THIS is apropos the column ‘Stuff of legends’ (Sept 13). The origins of Ho Jamalo described by the writer are correct. Though, he still recommends that alternative possibilities may be explored, he himself concludes that both “the old and current” versions of the song have references to the Sukkur-Rohri (Landsdowne) Bridge built by the British in 1889.
I am not aware of the two different versions, but what is prevalent today, I quote: “Khatti aayo khair sann, Sukkur pull taan, Ho Jamalo, Wah, Wah Jamalo.” Transalation: You successfully won the event at the Sukkur Bridge, Ho Jamalo, congratulations, congratulations.....). This does not leave a shadow of doubt about the event, the folklore and the achievement of Jamalo Khoso. However, further research may not be out of order.
The song is usually enacted at the happiest Sindhi events, Ho Jamalo’s growing popularity is not restricted to the wife of legendary Jamalo Khoso; it symbolises the talent, capabilities and bravery of the people of Sindh.
No doubt it is seen in Sindh as a tribute to the masses who take collective pride in it, singing the iconic song, congratulating Jamalo Khoso on successfully meeting the challenge: Wah, Wah, Jamalo.
APROPOS the article ‘Stuff of legends’ (Sept 13). The piece was a wonderful read, but unfortunately, the writer went off tangent and history was distorted somewhat. The writer tied in the origins of the famous folk song ‘Ho Jamalo’ to the British occupation of Sindh.
For the record I would like to state that the truth is that the ‘Ho Jamalo’ epic has nothing to do with the colonial rulers. Actually this is folklore that pre-dates the British era.
The story goes that a fierce battle was fought somewhere in upper Sindh and the dwellers of the area were facing extreme challenges against the invaders. At this juncture, a man named Jamal, who was very brave and courageous, led a small army to fight against the invaders. There was a fierce and bloody encounter and he emerged victorious.
When he came home within sight of their settlement, the women of the area came out singing: ‘Ho Jamalo, khati aayo khair saan.’ Translation: Oh great Jamal, you have come victorious without facing any loss.
History should not be amended for the sake of narrative.
Elim ud Din Mazari
Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2018