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Sassi Punnuh or Sassui Punhun (Sindhi: سَسُئيِ پُنهوُن, Urdu: سسی پنوں, romanized: Sassi Punnun) is a love story from Sindhi and Balochi folklore. The story is about a faithful wife who is ready to undergo all kinds of troubles that would come her way while seeking her beloved husband who was separated from her by the rivals.
The story also appears in Shah Jo Risalo and forms part of seven popular tragic romances from Sindh, Pakistan. The other six tales are Umar Marvi, Sohni Mehar, Lilan Chanesar, Noori Jam Tamachi, Sorath Rai Diyach and Momal Rano commonly known as the Seven Queens of Sindh, or the Seven heroines of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.
Mir Punnhun Khan (Mir Dostein Hoth) is the son of Mir Aalii, son of King Mir Hoth Khan, ancestor of the Hoths, a famous Baloch tribe in Balochistan. King Hoth was son of Mir Jalal Khan, ruler of today's Balochistan (Pakistan) region in the 12th Century, and father of Rind, Lashari, Hoth, Korai, Talpur and Jatoi.
Sassi was the daughter of the Raja of Bhambore in Sindh (now in Pakistan). Upon Sassui's birth, astrologers predicted that she was a curse for the royal family’s prestige. The Raja ordered that the child be put in a wooden box and thrown in the Sindhu. A washerman of the Bhambore village found the wooden box and the child inside. 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.
When Sassui became a young girl, she was as beautiful as the fairies of heaven. Stories of her beauty reached Punhun and he became desperate to meet Sassi. The handsome young Prince therefore travelled to Bhambore. He sent his clothes to Sassi's father (a washerman) so that he could catch a glimpse of Sassi. When he visited the washerman's house, they fell in love at first sight. Sassui's father was dispirited, hoping that Sassi would marry a washerman and no one else. He asked Punnhun to prove that he was worthy of Sassui by passing the test as a washerman. Punnhun 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.
Punnhun’s father and brothers were against his marriage to Sassi (Punnhun being a prince and she being a washerman's daughter) and so, for their father's sake, Punnhun's brothers traveled to Bhambore. First they threatened Punnhun but when he didn't relent, they tried more devious methods. Punnhun 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 Punnhun to drink different types of wines. When he was intoxicated they carried him on a camel’s back and returned to their hometown of Kech.
The lovers meet their end
The next morning, when Sassui got up, she realized that she was cheated. She became mad with the grief of separation from her lover and ran barefoot towards the town of Kech Makran. 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 "Punnhun, Punnhun!". The journey was full of dangerous hazards. Punnhun’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, 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 Punhun woke in Makran he could not stop himself from running back to Bhambore. On the way he called out "Sassui, Sassui!" to which the shepherd told Punnhun the whole story. Then Punnhun 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.
The British musician Panjabi MC references the tale of Sassi in his 2003 song Jogi. The King of Qawali, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, mentions Sassi in a verse of one of his most famous songs 'Tum Ek Gorak Dhanda Ho" written by the poet Naz Khialvi.
Tombs of Sassi Punnhun
- Dr.Nabi Bux Khan Baloach (1976). Popular Folk Stories:Sassui Punhun. Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan: Sindhi Adabi Board.
- "jogi lyrics + English translation". lyricstranslate.com. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
- "The Eternal Love of Sassi Punnu". http://www.goodtimes.com.pk/. Retrieved 2019-05-25. External link in