Free Audio Download of me singing “Heer: Ranjha Leaves Takht Hazara” (a-capella)
“Heer forever stands Tall” is something I, and I’m sure many Punjabis take for granted. That Waris Shah’s tragic love story, “Heer” would be counted amongst the most poignant love stories of the world.
But this is not so. Not according to the many lists my son, Navdeep Singh Dhillon, who teaches English literature at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, sent me.
A few weeks ago, I was preparing a radio talk on folklore literature for the Punjab News and Views Program Radio Talk Show, presented on KBIF900AM, in Fresno California. It is a discussion program in Punjabi for our central valley family of Punjabi listeners, which I co-host each Sunday between 3.00- 4.00PM. I asked Navdeep if there was a list of famous love stories in literature and folklore revered worldwide. He immediately sent me several lists. And surprisingly, while some of them mentioned some Indian love stories, none of them even mentioned Heer-Ranjha, or any other Punjabi love story. But William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was at the top of most of these lists.