This is the story of love between Sadwant and Saringa, but it reflects topography, history, commerce and social interaction of the time. It is the story of moving love and commitment.
By Noor Ahmed Janjhi
Parkar, being a hub of trade and commerce, has remained center of culture and literature. Its topography, social fabric and cultural diversity produced a rich heritage. The heritage is reflected through the myths and legends too. Folklore, literature and verbal transformation have channelized the rich culture and its manifestations. There are many a story throughout Parkar about love, valour, generosity, commitment, explorations and patriotism. The story of Sadwant and Saringa is one of the legends of the area. The story has remained as an oral heritage item to be shared during the gatherings on the occasions of marriages and other social gatherings. The books written on the history of Tharparkar, also mention the story. Mr. Muhammad Usman Adeeb documented and published the story in a book form in 1978 for first time in Sindhi. After it, the story was published in an abridged form by Sughar Muhammad Qasim Rahmo. The story is mentioned as a love story between Sadwant and Saringa. Its main theme is love but it reflects topography, history, commerce and social interaction of the time. It is the story of moving love and commitment. Both the main characters…..Sadwant and Saringa….had made commitments with each other but they did not meet accordingly and the girl was married with a prince of Ujjain. She messaged Sadwant to come at the temple to meet her. At the time of Chonri , she delegated her friend to follow the vedi with her husband as she could join Sadwant. Sadwant slept away after a lot of wait. She came there but Sadwant did not awaken. At last she returned back and left a coded message for Sadwant. The message was in form of a couplet as:
پاري نگر پڌارجو، ڪرجو ڀڳوئان ويس،
جس گهر ناريل روکڙو، اُس گهر جڳائي اليک،
(Come to Pari Nagar, dressing yourself in a saffron attire. Come and beg in a house where there are coconut trees in the courtyard)
Expressing her strong commitment, she wrote on the palm of Sadwant’s hand:
ڪوري گهڙي ڪنوارڪا، جيني کوڙي آکاڻون جار،
ايوا شڪني تمي آوجو، تو مڙسي سارنگاه نار،
(I will remain a virgin, like an innocent child. Come to me without suspicion, and Saringa will meet you)
سارا سگُن جوئي، والم وهلا آوجو،
نان نان موٽا چوپڙا، پلاوڻ پڏاوجو،
(Look into all auguries and come as soon as possible. Equipped with saddles and a riding animal)
She asks Sadwant to be in disguise, to come soon and by observing all of the omens and auguries. The people of the area were nature loving and took guidance from it through omens and auguries. She shows great commitment and pledges to maintain her virginity till the arrival of Sadwant. Sadwant awakened and felt disappointed and sad. He left for Pari Nagar to meet Saringa. He came to Pari Nagar disguised as a Sami, in the guise of a beggar. He came to Saringa’s palace at sunset and asked for alms. Saringa’s mother-in-law told her to give the beggar something. Saringa went to the door with bowl of pearls. When both the lovers saw each other they felt awestruck. Frozen in the moment, they did not notice that a crow was picking the pearls. The mistress of the house who was standing in the balcony exclaimed:
اس نگري مين مورک وسي، چتروسي نه ڪو،
ڪا گا موتي چڳ گيا، اري ڪوڪ نه ڪري ڪو،
(All inhabitants of this city are fool, none is wise here. Crow is picking pearls and none is crying over it)
As she noticed the gravity and reality of the scene, she rephrased her comment;
اس نگري مين چتروسي ، مورک وسي نه ڪو،
ٻالاپڻ ري پريتڙي، ميٽ ميڙاپو هو،
(All dwellers of this settlement are wise and none is fool. It is childhood love and beholding each other)
It was the love of childhood with a strong commitment and promise. Saringa promised to meet Sadwant at the garden near a pond. Her mother in law sensed the situation and placed her cot at door; staying awakened all the night. Saringa asked the gardener woman, who had come to the house, whether she saw someone in the garden. The woman confirmed that there was indeed a man there. The gardener went to the garden and asked the man:
ڪهي ديس ناتمي راڄوي ، ني ڪيو تمارو گام،
شاري ڪارڻ تمي آويان ني ڪي ٿانرو ڪام،
(From which village you belong to and where you are ruling .Why you came here, what is your engagement here?)
Sadwant replied that he was not a prince but came from a remote village:
نٿي امين ڪوئي راڄوي، اور ڇيٽي همارا گام،
آويا ڇي پرديس مان، ڇا ڪر رهيا نون ڪام.
(I am not a King! my village is far away from here. I came here to seek employment)
The woman was not convinced. Sadwant asked about the king of the city and his government;
ڪوڻ نگرما راڄ ڪري، اني ڪوني ڏوائي ڦري ،
ٽارا شهرمين سکيا ڪوڻ ڇي ، تي وات مج آگڙ ڪري،
(Who is the king of this area, who gives the tax? Who is prosperous in the city, who offers job?)
The woman replied:
راجا ويرم ديو راڄ ڪري، پرٿوي راڄ ني ڏوائي ڦري
ايڪ ڏکيا ري روپي شاني نار، تينان تمي لاگو اڻ سار
(Raja Viramdev rules here, he gives tax to Prithviraj. Wife of Rooposhaw seems in suffering, she recalls you ever)
The story takes twist and opportunity arises for the marriage of Sadwant with Saringa. Saringa argued that she did not perform chonri with the person and still she had maintained her virginity. At last both the parties reached at compromise concluding into marriage of Sadwant with Saringa.
The story leaves some reflections as:
- The childhood love is a strong form of love and it develops strong commitment too.
- The worship places had been safe and peaceful.
- It was the age of strong communication relying on insight, wisdom and nature. Saringa leaves a coded message written on the palms of Sadwant’s hands. Sadwant follows the message and goes after the marriage party.
- People may not notice reality with first look but when they relook on it, change their opinions accordingly. The lady observing Sadwant and Saringa looking each other stunningly firstly thought it foolishness but after realizing the reality she declares it the love of childhood.
- There is major part of communication which fills the vacuum and creates a sound thesis in such stories even today. Saringa leaving the coded message for Sadwant, requests the walls of temple to be witness of her arrival. Though it is beyond to reason to take evidence from the walls, however, it is said that walls have also ears. Therefore, the walls might be with eyes too.
- The coconut trees were grown there in the area. The trees were also grown at Pari Nagar as it was also a rushed beach.
- The story reflects all of the concerns and consideration taken up by in laws because of suspicion on a strange behaviour of Saringa
- The serving people recognize people from their outlook because they have a good deal of experience in public dealing. The woman addresses Sadwant as a prince. It is her quick wit and wisdom.
- Sadwant asks about the governance and rule over the area. It reflects his taste and testimony to the thought of serving woman
- There had been a tradition of marriage of girls to far flung areas. It has many considerations. Firstly, people wanted to extend their social relationship to far flung areas. They utilized it for social networking and establishment of their power. Secondly, it was because of biological considerations to bear healthy and beautiful children. Thirdly, it was thought that if a daughter would be far away from the parents, they might not observe her hardships and difficulties
By and large, the story of Sadwant and Saringa is a love story reflecting geostrategic and matrimonial relations and the dynamics of social fabric. How the areas of Pari Nagar and Ujjain were linked through a matrimonial bondage. It also reflects prosperity and flourishing economy of the area.
The writer is a senior educationist based in Tharparkar, and is author of several books on folk literature.