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Sindhi Sayings

Sindh~ee sayings:
By courtesy of Late Mr. G. L. Chandiramani
11-01-1929 -- 26-12-2010
(whom we sadly miss).

(Note: These sayings were submitted by Mr. Om Prakash Bhaktwani in English/Arbi Sindhi which Mr. Chandiramani converted to English/Roman Sindhi and published at especially for the benefit of those who cannot read and write Arbi Sindhi. Same have been brought down here with minor spelling corrections.  Furthermore, for the purpose of understanding by those Sindhi who read and wrote Degnagiri Sindhi, we have tried to show them here also in Devnagiri Sindhi )

Dear Sindhis,

Our ancestors were philosophical and hence they made invaluable observations of life.  Proverbs are not written in one day but take generations and generations to perfect them. Each proverb is based on the experience of life.  These are part of our heritage. Please read them and try to understand the meaning lying underneath.

It is a confirmed fact that in 185O A.D ,Captain Stack wrote a Sindhi English dictionary having 15OOO words. Just imagine! Our language is so rich that there is no need to borrow Sanskrit, Persian, or Arabic, Urdu or Hindi words. We must maintain it as it is. Let us preserve them! 

We do hope that we have learnt from these 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, and joins to pay homage to those Sindhis of yore, on whose values our lives have been built.

With regards,
G. L. Chandiramani  - Mumbai

Ba'nd~e je mana me'n hikr^ee
Saahiba je mana me'n b^ee
बंदे जे मन में हिक्ड़ी
साहिब जे मन में बी॒

Which literally means: 
While man has something on his mind, God has something else in store for him

The above proverb shows that Sindhis believed in God’s Will, and felt that man proposes and God disposes. Furthermore, Sindhis also believe in His mercy. Hence the following saying:
Maaran~a vaare khaa'n
Rakhan~a vaaro vad^o aahe.
मारण वारे खां
रखण वारो वडो॒ आहे.
Which means:
God, the Protector is superior to the one who wants to kill.

In connection with death, Sindhis said:

Jinjo hit~e khapu
T~injo hut~e bi khapu!
जिन्जो हिते खपु
तिन्जो हुते बि खपु!
Literally means:
Those who are most needed on earth, seem to be needed by God as well
When one speaks a lie, one tends to speak so many more to substantiate the first untruth.
Hence Sindhis believed:

Sachu t~a vetho nachu!
सचु त वेठो नचु!
Which literally means:
If you speak the truth you can continue to dance with joy.
In other words, if you speak truth, you can enjoy peace as there is no fear of you contradicting yourself.

Ja'nhi'n khaad~o t~aro
Ta'nhi'nkhe nako soor nako b^aro!

जंहिं खादो तरो
टंहिंखे नको सूर नको ब॒रो!

Which literally means, that who eats the last of the left food in the pot, will not suffer from any painful humiliation. (Humiliation normally comes when there becomes shortage of the food for the number of people present for the eating. It also implies that it pays to be humble. 

Sindhis believe in the saying: 
Jed^o uthu, t~ed^o lod^o!
जेडो॒ उठु, तेडो॒ लोडो॒!
Which means: The bigger the camel, bigger the jerks one experiences. The deeper meaning is "higher position in business or society brings with it higher responsibilities".

Jo b^iyan jo khaadh~o khaae
T~a'nhi'n joo'n akhiyoo'n laj^aaeen!
जो बि॒यन जो खाधो खाए
तंहिं जूं अखियूं लजा॒ईन्!
Which means that if you partake of somebody’s food, you are apt to feel embarrassed!

Also Sindhis claimed:
Ja'nhi'njo khaaibo
Ta'nhi'njo g^aaibo!

जंहिंजो खाइबो
टंहिंजो गा॒इबो!
Which means that "one is apt to sing the praise of (aanother) one,whose food one eats.

Khaadh~o khaaibo t~a kha'ngibo bi!
खाधो खाइबो त खंगिबो बि!
If one eats,one also coughs!

On the subject of food, Sindhis observed:

D~aan~e d~aan~e t~e muhira!
दाणे दाणे ते मुहिर!
Which means that every grain of food is virtually stamped with the name of its eater!
The above proverb asserts that Sindhis believe in destiny.

Aahe t~a Eed~a na t~a Rozo!
आहे त ईद न त रोज़ो!
Which means that there are people who, when they have money on hand, they spend like on Festivals; and the same people when they have no money on hand they go for a fast!   The teaching is that when we have money we must spend wisely and keep some for a rainy day. 

Uho sonu hee ghor^iyo
Jo kana chhine! 
उहो सोनु ही घोड़ियो
जो कन छिने!

Which means "it is not worthwhile to have golden earings that pull and tear our ears" This basically means "it is not good to possess something that is harmful to you!
Yet Sindhis believed that wealth was an important requisite to happiness. Hence they stated:
Naan~e binaa naru veg^aan~o 
नाणे बिना नरु वेगा॒णो

Which means that without money man feels depressed .

Sindhis also believed in :
Khhoosheea jaihr^ee khhoraaka konhe
G^an~t~eea jahr^o marzu konhe

Chint~aa chikhyaa samaan

In this Sindhi proverb , worry is as a matter of fact compared to funeral pyre .

Then how does one get peace and joy? Sindhis advised:

Vande vir^haae sukhu paae

Which means that sharing what one has with one's brethren , gives happiness.
Sindhis believed that if someone gives something for safe-keeping, one must honourably return it when the time came. Hence they stated:

Amaanat me'n khhayaanat~a na kaje
Rahe saaee jee saaee
Ve-ee bukhye jee bukha

Which literally means that the farm of an honest person will remain green, no matter how many people continue to partake of it .
The entrance and exit of money, prestige, possessions are stages that come at different times into everyone’s life. Hence Sindhis are urged not to criticize others as one never knows when their adverse turn will come. They said:

Aj^u hamaa'n
Subhaan~e tamaa'n

Which literally means, Today I suffer, tomorrow you might.
People have a way of noticing how much money comes into the house, but they generally never keep count of how much goes into expenditure. Hence the saying:

Ee'nd~o sabhko d^ise
Ve'nd~o d^ise ko na

What happens when wealth bids adieu? Sometimes it takes your good qualities with it. Hence the saying:
Lachhmee vaj~e t~a lachhan~a bi vaj~an.
What happens when God is unhappy with you? According to the Sindhis, you lose your good sense. Hence the saying:

Allaah ruse mat~i khase
Must one be dejected when bad days are around? Not at all! Sindhis believed that when one door closes, another hundred open. Hence the saying:
Hikro late t~a sava pate.
Sindhis believed that one must be sensible before embarking on a tricky mission. Hence they urged one to adopt a course which would make one achieve one's goal, without stepping on anyone else’s happiness. They said:

Aihr^o kamu kaje
Jo laalu labhe
Ai'n preet~ bi rahjee ache

Let us act in such a manner that we find the sought for gem and also we continue to retain friendship.
The following proverb urges one not to take up too many tasks at one time as it would spoil one's endeavours. About such people Sindhis observed:

Uhe-ee hath~a roteea me'n
Uhe-ee hath~a chota me'n

Which means that people who take up too many tasks at one time, are like those who use the same hands to knead dough, and the same hands to plait their hair. The proverb also implies that if one performs these two tasks at the same time, then one's food would not get hygienically prepared, and ones hair would get soiled.

The following proverb, though it may sound similar has a different meaning altogether.

Uhe-ee hath~a neera me'n
Uhe-ee hath~a kheera me'n

It literally states that the same hands that are immersed in the water , are also immersed in the milk. The implied meaning of this proverb is that at times life doles out two tasks at the same time. One provides pain, and the other gives joy.
Sindhis believed that you should do what you have to do as soon as possible. They stated:

T~urt~ daan
Mahaa kalyaan~

`Quick in giving in charity,

Highly benefiicial ..
T~urt~ kaam mahaa poonya

Which means that if you execute your duty promptly, it is equivalent to performing a good deed.
Sindhis believed that it was the tongue, or unkind words which caused the most harm, they not only hurt the ones for whom the harsh language was meant but also the one who uttered them. Sindhis stated:

Uhaaee zibaan usa me'n vihaare
Uhaaee zibaan chhaa'nva me'n vihaare

Which literally means that the same tongue makes you sit under the sun and it is the same tongue that makes you sit in the shade.
Sindhis urged one never to harm the down-trodden, as God would take up their cause and take revenge on them for the harm done to the poor. Hence the saying:
Aaha ghhareeba jee kahir^u khud~aa jo

Which literally means that if the down trodden cry in pain for the harm inflicted upon them, then God Himself takes revenge.

Sindhis believed that :

An~a heryaa na her , mat~aa'n hirani
Heryaa na pher mat~aa'n phiranee

This proverb states that you should not get someone used to constant favors done out of goodwill, because when you stop doing them these favours , they might turn against you .
Alternately Sindhis stated:
Sakhheea khaa'nu shoom bhalo
Jo t~urt~u d^e javaab

Which means that one is better, who promptly says "No" to a proposition, rather than the one who says "Yes" to a proposal, and then goes on to backtrack on them .
There are people who do favors unto you, but hurt you by constantly reminding you, and or being nasty to you. To such people Sindhis advise:

Na d^e na dukhaai

Which literally means "Do not give, if you must hurt the person later. '
It is ever so difficult to please everyone all the time. And to top it, to please oneself seems to be, even a more monumental task. There is no argument to the statement that if one is happy, the world seems a great place to live in. Hence;

Jeeu khhoosh t~a jahaan khhoosh

Which literally means that if one is happy, the world is a cheerful place to live in.
It is so easy to criticize others. Why? Because we are not in their shoes. One cannot argue the fact that only the person who is in a particular situation is aware of why he/she behaves in a particular way .. Hence the observation:
G^ur^u j^aan~e g^u^a jee g^oth~ree j^aan~e
Which literally means that the jaggery knows, and the bag that carries the jaggery knows (how light or heavy, how empty or full, or how clean or dirty the contents oft he bag are).
Sindhis urged their fellow brethren to be good. They claimed that there were various benefits to derive from being exemplary. They stated:

Th~ad~o ghar^o paan~a khe ee paan~ehee
Chhaa'nva me'n vihaare

Which means that a cool pot of water seats itself in the shade. It implies that if one stays composed one stays out of conflict.
Another method of remaining peaceful is not to be distressed when one possesses less, and not be proud when one has much. Thus:

Thor^o d^isee araho na th~ije ,
Ai'n ghan~i me'n saraho.

Sindhis believed that one should live according to ones means. Hence they observed:

Savara aahir pera digherjan

Which means that one should stretch one's legs according to one's blanket.
It is believed that if your right hand does a good deed, your left hand should not get to know about it. On this creed the Sindhis opined
Nekee kare d~aryaa me'n vijhu

Which literally means that after having performed a good deed, drop the thought of it into the sea.

There are people, who do nothing but exaggerate. About such humans, Sindhis stated:

Jabala khe th~iyaa soora, j^aaee kuee

Which literally means that the mountain had labour pains, but only a mouse took birth.


Kooe ladh~ee haida g^ar6ee
Chave aau'n pasaaree

Which literally means that a mouse found a piece of turmeric, and claimed TO BE A GROCER .

About people who paint an exaggerated image about themselves, Sindhis claimed:

Labhe lathi bi na
Baabo band~ookan vaaro


In matters of relationships, Sindhis made interesting observations.

For a husband they believed that:

Mur^su t~a phad^o
Na t~a jad^o

Which literally means that unless a husband is fussy or hard to please, he is not good enough.
Probably the macho image of a difficult man was attractive to a Sindhi woman. On the other hand, maybe the proverb was coined by the parents of the girl to make her life more satisfactory, by praising the negative traits of her husband.

In the following proverb however, they categorically compare a son-in-law to a crooked stick. Sindhis state:

Naathee, d^i'ngee kaathee ?
Present time Sindhis would probably disagree with the above observation, as one often sees sons-in law as caring as one's sons and daughters.
During the time that our fore-fathers lived their life in Sindh, daughters must have been a life long liability, hence Sindhis stated:

Abo gase, dh~eea vase ?

Which literally means that fathers have to work very hard so that their daughters prosper.
It is interesting to observe how much the daughter’s parents would give in for the happiness of their female off-springs
The following proverb was probably coined by dejected girls’ parents who would not reciprocate the humliation inflicted upon them by the in-laws of their daughter. They stated:

Jinkhe d^inyoo'n j^aayoon
T~in saa'n kahr^iyoon baahyoo'n

Which means that once one has given ones daughters in marriage, one cannot get angry with her new family.
The previous two proverbs point to the fact that having daughters put one through difficulties and humiliation at the time when these sayings were coined. However it is interesting to note that the Sindhis of yore believed that a son shares your properties and possessions whereas a daughter partakes of your joys and sorrows. Hence Sindhis stated:
Putu th~ie maal bhaaee
Dheea th~ie haal bhaee

Sindhis stated:

Maau jee dil makhan~
Puta jee dil path~ar

Which literally means that a mother’s heart is as soft as butter while the heart of the son is as hard as stone.
Elders claimed that though a mother-in-law be as hard as wood , she is good to have around, as during times of need she would always be there to extend a helping hand. Hence they stated:
Sas kaatheea jee bhee suthee

Sindhis believed that:

Jeko d^aadho so gaabo

Which means that he who stands his ground, eventually wins.

Yet during arguments and discussions, Sindhis wisely observed that:

T~aaree hika hath~a kona vaj^'nd~ee aahe
Which literally means that one cannot clap with one hand . It implies that wherever there is an argument, all parties are probably to blame to a certain extent.

About the grand children from the daughter’s side, Sindhis claimed:
D^ohitaa vadh~a'nd~e ee veree
Which implies that the children from one's daughter were never close enough to their maternal grand-parents, however much the latter pampered the kids. This was probably due to the fact that children spent more time with their paternal grand-parents, and hence were influenced by their opinions,than the opinions of their maternal grand-parents.
It is interesting to note that this proverb does not generally ring true now-a-days, probably because grand-children spend enough time with their maternal grand-parents and formulate their own beliefs.
Maternal grand-parents claimed:

Naanee radh~an~a vaaree
D^ohitaa khaain~a vaaraa

Which literally means that matenal grand-children eat while the grand-mother toils and cooks.

Grand-parents believed that:

Moora khaa'n viyaaju mitho

Which means that the interest is always more enjoyable than the principal amount, thereby implying that one tends to love one's grand-children more than one's own children .
Talking about interest borrowed from wealthy Sindhis,they observed that interest walks even at night which implies that it auguments even during the night. Thus they stated:

Vyaaj raat~ jo bi pandh~u kare

About interest they also claimed :

Vyaaj aahe Soort~ee ghor^o

Which means that interest is like a racing horse.

On the subject of debts Sindhis observed:

Karzu vad^o marzu

Which means that owing debts is like suffering from a bad disease.
However whatever one is able to salvage from a bad debt is good. Hence if a ship drowns, salvage the iron. The latter is what is expressed in the following proverb:

Bud^ala b^ereea maa'n
Lohu mile

The following proverb states that:

Jeko chulh t~e
So d~il t~e

Which means that one is always more fond of those members of one's family with whom one lives and eats together.

The following proverb did not contend with the last saying’s belief because Sindhis claimed:

D^eraan~iyoo'n veraanyoon
Sat~an janaman khaa'n veree?

Which means that sister’s in -law(wives of brothers), continue to remain enemies since the last seven births even though they probably stay and eat together.
Misunderstandings on financial matters were probably as common then, as they are now, hence elders very wisely stated:

Bhaau bhaaur tiyo'n 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:

Ghhareeba jee joi
Jag^a jee bhaaj^aaee

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 the brother in law with respect, so was a poor man’s wife supposed to serve the the whole world.
When sensitive mothers-in law would want their new daughters-in law to follow a certain code of conduct, they would instruct their daughters, in the presence of the daughters in law and naturally the daughter- in- law of the house would take the hint from the same . Hence the saying:

Chau dh~eeu khe
T~a sikhe noo'nha

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:

Gharu ghor^an khe
B^aara chor^an khe

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 filth of the house to outsiders , because they believed that one must not wash dirty linen in public. Hence they stated:
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, and joins to pay homage to those Sindhis of yore, on whose values our lives have been built.