Shri Nathji would sometimes tell the tragic story of Shereen and Farhaad. Shereen was the daughter of a King, and Farhaad a poor artist who was in love with her. He painted portraits of Shereen all around town, and this embarrassed the King. Shereen loved Farhaad equally, too, but marriage was not possible because of the difference of status. The King had Farhaad sent away to a distant place on an impossible task.
He was to cut a mountain rock and divert a stream in the direction of the kingdom. If he succeeded, he would be given Shereen in marriage. Farhaad hit at the mountain with great enthusiasm. His spear could scarcely dig more than a hole, but he continued in his task, possessed with the thought of Shereen.
And God was pleased with the intensity of his love. He sent His angel down to earth to tell Farhaad that the stream would follow him wherever he went. And the stream followed Farhaad towards the kingdom. The King was impressed. Surely Allah had aided the pious Farhaad. He had no option but to give Shereen to him.
But there was a widow, a jealous woman, who sought to destroy this union. This evil person came to Farhaad, even as he was approaching Shereen’s garden with the waters of the stream, and screamed loudly:
Shereen is dead!
The innocent Farhaad was so shocked by this news that he dashed his head against his spear and died on the spot. The drops of blood that fell from him formed themselves into an incomplete verse, on the ground below:
Jaanaane maraa baman beyaared
Een murdaa tanam bado supaared
Gar bosaa dehad bareen labaanam
Bring then my beloved before me,
And give over my corpse to her,
If her lips come close to mine and kiss,
Many a poet tried to complete the verse after Farhaad’s death, but no one could succeed. The verse finally reached the ears of Shereen, along with the news of Farhaad’s death.
Shereen completed the verse herself thus:
“Ta…zindaa shavam ajab madaared
Then…If I should come back to life
Be not surprised.”
And immediately afterwards, she lept from her palace window and died, joining Farhaad in another world.