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Sheeree and Farahaad

Story of Sheeree and Farahaad originates from Persia. It is alive in the poetry of Shaahnameh. This story is about the love of a Sassanian king Khusaro II for an Albanian Christian princess named Sheeree (Shirin or Sheereen). They sent Farahaad to en exile to Behistun to do an impossible task of carving stairs from cliff rocks. Sheeree eventually agrees to marry Khusaro after his several romantic and heroic deeds. These deeds included saving her from a lion by killing him by bare hands.

Khusaro's father king (579-590 AD) was defeated, imprisoned, and blinded by Khusaro's two maternal uncles in 590 AD. His story is documented in "Shaahnaamaa" written by Ferdausee. Sheeree was attracted to Farahaad instead of her royal spouse. This tale has been told by several Soofee poets and writers of South Asia under the name "Sheeree Farahaad". It is standard tale of "Panjaabee Kisse". It has been filmed five times in India and Paakistaan - 1926, 1931, 1945, 1956 and 1975.

In the mountains of Khurdistaan, there live a brave man named Farahaad who loved a princess named Sheeree, but the princess did not love him. Farahaad was a stone cutter. Farahaad was very desperate with this and he used to go to mountains,spent his days without food and playing his flute in praise of Sheeree. People got pity n him so they devised a plan to acquaint both of them.

Sheeree saw him once and she also started loving him, but she could not say this to anybody. Sheree's father, the Shaah, also herd this, he was naturally angry. He loved his only child very much so he proposed a plan to her that in order to marry her, Farahaad, being of common birth, must accomplish a task such as no an has been able to do it. He asked her to ask Farahaad to dig a canal through the rocky land among the hills. The canal must be six lances wide, three lances deep and 40 miles long.

The Princess had to convey this message to Farahaad who picked up his spade and started off on his journey to complete this gigantic task. He started his work since morning and worked hard till evening. Sheree also visited him once secretly that he was indeed working hard. She noticed that in her love Farahaad cut her figure in the rock at every six yards. She would sig and returned without his noticing her. For years Farahaad continued his work. All was ready but still he had to dig a well also in the rocky beds of mountains.

He was half way through the digging of the well, and perhaps he would have completed it, but Shaah was not ready to marry his daughter to him, so he devised another way. He took he advice of his ministers that perhaps if he is told that Sheree is dead, he might be heartbroken and leaves his job. So an old woman was sent to him informing him that Sheeree was dead. The woman went there and wept bitterly. On asking what happened, she said - "I weep for a deceased and for you." Farahaad asked - "What does it mean? You are weeping for a deceased and for me?" The woman said - "You have worked so hard for whoever, she is dead." The trick worked, he was so much shocked that he cut his head with his spade.

When Sheeree heard this, she ran towards the mountains. It is said that she also cut a wound in her own head with his blood stained spade. No water ever flowed in the canal, but the two lovers entombed in one and the same grave.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 05/06/13