JiJi Zarina Baloch Sings of Sassi-Punnu and Bhambhore

Posted on November 7, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Culture & Heritage, Music, People
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Adil Najam

I have been mesmerized by this voice, this music and this song. I listen to it again and again, and I think you will too. Even in the simplicity of her presentation, Jiji Zarina Baloch is a captivating voice and captivating presence.

I should confess that even as my head bops with the music, I try to make out the words. Unfortunately my Sindhi is not what it should be, so I struggle. I hope some readers might be able to fill in the words and explain their meaning in entirety (I had requested the same earlier on this other, the greatest, folk anthem of all). I can understand that the song is about Bhambhore – and, of course, that means it is a tale of Sassi and Punno (how I wish our friend MQ was still writing on folk tales!) the most famous manifestations of that ancient city. I assume from the ‘peren pawandi sa‘ that it may be sung in the voice of Sassi, but I may be wrong on this. But other references to Punnal make me think that may be the case. Of course, the references to Shah Lateef also perks up one’s attention and I would love to figure out the context in which they are made. But the most important think that I hope someone can help me with is to highlight the content of Bhambhore in the song. I realize, of course, that Bhambhore is the setting of the tale of Sassi and Punno, but in what context does the song invoke it?

I hope I may get some responses on the above. But even if I do not, I hope you will love this song – just for the song’s sake – as much as I did. And if you do, you may also want to review these classics by Khamisu Khan, by Faiz Baluch, by Abida Parveen, by Alam Lohar, by Tufail Niazi, by Atta Ullah Niazi, by Reshma, and by the other gems that we have had the pleasure of featuring on this blog.

15 Comments on “JiJi Zarina Baloch Sings of Sassi-Punnu and Bhambhore”

  1. Watan Aziz says:
    November 7th, 2010 11:30 am

    how I wish our friend MQ was still writing on folk tales!


    and how I wish, ATP would be less tamashbeen.

  2. Farrukh says:
    November 7th, 2010 11:34 am

    Beautiful, yaar. Dil khush kar ditta!
    Could you please make a library of some sort where all these classics and be reached more easily?

  3. Humaira says:
    November 7th, 2010 12:09 pm

    Excellent. Thanks for posting.
    I remamber a song from my childhood that ended, I think, in “Bhambhorni”, though I seem to remember that it was a different song.
    Again, what an excellent selection.

  4. Eidee Man says:
    November 8th, 2010 12:25 am


    Tapu Javeri did a great couple of shows on City FM 89 quite a while back with the title “Ride down the Indus.” If you have not listened to them before, they are at:


    He also sets up this very song in its context. Both shows are worth listening to in their entirety.

  5. Parveen says:
    November 8th, 2010 2:32 am

    What a beautiful song. And such a powerful voice. I wonder what she sounded like when younger!

  6. November 8th, 2010 8:47 am

    Thank you for sharing such a sweet voice. Nice post.

  7. shoaib says:
    November 8th, 2010 2:08 pm

    Adil pai Jaan, you get mesmerized very easily :-).

    You are sleepy , very sleep. Now mail me your wallet :-)

  8. YASIN says:
    November 8th, 2010 5:38 pm

    Wah. Excellent selection. Real Pakistaniat.

  9. malik Ali says:
    November 8th, 2010 6:05 pm

    Bhai, Bhimbhore is special because of Mohd bin Qassim, not because of some silly love story made up of lies!

  10. Shabbir says:
    November 8th, 2010 6:13 pm

    Great song selection. You, sir, are a true Pakistani through and through.

    The song is in the words of Sassi who is begging to Punnu’s evil brothers (on their feet, paer parna) to release her beloved prince back to her.

  11. Cholistani says:
    November 8th, 2010 6:35 pm

    @malik Ali
    The lies are in the Mohammad Bin Qasim story. The real history is in the folk tale.
    People like you and their silly beliefs have messed up Pakistan.

  12. msb1606, India says:
    November 9th, 2010 1:14 am

    Actually, from what I have heard from my elders, who were born in Pakstan, is that this old folk song uses Sassui & Punhul story as a metaphor.
    Pere pawandi saan, chawandi saan, rahi wanj raat Bambhore mein.( I will fall at his feet ( old fashioned form of respect) and implore him to spend a night in Bhambore)
    This can be said to your beloved or to God itself. Sufism is after all direct interaction with God as your beloved.

  13. Adnan A says:
    November 9th, 2010 10:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing. This is good although I think I have heard better versions of this song in the distant past. It is the simplicity of Sindh that makes it beautiful.

    MQ is around and so is Ahmed2 and PMA and others. In order to have them comment ATP needs more focus on Arts and Lit. of Pakistan and substance in general. With so much in archives something from the past would be more useful than a new hollow post. Watan Aziz’ comment is not too misplaced. And I fully understand the dilemma of running a blog as big as this has become with full time jobs. May the force be with you.

  14. Hermoon Gill says:
    November 10th, 2010 9:44 am

    There is so much cultural diversity and so much richness in our folk music.Unfortunately the electronic media only focuses on one language only.Whatever little was presented on PTV has all been gobbled and completely overwhelmed by the plethora of new TV channels,mostly based in Karachi and our rich folk music has been abandoned to a remote corner.
    Random links to a youtube video is not the solution.Artists like her should be promoted and packaged on a national and international scale.

  15. Naveed says:
    November 11th, 2010 8:24 am

    Adil – What a fantastic upload. This is first-person narrative in the voice of Sassui.

    There are basically 4 lines to this. (1) pairain pavandee saan, chavandee saa, rahee vanj raat bhambhore main. (i will get on my feet, implore you, beseech you, do spend the night in bhambhore)

    (2) uth-a ta areeya jaam ja, vagoon vathandee saa, chavandee saan, rahee vanj raat bhambhore main. (i will take the camels by their reins; tend to them & take care of them; just stay the night in bhambhore);

    (3) charhee jabal chot-a tay, sadra kandee saan, chavandee saan, rahee vanj raat bhambore main (i will get on that mountain top and call out for you, plead with you to stay a night at bhambhore)

    (4 and last line) sindh jo shah latif chayay, gholay lahandee saan, chavandee saan, rahee vanj raat bhambore main); the great Shah Latif is sure that sassui will find punhoon, pleading with him to stay a night at bhambore

    the theme of her unflinching quest for punhoon is written with such endearing manner in the Risalo that while this is a folk song, people attribute this to shah, but only a few words are actually borrowed from the risalo.

    Zareena Baloch is revered in Sindh not only as a greatest exponent of folks songs also as a multifaceted individual. It is to her credit that old wedding songs are now perserved and it is common in sindhi weddings that people prefer old wedding songs.

    She was an activist of the sindhiani tehreek, feminist socialist movement. She was at one time married to Rasul Buksh Paleejo the nationalist politician. There are so many songs attributed to her that it would be difficult to point out a few.

    I absolutely love the following


    She is one person who does not need any instruments and i always get the feeling as if my grandmother is singing me a lullaby

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