Sassui Punhun is a popular folktale of love told in the length and breadth of the Sindh province. The story is over a faithful wife who is ready to undergo entire types of troubles that would come her way while searching her beloved husband who was separated from her by the enemies.
The story also occurs in Shah Jo Risalo and makes part of 7 popular tragic romances from he province of Sindh. The other 6 tales are Sohni Mehar, Umar Marui, Noori Jam Tamachi, Lilan Chanesar, Sorath Rai Diyach and Momal Rano usually known as Seven heroines of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.
Mir Punnhun Khan (Mir Dostein Hoth) is the proposed son of Mir Aali, son of King Mir Hoth Khan, forefathers of the Hoths, a popular Baloch tribe in the province of Baluchistan. King Hoth was son of Mir Jalal Khan, ruler of today’s Baluchistan (Pakistan) in the twelfth Century, and father of Rind, Hoth, Lashari, Korai and Jatoi.
Sassui was the daughter of the Raja of Bhambore in the province of Sindh (now in Pakistan). Upon the birth of Sassui, astrologers assumed that she was a curse for the prestige of royal family. The Raja decided that the baby should be put in a wooden box and thrown in the Sindhu. A washerman discovered the wooden box and the baby inside. The washerman considered the child was a blessing from God and took her home. As he had no kid of his own, he thought instantly to adopt her.
When Sassui became a young beautiful girl, she was as pretty as the fairies of paradise. Stories of her beauty reached Punhun and he became passionate to meet Sassi. The handsome Prince hence travelled to the place of Bhambore. He sent his clothes to the father of Sassi (a washerman) so that he could see Sassi. When he came to the house of washerman, they fell in love at first sight. Sassui’s father was dispirited, expecting that Sassi would marry a washerman and no one else. He inquired Punnhun to show that he was suitable for Sassui by passing the test as a washerman. Punnhun accepted to prove his love. While washing, he tore entire clothes as, being a prince, he had never washed; he therefore failed the agreement. But before he gave back those clothes, he hid gold coins in the pockets of entire clothes, expecting this would keep the villagers quiet. The trick at last worked, and father of Sassui agreed to the marriage.
The father and brother of Punnhun were against his marriage to Sassui and so, for their father’s sake, Punnhun’s brothers went to Bhambore. Firstly they threatened Punnhun but when he did not relent, they attempted more devious techniques. Punnhun was shocked to see his brothers supporting his wedding and on the first night, they pretended to enjoy and engage in the marriage celebrations and compelled Punnhun to drink different kinds of wines. When he was drunk and intoxicated, they carried him on a camel’s back and took him back to their hometown of Kech.
Sassui Punhun meets their end
The next morning, when Sassui woke up, she thought that she was cheated. She became crazy with the grief of separation from her lover and ran barefoot towards Kech Makran. To reach it, she had to cross long spread miles of hot desert. Alone, she sustained her tour until her feet were blistered and her lips were parched from crying “Punnhun, Punnhun!” The tour was complete dangerous hazards. The name of Punnhun was on Sassui’s lips throughout the whole journey. She was very thirsty, there she observed a shepherd coming out of a hut. He offered her some water to drink. Seeing her amazing beauty, he attempted to force himself on Sassui. Sassui ran away and prayed to Allah to hide her and when Allah listened to her prayers, land shook and split and Sassui discovered herself buried in the valley of mountains. When Punhun got up in the place of Makran he couldn’t stop himself from running back to the place of Bhambore. On the way he shouted “Sassui, Sassui!” to which the shepherd informed Punnhun the entire story. Then Punnhun also lamented the similar prayer, the land shook and split again and he was also buried in the similar mountain valley as Sassui. The iconic grave of Sassui Punhun yet exists in this valley. Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai sings this periodic tale of Sassui Punhun in his Sufi poetry as an instance of eternal love.