Dodo - a character of bravery- Sindh Courier-1

Dodo – a character of bravery, steadfastness and cultural legacy – I

Dodo - a character of bravery- Sindh Courier-1
An imaginary photo of Dodo Soomro

Dodo has remained a very favored name in Sindhi society. It is because of the characteristics of bravery, steadfastness and continuity of the cultural legacy

By Noor Ahmed Janjhi

Dodo has been a brave ruler of Soomra dynasty of Sindh. The popularity of this character can be judged from the fact that he has remained a very favored name in Sindhi society. It is because of the characteristics of bravery, steadfastness and continuity of the cultural legacy. Man excels over all the creatures in set of natural selection. He was called ‘Adam’ and he is also a microcosm. Even he does know it completely. What the intellectual as well as physical journey he observes and does experience, recognize his limits accordingly. How much depth of the sea of nature he does fathom, he achieves the pearls of that preciousness and transfers that experience to the contemporary and succeeding generations either in complete shape or incompletely. It reflects the unlimited power of human beings to be revealed through the succession of time.

The documentation of human experience is full of that potential. Different disciplines of knowledge present the human potential differently. Folklore offers a great insight in human history. The character of Dodo is such a great character of the mythology and history of Sindh. Some writers like M. H Panhwer don’t think it as the part of history. However, it has been discussed and remembered by Sindhi society since long and documented the story of Dodo Chanesar as a great tragedy in shape of verbal heritage. The heritage was transferred into black and white by different writers interested in folklore and history of Sindh. Dr. Nabi Bakhsh Khan Baloch has researched and compiled the legend in two volumes published by Sindhi Adabi Board. Renowned poet of Sindh, Shaikh Ayaz has transformed the legend into an opera ‘Doday jo Moat’. He has depicted the character of Dodo as a representative of human potential. By punch ‘manhoo chak pinorro nahay (man is not only a mould of clay on potter’s wheel)’. Anthony Robinson’s book ‘Unlimited Power’ is an excellent explanation of that idea of hidden potential of human being. The characters of the opera of Shaikh Ayaz reflect the different dimensions of human life pertaining to power corridors. Power is a complicated game containing blood shedding as well as service to humanity. It is a great responsibility to safeguard the motherland and also it has been served as a source of selling out to the resources of motherland. Ruthlessness of power can be seen throughout the leaves of the history that how a person has killed his real relatives to pave the way for getting power. The history is full of such abominable events. The tale of power has been woven in such a skillful way that its influence can be seen in this age of information and technology as it was in practice in the dark ages of barbarism. Although the world of present day claims as ‘the age of digitalization’ yet the blind horse of power runs brutally as it has been running since centuries.

Dodo - a character of bravery- Sindh Courier-3
An imaginary photo of Dodo Soomro

The opera ‘Doday jo Moat’ written by Shaikh Ayaz presents the happenings during a battle between the Sindh troops and Sultanate troops. Its characters express different layers of human behaviors during a tooth and nail fight. It is the great acumen of the creativity of the poet that he has expressed very important points through these characters. Baghi, Dodo, Chanesar and Chholi are the main characters of the opera along with some side characters. The character of Baghi, elder sister of Dodo and Chanesar is the main role of this opera because of bravery, steadfastness and great support for enhancing moral and maintaining the supply line. Dodo is the second strong character and hero of the opera. He remains very consistent by his commitment and honor of the motherland. During a consultation on fight, Dodo is standing outside the tent with his sister Baghi and he stares towards dark sky and says:

ڪجهه دير هئي جا چانڊوڪي

اڄ اوندهه اُڀري آ روڪي

گنگهور گهٽا جو گهيرو آ

ڪيڏو نه هوا جو ڦيرو آ

ڇا گگهه ڪري ٿو گهون گهون گهون

ڪنهن وقت قناتون تنبوءَ جون

هن ساري تنبوءَ کي ڊاهي

اُڏري به وڃن ته عجب ناهي

هرشئي ڊانواڊول لڳي ٿي

پر ڪا چيزاڏول لڳي ٿي

(The moonlight is stopped by the darkness and dust storms of the changing winds of time. The dark vacuum makes a horrific noise. The tent may be rooted out by the storm at any time. It does not seem strange. Everything looks dwindling but something seems to be steadfast)

The darkness is the symbol of those consequences, the Soomra were facing those days. Moonlight eclipsed by the darkness is a good depiction by the poet. The horrific noise makes the night more horrific. Through such despairing conditions, poet foresees very deplorable situation in near future and the disaster may take everything away. All is looking dwindling but the light is seemed at the end of tunnel. It is a great skill of the poet that he comes up with a tinge of hope after a huge disaster. He narrates through his character as:

هي ماڻهوءَ جو من جو آهي

هر ڏونگر کان ڏاڍو آهي

ڏس ته ڪپهه کان ڪونئرو آهي

ڄڻ پاڻيءَ جو پونئرو آهي

پنهنجيءَ تي جنهن وقت اچي ٿو

ڌرتي ۽ آڪاس ڌُڏي ٿو

تارا ان لئه هيٺ جهڪن ٿا

پربت ان کي سجدو ڪن ٿا

(Mind of man is stronger than the mountains although it seems soft than that softness of cotton or as it is a small insect in water. When he stands and determines on his own, he shakes to earth and heaves. Stars lower for him and the mountains bow him)

By mentioning the human mind as greater from mountains, the human nature as soft from cotton and being an insect in water, the poet wants to express about the great and hidden potential of human being. The hidden potential is unlimited and beyond to all of the limitations of possibility. Man is not merely a mould of clay on potter’s wheel. He keeps a complicated mind and soft heart. Impossible becomes possible when the complicated mind determines to do something. Poison turns into honey and medicine. If the potential moves in negative direction it becomes fatal to human relations and humanity for sake of power. Both of the moves of human mind have been playing hide and seek since centuries. At last, positives moves defeats the negatives ones. The people sacrificing their lives for sake of truth remain alive in history with words of appreciation. On the other hand the people with negative moves either lost in the dust of time or condemned by the succeeding generations. The condemnation by the masses develops a wonderful lesson for others to avoid the path of negative people. However, the poisons saliva of power addicts people till today.

Man demolishes strongholds of cruelty when he arises with determination. The earth is shaken away and the sky trembles greatly. The storm falls on the heads of cruel rulers. Stars are lowered to salute the people with determination. The mountains bow to the soft hearted human being on his steadfastness and determination. It means that strength is relative and a soft heart can move the mountains. Nature responds all the moves of positivity positively. In this way, the movements by nature reflect that the man is not only a mould of clay on potter’s wheel. He is a microcosm too. Man is a unique phenomenon in nature. Many a thing revolves around him and gives him a unique position in world. Literature and the forms of art express the vast context of nature and also try to develop a strong relation with nature and way forward for coexistence. By following the path of creativity, man has been passing through the process of evolution. He creates, destroys and creates again. He learns through a process of ‘learning by doing’. Doing is a touchstone for his all of learning activities. Despite the all hindrances and disturbances, he does not stop anywhere. However, it is lamentable that he could have learned a good lesson from his bad and negatives moves. It has been a challenge for human beings in every age and may remain in future too. His progressing and evolutionary learning and discovering capacity has been doing a child play in the vast context of nature. Greed and ambition have been great incentives for human advancement and progress. He does not know his limits in spite of the call from the other side as Ayaz has said:

پرار تي ڪائي پڪار آهي ، مگر اڳيان تک تار آهي

ڪٿي اسان جي اُڪار آهي، اياز ڪيڏانهن ناو نيندي

(There is a cry at the other side but there is a speedy flow of water in river. Where is our way forward and where will the boat lead us Ayaz)

Dodo - a character of bravery- Sindh Courier-2
Mausoleum of Dodo Soomro at Rupa Mari site

Thus, there is not any clear cut objectivity framework in human life. He has honored the call and tries to set aim and objectivity in life. Nature has thrown him in an open ended environment with limited powers and unlimited resources. It is his trial to maintain the balance of power between the resources and his ambitions and greed as he is not merely a mould of clay on the potter’s wheel. He has to travel on the path of trial and error, patience and greed, give and take with a good sense of balance of power among the different aspect of human life and nature. Dialogue between Dodo and his sister Baghi is a reflection of human behavior that emanate as a rainbow from human mind.

The dialogue is to be continued.


About the Author

Noor Ahmed JanjhiNoor 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.