Sassi Punnun


Sassui Punnun (or Sassui Panhu or Sassui Punhun) Urdu سسی پنوں; Sindhi سسئي پنھون; Hindi सस्सी-पुन्हू;  Punjabi Gurmukhi ਸੱਸੀ ਪੁੰਨ੍ਹੂੰ is one of the seven popular tragic  romances of the Sindh and four of the most popular in Punjab. The other  six are Umar Marvi, Momal Rano and Sohni Mahiwal, Laila Chanesar, Sorath  Rai Diyach, Noori Jam Tamachi commonly known as Seven Queens of Shah  Abdul Latif Bhittai .
Sassui Punnun was written by the Sindhi and Sufi poet, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai in (1689-1752).
Sassui
Sassui  was the daughter of the King of Bhambour (it is in Sindh whose ruins  can be seen today). Upon Sassui's birth, astrologers predicted that she  was a curse for the royal family’s prestige. The King ordered that the  child be put in a wooden box and thrown in the river Indus. A washerman  of the Bhambour village found the wooden box and the child in the box.  The washerman believed the child was a blessing from God and took her  home. As he had no child of his own, he decided to adopt her.

Sassui and Punnun meet
When  Sassui became a young girl, she was as beautiful as the fairies of  heaven. Stories of her beauty reached Punnun and he became desperate to  meet Sassui. The handsome young Prince of Makran therefore travelled to  Bhambour. He sent his clothes to Sassui's father (a washerman) so that  he could catch a glimpse of Sassui. When he visited the washerman's  house, they fell in love at first sight. Sassui's father was dispirited,  hoping that Sassui would marry a washerman and no one else. Sassui's  father asked Punnun to prove that he was worthy of Sassui by passing the  test as a washerman. Punnun agreed to prove his love. While washing, he  tore all the clothes as, being a prince, he had never washed any  clothes; he thus failed the agreement. But before he returned those  clothes, he hid gold coins in the pockets of all the clothes, hoping  this would keep the villagers quiet. The trick worked, and Sassui's  father agreed to the marriage.

Punnun’s father and brothers  were against the his marriage to Sassui(Punnun being a prince and she  being a washerman's daughter), and so, for their father's sake, Punnun's  brothers traveled to Bhambhor. First they threatened Punnun but when he  didn't relent, they tried more devious methods.
Punnun was surprised  to see his brothers supporting his marriage and on the first night,  they pretended to enjoy and participate in the marriage celebrations and  forced Punnun to drink different types of wines. When he was  intoxicated they carried him on a camel’s back and returned to their  hometown of Kicham.

The lovers meet their end
The next  morning, when Sassui realized that she was cheated, she became mad with  the grief of separation from her lover and ran barefoot towards the town  of Kicham. To reach it, she had to cross miles of desert. Alone, she  continued her journey until her feet were blistered and her lips were  parched from crying "Punnun, Punnun!". The journey was full of dangerous  hazards, which lead to her demise. Punnun’s name was on Sassui's lips  throughout the journey. She was thirsty, there she saw a shepherd coming  out of a hut. He gave her some water to drink. Seeing her incredible  beauty, dirty lustful thoughts came into his mind, and he tried to force  himself on Sassui. Sassui ran away and prayed to God to hide her and  when God listened to her prayers, land shook and split and Sassui found  herself buried in the valley of mountains. When Punnun woke he was  himself in Makran he could not stop himself from running back to  Bhambhor. On the way he called out "Sassui, Sassui!" to which the  shepherd replied. The shepherd told Punnun the whole story. Then Punnun  also lamented the same prayer, the land shook and split again and he was  also buried in the same mountain valley as Sassui. The legendary grave  still exists in this valley. Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai sings this  historic tale in his sufi poetry as an example of eternal love and union  with Divine

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