Contribution by Naveed Siraj
The Risalo of Shah Latif is divided into chapters called Surs which are composed on the lines of musical notes. Each sur is based on symbols taken from stories which are part of Sindhi folklore. Sur Kamod in the Risalo of Shah Latif is based on the love story of Noori Jam-Tamachee:
King Jam Tamachi was a Samo ruler of lower Sind at the end of the 14th century A.D. While on a shooting expedition, he chanced to see a fisher girl named Noori, falling madly in love with her and offered to married her, his love for her blind to the social disparity between them.
When they returned back to his capital, he was made aware of the general disapproval of this match. He merely observed that the detractors did not know her as much as he did. In order to display her character and appease the cynics, one day, he announced to his queens, that he would take one of them for a ride on an outing.
All the queens put on elaborate makeup and their best clothing, but not Noori. On the contrary, she put on her old family garment, perhaps the one she wore when the kind has seen her first. When Jam Tamachi visited the queens, she smiled at them and moved on. When he saw Noori, in her simple attire, he was greatly impressed. He nodded her approval at her and led her by the hand to the royal carriage.
When they were alone, he enquired from her about her dress. She tells him that the dress reminded her of what she inherently was, and what she owed the king for her elevation. The king was charmed with her simplicity and sincerity and the legend of their happy lives have become part of the Sindhi folklore immortalized by Shah Latif.
[Taken from Agha M. Yaqoob’s 3 volume translation of the Risalo with minor editing]
I owe it to Ustad Manzoor Ali Khan’s rendition of Sur Kamod for this exploration of Shah Latif. It is challenging to understand the nij/thait diction but after listening to Ustad Manzoor Ali Khan, it became labor of love to cross-reference available literature on Shah to understand the Sur. I am handicapped still, as far as pronunciation is concerned, but I hope I am forgiven for this short-coming
Ustad Manzoor’s track can be accessed at
This kafi is based on Shah Latif’s Sur Kamod & it is describing the scene of the King Jam Tamachee falling for a simple fisherwoman Nooree, about Noori’s humble background, her demeanor, her poverty & the king falling for her despite all thisÃ¢â‚¬Â¦