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  • Writer's pictureFolkloristan

Mirza Sahiban

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Your love or your blood?

Centuries ago, twelve generations after Heer, a beautiful girl was born to a tribal chief of the Sial clan. Her parents named her Sahiba. Unparalleled in beauty & delicacy, she was the only sister of seven brothers, a beloved sweetheart.

She was just a child when a boy from a distant village came to her town. Mirza & Sahiba started playing together, making mud houses, running their imaginations' armies and climbing trees until ~ they both grew up, Sahiba into an ethereal beauty & Mirza into a warrior.

So, Mirza asked for Sahiba’s hand. Impossible! The Sial Tribe said their daughter won’t go into Kharals - the tribe of Mirza. Broken-hearted, Mirza returned to his village. But as soon as the tribe arranged Sahiba’s wedding somewhere else, he and his horse sped back.

It’s said that when he was about to leave for Sahiba’s village, his sister - herself a bride - grabbed his horse’s reins and begged him to remember what happened to Heer and Ranjha. But too blinded by love, Mirza set foot to join the league of the same legends.

When he reached her village, he could see the Baraat on her door. Mirza took the help of an elderly woman and saved Sahiba from the back door. Without anyone knowing, they eloped. That night the horse ran like it was mad as if it knew that it had to save the young couple. Sahiba’s brothers were after them.

When Mirza finally saw the trees of his village, he felt relieved that they were in safer lands now. They got off the horse and rested for a bit. Here, Sahiba asked Mirza to aim for an insect in a flying bird’s mouth. Mirza perfectly shot his arrows, and the insect fell.

This made Sahiba sure that if Mirza will aim for her brother's neck, he won’t miss it. Terrified for their lives, while the Mirza slept, she broke every arrow in his pouch. She thought she’d plead with her brothers for their lives, and they’d accept it. And, she was wrong.

When the brothers came, Mirza reached his hand back to his pouch but found broken arrows. In utter disbelief, he looked at Sahiba; an arrow came flying from the other side and pierced his neck. His last words?

مندا کیتوئی صاحبا۔۔۔۔۔ووئے۔

It literally means, "You acted below" - figuratively, "Your actions were below your stature, Sahiban..."

And these words made the dome of the earth shake for a moment. He gave it all, all that he had for her. And it could all have ended differently if the arrows would’ve been there, but like a shattered trust, dissected heart, the situation was irreversible. Damage was done.

And Sahiba? Seeing her lover dead in front of her, she made her body fall on the same arrow. Both bled to death. Blood flowed through the fields that day and cultivated a hundred years of war between the two tribes onwards. The Sial's & Kharal's: a war of lost love & honour.


 

Commentary:

Today, their said tombs still exist in modern-day Danabad, a village near Faisalabad. And so does the tale of their love - a precedent of killing your own blood for the joke of family’s name; of making love a crime punished by all, and when possible - even by death.


 

This tale has been penned by Miss Hamd Nawaz.

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