Shah Latif from Bhambhore down to Sanghar 269 years ago and made him compose five Surs for Sassui — a unique homage to any of his heroines.
    Standing by her grave, I can hear Sassui’s words. With her feet bruised she asks the Pubb mountain, “be helpful to love-inflicted ones, lest before I can reach Kech, I may breathe my last like all other pathless lovers.”
    She doesn’t know which way her in-laws took her beloved Punhoon, but is sure of one thing: Kech he belongs to, thus she should head that way. “Not adhering to her friends’ advice at Bhambhore, she undertakes a lonely journey, the destiny uncertain. Bare-foot, tired and melancholy, she combs the thorn-strewn hilly ridges: bypasses the hissing snakes and continues an unfinished journey into the Pubb range.
    Desolate, as she is, she strides directionlessly for over 200 kilometres into the most unreceptive mountain, that holds no shelter from the blazing sun and prickly thorns.
    Parched, she runs wildly through the heat-blazing dales of Kuraro mountain for water. The thirst overcomes her. Falling to the ground, she see a lizard — the only companion she comes across in her journey. Immediately her eyes sparkle with the hope of finding water. She removes a little sand, and finds water only a foot below the sand. While quenching her thirst, she takes it as an omen for finding her Punhoon, too. The small dug out area today holds the name of Sassui’s well in the midst of Pabni Chowki and Sanghar.
    I see her wandering around Manhiaro — the last peak of the Pubb mountains where the next range Kuraro extends towards Kech. Munhiaro is a dialectical derivation of Munh-Bahar (un veiled face), an attribution to the legend that says that Sassui finding no way out of the girdled mountain, prays to God for help and as she completes her prayer, the mountain splits.
    Here the Pubb stands in two pieces, allowing water of the Pubb river to flow into the Arabian sea near Sonmiani, 30km away from the seashore. It is here that she sits at a reddish-brown rock near the river. The place where she rested is still called “Sassui-jo-Wato” (The bowl of Sassui). The rock attunes to the sound of a bronze bowl when struck with smaller stones. The rest does not last for long.
    I see her on her feet again. She climbs, crawls, walks, falls and rises again, into the unpaved paths of Sanghar — the place where she rests today. With scorched lips and bruised feet she heads to a brownish mud plain, where a herdsman grazes his goats. She is lit with new hope. In a choked voice she inquires whether he knows anything about her lover. The herdsman is overwhelmed by lustful intention. She reads his thoughts and decides to get rid of him.
    She asks for some water. He offers to give her milk and as he runs to milk a goat nearby, Sassui prays for her death rather than fall into the hands of the herdsman — and there she is granted an honourable end. The earth opens and Sassui with a desperate look towards Kech, sinks into the dry veins of the Pubb.
    The herdsman hoping to see the lonely girl at the same spot, finds nothing but a piece of her Chunni at the ground outside the grave. He realises the pain and depth of love, and feeling guilty, assembles a few stones to erect a grave.
    Sassui knows that the reunion with Punhoon will take place, even if it is after her life on earth: “Joyously, the beloved will come over the mountain, and indeed reunion will take place.”
    Few days later Punhoon frees himself and rushes back to Sassui. On the way he is surprised to see a new grave. As the herdsman reveals the incident, Punhoon kneels down to pray for eternal union. The grave reopens, whereupon he slides himself into it. The ultimate union takes place.
    For the last few centuries, the Pubb mountain has cradled the grave of the united lovers. During this period the harsh lashing winds and torrential rains have stormed the simple slate-grave to the ground. It was about to vanish when a kind hearted, pious man erected a simple mausoleum over it along with a mosque.
    His resolute will to pay homage has resulted in the digging of a couple of wells and the splicing of a road to the site, an effort that can only be appreciated after crossing the rubble of dust and stones for over 70 kilometres west of Karachi.
    Back into my dust whirling vehicle, I drive onto the same roadway — a last look at the green mausoleum, growing smaller and smaller against the red setting sun with the giant Pubb in the backdrop. In the foreground a gloomy human figure slowly fades away.
    — Shaikh Aziz is Vice Chairman of
    Sindhi Adabi Board

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