About This Folk Story of Sindh
Among the seven stories of Tragic Romance of Sindh, Suhini Menhar [Suhini Mehar] is most popular just because in the adjoining state of Punjab almost same folklore was part of social and literary life of citizen there. The only difference in both folklores is in the story of Suhini Menhar [Sindhi] the river is Indus (Sindhu) and Sohani Mahiwal [Punjab] river is Chinab. According to Sindhi version Suhini was from the Jat tribe living of eastern bank of river Indus and her husband Dam was living on the western bank of river.
Suhni Menhar is also part of legendry Sindhi literature “Shah Jo Risalo”. The fascinating true love of Suhini Menhar is such inspiring that Hindi film industry has made a few films on this story including one of Bharat Bhushan and Nimmi released in 1958 and another of Sunny Deol and Poonam Dhilon released in 1984.
Story: Suhini Menhar
The story starts in the 18th century, when country was ruled by the Mugal Kings. Potter Tulla, who was famous for the artistic designs on the earthen pots especially Surahi [pot used to store water] and Mugs [pots used to drink tea/milk]. Suhini the beautiful daughter of Tulla was helping father in creating innovating designs. As most of their products were purchased by the King hence they were prosperous to a great extant in comparison of other members of the community.
Once Shahzada Izzat Baig from Bukhara, who was on trading tour of India [later he become famous as Menhar (one who looked after the heard of Buffalos)] came to shop of Tulla. This was the first time when Suhini and Menhar saw each other. Both fall in love for each other and Izzat Baig instead of returning back to his home city Bukhara started living there. For the sack of his love he started serving as the home servant of Tulla. He was assigned task of looking after the heard of Buffalos hence become famous as Menhar or Mehar. Suhini and Menhar were meeting in the shade where buffalos were kept and spending some moments of intimacy.
When father came to know about this and feeling the disturbance in his community about this affair, he immediately arranged marriage of Suhini with Dam a boy from his own community and was living on the other side of the river. The world become darkest place for the Menhar, he left everything, even some says he become faqir, and started living in a small hut near the river bank.
Suhini and Menhar were meeting every night as Menhar came to a place close to shores of river, where Suhini reaches by crossing the river with the help of earthen pot. This went on for some time but one day Sister-in-law of Suhini came to know about these secret meetings, she also find the hidden place, where Suhini has kept her earthen pot. She exchanged the backed earthen pot with unbaked one.
Every time when Menhar was meeting with Suhini, he was used to bring fish for both. It is said that one day due to strong waves Menhar was not able to catch fish so he roasted flesh cut from his thigh.
Suhini was not aware about the act of her sister-in-law as usual went on the river with earthen pot to cross it and meet with her beloved. This was a stormy night river was roaring and was filled with additional water flow. When Suhini reached the mid of the river the unbaked pot get dissolved in water and she started shouting Menhar – Menhar for the help.
Hearing the voice of Suhini, Menhar who was still recovering from the painful wound on his thigh, jumped into river without thinking or caring about the fact that he did not know swimming. People gathered on the both shores of river saw that Menhar reached to Suhini but they never came out as fast and furious water flow of river has taken away embraced bodies of lovers.