This Article is From Jun 15, 2010

Rajasthan remembers Laila, Majnu

On June 15 every year, a fair is held in Rajasthan near the India-Pakistan border in memory of the star-crossed lovers - Laila and Majnu - who are believed to be buried in a tomb there.

The legend of these two lovers has also influenced Sufi literature where the tale is a prototype of divine love - the beloved Laila is actually god or a divine lover worshipped by Majnu who is literally possessed by her love.

But in western Rajasthan, the story is symbolic of the composite culture of the sub continent. So in this fair, hundreds of people collect to ask for the blessing of the two lovers and the gift of true love in their lives.

"I heard there was a fair here so I came to see. It is said that whatever you ask for here, you get it," said a girl visiting the fair.

Before the Kargil conflict this shrine was also open to Pakistani visitors.

There are many variations to the legend of Laila and Majnu. In a version popular here Laila is forcibly married off to another man. Her husband challenges majnu but as soon as his sword pierces Majnu's heart, it is Laila who dies.

The tomb of Laila Majnu is  a major attraction in these parts, therefore it's not surprising that even one of the BSF posts on this border is called the Majnu post.