Misunderstandings on financial matters were probably as common then, as they are now, hence elders very wisely stated:
Ba bhaur tyon lekho
Which literally means that where there are two brothers, a written document (of finance and properties) must exist.
Well, brothers seemed to enjoy a certain power. But what about a brother’s wife? Elders observed:
Gareeb jee joy, jag jee bhaajaayee
Which means that the wife of a poor man is like a brother’s wife to the world. I believe that the above means that just like a brother’s wife was supposed to serve one with respect, so was a poor man’s wife.
When sensitive mothers-in law would want their new daughters-in law to follow a certain code of conduct, they would instruct their daughters, and naturally the daughter- in- law of the house would emulate the same act. Hence the saying:
Chao dhiya khey, Ta sikhey noonha
Which means: If you instruct your daughter, your daughter-in-law learns.
Obviously during the days of yore, there must have been daughters in law or/and wives who spent enough time following their own pursuits or the following proverb would not have been formulated. It claims:
Ghar ghoran khey, Baara choran khey
Which literally means that the house has been left to the horses, and the children have been left under the care of thieves.
Sindhis probably did not broad-cast the above news, because they believed that one must not wash dirty linen in public. Hence they stated:
Ghar jo kin, Ghar mein dhopjey
Which literally means that one must wash ones dirty laundry at home.
Talking of homes Sindhis stated:
Ghar mein ghar, Budee vanee mar
Which means that if you extended joint families live under the same roof, you are as good as dead.
Obviously Sindhis were talking about the intrigues, tensions and arguments that would result because of so many people of different hue and character living together. Hence they stated:
Ghar jee gahpee, Matan jo panee sukaayey chhadey
Which literally means that arguments in a house can get so hot, that they are capable of drying up the water in the earthen pots.
The following saying was probably formulated by a dejected mother-in-law who claims:
Sheedi siki vyaa soonha khaan, Maan siki vyas siyaani noonha khaan
Which means that the dark-skinned people yearn for a fair complexion, whereas I long for a sensible daughter-in-law.
The above mother-in-law probably agrees with the following proverb:
Soorat khaan seerat bhali
Which means that it is better to have uprightness, rather than possess good looks. Yet another saying exists to confirm the above belief.
Ahraa suhinaa toohaa ta jangal mein bhee ahan
Which literally means that beautiful “toohaa” flowers abound in the jungle.
This proverb implies that just like “toohaa” flowers, which have no value, grow in plenty in the jungle, similarly good looking people have no value, unless they possess good qualities.
Sindhis believed that:
Naadaan dost khaan, Daanav dushman chango
Which means that it is better to have a wise enemy than a foolish friend.
Sindhis also believed that it is better to be criticized by a wise man rather than be praised by a fool. Hence they stated:
Moorakh jey khushaamad khaan, Syaaney jee tok bhalee
Sindhis probably believed that a stupid friend is like a:
Sakhini kunee ghano ubhaamey
Which means that an empty vessel bubbles more, or makes the most sound. Probably that is why Sindhis concluded that it is better to cut a bad finger. ( Rather than the poison spreads). Hence they stated:
Kini aangur vadhee bhalee
Yet Sindhis did not want to make generalizations. They realized that:
Sab aangriyoon baraabar konan
Which means that all fingers are not of the same size or shape. Not only about people and friends, but Sindhis observed that, children born from the same parents never enjoy the same destiny. Hence they claimed:
Mau janeendi putraa, Bhaag na deendi vandey
Which means that though a mother gives birth and life to children, yet she cannot divide the same destiny equally amongst them. Even though each of us enjoy separate and different destinies from our siblings, relatives and friends, Sindhis believed that rather than burn in envy because others enjoy better fortune, one must remember that by wishing them well, one tends to benefit from their good fortune, if one continues to be their friend. Hence they say:
Saa-ey maan sau sukha
Which means that one can derive a lot of benefit from the fortunate ones.
Sindhis urged the less fortunate ones not to lose heart but to have patience. They said:
Sabur jo phal mitho aahey
Which means that patience brings a sweet reward.
The Sindhi wise ones believed that:
Par pyo, ghar vyo
Which implies that when an intruder enters ones house, he may be the cause of the destruction of ones home.
Though Sindhis were famous for their “Mehmaan navaazi” which means that Sindhis were excellent hosts, they were also wary of intruders and therefore urged others to eye them with suspicion. About such people they said:
Aa-ee taando khanan, Borchyaani thee vethee
Which means, that she came only to borrow a charcoal, but remained to take full charge of the kitchen.
Sindhis did not only criticize what harm others can inflict upon you, but realized that you alone can be responsible for what fate holds for you if you choose to do the wrong thing
Hence they said:
Koylan jey dalaalee mein, hatha bhee kaaraa, Ta per bhee kaaraa
Which means that if you work in a coal mine, your hands and feet are bound to get soiled.
Sindhis believed that one must never lose heart, during the ups and downs of life, but be patient. They claimed:
Sabur jo phal mitho aahey
Which means that perseverance brings to ones destiny a fruit that is sweet.
I would like to close this offering in the form of this booklet of ours by one of the wiser sayings of our fore-fathers which claims:
Jahaan jeeyu tahaan sikhu
Which means that there is no end to learning, and that while one continues to live one continues to learn.
I do hope that we have learned from the wise sayings of our ancestors. We must not forget our roots and we must move towards the future with intelligence, perseverance, pride and dignity. I pray that the younger generation is inspired enough by this humble offering of ours, to join us to pay homage to those Sindhis of yore , on whose values our lives have been built.