Love Legends of Punjab

Since long, Punjab has faced and had war with people trying to invade. Hence, life’s truth became well established as a reality as is the blood inside the veins. Such visions of life ingrained inside the lovers of the state, a feeling of beauty and periscopic view, along with the ability to lay down life. Such a feeling gave way for two dimensional actions. One side had love which was mortal and was like god’s worship. The other side of such love, gave strength to fight and overcome religious prejudices. From such ethos, emerged the beautiful love stories since centuries, which went to gain the status of folk stories and the memories of Sahiban, Sohni, Sassi, Heer and few others were immortalized and were listened and heard from one generation to the next. Memories of such lovers are still fresh among people, as these people died for the sake of love and not that the lovers gave up their lives because of love. These ladies had gone against the social and conventional norms and at the end, never tried to protect their soul or the body and for love, they sacrificed everything.

Such philosophies of love are rooted in Waris Shah’s poems, according to whom; love was quintessential of world’s existence.

According to him, one needs to thank God for creating love as the worlds root. He was the first one to love and sent prophets as his messengers of love. This was the belief system, which was inherent in the hearts of Punjab women, who had a soul of romanticism, giving them a conviction of righteousness and courage to express. It is because of this reason that there is no story, where a woman is depicted to be silent about her love and ready to die or simply keeping her thoughts within her. Most of the stories of love have the women with volatile nature with characters which are dynamic.

Legends of love from Punjab are filled with contradictions, which existed in the society related to social status, religion, caste and honor, which have acted in keeping lovers at a distance since many centuries. The study of different love stories is to bring into mind the developments across centuries through descriptions of these legends and how these had affected the social and political scenarios of those times. The descriptions were meant to use legends of love as a base of the poetry in Sufism in Punjabi culture. Most of these poems of legends of love have been the centre on which Punjabi poetries have been spun.

Two important points have been put forth by the poets of Sufism of Punjabi love legends by using these characters and various situations. These were the stress on going against social norms, which were established without any basis and the love for God and mankind. In most of his work, the 16th century Sufi poet, Shah Hussain has given examples of Heer Ranjha, such as in a Kafi.

Heer Ranjha

Heer Ranjha story, in the poetic composition form, is a love story of epic prominence and significant place in Punjab’s qissa literature by Waris Shah. A young man and woman are the leads of this story.

Sassi Punnu

Sassi, King Adamkhan’s daughter belonged to Bhambour, was the protagonist of another romantic story. When she was born, it was predicted by the astrologers that she would prove to be a curse for the prestige of the royal family and therefore there was an order from the king that she be thrown into the Chenab River by tying a taweez on her neck by putting her inside a chest made of wood.

Sohni Mahiwal

Sohni had another love story, in which she was Tula potter’s daughter, living along the River Chenab’s banks in Punjab. She had beautiful creativity as she created artistic masterpieces by floral designs on the mugs and Surahis, which were built from the rotating wheels.

Mirza Sahiban

Mirza Sahiban is one of the love stories, which is considered a Punjabi literature treasure. Sahiban was one more soul who was love lord. Pillo Shayer praises her beauty by saying that when Sahiban came up with a lungi around her waist, legendary nine angels were doomed to death, while god himself went to the verge of dying.


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