The River Flows in Fear

~ Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai

Tell the truth, Sohni, only the truth
Don’t turn your back on the Shariat
You sulk from your husband
And flirt with the world!

Whirlpools roar and crash
The current is unpredictable
She threw herself in
Forgetting everything
She tackled the waves
With joy, says Latif

Whirlpools roar and crash
The river flows in fear
She came and leapt
Where she stood no chance
With Mehar’s help
With his grace she’ll get across

Don’t go Sohini, the river is in spate
In this dark night
What draws you to the whirlpools?
If Dam* were to awaken
He’ll question us about you

What can Dam do?
She asked the village girls
For ages love-wrecked women
Have had business with whirlpools
i sacrifice these bones and flesh
On my beloved Mehar!

Dam, your days will end soon
Yet you sit and blabber away!
The sharks lunge for my bones
But how can i break my promise
To the one who lives on the island?

The river is fearsome
The whirlpools roar
How will my frail heart
Bear these onslaughts?
Oh my guardian, look out for me
Pull me out of the deep

*Dam is the name of Sohini’s Husband