Sohni Mahiwal

Can a passing trader fall in love?

Fall as deeply as the depth of a river?

Fall in love with the handmade pottery

With the hands of his beloved Sohni

 Walking down the road to the nearby pottery shop

To buy some glimpses of her glowing face

He spent all his wealth and lost his heart

Somewhere in the town of Kumhars

 Can a daughter of a pottery maker fall in love? 

Fall in love other than her tribesmen?

Fall in love with the taste of fish

The fish Mahival used to cook for her  

 Crazy unrighteous lovers, I judged 

Deceiving the world till the river revealed

 Revealed the mysterious, mournful tale of them

  Oh, Sun! Set down! The night is waiting to see the real lovers together!

The voyage is ready to unite the distance of a journey of love

 Having an awaited lover across the river

 With the unparallel distance of miles apart

Without catching eye of the people from where she departs

 Love would travel the river of risks in the mid of dark

 Oh, clouds! Cover the Moon! So she could join the violent flow of river

Let her go by the water on a piece of mud

 And find her Mahival standing ahead

 Crazy faithful lovers, I assume

Having a strong mutual feeling to see one another 

With no certainty of encountering death

 The genuine emotions are always ready to face the ventures

As truth is always disliked and that’s a law of the entire world

So the poor lovers neglected it too

And she traveled on the piece of mud which was more like a sliver

 Oh, my Dearest! I am coming; I am coming as I promised to

I am coming as I am longing to see you

I am coming no matter how severe the circumstances might become

I am coming, I am coming

Keep your eyes on the drowning person, that’s me, you’re Sohni

I am coming for you

 And water dissolves everything with that I acquired

Whether it be a piece of mud or a story of love

So the river met the storm and together conspired

 Oh, mud! Do not dissolve 

Let her reach her beloved’s hut as she has promises to keep

And by the passage of time it more devolved

 Mahival from across the river saw

His Sohni stuck into the mid of chaos

He dived to save her last breath 

He jumped, he slimed in the inviting death

He dives to tell her that he loves her

And the final worldly meeting swallowed them both in the depth of river

 Soon the unrighteous tale of two crazy lovers was a sample of trueness 

Soon the lovers were together somewhere deep in the river 

Soon the world realized the misconception of prohibition!


  Side Note: I was always intrigued with the story of Sohni Mahiwal. This was the first story I remember hearing. The part where Mahiwal cuts off a piece of his thigh just so his beloved can eat was something that slightly grossed me out but also made me feel the sense of devotion he had for Sohni. It was this sacrifice that showed just how deep their love was. At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to include the part where Sohni gets married and meets Mahiwal on the sly because I don’t like this part of the story. I think this adulterous act makes Sohni’s character flawed. Unlike the other stories, I did not find many variants of this one. The versions I found related the same details. This made it easy to compile the story into one version. When hearing this tale as a child, I enjoyed the setting of the tale and the rustic feel of the whole story. I hope you enjoyed it too. I included a picture that clearly shows how Sohni would travel with the earthenware pot because I had a hard time picturing this as a child.


3 thoughts on “Sohni Mahiwal”

  1. I am not sure which part of Pakistan or World you belong to because to have read a lot about this story is maybe rare in my community at least.

    I never knew about them like how you explained, the only part I knew about them was that they loved each other and were from opposite tribes, and they were killed at the end of the story by their tribesman.

    I don’t even know if that’s true even, is it?

    Adultery is totally not good so Sorry Sohni that’s not okay.

    Cutting off his thigh to feed? Eww. Where did the fish go? Which he would cook?

    It’s funny that the most famous love story of Punjab is about a Guy Cooking fish for her Girl, and yet people never ever can accept it in our tradition, it’s funny how historians or story makers come up with such myths, I wonder if it was written by some Female Author.


    1. Sohni Mahiwal was written by Waris Shah ( hope he is not a female). And I belong to no community and no region. I’m a free person, I don’t believe in ‘belonging to some piece of the soil’. I have freedom to think and innovate.
      So the story that I know is something like, Sohni and Mahiwal loved each other but Sohni was forcefully married to her cousin who knew that she wasn’t happy with him so he spent most of his time away from her,
      Sohni used to meet Mahiwal by travelling on a piece of mud to cross the river Chenab.
      When Sohni’s sister in-law figured out the Sohni was cheating on her brother, she replaced the piece of mud with a sliver and Sohni drowned. Mahowal jumped in to the river to save her but he failed and drowned too.
      Now, people have built their mazaars together.
      So, I established that tribes and force marriages are the reasons behin the adultery and rebeliousness although that’s unlawful, I agree.


      1. Waris Shah surely sounds like a male name lol.

        That’s good but I have never read about this story, where or by whom were you introduced to this story?

        Hmm interesting. Tribes do very very insane stuff to people, I wish I had the energy to type it all in on WordPress someday, it’s coming soon though.


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