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  • Writer's pictureFolkloristan

Umar Maruee

A shepherd named Palini and his wife Ma Duee used to reside on a tiny farm in the village of Malir. They lived a life of contentment, taking care of their farm and sheep. To assist them, they hired a little lad named Foghsen.

Later, Umar and Ma Duee welcomed a lovely daughter into the world. She was known as Maruee. Even as a newborn, she was as beautiful as a princess, and as she got older, word of her beauty travelled widely. Foghsen developed feelings for the attractive young woman as she entered her youth. He requested Palini's father for her hand, who became furious at the farm hard's brazenness and engaged her to another man, Khetsen.

Foghsen approached Umar Soomro, the King of Umerkot, full of resentment and jealously. He told Umar tales of Maruee's stunning beauty and declared that the only setting deserving of such beauty was the palace.

The kings' passion was aroused by Foghsen's vivid descriptions of Maruee's beauty.

After hearing Foghsen's account about Maruee, Umar fell in love with the woman in his imagination and wished to make her his wife. But first, Foghsen went to Malir with Umar Soomro in disguise in order to meet her for himself. Maruee was heading to the well to get water when they arrived at the village's outskirts.

As Umar approached Maruee as a thirsty traveller, Foghsen hid behind the trees, intoxicated by the sight of the beautiful young woman. He swept her off her feet and rode her with him on his camel all the way to Umerkot while she went on to give him some water.

At the fort, Maruee was essentially a prisoner. All of Umar's attempts to bribe her with money, win her over with love, or scare her with punishment failed because she kept her ground.

She preferred to maintain her identity as a member of her clan, as her father's daughter, and as Khetsen's betrothed—the man her father had selected for her—than to accept compliments on her beauty, promises of genuine love, a life of luxury, and the title of Rani of Umerkot.

I will not accept any other husband,

For me that, wearing coarse garments is handsome,

Even if uncouth he occupies the place in my heart.

She refused, which infuriated Umer Soomro, who then ordered that she be imprisoned. In the winter, she had been taken from Malir. After over six months, monsoon was just around the corner. Her heart wanted to return to Malir, her family, and her kinsmen as she kept track of time by counting the seasons. She refused to let the circumstances weaken her determination, even though her clan did not dare to oppose the Raja of Umerkot.

She did not put on regal attire, did not groom herself, and her beauty appeared filthy; she was completely unaware of this. Instead, she uttered (in Shah Latif's words):

I would not use your oil; my heart is attached to my kin, Why should I listen to any one, Ultimately I belong there.

This is not the way of my kin folks,

To exchange daughter for the sake of Gold,

While at Umerkot I shall not sour this tradition, The love of hutment cannot be exchanged for a palace.

Umer finally resorted to humiliating her after failing to convince and pressure her to change her mind. "These tribal members you so desperately want haven't given you even one communication in all this time. It would be wise to give up on any rescue dreams. Maruee, on the other hand, remained unmoved. Instead of feasting in the palace with the royal family, she ignored the allures that were made to her and ate the crumbs that were handed to her as a prisoner.

My bare threads are more than the gold chain,

Don’t offer silks to poor cowherds O, Umer! Even a fold of my own upper garment is dear to me.

She asked Umer to let her free so she could go back to Malir one final time, breathe the familiar air, and take a bath with water from her land. She also requested from the king that, despite the fact that she would perish as a prisoner, her body be returned to her family after she passed away so she might be buried in the soil of the place she recognised as her home.While pining for my land, were I to breathe my last,

My body be handed over to my people,

May the creepers of my native soil cover my body,

I would live though dead, if buried at Malir.

Umer was crestfallen and enraged. Umer had an amazing turn of events when it was disclosed to him that Maruee and he had been breastfed by the same wet nurse, making her his foster sister. He was appalled to hear this and, while thanking God for sparing him from committing such a dreadful sin, he quickly despatched a camel rider to Malir to extend an invitation to the palace. As befitting a royal brother, he sent Maruee back with them, laden with cash and gold, and he begged her parents' pardon.

Khetsen had concerns about Maruee's chastity because she had continued to live with Umer in his palace. As a young woman who had been on her own away from home for too long, her tribesmen did not regard her with the same respect. When Umer learned this, he dispatched his troops to Malir.

Tribal members of Maruee fled their homes in fear. She confronted Umer after going to him. "First you kidnapped me; and now you are attacking my people? They have good reason to be suspicious. How do they know I'm still chaste? You have been unfair in this. She instructed him, "You must not harm them; instead, go back to Umerkot. How could they tell that I am still pure? You must now return to your palace.

Umer offered to go through any trial to establish the truth because he was ashamed of his acts. Maruee turned down his demand. She answered, "I am the one they doubt; I will pass the test."

The villagers heated an iron rod till it was crimson and Maruee held it in her hand. Her hand was unharmed when she lowered the rod. The rod did not singe Umer's hands when he underwent the same test. With everyone persuaded, Maruee was wed to Khetsen, and they lived happily ever after.

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