by Haroon Khalid
On the 19th of February 1958, a man in his mid-sixties jumped on the railway track near Shahdara, with the intention of killing himself. He was being watched by his young daughter, who was 5 at that time. Police recovered three letters from the corpse. The first letter stated that Zainab should look after his two daughters, the second was his will, in which he donated his entire possession to a mosque, and the last letter stated that he should be buried as a Muslim in the village of Nurpur on Burki road. Only his second wish came true.
Heer-Ranjha, Romeo-Juliet, Sassi-Panno are all stories/myths, shrouded in mystery, oblivious to the criterion of chronology, however this story of Boota and Zainab is real. The love story of Boota and Zainab has touched many hearts. Shaheed-i-Muhabbat, a Punjabi feature film made by Gurdas Maan, Muhabbat a novel by Ishrat Rahmani, another novel Zainab Jamil, and Hollywood movie The Partition are all tributes to this couple. Continue reading