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Shirin and Farhad — A Fairy Tale

10 Mar

The fairy tale of Shirin and Farhad dates back almost a thousand years. Farhad was a stonecutter who fell in love with Shirin – a princess and the only daughter of the King. Farhad once saw the Princess at a cultural event where she stole his heart.

Oblivious to Farhad’s love, Shirin continues with her life as usual. But after laying eyes on Shirin, Farhad has stopped eating and climbs to the top of the mountain to play his flute in praise of Shirin every day. Shirin learns of Farhad’s routine from one of her friends and one day goes to the mountain to meet him. Shirin immediately falls in love with Farhad and her personality is transformed.

Rumours of their love spread throughout the town finally reaching the King himself. The King confronts his daughter and upon learning about their love for one another he promises to give Farhad – an ordinary stonecutter — his daughter’s hand if he fulfils certain conditions. Farhad must dig a canal in rock mountain six lances wide and three lances deep spanning forty miles. Shirin conveys her father’s message to Farhad.
Motivated by Shirin’s love, Farhad began digging early every morning until darkness impeded his work. Shirin used to visit him secretly and watch her beloved working with zeal and courage. Farhad continued to work in this fashion for years to come and when he’d completed more than half the task, the King was astonished and concerned. He had no expectation the Farhad would be able to complete the work and decided to consult his ministers about what to do. He and the ministers decided to trick Farhad in to thinking that Shirin was dead.

The king and his ministers recruited an old woman who visited the mountain where Farhad was digging the canal, and wept. Upon inquiry by Farhad the old women told him that his labour was of no longer of use because Shirin had died.
The King’s plot of worked well. At this news and with intense grief, Farhad split his own head with his sharp spade and died. Once Shirin heard of this news she went to the mountain, found Farhad, and used the same spade to take her own life. The fable goes that the canal was never completed and no water has ever flowed through it. But the love of Farhad and Shirin remains a strong aura at the canal.