“Mirza” – Mirza, Mirza, Mirza….
“Sahiba” – Sahiba, Sahiba, Sahiba….
As the sound reverberated around the hills, the trees whispered and gossiped about them. The flowers bent a bit and tried to listen to it. The wind sailed happily, blowing a few silky strands of Sahiba’s hair, a cute eighteen-year-old girl. Mirza, a nineteen-year-old handsome boy, was engrossed in seeing her dressed in a simple attire of Salwar-Kameez-Chunni. She was his childhood friend and the love of his life.
She sprinkled water droplets on her beautiful face, filling up water in her palms from the river. The water kissed her vibrant cheeks and naturally colored lips. While she wiped the water with her chunni, it never wished to part her lively face. Some of the droplets hugged her hairline, and a few embraced her quivering eyelashes. The rays of sunlight reflected through them like many twinkling pearls.
Mirza: “Tussi mere naal aaoge?” (Will you come with me?)
Mirza held her hand, and she stood up. They began walking across the bridge, holding hands. It was the last day of Mirza in the Pind (Village), he was leaving for further studies. Two pairs of innocent eyes were full of tears.
Sahiba: “Tussi mainu pyaar ho?” (Do you love me?)
Mirza: “Main tainu rabb to vi vadh karda han.” (Yes, I love you more than even God.)
Sahiba: “Tan fer tussi Na Jao” (Please don’t go)
Their hands parted with crushing hearts, and a whirlwind appeared from nowhere. The trees shook, and the heart of the sky thumped hard. The mood of the pleasant winds had even the clouds were sad to see the two lovers, apart.
Eventually, the clouds were unable to endure so much pain and could not conceal the tears coursing down.
Yes, it rained heavily in through their eyes and the sky.
A beautiful daughter of Sial family, Sahiba was always in the eyes of prospective grooms and their parents. Though the whole village knew about Mirza and Sahiba, some people began spreading rumors that Mirza will not come back and he has grown up into an arrogant goon. Mirza’s handsome physique and stories of his brilliant archery were enough to spread jealousy among people, resulting in more spread of malign about him.
Finally, Sahiba’s parents and brothers decided her marriage with a familiar groom, Taha.
Miles away, Mirza was busy in preparation for his sister’s wedding. , a common friend, met him with a message from Sahiba.
“Only you can decorate my hand with Henna ( of marriage). Please come and take me away from here.”
Mirza was furious about her parents’ decision and the malignancy spread over the village regarding him. His family asked not to trigger a fight with aggressive Sial community and mighty brothers of Sahiba. His sister warned him as she wanted him to be with her, during her marriage.
Mirza listened to no one. He began his journey with Bakki (His favorite mare) towards his Sahiba.
The groom and his family were about to reach the perimeter of the village. Sahiba was not sure when Mirza would come and rescue her. She had not taken a single bite of food. She was not even drinking water too except sipping her incessant tears.
Aha, a ray of hope brought her back alive, when brought Mirza’s message. He was about to come and will touch their secret place, by night. Her face twinkled like thousands of fireflies. She’d ordered her mother to bring the wedding dress and sixteen types of cosmetics(Solah ). She’d surprised her by demanding her favorite Biryani.
A full moon night and the sleeping village, no one knew she’d left her friend in her wedding dress. She tiptoed towards the near the River. However, she didn’t know about Firoz, an old enemy of both, was keeping an eye on her and following her.
While she was waiting at the secret place, Firoz appeared all of a sudden. He grabbed her left wrist and twisted it. He told her that there is no point in eloping from the wedding. Her brothers (and in turn her groom and family) knew that she is not at home, and it is somebody else decorated as the bride. They would be searching and soon will find Mirza and her both. It would be better if she can choose to come with him and he will make her, his begum (wife).
Sahiba had an idea.
“Is this the way to touch your future wife? Just leave my hand.” – She uttered in a very sweet voice.
As his grip softened, she started running away along the river.
Suddenly a horse-rider appeared behind Firoz. In the next moment, she saw Firoz’s head was detached from his body. She felt a splash of warm blood on her arms and dress. She was about to faint, to see human blood on her fair skin. Mirza embraced her with his muscular arms.
She started beating him, on his chest with a loud cry. She wanted henna to be painted on her palms and full-length of arms, not the splattered design of blood. No!!!!
They began a journey towards his village, Danabad. However, Mirza was tired and taken a halt under a shade of a tree, in the morning.
While Sahiba offered him Biryani, she was in deep thinking after this horrific incident.
Mirza was a strong and a brave guy. However, when anger used to take a precedence, he was a brutal killer. Be it anybody, her family, brothers or her groom, she knew Mirza was capable and will never think twice before executing a violent bloodbath.
After having the meal, Mirza felt sleepy and lay his head on her lap. She’d told him not to sleep, as her brothers will be approaching to this place, soon. She’d requested him, to proceed towards some other place, right away, where they could live in peace with no more killings.
“Our flower of love cannot flourish above the graves of anyone. I am your love and I will be with you. Whether any fight is greater than our love? Why to stop here and wait for an impending fight?”
Mirza smiled and laughed at her innocent fears. He was an expert in the skills of combat and archery. He was confident about his three hundred arrows, as thirsty as him, to soak the blood of his enemies.
Sahiba continued to talk and pat him in between, not to let him fall asleep. Soon the sound of snoring had baffled her.
She was not sure when he’d fallen asleep? Whether he’d understood anything from her nonstop monologue? What if, her brothers and Sial community reaches here? She knew Mirza could kill anybody who will come between her and him. However, she was entirely against bloodshed.
She thought she could form a barrier of her body and with a sweet persuasive voice, she can convince her brothers, to forgive them and let them marry peacefully. But, what if, Mirza attacks them in anger and picks up a fight? He will kill everyone. No, I should not let this happen, he is crazy in love and war as well.
While Mirza was in a deep slumber, she tried to break a few of his arrows. She hung his bow and quiver (arrow container) on a branch of tree so that he should not be able to start a fight and harm anyone.
But the fate had written something else for Mirza and Sahiba.
Soon her brothers and Sial relatives had arrived, with swords. Mirza was in a deep sleep and Sahiba tried to pursue and stop his brother. But they pushed her away, and two of her relatives grabbed her arms. She cried aloud and tried to wake Mirza up.
Mirza got up and immediately searched for his bow and quiver out of alarm, but he was unable to find them around. He saw broken pieces of arrows and bow hanging on the tree branch.
Betrayal was the only thought in his mind, as he saw Sahiba’s brother approaching near. The hot blood of hatred gushed inside his veins and a drop of same, from his eyes.
He still had his small sword, and with an indomitable spirit, he fought until his last breath. Finally, Sahiba’s brothers beheaded him and cut him into pieces.
A sharp pang of guilt and an intensifying hurt with every cut had broken Sahiba’s heart into several pieces. Sahiba dropped to her knees with a huge cloud-busting cry.
She killed herself with a sword self- annihilating with her worldly body, the hatred of her brothers and her guilt.
Mirza felt like his body bore no weight, and he watched his corpse under the tree, surrounded by blood. He witnessed the end of his beloved, Sahiba, too.
Sahiba:“Tussi mere naal aaoge?” (Will you come with me?)
Sahiba held his hand, and he stood up. They began walking through a bright tunnel while holding hands. Sahiba was afraid that she’d be hated forever for her betrayal and no one will believe in love anymore. Still, she asked Mirza.
“Tussi mainu pyaar karde ho?” (Do you love me?)
“Main tainu rabb to vi vadh karda han.” (Yes, I love you even more than God.)
It is true that their eternal love story was completed in another world and is sometimes misunderstood in many depictions.
Nevertheless, people who believe in Love will always understand and believe in their side of the story, even if Mirza and Sahiba won’t be alive for explanations.
Probably they wished for the world, where Love will not be a crime or a reason for the crime, where people would not kill their kids and siblings because of it.
Can we not try our bit of deeds to complete love stories around us or at least pray for the same?
It is a popular folklore and a unique one too, as it pronounces the male’s name first, i.e., Mirza Sahiba and not as Sahiba Mirza.
It is a heartbreaking and tragic story of Love, like all other old stories of Love e.g.: Heer-Ranjha, Laila-Majnu et al.
It is an honest attempt to elaborate in a narrative form, to unleash a debatable love story and an example of Honor Killing prevalent in those times.
The names, places, and events were kept to real, as much as possible. The Jand tree with graves of lovers still exists in the village of Khewa (now in Pakistan).
P.S - Special thanks to Akshita for editing/improvisations and Amogha for a much-needed correction.