When my grandfather attacked Pakistan in 1947 commanding an army of four sons and two daughters who had marched from Raja Sansi, a village near Amritsar and had sworn to plunder all the fields and trails in their way, the whole village followed suit.
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The attack was so severe that upon reaching the very first town in front of them, they got exhausted and decided to “permanently” camp there.
That town was Kamoke.
Leaving behind the “behind” of Krishan Ji, they came and sat on the lap of Mata Rani. And what happened to Mata Rani, you ask?
Well…upon seeing the plight of the attackers, she simply packed up and left.
For many later years, while also playing games in the temple I had to fulfill the duties of the honorable diety. Thank God the worshippers belonged to the People’s Party and kept considering me, instead of Mata, their Asif Zardari.
While the whole Raja Sansi shrunk itself in one corner of Kamoke, across the border as soon as they had left, the Indian government constructed an airport. Planes fly over the yard now where my grandmother used to fly crows from.
And because I belong to Amritsar, a majority of my friends, upon hearing the song “Amber Saria Mundia We Kachian Kallian Na Tor”, consider one of my mischiefs to be at its origin.
Not that there was any, no. I was born in Janki Devi. I could have been in Lady Wellington too but imperialism was not my thing!
My father’s first appointment was in Resettlement. Under the cover of allotments, officers there had built properties worth millions but my honorable father_with his Mughal background and supreme tales of love!_ cursed the palaces and estates.
After the dissolution of Resettlement, he joined the Food department for his kids, six boys and four girls.
Two younger ones_who were pioneers of women’s rights_ exited the world in infancy.
The gender level at home got balanced.
At first, I fell victim to the austerity of my sister (the one to whom I was allotted!). Later, her husband did.
I got bald in my youth.
He, post marriage.
Usually, It’s the brothers who are worried about the family’s honor. Unfortunately, those were my sisters who would welcome me _with canes in their hands_ at the front door, “Kithon aayan ae, Sohnia?”
I was born on the first of Ramadan…….and Satan got imprisoned on the same day!
I think you can figure out the rest!
From having been brought into the world to getting failed in Matric, my life has been as simple as can be expected of a booby!
An Extract From My Autobiography, ‘Love Is An Irritation’_ Saleem Mirza
(Translated By Fatima Saleem)