The tragic story of Sohni – Mahiwal by Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai tells the tale of two forbidden lovers who would do anything to be together. It begins with Sohni, and her unhappy marriage. Sohni looked out over the glistening waters of the river. The last remnants of the sun danced off the surface as she waited. She had to wait until it was completely dark. If her husband caught her then it would all be over for her. She would never be able to see the man that she truly loved again. She was startled when her husband shouted to her from the house. She ran back inside looking longingly over her shoulder to the house across the river. The facade of love was easy to keep up, even though she despised her husband. She said the right things and made the right faces until he was asleep and then she set off on the journey that she made every single night. She took a hardbaked, earthenware pitcher, just like the one she used to decorate for her father before she had been forced to marry that horrible man. As she swam across the river, using the pot to keep her afloat, she thought about Mahiwal.
She remembered the first time they had met, when he came to Gujran for the first time. He bought her earthenware pots every day, just so he could see her. Instead of returning to his home he decided to stay with Sonhi. The two began a love affair and they thought that they would be happy together for the rest of their lives. But it was not to be, she was not allowed to marry an outsider and so she had ended up married to a man that she hated so. On her wedding day she had thought that was the end for her and Mahiwal, but he was determined to be with her. His name was Izzat Baig then, but he relinquished his old life i.e. rich trader of Bukhara, Uzbekistan and moved into a hut across the river from Sohni’s house where he began herding buffalo. Every night since then, they had met under the cover of darkness to express their love. But Sohni and Mahiwal were not careful enough and soon rumours began to spread.
Her sister in law, angry about their secret affair, crept into the place where Sohni kept her earthenware pot and replaced it with an unbaked one. Mahiwal was watching her cross from the other side of the river when he saw the pot dissolve underneath her. He could not simply stand by and watch his true love drown so he dived into the river to save her but it wasn’t to be. The two forbidden lovers went to rest together for eternity and the bottom of the river. Their bodies are buried in Shahdadpur and is frequently visited by young lovers.