hindi film music

Soundtrack review: ‘Mirzya’ pumps up the heartbeat (but Sahiban is missing)

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s score for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s movie turns up the volume and unleashes Daler Mehndi on the eardrums.

The soundtrack for the latest movie based on the Punjabi tragic romance Mirza and Sahiban marks a big moment for Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. The trio have the Marathi hit Katyar Kalijat Ghusli and Dil Dhadakne Do in 2015 to their credit, but it has been a while since they have worked on a movie whose score is integral to the subject matter.

Mirzya, directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and starring debutants Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher, features nine songs, six couplets by Gulzar, and frequent interjections by Daler Mehndi.

Mehndi shows up after every two songs, reading out Gulzar’s couplets like a troubadour. He reads at a glass-shattering pitch, which might traumatise sensitive listeners.

The album opens with Mehndi reciting a couplet in which the star-crossed love between Mirza and Sahiban is recalled. With that propitious but ear-splitting reminder, the title track Mirzya showcases the vocal calisthenics of Pakistani folk singers Akhtar Chinnal and Sain Zahoor alongside the sisters Jyoti and Sultana Nooran and Mehndi. The free-wheeling orchestration lets the singers join in at intervals, supported by a chorus and the rhythmic use of flute and pungi synced with percussion instruments.


In Teen Gawah Hain Ishq Ke, Siddharth Mahadevan is ably backed by a lilting guitar backdrop and a cooing chorus. With Chakora, the album moves onto the dance floor, combining folk elements with electronic beats. The groovy track by Mame Khan, Shuchismita Das and Akhtar Chinnal ends abruptly – was the idea to make us press the rewind button?

The halting rhythm of the Rajasthani song Aave Re Hitchki, sung by Shankar Mahadevan, finds itself in the middle of a rambunctious interlude, like a tired caravan reaching an oasis of melodies. The stirring sounds of the sarangi and the dholak match seamlessly with the guitar’s buoyant riffs.

Hota Hai is a massy, loudspeaker-friendly dance track by the Nooran sisters. Sain Zahoor, Akhtar Chinnal, Daler Mehndi and a breezy Shankar Mahadevan joins the sisters towards the end, making for one trippy chartbuster. The Nooran sisters return with Ek Nadi Thi. Co-singer K Mohan and chorus follow the singing partners in the a capella track with a sharp guitar finish.

Doli Re Doli is an unusual mix of words and sounds. Traditional Indian instruments used in weddings typically accompany the lyrics about a bride leaving her home. The composers replace the harmonium and tabla with jazz instruments such as the trumpet, cymbals, upright bass and the melodica. It is, at best, a curious experiment.

‘Teen Gawah’.

Kaaga, sung by Kaushiki Chakraborty, is semi-classical in style, merging her vocals with a symphonic sound. The album closes with the instrumental track Mirzya Theme – Broken Arrows, alluding to the tragic death of Mirza, who was killed by arrows fired by Sahiban’s brother.

The lyrics are written in a mix of Hindi and Punjabi and sung by artists with strong roots in folk music. Pakistani singers Akhtar Chinnal and Sain Zahoor lend an air of credibility to the words through their renditions as they are familiar with the folk interpretations of the love story originating in undivided Punjab.

Mehra’s keenness for a folk-contemporary sound results in serving of musical styles that, like a gateau after a full meal, can be overwhelming. Despite Gulzar’s edifying Punjabi couplets on the power of love and the eclectic score, Mirzya is missing its Sahiban. She is not present in the film’s title, and she does not get a duet with her lover. The soundtrack does not have a bona fide romantic anthem, the kind that will echo through the years, like the love story.

‘Mirzya’ jukebox.
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

When did we start parenting our parents?

As our parents grow older, our ‘adulting’ skills are tested like never before.

From answering every homework question to killing every monster under the bed, from soothing every wound with care to crushing anxiety by just the sound of their voice - parents understandably seemed like invincible, know-it-all superheroes all our childhood. It’s no wonder then that reality hits all of a sudden, the first time a parent falls and suffers a slip disc, or wears a thick pair of spectacles to read a restaurant menu - our parents are growing old, and older. It’s a slow process as our parents turn from superheroes to...human.

And just as slow to evolve are the dynamics of our relationship with them. Once upon a time, a peck on the cheek was a frequent ritual. As were handmade birthday cards every year from the artistically inclined, or declaring parents as ‘My Hero’ in school essays. Every parent-child duo could boast of an affectionate ritual - movie nights, cooking Sundays, reading favourite books together etc. The changed dynamic is indeed the most visible in the way we express our affection.

The affection is now expressed in more mature, more subtle ways - ways that mimics that of our own parents’ a lot. When did we start parenting our parents? Was it the first time we offered to foot the electricity bill, or drove them to the doctor, or dragged them along on a much-needed morning walk? Little did we know those innocent acts were but a start of a gradual role reversal.

In adulthood, children’s affection for their parents takes on a sense of responsibility. It includes everything from teaching them how to use smartphones effectively and contributing to family finances to tracking doctor’s appointments and ensuring medicine compliance. Worry and concern, though evidence of love, tend to largely replace old-fashioned patterns of affection between parents and children as the latter grow up.

It’s something that can be easily rectified, though. Start at the simplest - the old-fashioned peck on the cheek. When was the last time you gave your mom or dad a peck on the cheek like a spontaneous five-year-old - for no reason at all? Young parents can take their own children’s behaviour available as inspiration.

As young parents come to understand the responsibilities associated with caring for their parents, they also come to realise that they wouldn’t want their children to go through the same challenges. Creating a safe and secure environment for your family can help you strike a balance between the loving child in you and the caring, responsible adult that you are. A good life insurance plan can help families deal with unforeseen health crises by providing protection against financial loss. Having assurance of a measure of financial security for family can help ease financial tensions considerably, leaving you to focus on being a caring, affectionate child. Moreover,you can eliminate some of the worry for your children when they grow up – as the video below shows.


To learn more about life insurance plans available for your family, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.