Sohni Mahiwal is a tragic folk tale of two ill-fated lovers. Sohni was the daughter of a potter. She was a very pretty girl and often helped her father at his workshop. She painted beautiful flowers and designs on the freshly baked earthen pots. As fate would have it, Izzat Baig a merchant from Uzbekistan came to Sohni’s native town with his merchandise.
One glimpse of the beautiful girl working in a potter’s workshop was enough to captivate the heart of the merchant. He started visiting the shop regularly buying the earthen pots; Sohni then read the silent messages of love in his eyes and lost her heart to him.
Later when he had no money left, Izzat Baig started doing odd jobs and even looked after Sohni’s buffaloes; this is how he got the name of Mahiwal. The two started meeting in secret but somehow the villagers came to know about their affair and told Sohni’s father.
Enraged and alarmed, he hurriedly married his daughter to another potter from some other village on the other side of the Chenab River. Dejected by Sohni’s marriage, Mahiwal left the town in search of Sohni. Finally he found her and told her about his new whereabouts; across the river from Sohni’s new home.
As the night fell and darkness spread, Sohni would steal out of her house and swim across the river with the help of an earthen pot which she hid among the bushes on the river bank and meet her lover. She then swam back to reach home before dawn.
Her nightly activities aroused the suspicion of her sister-in-law who followed her one day and discovered her secret. She quickly ran to tell her mother (Sohni’s mother-in-law) and the two women hatched a plot to get rid of her.
The next day Sohni’s sister in law replaced her sturdy earthenware with a weak sun dried one. That night the river was flooded and the weak pitcher dissolved drowning Sohni. Mahiwal watched his love being swallowed by the raging water too jumped into the river.
Next day two bodies were found near the river bank and the tale of Sohni Mahiwal became immortal.