Heer Ranjha Story

Summary of Heer Ranjha Story

Heer Ranjha is one of the most popular love stories of Punjab, a masterpiece of folk literature ever written in the Southern parts of Asia. It tells the story of love between Heer Sayal and Dheedo Ranjha; this tragic love story has been put into words by many over the years, but the poem by Waris Shah has reached cult status and remains the most recognized and popular depiction of the tale. His work was put to tune many centuries ago by the unnamed folk singers of the bygone eras, and the same folk tune still persists and has been sung numerous times over the years by notable singers.

According to the poem Heer written by Waris Shah, Heer was an extremely beautiful woman. Born into a rich Jat family of Sial in Jhang, now in Pakistan, Heer (also called Ezzat Bibi) was renowned in the region for her sheer beauty. While Heer was from Sial, Ranjha was from Takht Hazara, a place near River Chenab, and belonged to Ranjha tribe; born as Murad Bukhsh, he was lovingly called Dheedo by his near and dear. 

Youngest of all his brothers, Ranjha was his father's heart and the center of his world; as a result, he was allowed to roam about and play his flute while his four brothers toiled hard in the fields. When Mauju Chaudhry, Ranjha's father, died, he had a fallout with his brothers. As per Warish shah's version of the story, Ranjha left his ancestral house because his sister-in-laws refused to serve him food. 

Ranjha leaves Takht Hazara and eventually finds himself in Heer's village. Ranjha meets Heer and falls in love with her. Heer's father offers Ranjha a job as a cattle herder and Ranjha, for Heer's love accepts the job. Over the years, Heer also falls in love with Ranjha (and his flute). For 12 years, Ranjha spends his days herding cattle and meeting Heer secretly. This goes on for years but one day everything changes; things go south when they are caught by Heer's vicious uncle, Kaido. As a result, Heer is forced by her parents and maulvi to marry Saida Khera.

Heartbroken and disheartened, Ranjha wanders the lands grieving the brutal turn of fate. On his wanderings, he meets Goraknath, a Shaiva Jogi, and decides to become an ascetic. He pierces his ears and begins to roam from village to village. Eventually, fate brings him back to Heer, the village where Heer now lives. 

Fate takes a turn for the good, they reunite ad go back to Heer's village. Things look promising when Heer's parents say yes to their marriage; however, some different versions of the story state that Heer's parents' consent was nothing but deception. On the day of the wedding, Kaido gives Heer a poisoned Ladoo (sweet) and she dies. Ranjha comes running when he comes to know about the news, and finding her dead, he eats the same poisoned sweet and dies by her side. 

The place where they died is still in Heer's hometown Jhung, the same place where they were buried. Their mausoleum is frequented by love-smitten couples.