Jokhio Jasarat Ilyas Sindhi
Sindh has various poets of nature who explored the beauty of Sindh through folklore and traditional poetic devices. Bagh Muhammad “Beshak” Jokhio, popularly known as “The Poet of Kohistan” is also one of the such legend folk poets of Sindh whose love is abundantly seen throughout the Kohistan of Thatta, Malir and Jamshoro districts of Sindh. He got birth in the house of Sukhia Khan Janwani Jokhio (Awwal) in 1910 A.D in an environment as well as family inheritance of folk traditions such as his uncle Sunhanro Faqeer was also an orator of Sindhi folk lines while as famous writer and first historian of Malmari Mr. Abdul Aziz Jokhio and the pioneer of Science education in Malmari Mr. Khan Baig were his brothers. Bearing in Malmari, Bagh Muhammad got his primary education of just 3 classes in Government Primary School Jati (the then camel-charmers’ coastal village and now a town in district Sujawal, Sindh), wherein he was living with his maternal uncle Wasand Khan Jokhia of Jalalji, who was working in police during the pre-partition period. Bagh Muhammad came back Malmari and got Quranic education in the teaching leadership of Dilmurad Jokhio in Jungshahi. Along with education, he used to become a farmer and camel charmer which is his generation to generation pet profession. He used to travel from Malmari to Jungshahi, Gharo, Dhabeji, Malir and M9 Motorway. Notwithstanding the fact that he was not much literate but, he announced in an interview that he knows the Sindhi poetry rules of composing poetry as his poetry is mainly focusing the traditional folklore, however many of his modern type sonnets (like Moul’d, Ham’d, Na’t and Poems etc) are evidently seen in his compendium which clearly prove that he was indeed a righteous and an experienced poet of Kohistan. He loved to announce that he got inspirations from Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai as well as Sunhanro Faqir. He added so many folklore stories like Umer Marvi, Sassui Punhu and Laila Majnu in his poetry too. Bagh Hussain (his writer grandson) narrates that Bagh Muhammad Beshak Jokhio also remembers the laborers, farmers and cultivators in his poetry which proves his love with poor people because he was also a worker of the tropical region of rural Sindh. Though there is not much research done on Bagh Muhammad Beshak Jokhio but still few of the famous authors and scholars have written on him. Among them, the first ever biographer of Bagh Muhammad Beshak is Dr. Jan Muhammad Janbaz Jokhio, who interviewed and narrated his life as well as wrote on paper the poetic sonnets of Bagh Muhammad Beshak in Malmari and that unpublished book is in the custody of Mr. Bagh Hussain Jokhio (the grandson of Beshak). World-class writer Dr. N.A Baloch mentioned Bagh Muhammad Beshak various times in his research on the folklore poets of Sindh while as staunch writers of Kohistan Mr. Abdul Aziz Jokhio (his brother wrote during 1950s on him) and Haji Muhammad Ilyas Hamgham Jokhio also wrote on him who was his maternal uncle as well as father-in-law. After them, various other writers have been trying to write on him like as his son Abdul Hanan Jokhio, Prof. Amanullah Jokhio (wrote on him in Urdu too), Ahsanullah ‘Agam’ Jokhio, Prof. Hakimdin Jokhio, Bisharat Ilyas Jokhio, Ajiz Rehmatullah Lashari, Bagh Hussain Jokhio and many others from young generations are tackling the chances to get published their papers on “Beshak”. The family and folk traditional poetic pals of Bagh Muhammad Beshak called him “Khashal” (his grandson Abdul Qadeer Jokhio is also known with this name) because of his natural beauty during his childhood. This made so many people love him and his poetic creations. Slowly he got feeble and weak due to the restless efforts of days and nights for his sons and daughters. After a short sickness, finally Bagh Muhammad Beshak Jokhio left this immortal world on 26 February, 1984 and was buried at the historical monuments of Jungshahi Kohistan. Presently, the genetic folklore poetic inheritance is still continue in his paternal as well as maternal generations like as his elder son Haji Muhammad Sabir is a hidden poet, another son Abdul Hanan Jokhio is writer of history of various unpublished books of history, Islamic Mysticism and epistemology, younger son Abdul Manan is professional Camel-charmer while as 2 of his 3 daughters are also famous women figures of Kohistan. Grandson Bagh Hussain is also an emerging writer, Abdul Qadeer Khashal Tahiri and Bagh Ali Tahiri, the grandsons are also learning poetry while the sons of his daughters are also staunch writers and poets. Few of the sample poetry of “Bagh Muhammad Beshak” which I have translated in English are mentioned here: “I praise thy who created this world.
The light of the Prophet was present before Sky and Kursi! Neither were angels, nor fairies but Allah only! With His will, He made Adam with Do as said! The heavens, the earth and the mountains are creative night and day! In heaven, places were made and breezing paradises and gardens! Fruits sweet, were grown, roses and flowers were seen green ever! Sun, moon and stars all are shining altogether! “Bagh Muhammad Beshak”, this all authority is of bestowing Beloved! Great Allah made, there Adam only!” He was lover of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and used to say many poetry in this consequences of love. Such ecstatically attractive poetic lines which got popularity in the surrounding are like; If you want to become a traveler, then leave family and tribe! Get the pathway of the Prophet and plan as quickly! Get ready to stand and walk alone; by foot. Bagh Muhammad says appearing in between the way no stopping! Muhammadan gathering, let’s see at Makkah and Madinah..! Ali Muhammad Jokhia, Essa Faqir and Kamil Khan Jokhia are such folk figures to whom he contested during the night sit-together, as narrated by Dr. Janbaz, he was lover of the saints, hence during his spiritual efforts to find the beloved, he visited his Murshids’ shrines at Sehwan and Multan and used to say some poems in Siraiki too; like as I have translated it in English: Ranjhan your, heart mine is ready! Kill me rapidly with a sword!! The Sindhi poetic compendium of “Bagh Muhammad Beshak Jokhio” is known as “Kulyat-e-Bagh” which shall be published in upcoming months very soon by his sons. Such a great poet shall always be remembered in the history of Sindh Pakistan and will be memorized in the Sindhi language and literature research papers as a legendary literary figure.