Where have the boats gone?
Where did the boats come from? O’ Ranjha* my trader in love? Where did the boatmen come from? O’ Ranjha my trader in love?
My mother used to sing this lost song of Pothohar* I recall the boats would come from Jehlum and the boatmen from Attock
My mother had seen Attock and spent her childhood in Jehlum For me these are just two names of rivers and towns lost somewhere in the Punjab across the barbed wire
If the boats came they must have gone somewhere too I cannot recall the destination mentioned in the song Mother is no longer there or I would ask her Never mind I will ask Ranjha my trader in love if I come across him somewhere along:
Where have the boats gone, O’ Ranjha my trader in love? Where have the boatmen gone, O’ Ranjha my trader in love.
*Ranjha is the archetypal romantic and tragic hero of the famous love legend of Punjab_ Heer Ranjha. The poet belongs to a family that migrated at the time of the Partition from Pakistan Punjab to India Punjab thus the allusions to lost village, rivers and towns.