The geographical topography and location of Pakistan is such that the land has seen rise and fall of multiple civilizations and empires over centuries. Consequently, there are above 70 languages which are spoken in major areas of the country. Each region and language brings its own color to the palette. This is the very reason why Pakistan is so rich and diverse in culture and tradition. Culture, festivals and traditions are you usually accompanied by one more attribute.
Folklore and Myths; a collection of stories and customs passed down through generations. These legendary tales usually involve exaggerateds romance, paranormal phenomenon, supernatural creatures and immense bravery and valor.
With the release of The Legend of Maula Jutt in 2022; there is no doubt that Pakistani cinema is very capable of producing top notch fantastic period films. On top of that, there is a plethora of spectacular stories to choose from. All of which are based in locations within Pakistan. Hence, there is no harm in imagining some of the greatest legends of Pakistan turn into blockbuster films. Here is a list of three epic Pakistani myths worthy of big budget commercial film productions.
The Legend of the Fairy of Lake Saif ul Mulook
Lake Saif ul Mulook is a little North of Kaghan Valley. It is extremely picturesque and attracts tourists almost throughout the year. Interestingly, it attracts tourists for its scenic beauty and commercial activities nearby. Hence, we have sniffed a legendary fairy tale associated with the lake that begs to be made a movie out of.
The legend of the lake provides with just the right ingredients for a fantastic romantic movie. It revolves around an Egyptian prince who envisions the love of his life in a pendant which was gifted to him. He becomes obsessed with the vision. He falls in love with the lady in his vision and decides to find her.
There begins the tale of our hero who takes on a perilous journey from Egypt to the hostile mountainous pathways of the Himalayan mountain range in search of his love. He reaches Lake Saif Ul Mulook and instantly recognizes the place from his visions and settles there to look for his love. He discovers a magic ring near the lake that gives him magical powers and the services of a genie. The genie informs the prince that the lady he sees in his visions is a fairy who lives in Kohistan under a very strict rule of giants. Of course, the two lovers eventually meet and their love blossoms almost immediately as the fairy reveals that she had seen the Egyptian prince in her visions as well.
An escape from the land of giants in true action-adventure fashion. and a true love’s kiss turns the fairy into a mortal. The two live happily ever after. Such an amazing adventure with truly a happy ending!
Mum Of Koh e Murdar (Murda Pahari)
This story dates back to the time of colonial rule over the sub-continent. Koh e Murdar is a peak near Quetta and has a legend that has a scary horror movie written all over it.
The myth begins when a “Sphinx” like creature (popularly known as Mum). She is spotted near the outskirts of Quetta. It was believed to have a head of a woman and the body of a lion. It is reported to have been seen walking on both two legs and four legs.
At first, the sightings seemed exciting but slowly and surely things took a much darker turn. Like any man eating animal, “Mum” started appearing near settlements quickly followed by missing cattle and other farm animals. Very soon, people began to vanish as well. Travelers passing through or near the city of Quetta began to go missing. Often found later in pieces more than one.
The horror reached its peak when people started following self imposed curfews. None would venture outside their houses after dark. In fact, people would go about their daily chores in large companies as well.
Eventually, Mum made the grave mistake of attacking one of the military personnel who were stationed near Quetta. The legend says that it was a British army officer who the Mum chose as its victim. The officer remained calm while the creature carried him into its lair located in a cave on Murda Pahari. The officer had the presence of mind to leave behind a trail of papers he ripped from a diary he was carrying at the time. The next day, his company sent out a search and rescue mission. They soon picked up the trail and reached Mum’s lair. They found their superior officer alive but not well. He informed the troops that the creature is not in the cave at the moment and that they should stake-out until it comes back.
Totally Movie Worthy
That’s exactly what happened and after a bloody and gory battle, the troops were victorious. As a story for a movie, it has everything an eerie horror flick needs. It has a supernatural creature, eerie dry mountains and trees in the surrounding, heroism and on top of all that; an opportunity to cast a “gora” as an action lead in a Pakistani film.
Layak Tchoor of Kashmir
Kashmir is yet another area of Pakistan full of scenic topography. While many other legends and folklore have surfaced from time to time, the legend of Layak Tchoor is interesting to say the least. In a nutshell, you could call Layak Tchoor the Robin Hood of Kashmir. He would steal from the rich and distribute to the poor. He would do so in a unique fashion. Moreover he would cover himself in oil before entering the premises of the rich. This would enable him to slip through the hands of this tales’ antagonists if such a situation arose.
Kashmir is beautiful and has so many natural resources. Consequently, it has almost always attracted greedy, corrupt and powerful people which made life miserable for the natives. In times of peril, grief and financial agitation, antics such as those of Layak Tchoor would cheer people up and give them hope.
Whatever details are available on this legendary street smart character; they all point to one thing for sure. This is an adventure film for the masses. Imagine amalgamating Alladin, Prince Of Persia and Assasin’s Creed into one character who chooses to apply his mind and physics to the welfare of the community around him.