He is not only the greatest of Sindhi writers, but he has been equated with the literature of his land, as if he were co-terminous with Sindhi literature. Shah was the finest flower in a garden of poetry.
Sung by Noori and Shilpa Rao, the song relives the age-old story of Sohni-Mahiwal also referred to as Sohni-Mehar and their struggle to be together. I remember listening to this song recently and how it transported me back to my childhood, when my father first told me this story, along with countless others.
The special thing about a good storyteller is that they bring the characters to life and make each situation compelling, describing everything as if it were happening right before your eyes.
My father used to tell me the stories of such a storyteller, named Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, and I have always been fascinated by his work. His poems and other work were compiled in Shah Jo Risalo, which has been translated into Urdu and English. The Risalo is written in poetic verses, and there are more than 30 surs a mode of singingas most of these stories are originally found in vernacular vocal traditions.
The language he uses is very traditional Sindhi, which is sometimes hard to understand for younger generations. But once you are able to comprehend his words, the themes and lessons found within are such that they stay with you for a lifetime. Different regions in the country have adopted the stories to match their landscapes and values, with different poets quoting the same characters time and again.
Shahzada Izzat Baig, a rich tradesman from Uzbekistan, saw Sohni while on business, and fell in love with her. He would buy pottery from the shop every day just to get a glimpse of her. Sohni also fell for Izzat, and instead of going back with his caravan, he stayed and worked in the area as a buffalo herder, and became known as Mahiwal.
However, a girl from the Kumhar could not marry an outsider, and Sohni was soon married off to another potter, whom she did not desire.
The lovers would secretly meet every night. Sohni hid a clay pot that she used to cross the river every night to meet Mahiwal.
My passion for these stories compelled me to not merely read about them, but also physically visit the places referred to in the poems. Whether it was walking on the desert where Sassui wandered for days, or visiting the grave of Noori in the middle of Keenjhar Lake, I wanted to truly understand and empathize with these characters.
Historic gravesite of Noori Jam Tamachi source: Dawn When Bhittai first heard these stories, he travelled all over Sindh, traversing the same paths as the characters and experiencing what their struggle must have been like.
He idealizes their commitment, faith, determination, ambitions and struggles. Being a girl, it was exciting for me to see the females in powerful lead roles. They are the true heroes of the stories, sacrificing all for what they believed in and never giving up.
Keeping in mind that Bhittai was a Sufi poet, most of his work has several interpretations. Through these romantic tales, in which the character undertakes a journey to seek their beloved at all costs, Bhittai can also be interpreted in terms of the spiritual journeys of his characters: The song I mentioned in the beginning is the dialogue between Sohni and her Gariya clay pot.
One night, as she goes to cross the river, she notices her pot has been replaced by a pot of unbaked clay. She then realizes that her sister-in-law spied on her, saw where she used to hide the pot, and replaced it.
Nonetheless, she is determined to meet Mahiwal at any cost, as he must be waiting for her. She sets out and halfway through, the pot dissolves, leaving Sohni struggling. Upon seeing this from the other side, Mahiwal jumps into the river to save his love, despite being aware that the odds are against him.
They both drown in the river that night.
One cannot help but feel her pain and helplessness. Bhittai brings to life a lot of existential questions, some of which can perhaps only be answered when we find ourselves in front of that river, deciding whether to cross or run away.history of shah abdul latif bhittai SHAH ABDUL LATIF of Bhit, called simply' Shah' or 'Monarch’ is a unique figure in literature.
He is not only the greatest of Sindhi writers, but he has been equated with the literature of his land, as if he were co-terminous with Sindhi literature.
Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai (also referred to by the honorifics Lakhino Latif, Latif Ghot,Bhittai, and Bhitt Jo Shah) ( – ) (Sindhi: شاھ عبدالطيف ڀٽائيِ, Urdu:شاہ عبداللطیف بھٹائی) was a Sindhi Sufi scholar, mystic, saint, poet, and yunusemremert.com is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the Sindhi language.
Shah Jo Risalo (Sindhi: شاھ جو رسالو ) is a poetic compendium of famous Sindhi Sufi poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. In fact, it is many compendia, for Shah Abdul Latif's poetry in various forms of bayt and wai was compiled by many of his devotees during his lifetime and after his death. Shah Jo Risalo (Sindhi: شاھ جو رسالو ) is a poetic compendium of famous Sindhi Sufi poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.
In fact, it is many compendia, for Shah Abdul Latif's poetry in various forms of bayt and wai was compiled by many of his devotees during his lifetime and after his death. Shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. The shrine was built for Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, a noted Sindhi Sufi scholar, mystic, saint, and poet who is widely considered to be the greatest Muslim poet of the Sindhi language.
His collected poems were assembled in the compilation Shah Jo yunusemremert.comectural style: Indo-Islamic. Shah Abdul Latif was born to Shah Habib in the village of Hala Haveli, a few miles to the east of the present town of Bhit Shah (named after him), on November 18, CE.
[ citation needed ] Latif was raised during the golden age of Sindhi yunusemremert.com: 18 November , Sui-Qandar (Bhit Shah) Hala, Sindh.