Those of you who are fortunate or unfortunate enough not to be Punjabi by either birth or by nature wouldn’t know about Mirza.
Mirza and Sahiba, along with Heer and Ranjha, are the Punjabi equivalent of Romeo and Juliet. Circa 1500 AD, Mirza loved Sahiba, and for doing so, was pursued on horseback by about two thousand of her outraged relatives, who then proceeded to beat him to death with hockey sticks.
I’m not too sure how they got hockey sticks in 1200 AD, but I’m recounting the tale as best I can. I have heard various disparate versions from various disparate sources, and legends do tend to get a little embellished over time. It is quite possible that the incident took place later than 1200 AD, and that something more basic than hockey sticks were utilised, and that the number was closer twenty than two thousand. However, I wasn’t there, so I can’t say for sure.
However, one thing all the versions do agree upon is that Sahiba was a full-fledged, genuine Punjabi peasant girl.
The average Punjabi believes that the full-fledged, genuine Punjabi peasant girl is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. In this matter I find myself in disagreement with the average Punjabi. The full-fledged, genuine Punjabi peasant girl, after a lifetime of tucking into “two numbers aloo paranthas” and very often even more for breakfast, is the possessor of several cubic metres of backside, and usually has more facial hair than the average Punjabi peasant boy. For this reason, I find the whole Mirza-Sahiba affair even more tragic. If Mirza had been beaten up by two thousand people for falling in love with, say, Meg Ryan, or Preity Zinta, there would at least have been some point to the whole contretemps.
But anyway. Returning to the present moment.
The reason I bring Mirza up is that, as I recently told PP the Ironman, I am currently obsessed with the song Mirza from the American Desi soundtrack. It is one of those few songs- much in the manner of Mitwa from Lagaan- that makes you want to break out in dance immediately, whether you are on stage, in a car, on in front of your PC. It has an uncomplicated beat, and is full of joie de vivre. I plug it without reservation (and, no, I don’t get money for doing so).
Punjabi MC vs. Surinder Shinda- (American Desi)- Mirza. Get your hands on it.