Being in love with someone is a soothing feeling, making you feel that there is someone holding your hand firmly. Your beloved will always be there for you at the time of happiness and sorrow. Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage, recalls Sajad (name changed) a Kashmiri boy who fall in love with a non-kashmiri Muslim girl.
Gazing at the walls of his room Sajad kept on recalling those days of 1990’s, when he according to him fall in love with her.
“I never felt like that for anyone else till date, she had a different charm, the glow of her face, which was out of this world and which always encouraged me.”
Sajad used to have a glimpse of that girl who turned his nights sleepless. Sajad was unable to think anything else apart from thinking about his love.
“I always remained eager to see her from distance, whenever I was supposed to do something new which demands courage, I used to see her.”
This all was happening for almost a year, one day he thought of expressing himself in front of her, making her aware of his feelings, but his courage left him in midway.
“One day I decided to see her first, so as to get some courage to accomplish this top priority task, which was important for me, more than my life and I was ready to anything.”, recalls Sajad.
He went to the city centre where he used to see her almost every day. As he was approaching towards her, what he saw that she along with many others were running towards him; For a second Sajad was standing there like a statue, unable to move.
“I was trying to understand the entire situation happening around me.”
As Sajad was analyzing the situation, the girl reached very close to him.
“Bhaago (run away), she warned me and without further delay I also started running with her.”
Without knowing what was actually happening around he started running.
It was the happiest moment for Sajad as he was waiting for this moment from quite a long time, the moment when Sajad will be accompanying that girl. However he wouldn’t have thought of meeting her in the situation like that. Instead of relaxing a bit and talking to each other, they both were running away in hurry.
After this short marathon of 10 minutes both of them reached near Lambert lane in the city centre and finally Sajad could see her bit closely.
“Why were we running? I asked her and the funny thing was that she herself wasn’t aware of the fact that why was she running away from the spot. I still remember that funny moment which always bring about a smile on my face, full of memories”
Out of curiosity Sajad asked a man standing near to him that why everybody was running and he came to know that there were some protests near Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower), in response government forces resorted to aerial firing and everybody ran away for cover.
“It was mere stupidity on my part that I was running away without any reason, for me this reason was enough that she was running alongside.”
After some 10 minutes situation became normal and Sajad started his much awaited conversation with her.
“I was very nervous and was in dilemma of what to start with.”
This brief conversation came to an end very quickly and Sajad came to know that she is a non-kashmiri (from India), residing here with her family. Her father was operating a shop of Kashmiri handicrafts in the city center.
“I tried to tell her that I wanted to marry her, but thought it may be too early on my part to tell her so, I must wait.”
Before leaving the spot Sajad fixed a new date for their next meeting; something was going through his mind. Perhaps he had decided to propose her for marrying him at the next meeting.
As the date of next meeting was fixed, Sajad couldn’t resist him from having her glimpse, he just wanted to see her every day by hook or crook like it was the ultimate goal of his life. This thing continued till the day of next meeting.
As the day of next meeting was approaching, Sajad as usual went through the lanes of city center. His eyes notices smoke coming out of a shop. Everybody was trying to rush to the spot and so does he, but government forces didn’t allow anybody to go nearer.
Sajad was unable to understand anything out of it. What was most worrisome is that she was missing today from the spot. The shop was on fire… the same shop where from they used exchange smiles and signal which only they were able to understand.
“I searched everywhere but couldn’t find her.”
Sajad came to know that someone in the midnight put this shop on fire and an aged man spotted it in the morning when he was out for fajar namaaz (morning prayers).
Sajad continued to search her for a week altogether but all in vain, he couldn’t find her. They had planned to meet near clock tower but destiny didn’t allow this to happen.
“I had planned that we will sit in Pratap Park (local park), under the shadows of Chinar. Calmly and clearly I will tell her everything”
Sajad was very optimistic and he had some intuitions that she will accept his proposal of marrying him.
Sajad passes through the lanes of city centre every day, but was unable to find her. The shop where he spotted her everyday stands destroyed. Just the heaps of ashes were lying there.
However for Sajad there was something else lying down there and those were her memories which were still there and everything else stands vanished…
He asked other shopkeepers nearby and he came to know that this shop belonged to her father and she was helping him at this shop, where Sajad usually spotted her.
The family of that girl was doing their business there from last 6 years and was planning to spread their business across the valley, but this incident came as a setback for them and couldn’t continue with their plan.
This incident compelled them to vacate from the valley. They returned back to their place where from they had come.
However Sajad was not ready to accept this, he was still searching for her here and there... but couldn’t find her.
This is how that eternal love came to an end for this world but for Sajad she is still near that shop looking at him…