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Rambling on: Love Stories of the Risalo of Shah Latif - Umar Marui

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Love Stories of the Risalo of Shah Latif - Umar Marui

The Risalo of Shah Latif is divided into chapters called Surs which are composed on the lines of musical notes. Each sur is based on symbols taken from stories which are part of Sindhi folkloreur

Sur Marvi

Umar Soomro was the last Soomro King of Sourthern Sindh and had a notorious weakness for the fairer sex. Marvi was a resident of Malir in the desert and belonged to the fraternity of ordinary folks that relied on rainfall cultivation, cattle bleeding and simple life of living off the land. Marvi was a lady with extraordinary beauty and there were many suitors including Phog, a peasant but her proposal for marriage was not accepted and she was married off to Khetsin whom she came to love.

Phog chose to avenge his indignation and knowing King Umer’s character and reputation, he went to him and informed him of Marvi legendary beauty. Phog and King Umer schemed, planned the abduction of Marvi and took her to Umer Kot. She was kept in the palace where every night Umer made overtures towards her which she duly rejected. Eventually, impressed with her chastity and her devotion towards her people, Umer returned Marvi to them with respected bestowed upon her as a royal sister.

Marvi is admired as a symbol of devotion and nationalism as she became a symbol of resistance against oppression.

[Taken from Agha M. Yaqoob's 3 volume translation of the Risalo with minor editing]


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