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Yusuf Khan and Sherbano is a famous Pashtun folktale at par with Romeo and Juliet.It is a sequel to the 1995 folklore, Adam Khan and Durkhanai[citation needed]


Yousaf Khan was a handsome young man. The people of Turlandi claim their village to have been his home. His father Mahmud Shah had died and left young Yousaf Khan with the responsibility of supporting his mother and his sister Boolanda. He would hunt and bring home fresh meat for them every other day.

Yousaf Khan would go hunting in the Kharamar hills. Now nearly barren, the hills are said to have been thickly covered in trees and thorny thickets, with lots of wild olive trees, and in this forest roamed dear, partridges, rabbits and hares. He would take his father's hunting dogs, head to the hills and bring back what he had hunted. These dogs were very loyal and, being his fathers', Yousaf Khan took great care of them. He made them beautiful collars that were hung with silver bells. The jingle of those bells would alert everyone to the coming and goings of the handsome man on his travels.

He even heard the wind and birds taunting him and the leaves shaking at him as if he was not a man. Not being able to stand it anymore Yousaf Khan left for Delhi. He had heard that his cousins were hiding there.

There was no news of Yousaf Khan at the village for many years and his cousins seeing the opportunity pronounced him dead. They shared out amongst themselves all that had been his. The marriage not being consummated left Sher Bano in a precarious position; her father came and took her back to his house. Sher Bano refused to accept this and insisted that Yousaf Khan was alive because she would have known if it was otherwise.

Akbar told him that it was high time he returned home, not only for his peace of mind but for the women he had left so helpless. Yousaf Khan was allowed to take as many of his men as he wanted. They made great haste towards the land of the Pukhtuns and on entering it they dressed into rags and made their way unnoticed to Yousaf Khan's village. It is said that they spent a night at Dobian, where Yousaf Khan bade his men to stay as he made his way alone to his village.

That evening Yousaf Khan offered prayers at his village mosque, but none there seemed to recognize him. He discreetly walked past his house and was dismayed to find that there was a barn there instead. He stopped a man on the street and asked what had become of the people that lived there.

Yousaf Khan then gave in to Sher Bano's request but only after he made the men agree that a jirga would convene immediately. The jirga conceded that Yousaf Khan has been wronged and that he should not be punished for the deaths of his cousin and his lands and property be returned to him immediately.

Yousaf Khan never returned, he was found dead in the same ravine that he had been left for dead in. Some say he slipped in the dark, others say that his cousins got a chance to get even. Whatever the cause of his death, Sher Bano, the woman who had faihfully waited those years, died within days heart broken and bereft.


A film version of Yousuf Khan Sher Bano' was produced and photography by Nazir Hussain. It was directed by Nazir Hussain but the title name was used by Aziz Tabassum as in direction field.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yusuf_Khan_and_Sherbano — Please support Wikipedia.
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