Friday, August 26, 2016

Moomal Rano- Sindhi Folklore

Moomal was a princess who lived on the banks of the river Kak in a palace called Moomal Ki Meri, and the story behind the monument is both romantic and tragic. Apparently suitors from all over courted her, enchanted by her great beauty but she spurned them all. Mahendra, the prince of Amarkot, was also attracted to the lovely Moomal and managed to bribe her maidservant into revealing the secret entrance to the princess’s boudoir. Surprising Moomal one day in this manner, he managed to win her over, and they became lovers.

Mahendra would speed every night on his camel Cheekal to Moomal Ki Meri, and depart at the crack of dawn. Strife between the two kingdoms made their legal union impossible. One day Soomal, the princess’s sister wishing to see Mahendra, disguised herself as a wandering ministrel and waited with Moomal in her chambers. As fate had willed it Mahendra was delayed that night and the two sisters fell asleep in each other’s arms. Mahendra, when he finally arrived was incensed to see his beloved in what he presumed to be another man’s arms, and he flounced off never to return.

After many months of pleading and letters written in vain, Moomal set off for Amarkot disguised as a bangle seller. There she managed to seek an audience with Mahendra to play a game of chess with him. During the game she noticed that Mahendra’s eyes were wet and she asked him, “What makes you so sad?” Mahendra replied: “The birth mark on your hand reminds me of one whom I loved dearly but lost to another.”

Whereupon Moomal revealed herself and told him the truth. The misunderstanding over, they embraced each other passionately, but their separation had weakened both their hearts considerably and they died in mutual embrace. To this day the romance of the star-crossed lovers can be heard from the balladeers of Jaisalmer, and the ruins of Moomal Ki Meri lie on the sand drifts of the banks of the river Kak which has been dry ever since.

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