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Heer and Raanjhaa

Heer Raanjhaa is one of the four popular tragic love stories of Panjaab, India. The others are Mirzaa Saahibaa, Sassee Punnoo and Sohanee Mahivaal. Like Lailaa Majanoo it is also told in several flavors. The most authentic version is written by Waaris Shaah written in 1776. Daamodar Daas Aroraa has also written it in a poetic form.

Heer, a very beautiful girl, was born to a Panjaabee Jaat family of the Sayyal clan in Jhang, Panjaab, while Raanjhaa (whose first name is Dheedo and Raanjhaa is his last name) is also born in a Jaat family but of Raanjhaa clan. He is the youngest of four brothers and lives in Takht Hazaaraa village which is located by the river Chinaab. He was the most favorite son of his father, so he was leading an easy life playing his flute all the time while his brothers had to till the land.

He had a quarrel with his brothers over the land, so he left the home (Waaris Shaah writes that he left the home because his brothers' wives refused to give him food as he did not do anything in the house). He comes to Heer's village and falls in love with her. Heer helps him to get a job with her father to tend the cattle for him. Heer also falls in love with him hearing his flute.

They met secretly for quite some time, but at last are caught by Heer's uncle Kaido and parents Choochak and Malkee. They forcefully marry her to Shaidaa Kheraa. Raanjhaa is heartbroken and he starts wandering in the wilderness. There he meets a Jogee (ascetic) Baabaa Gorakhnaath at Tillaa Jogiyaan (hillock of Jogee), locaed at about 50 miles north of Bhera, Saragodha District, Panjaab. As Gorakhnaath Jee was the head of "Kanphataa" (pierced ears) sect of Jogee, Raanjhaa also becomes a Jogee, gets his ear pierced and renouncing the material world. He again starts wandering reciting "Alakh Niranjan" all over. Eventually one day he lands in the village of Heer.

As he asks the alms calling "Alakh Niranjan", both recognize each other and somehow come back to their own village secretly. Heer's parents agree to marry her to Raanjhaa. But Her's uncle Kaido is not happy with this marriage so he mixes poison in Heer's food (Laddoo) so that the marriage does not take place. Raanjhaa rushes to help Heer but he is too late to help her, she was already dead. Raanjhaa also take the same poisoned Laddoo himself too and dies beside Heer. Both were buried in Heer's hometown Jhang.

This story has also been cinematized several times
Heer Ranjha (1928) starring Zubeida
Heer Ranjha (1929)
Heer Ranjha (1931)
Heer Ranjha (1948)
Heer Raanjha (1971) starring Raj Kumar and Priya Rajvansh
Heer Ranjha (1992) starring Anil Kapoor and Sri Devi
Heer Ranjha (2009) a Panjaabee film starring Harbhajan Mann

Paakistaan has also made three films - Heer Raanjha in 1970 (its songs were sung by Noor Jehan); Heer and Heer Sial.



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