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  • Writer's pictureFolkloristan

Yousaf Khan Sherbano

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Yousaf Khan was born to Shad Mohammad in the village of Turlandi near Shewa Adda. Unfortunately, his father passed away when he was very young. Due to a dispute with their relatives, Yousaf Khan's widowed mother and his sister Bandey were forced to leave their ancestral home. Despite the hardships, Yousaf Khan grew up to be a handsome and intelligent young man in the area. He had a deep affection for his two dogs, whom he cherished dearly. Known for his bravery and hunting skills, Yousaf Khan adorned his dogs with beautiful collars embellished with silver bells, known as Gongre.

Sherbano, a young and stunning girl from the nearby village of Shera Ghund, close to Kalukhan, caught Yousaf Khan's attention. She had thick black hair and captivating brown eyes that enhanced her irresistible charm. Every time Yousaf Khan passed by Sherbano's modest mud house during his hunting trips to the Kharamar hill, the jingling sound of his dogs' bell-adorned collars echoed through the air.

One day, drawn by the tinkling bells, Sherbano, without wearing a headscarf, peered over the wall to catch a glimpse of Yousaf Khan. Upon seeing him, she was instantly captivated and fell deeply in love with him at first sight. Over time, Sherbano became accustomed to the routine and eagerly awaited the melodic jingling of the bells. If the sound was delayed even slightly, she would become upset and refrain from eating for days. Worried about their daughter's condition, Sherbano's parents feared she might be possessed by evil spirits (Peeryan).

Yousaf Khan's sister, Bandey, regularly took lunch to him at the Hill of Kharamar. One day, as she passed by Sherbano's house near her own, Sherbano stopped her to inquire about the recipient of the daily lunch. Bandey revealed that she was taking the meal to her brother, who hunted on the hill. Hearing this, Sherbano felt an overwhelming sense of joy and asked Bandey for a favour. She requested Bandey to convey her heartfelt proposal to Yousaf Khan, informing him that a girl from Sheraghund had given her heart to him.

Bandey ascended the hill and conveyed Sherbano's message to her brother. Upon hearing it, Yousaf Khan became infuriated. He angrily reprimanded Bandey, even resorting to physical violence, and warned her never to repeat such baseless gossip in front of him again.

Meanwhile, Sherbano anxiously awaited Yousaf Khan's response. On Bandey's return, Sherbano stopped her to inquire about the outcome of her proposal. However, Bandey could only cry and advised Sherbano to move on. Confused by this unexpected response, Sherbano decided to confront Yousaf Khan directly on his way back from hunting, seeking clarification and closure.

On that fateful day, Yousaf Khan decided to go hunting accompanied by his cousins. The hunting conditions were challenging, but Yousaf Khan, known for his skill as a hunter, managed to shoot a wild ram. However, to everyone's dismay, the ram fell from the peak of Kharamar and became stuck in a tree.

Yousaf Khan's cousins, instead of assisting him, saw an opportunity to play a cruel prank. They convinced him that, being the strongest and most agile among them, he should be lowered down the steep cliff to retrieve the ram. Unaware of their malicious intent, Yousaf Khan agreed. They tied a rope around him and began lowering him down. However, when he was only a third of the way down, his treacherous cousins let go of the rope and fled, leaving him stranded and in grave danger.

Meanwhile, Sherbano, who had been eagerly waiting for Yousaf Khan by her wall, was taken aback to see his loyal dogs returning without their master. Yousaf Khan's mother, upon seeing the dogs without her son, sensed that something terrible had happened. Overwhelmed with grief and despair, she rushed out of her home, bareheaded and barefoot, wailing and crying as she ran towards the hills. Bandey, Yousaf Khan's sister, closely followed their mother, both driven by worry and desperation, chasing after the barking dogs.

The commotion caused by their frantic run through the streets attracted the attention of the townsfolk. Curiosity piqued, and people paused in their activities to observe why the two women were running as if possessed. Sherbano, recognizing Yousaf Khan's mother and sister, joined them on the street, driven by her concern for the man she had fallen in love with at first sight.

As the dogs led the way, the concerned locals followed them, their curiosity and worry driving them to discover the cause of the commotion. Eventually, they reached the peak of the hill and witnessed the sight of Yousaf Khan, wounded and trapped in the tree. Acting swiftly, the villagers came together to help the women who had saved his life by devising a plan to safely bring him down. With their combined efforts, they managed to rescue Yousaf Khan from his perilous position.

While the villagers fashioned a rough stretcher to transport him, Sherbano tenderly cradled Yousaf Khan's head in her lap, her love and concern for him evident to all who witnessed the scene. However, their return to the village brought about an unexpected confrontation. Sherbano's father stood before her, consumed by anger, ready to take her life as punishment for her actions.

Yousaf Khan's mother, understanding the gravity of the situation, quickly intervened. She grasped Sherbano's hand firmly and declared that Sherbano was now Yousaf Khan's honour and pride. She assured Sherbano's father that they would return with the village elders as soon as possible to formally discuss and arrange Sherbano's honourable integration into their family. This pivotal moment marked the beginning of their love story, as the two families became entwined and started the process of uniting Yousaf Khan and Sherbano in marriage.

As the villagers gathered around, witnessing the daring rescue and the undeniable bond between Sherbano and Yousaf Khan, they recognized the depth of their love and the heroism displayed by the woman who had saved him. Their admiration and respect for Sherbano grew, and they acknowledged the power of their connection.

Yousaf Khan's mother, a wise and compassionate woman, understood the significance of the moment. Realizing that true love had blossomed between Sherbano and her son, she took it upon herself to ensure their happiness and honour. With determination and grace, she stood before Sherbano's enraged father, offering her reassurances and pledging to return with the village elders to address the situation properly.

In the days that followed, the village elders convened, and Sherbano's honour and reputation were carefully considered. Recognizing the purity and strength of her love for Yousaf Khan, they embraced their union. With the blessings of the community and the formal consent of the elders, Yousaf Khan and Sherbano were united in marriage.

Their love story became a tale of resilience, bravery, and true devotion that inspired the people of their village. Yousaf Khan and Sherbano faced challenges together, nurturing their relationship with patience and unwavering commitment. Over time, their bond grew stronger, and their love became a symbol of hope and unity for their community.

For a while, they lived happily together. However, tragedy struck when Yousaf Khan went on a hunt and returned empty-handed. Disappointed, he abruptly mounted his horse and headed back to the Kharamar hill. Sherbano tried to stop him, but he paid no heed to her pleas. As night fell, Yousaf Khan did not return. Trying to get closer to the goat he hunted, he fell down the hill and got critically injured.

Sheharbano came searching for her husband and seeing him injured broke her heart. Yousuf Khan breathed his last breath in front of his wife. Sherbano could not bear the loss of the love of her life and also left this world. Yousuf Khan was buried on the same hill he lost his life while Sheharbano was buried in the village where she was born. Their love story continues to be passed down even today.

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