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Chenab’s Story

Friday
,
24
October
2014
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Chenab’s Story

Friday
,
24
October
2014
No items found.
⟵ Back to articles

Chenab’s Story

Friday
,
24
October
2014
No items found.

River Chenab is one of the five rivers of Panjab, now straddling two countries: India and Pakistan. Its journey starts in the Himalayas and it flows through Kashmir and into the plains of Punjab. It is an integral part of Punjabi literature and folklore, known as the River of Romance: many of the timeless love epics of Punjab, including that of Sohni and Mahiwal, revolve this river.

Chenab’s Story

On the banks of the River Chenab, sits love-struck Shehnaz.
“O! Chenab, tell me about Sohni and Mahiwal’s love,” she says.

Sun sets
Zephyr blows
Silence engulfs
Chenab speaks.

“I know of a love greater than Sohni and Mahiwal’s,” murmurs Chenab.

“Speak Chenab, speak, I’m listening,” replies Shehnaz.

Chenab speaks:
“For centuries I flowed
Without a care
Serving all, with a flare.
Then, a being
From a distance realm
Appeared from nowhere.
My dreams, my fears
I revealed all
Gently he listened
To my every word.
Our friendship blossomed
And before long
I fell in love
With this beautiful being.
Desires arose
I ignited
Fauna feared
The inferno.

He whispered:
‘Chenab, what has sparked this blaze?’

I could not reveal
I was ashamed
I the sinner
Had dared to love
The saint.
Months flew
I shriveled
He agonized
I faded.

Then
One night
Unannounced
He came.

His light
Opened my every pore
His touch
Cooled my burning soul.

He whispered:
‘Don’t you know?
I watch your every move
You are my muse
You are my mirror
Flow my love, flow
Your pain is unbearable.’

I prayed for the night
Never to end
But
That was not to be.

Hell descended.
Heaven and earth roared
How dare we be together?
For many realms were crossed
Reversing earthly order.
The Sun understood
And graced us
With a few more hours.

He whispered:
‘If I stay, all will be destroyed.
What do you want me to do?’

I shuddered.
He held me.
I looked into his eyes
And saw myself.
My love, I said
Please go back
For our love
Cannot be linked to destruction.
But know that
I’m yours for eternity.
You are the only jewel that will adorn me
You are the only one that will hold me
In your love, I will flow.

He whispered:
‘I will radiate in you
For all to see you.’

With that, he left
To take his place
In the night sky.
Tears flowed
Watching him rise
Climbing higher and higher
Away from my caress.

He whispered:
‘My Chenab
I’ve reached
Flow again
Please flow again.’

In his love
I began to flow.”

“One night, only one night?” asks Shehnaz.

“That was no ordinary night
That night, I surrendered my all
I no longer am my own.
He ebbs and flows in my consciousness
He’s the reason for my being.

Love is infinite
Love is perpetual
Love is devotion
Love is wise.”

Mesmerized Shehnaz
Goes silent.

Stars appear
Chenab hushes.
He appears
Lingering
Over Chenab.

Shehnaz witnesses
Chenab’s glow.
His aura
Illuminating Chenab.
He in her
She in him
Glowing and gliding
In perfect rhythm.
He is his realm
Watching over her
She is hers
Flowing for him.

Shehnaz sighs:
"Is this love?"

Revised:

This Content has been made available for educational purposes only. SikhRI does not make any representation concerning the completeness of the Content. This Content is not intended to substitute research or a deeper understanding of the topic. SikhRI encourages readers to read multiple authors to gain a complete understanding of the topic.

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Written By

Creative Director

Inni Kaur is Creative Director at the Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI). She has served SikhRI in several capacities since 2010, including Chair of the Board, and most recently as CEO. 

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