Sindh~i sayings :
Submitted by Om Prakash Bhaktwani in
English and Sindh~i in roman script

Corrected by:Chandiramani
In roman phonetic script

Dear Sindh~is,

This is someth~ing th~at is our heritage .

Proverbs are not written in one day but take generations and generations to perfect th~em.

It is based on th~e experience of life .

Please read th~em and try to understand th~e meaning lying underneath~ .

You will feel proud of being a Sindh~i and remember our Sindh~i Language is one of th~e oldest languages in th~e world

It is a confirmed fact th~at in 185O A.D ,captain Stack wrote a Sindh~i English dictionary having 15OOO words. Just imagine .

I look forward to your suggestions .

With~ regards,


Consonants Arabic and Devnagiri
By Poonam Malani

cut a  
garden aa >NASAL SOUND
bit i  
meet ee  
put u  
boot oo  
say ay  
As ai  
Boat o  
cow ow  

Sindhi Proverbs : Pahaakaas
In English and Sindhi in roman script

Dear Sindhis,

This is something that is our heritage .

Proverbs are not written in one day but take generations and generations to perfect them.

Each proverb is based on the experience of life .

Please read them and try to understand the meaning lying underneath .

You will feel proud of being a Sindhi and remember our Sindhi Language is one of th e oldest languages in the world

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

I look forward to your suggestions .

With regards,



Sindhis were philosophical and hence they made invaluable observations of life.
Ba'nd~e je mana me'n hikr^ee
Saahiba je mana me'n b^ee

Which literally means:
While man has something on his mind, God has something else on His mind .
The above proverb shows that Sindhis believed in Godís will, and felt that man proposes and God disposes. Sindhis not only believed in Godís will, but also in His mercy. Hence they claimed:

Maaran~a vaare khaa'n
Rakhan~a vaaro vejho aahe

Which means:
God, the Protector is nearer than the one who wants to kill you.

In connection with death, Sindhis said:

Jinjo hit~e khapu
T~injo hut~e bi khapu

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

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.

Which literally means that if one eats the food from the bottom of the pot, he will not suffer from pain or humiliation. It implies that it pays to be humble.
Obviously Sindhis believe the opposite to be true.
They say:
Jed^o uthu vad^o t~ed^o lod^o

Which means: The bigger the camel, bigger the jerks one experiences.

Jo b^iyan jo khaad~o khaae
T~a'hi'n joo'n akhiyoo'n laj^aaeen

Which means that if you partake of somebodyís food, you feel embarrassed .

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

Which means that one must sing the praise of one,whose food one eats.

Khaad~o khaaibo t~a kha'ngibo bi
If one eats,one also coughs ..

On the subject of food, Sindhis observed:

D~aan~e d~aan~e t~e muhira

Which means that every grain of food is stamped with the name of the eater.
The above proverb ascertains that Sindhis believed in destiny.

Aahe t~a Eed~a na t~a Rozo

Which means that if one is financially sound, then one eats well, like one does during the festival of "Eed".
If one, on the other hand , is not economically comfortable, then one must perforce fast like during "Roza".

Sindhis were sensible enough to realize that too much money does not automatically buy them happiness. Hence they claimed:

Uho sonu hee ghor^iyo
Jo kana chhine

Which implies that, those golden earrings are not worthy of possession if they are too heavy and tear your ears.

Yet Sindhis believed that wealth was an important requisite to happiness. Hence they stated:
Nan~e binaa naru veg^aan~o

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 everyoneís 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 elseís 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 daughterís parents would give in for the happiness of their female off-springs

The following proverb was probably coined by dejected girlsí 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 motherís 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 daughterís 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 sayingís belief because Sindhis claimed:

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

Which means that sisterís 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 brotherís wife?
Elders observed:

Ghhareeba jee joi
Jag^a jee bhaaj^aaee

Which means that the wife of a poor man is like a brotherís wife to the world.
I believe that the above means that just like a brotherís wife was supposed to serve the brother in law with respect, so was a poor manís 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:

Ghara jo kinu
Ghara me'n dh~opje

Which literally means that one must wash ones dirty laundry at home.

Talking of homes Sindhis stated:

Ghara me'n gharu
Budh~ee vaj~e maru

Which means that if your extended joint families live under the same roof, their intellect as good as dead.

Obviously Sindhis were talking about the intrigues, tensions and arguments that would result because of so many people of different hue and character living together. Hence they stated:

Ghara jee gahipee
Matan jo pan~ee sukaae chhad^e

Which literally means that arguments in a house can get so hot, that they are capable of drying up the water in the earthen pots.

The following saying was probably formulated by a dejected mother-in-law who claims:

Sheed~ee sikee vyaa soo'nha khaa'n
Maa'n sikee viyasi siyaan~ee noo'nha khaa'n

Which means that the dark skinned people yearn for a fair complexion, whereas I long for a sensible daughter-in-law.

The above mother-in-law probably agrees with the following proverb:

Soorat~ khaa'n seerat~ bhalee

Which means that it is better to have uprightness, rather than possess good looks.

Yet another saying exists to confirm the above belief.

Ahr^aa suhin~aa toohaa t~a jhangala me'n bhee aahin

Which literally means that beautiful "toohaa" flowers abound also in the jungle.
This proverb implies that just like "toohaa" flowers, which have no value, grow in plenty in the jungle, similarly good looking people have no value, unless they possess good qualities.

Sindhis believed that:

Naad~aan d~ost~a khaa'n
D~aanav d~ushman cha'ng~o

Which means that it is better to have a wise enemy than a foolish friend.

Sindhis also believed that it is better to be criticized by a wise man rather than be praised by a fool. Hence they stated:

Moorkha je khhooshaamad~a khaa'n siyaan~e jee toka bhalee

Sindhis probably believed that a stupid friend is like a:

Sakhin~ee kunee ghan~o ubhaame

which means that an empty vessel makes more noise
Which also means that an empty vessel bubbles more,

Sindhis concluded that it is better to cut a bad finger. ( Rather than let the the poison spread) Hence they stated:

Kinee aang~ur vadhee bhalee

Yet Sindhs did not want to make generalizations. They realized that:

Sabhu aang~riyoo'n baraabar konhan

Which means that all fingers are not of the same size or shape.

Not only about people and friends, but Sindhis observed that, children born from the same parents never enjoy the same destiny. Hence they claimed:

Bhaag^u na d^eend~ee vande
Mau j^an~ee'nd~ee put~raa

Which means that though a mother gives birth and life to children, yet she cannot divide the same destiny equally amongst them.
Even though each of us enjoy separate and different destiniy from our siblings, relatives and friends, Sindhis believed that rather than burn in envy because others enjoy better fortune, one must remember that by wishing them well, one tends to benefit from their good fortune, if one continues to be their friend. Hence they say:

Saae maa'n sau sukha

Which means that one can derive hundred benefits from the fortunate ones.

Sindhis urged the less fortunate ones not to lose heart but to have patience. They said:

Sabura jo phalu mitho aahe

Which means that patience brings a sweet reward.

The Sindhi wise ones believed that:

Paraao peru, gharu vyo

Which implies that when an intruder enters one's house, he may be the cause of the destruction of that home.

Though Sindhis were famous for their "Mehmaan navaazi" which means that Sindhis were excellent hosts, yet they were also wary of intruders and therefore urged others to eye them with suspicion. About such people they said:

Aaee taa'ndo khan~an~
Borchiyaan~e thee vethee

Which means, that she came only to borrow a charcoal, but remained to take full charge of the kitchen.

Sindhis did not only criticize what harm others can inflict upon you, but realized that you alone can be responsible for what fate brings for you if you choose to do the wrong thing Hence they said:

Koyilan je khaan~ me'n
Hath~a bhee kaaraa
T~a pera bhee kaaraa

Which means that if you work in a coal mine,( Wrong surroundings)your hands and feet are bound to get soiled.

Sindhis believed that one must never lose heart, during the ups and downs of life, but be patient. They claimed:

Sabura jo phalu mitho aahe

Which means that perseverance brings to one's destiny a fruit that is sweet.

I would like to close this offering in the form of this booklet of ours with one of the wisest sayings of our fore-fathers' which claims:

Jahaa'n jeeu t~ahaa'n sikhu

Which means that there is no end to learning, and that while lives one continues to learn.

I do hope that we have learn 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.

End of the Story