Friday, June 8, 2007

They say the greatest love stories are the ones in which the lovers remained unrequited. So that for generations to come for as long as the world continue to spin on its axis. These immortal lovers would be the inspiration for every beating heart, every blush, every lowering of eyelashes.

Laila Majnoon, Shirin Farhad, Romeo Juliet, Sassi Panno and ofcourse Heer Ranjha are all part of a legacy of a love that cannot be. Especially in today's day and time.
If a man were to love so much he would be called a wimp, and if a woman were to love this way she would be called needy, clingy.
This is our world is it not. We are all screaming for SPACE .
MY SPACE, Cut me some slack, I need some time out....
this be the poetry of todays lovers.

Heer Ranjha was an epic written by the Punjabi Bard WARIS SHAH on the traditional folk tale of Heer and her lover Ranjha. Though other writers have written of their love story but it is Waris Shah's work that remains the most notable. As was the poetic culture of the time. Couplets would very often have the poet's name within the verse. This was how; when their poetry would be carried by word of mouth, their work would be automatically attributed to them.In the past, Poets would often become famous when their work was sung either by courtesans, or by beggars. You can read up on HEER RANJHA


I recently had the pleasure top watch a delightful movie based on the life of this Punjabi poet.
Called WARIS SHAH: ISHQ DA WARIS, its stars bollywood actress Juhi Chawla and Gurdas Mann. Gurdas Mann is a legend in Punjabi music and his soulful voice renders the poetry of Waris Shah in the movie as pure ecstasy.
Essentially, because it is a movie on a punjabi poet, the essence of the movie is his poetry woven with with the historical situation at that time.
The Mughal ruler of the time, is averse to music and the arts, and bans all poets and artistes. Here begins the journey of our poet. His search for a Guru to lead him, and on finding one being told that till he himself did not experience the oain and pleasure of love, he would never become a true poet.




Heer is from a wealthy family. Ranjha is the youngest of four brothers and lives in a village Chenab. While his brothers who had to work hard, his day passes playing the flute. After a quarrel with his brothers over land, Ranjha leaves home.


He arrives in Heer's village and falls in love with her. Heer offers Ranjha a job as caretaker of her father's cattle. She becomes mesmerised by the way Ranjha plays his flute and eventually falls in love with him. They meet each other secretly for many years until they are caught by Heer's jealous uncle, Qaido. Heer is forced into marriage to another man.



A bereft Ranjha walks the streets like mad man until he meets a 'Jogi' (ascetic). Ranjha voluntarily becomes a Jogi, piercing his ears and renouncing the material world. He travels around the Punjab, and he eventually finds the village where he is reunited with Heer.
The two return to Heer's village, where Heer's parents agree to their marriage. However, on the wedding day, Heer's jealous uncle Kaido poisons her food to put an end to the wedding.Ranjha rushes to save Heer, but he is too late, as she has already eaten the poison and died. Brokenhearted once again, Ranjha takes the poisoned sweetwhich Heer has eaten and dies by her side.
According to folklore Heer and Ranjha are buried in a Punjabi town called JHANG in Punjab.




I leave you with a couplet from HEER.


They say unto Ranjha: What do you see in Heer? She is dark, she is ugly?


And Ranjha replies: She is neither dark nor ugly. It is you,who do not have the eyes to see.



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