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Death of Dodo Soomro … An opera, reflecting thought of choice between good and evil

The opera Doday Soomray jo Moat reflects many colors of human behavior and concludes the final victory of truth.

Dodo and Chanesar were sons of Bhoongar and there arose conflict on succession after passing a way of king Bhoongar Soomro.

Soomro dynasty, an indigenous dynasty of Sindh had ruled Sindh for many years. Vigehkot was the capital of their kingdom and Rupamarri was their presidential palace.

By Noor Ahmed Janjhi

Shaikh Ayaz, a great poet of 20 and 21 century, has offered a great and good deal of diversified prose and poetry in Sindhi and Urdu. He was a continuity of Shah Abdul Latif of Bhit, a beacon light of Sindhi society, language and literature, who   left a great legacy of humanistic thought in form of poetry compendium Risalo. Shaikh Ayaz has left a sublime poetry containing ideas and thoughts on love, motherland, subcontinent, world, human behavior, natural scenic beauty, human tragedies and much more. He had been a well-read person equipped with greatest talent of poetry and first hand observation of the life situation of masses as well as of elite classes. By his great qualities of observation, study and experience, he has tried to transfer and transform his thought, ideas and imagination for pivoting human behavior from evil to good. By strong tone and tenor of expression, he has elaborated maturity of thought aiming at raising awareness and stream of conscience. Love is the main point of his poetry leading towards diversity of love in terms of love towards motherland, love towards oppressed and marginalized classes, love towards humanity and love towards universal brotherhood. It is the best example of unity in diversity and Ayaz has expressed time and again about Oneness of Being or wahdutul wujood and then he associates his thought to Sindh. Reflecting on different themes, he has touched great tragedies of Sindh. He has introduced many a new genre in the poetry and tried to connect Sindh with the thought of the subcontinent and then with global thought. His opera “Doday Soomray jo Moat” presents the heart touching account of a tragic fight between Sindh troops and the troops sent by Allauddin Khilji of Delhi Sultanate.

Soomro dynasty, an indigenous dynasty of Sindh had ruled Sindh for many years. Vigehkot was the capital of their kingdom and Rupamarri was their presidential palace. Dodo and Chanesar were sons of Bhoongar and there arose conflict on succession after passing a way of king Bhoongar Soomro. Soomray delegates were in favor of Dodo because of his personal integrity and bravery.  Chanesar, being eldest son was the claimant of the seat. They had a sister too. Her name was Baghi. She was a very wise lady with strong nerves. The legend tells about the discontent of Chanesar followed by his going to Delhi Sultanate for seeking justice. All of the local leaders and allies of Soomro dynasty thought it very annoying equal to disloyalty. Chanesar had requested Allauddin Khilji for support and offered his sister in marriage to Allauddin in lieu of the support. Sultan of Delhi sent troops under the leadership of Zafar Baig. The troops reached Vigehkot via Rajasthan and Thar. At last the trumpet for fight was blown and both the forces faced each other. King Dodo gathered his troops and his Allied troops consisting on Rajput, Abro and other tribes. Sultanate troops were great in number and muscle but Sindh force fought bravely with high moral and valour. Baghi looked after the the supply line and kept intact the moral of troops. As Baghi fell during the battle, the Sindh troops became weakened. Dodo and other brave person were murdered. It is said that as Chanesar saw dead body of his brave brother, kicked by a Sultanate soldier, he killed that soldier with his sword and became antagonist to Delhi troops and was fought till his last breath. It was a great tragedy of Sindh. Shaikh Ayaz has depicted the tragedy in a modern style. However, there had been many versions of the legend sung by local bards of those days and documented by Dr N A Baloch in two volumes. Shaikh Ayaz has depicted the characters of Baghi, Dodo, Choli, and Chanesar. He has also given the character of Salar Khan, army chief of Delhi troops but there it a very brief and without any dialogue. The main character is the character of Baghi, the daughter of King Bhoongar Soomro. She takes lead during the battle by convincing Dodo for supremacy of peoples’ rule when Dodo shares with her about the intentions and demands of Khilji Sultan. She says…

جي تون وڙھندين ماريو ويندين

هن وستيء تي واريو ويندين

دودا! تنهنجو ساه ته ويندو

ماڻھوء جو ويساه نه ويندو

تنهنجا پٽ نه ته تنهنجا پوٽا

رهندا توسان پور-وڇوٽا

آزاديء لئه رڙھندا آخر

رڙھندي رڙھندي وڙھندا آخر

تن جي لاء مثال ڇڏي وڃ

۽ جي چاهين خال ڇڏي وڃ

مون لئه تون جيڪو به قبولين

خلجي، ڪتو ، جو به قبولين

The character of Dodo represents political maturity and forbearance. Through the role of Dodo, Ayaz tells about the vulnerability and strength of human being. Dodo says a man is not only made clay. Death chases every human being so it is imperative to live the life for others or sacrificing it for motherland to give the meaning to life. He enhances moral of his troops. He foresees defeat and fall of Sindh so advises Soomro ladies to take refuge at Abro’s principality. He pledges to shed the last drop of his blood for sake of motherland. His says…

مان مرندي تائين وار ڪندس

۽ ڌارين جا سر ڌار ڪندس

هي ڪنڌ ڪلهي تي آ جيسين

هو پير ڌريندا ڪيئن تيسين

هن ڌرتيء تي جا امي آھي

هيء جندڙي هونء نڪمي آ

شل جيجل جي ڪنهن ڪار اچي

ش نه ان تي ڪا ميار اچي

شل تنهنجو وار نه  ٿي ونگو

شل تنهنجي ڏينهن نه ٿئي ڏنگو

اي ڀيڻ سدا آباد هجين

جنهن جاء هجين تون شاد هجين

King Dodo prefers self-esteem and advises people not to be afraid of any threat. He reacts boldly to Chanesar’s suggestion to surrender before Delhi troops. He says….

ڇا به چوين مان مرڻو ناهيان

ويس مٽائي ورڻو آھيان

تون به چنيسر جو ڪجھ چاهين

مون کان اڳ ۾ ورڻو آھين

نانو نئين سان ويس بدل سان

تنهنجي منهنجي جنگ ازل کان

جاري آھي، جاري رهندي

جاري آھي جاري۔۔ رهندي

Chanesar’s character shows human ambition towards power and compromises self-esteem on achievement of power. He is afraid of death and mentions it as the destination of life. He seems to be indulged in luxury and drinking of wine. He values life as a water bubble and suggests to Dodo to surrender before Delhi troops. He says…

جر ڦوٽي جي ڦونڊ اجائي

دودا تو ڇو جان گنوائي؟

هرماڻھوء جي هاڪ به مٽي

هن ڌرتيء تي ڌاڪ به مٽي

آڻ مڃين ها عيش ڪرين ها

هيئن جوانيء ۾ نه مرين ها!

Chholi, a dancer and entertainer, plays a great role in the opera. She interacts with Dodo as well Chanesar. She sings about joys of life and presents importance of wine in comparison with the bowl of clay. As she smells threat of the disaster of war, she comes to King Dodo to inform about it. She regards King Dodo as moon and feels despaired because of being away from him. At last, she becomes motivated towards freedom and starts talking in monologue as follows….

هي ڪنڌ ڪڪوريل آزادي

ماڻھوء ۾ موريل آزادي

ٿي پرکي پاڻ وهيڻن کي

ڇا هانء ڏئي ٿي هيڻن کي

تدبير ڏئي تقديرن کي

تقدير ڏئي تدبيرن کي

ڇا گوندر کي گرمائي ٿي

ٿي راڱا راڙ مچائي ٿي

۽ پير ڇڪي پنجوڙن ۾

ڇا گونجي ٿي گجگوڙن ۾

اي دودا! توتان گهور وڃان

شل آئون به ڀو جا ڀول ڀڃان!

Thus, the opera Doday Soomray jo Moat reflects many colors of human behavior and concludes the final victory of truth. Shaikh Ayaz has left countless pearls of wisdom and ideas in shape of poetry and prose. His thought is really based on human intellectual freedom bestowed by nature rather than any market oriented ideology without any eyesight. It is fault of the intellectually dwarf people who are not getting his message of truth. However, his message of truth will rule the roost till centuries.

Noor Ahmed Janjhi

Noor Ahmed Janjhi is a senior educationist based in Desert District Tharparkar Sindh. He is author of several books in Sindhi and English on folk literature including two poetry books.
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