Heer aakhdi Jogiya jhooth bolein
Kaun gayaan nu morh leyawnda eeh
devaan churriyan gheo day vaal deevay
Waaras Shah jey sunna mein ..aawanda eeh
A few years ago on the disputed border of Kashmir, a Pak Army colonel called for a Heer-Waris Shah narration contest among his troops to pass the brittle cold winter night. All night it went, young soldiers delivering a rendition of the traditional folk tale in their own unique tune and tempo, keeping their audience enthralled, so much so that before they knew, it was time for early morning prayers. When the unit’s young officers emerged from their trenches for ablutions, they spotted an Indian army soldier hiding behind a tree. They captured him immediately.
An inquiry was conducted. Upon questioning, the Indian soldier answered: “We couldn’t catch the beautiful renditions of Heer from our trenches very clearly, so to hear it better I kept inching forward... so captivated was I that I never realized I had crossed into enemy territory…”
Colonel Atif stood up and held the young man to his breast, and said: “My son, we are not enemies, we are actually stringed like pearls in the bonds of Heer…,” then the Colonel turned around and said to me, “Do you know, this kinship supersedes every other relationship and that is why he cannot be a prisoner of war. Escort him back safely near the border….”
When we went to drop him back, the soldier’s companions and the Indian Major looked both worried and alert. They were of course delighted to have their friend back. When they heard the entire episode they called out to us, put their guns aside and embraced us warmly…Two arch enemies united by one Heer Waris Shah…no one would believe these people could have ever been enemies…