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  • Writer's pictureFolkloristan

Kismat Pari

A king who was childless, and asked for the prayers of holy men, was told by one of them to send his wife to the bank of the river and let her sit there and pray, and God would grant him a son. So the king said to his wife: “Go and sit for a night on the riverbank; perchance God may grant our desire.”

The queen went out and sat by the river-side, and as she sat and as she prayed a white-bearded man¹ came forth from the waters of the river, and clapped her on the back with his hand, and said: “Go home and be happy; God will give you a son.”

The queen went home, and in full time she conceived and bore a son. After several years, the prince grew up, and by day he used to go out to hunt, and in the evening he would take the air in the garden. One day, while wandering around, he heard a splashing sound, as if someone was bathing in the pond. Coming closer up, he saw a Pari who had been bathing and was putting on her clothes. The prince said, “Who are you?” and she replied, “I am a Pari. My name is Kismat Pari”; and, saying this, she spread her wings and flew away towards the sky.

The prince came home and said nothing, but lay down to rest. Some days after the Wazir said to the king, “Why is your son so sad?” The king sent for his son and asked what was the matter with him; but the prince only said, “Oh, Kismat Pari!” Not another word would he say.

Then the king said: “There is a faqīr who lives outside the town; he will tell you about her.” The prince went out to where the faqīr lived and found him with little boys playing all round him. Some were jumping over him, and others pushing him, and others pulling him by the ear. The prince stood there and said nothing. The faqīr said, “Prince, why don’t you come and play with me like the others?”

But the prince only said, “Oh, show me Kismat Pari.” Then the faqīr pointed with his hand and said, “Do you see that town?” The prince looked in that direction, and a town became visible to him.

Then the faqīr said, “Go there”; and the prince started off. It was a long way off, though the faqīr, by his magic, had made it appear near; and it took him eight days to get there. He went wandering around till he came to a garden, and in the garden, he saw a bed, and bedding spread out upon it. The prince lay down on the bed and went to sleep. Now that bed belonged to Kismat Pari. She came up and saw a man sleeping on her bed. She woke him up, and said, “Who are you, sleeping on my bed?”

The prince said: “I am the son of a king.” Kismat Pari was delighted at hearing this and said: “I made a vow that I would marry the man who came and lay down on my bed. Now I am very happy, because a king’s son has come, and I will marry you.”

She went to her father and mother and demanded that they should marry her to the prince at once. But they said: “We will not marry you to him, for these mortals have but a short life, while we Paris live for two thousand years.”

Kismat Pari said: “I made a vow I would marry no other; but her father replied, “But I say, and your mother says, that we will never give you to him.”

Kismat Pari said: “I am ready to marry him according to the law of the Quran: it is not for you to stop me. Come with me, and let us go before the Prophet and obtain a judgment from him. If the Prophet permits me, I will marry him; and if he does not permit me, I will not marry him.”

Her father said: “Come, I will go with you.”

So Kismat Pari, and her father and mother, all started off and came before the Prophet’s judgment seat; and she stated her case, and her parents stated theirs. Just at that time a horse harnessed with golden trappings came to the prince and stood before him, and said: “Mount on my back, and I will show you a grand sight.”

The prince mounted, and the horse flew straight up to the Prophet’s hall of judgment, and he saw Kismat Pari and her parents standing before the Prophet. Then the horse turned round and came back to the place he started from. The prince alighted and sat down on the bed. Looking up, he saw that the horse had gone, and a donkey ready saddled was standing in its place. The donkey said: “The horse showed you a fine sight, now mount on my back, and I’ll show you a sight, too.”

He mounted the donkey, and it flew off with him to his own father’s town, and there he got down. The prince and Kismat Pari never met again, but they say they are still wandering about the world looking for each other.


¹ This is a reference to Khwaja Khizar, the Saint of the River Indus, in Pakistani folklore. In Muslim folklore at large, Hazrat Khizar (A) is believed to have found the spring of Aab-e-Hayat (The Water of Life) and is now immortal. He is believed to be a companion of the Prophet Musa (A). He guards waters, aids those in distress, and guides travellers who are lost.

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Ruby Reef
Ruby Reef
May 01

This is a criminally underrated website


Ruby Reef
Ruby Reef
May 01

This story is actually fascinating! I'd love it if this blog expands upon more folklore stories

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