Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Memories of another life Part 3

       Read Part 2
           "Shiven be rational.. Isn't this how we wanted it to be?" Sara questioned him.
          "It was Sara.. but now it won't.. You don't have to go back Sara.." he made futile attempts to persuade her.
           She looked into his eyes and sighed. They were sitting across each other in Mc Donalds. He was aware of the eyes hovering Sara. She was wearing a polo necked ,full sleeved , baby pink colored top and light blue jeans. Her lips glistened with a transparent gloss that she wore (she didn't need colors!). Her hair tied high brought attention to the large rings dangling from her earlobes. She mesmerized every one in the room. He felt pangs of jealousy even thinking of those eyes that devoured her beauty. 
           Sara had been elusive after their train encounter. No contact number, no email address nothing. The only way to reach her was to keep patrol at her college. He knew she was in second year degree. He tried to contact any (mind you any) person who might be knowing her. Even then he was frightful of using a male messenger lest he spoil his chances. He had bunked his own lectures and practicals and whiled away hours at the university entrance. He had almost given up hope when he finally caught a glimpse of her. She had avoided him and that had hurt.. 
           He had a clear picture of her schedule at college then and he waited for her every Thursday when her college left early. Accompanied by a group of female friends, she never took notice of him. He had decided he had had enough of her. He wasn't a stalker. He didn't wait for her on Thursday only to continue on Friday. HE couldn't be without having a look of her.. But Friday she didn't come long after her classes left.. He wondered if he had missed her when a gentle tap on his shoulder followed by a sweet voice said,
"Hey come near the lake.." She hurried into the campus and he followed her like a puppy. She looked back at him and gave a shy smile...  Aww where would he not follow her!
She sat at the bench near the lake. Her head covered, wearing a grey hijab.. Gently pulling her bag closer to her.. 
Shiven sat next to her at a distance..
"What is it that you want Shiven?" she asked him in a hushed tone.
"I... umm.. nothing.. I just want to be with you.." he was enchanted by her..
"That can't be possible Shiven and you know why.." she said in calm way.
"What are you talking about Sara?" He asked knowing fully what she meant..
"Shiven I know you like me.. I m also fond of you.. But Shiven I m not like you and you are not like me. I have restrictions.. I came here to get a good education. My parents were liberal enough to let a girl pursue her dreams in another city..They trust me never to go against our tradition. But rest of my clan is not like that. My parent's have gone against all to make me avail of this opportunity. At this stage knowing and befriending a male..that too a Hindu..could be perceived in many ways.. Its not good for either me or you.."
Shiven had liked her straightforward and pratical approach. 

"Sara I know our relation is not possible.. I am not asking you to betray your faith and come along with me.  I cannot promise you big things. I want to spend time with you Sara. Whatever beautiful times I can collect with you.. I want to cherish it and remember you as an angel that touched my life.. You are like that angel I can't have.. I can only love.." He had said things spontaneously.. without thinking if it sounded offensive.. All he wanted was Sara..

She had taken him by surprise by replying in affirmative..
"Shiven you have to be careful.. Please don't loiter around here much.. We will meet every Friday here near the lake.. " She had smiled and left him speechless.. What she really an angel?

Friday was all he lived for. They met near the lake. Shared their week..He was amazed by her knowledge about religions other than her own, her interest in philosophy, her passion for poetry, her gentle ways of explaining him about Islam. He learnt how the sects in Islam were divided on the basis of the successor of Mohammed they followed.. Shia and Sunni muslims.. She was a Sunni muslim and according to her a lot better off than that the condition of the Shia.. Sunnis were the majority population. They had better chances at education. She was happy in whatever restrictions imposed.. That was her way of life..
Sometimes she brought him food cooked by her.. He knew she had to wake up really early to get them made and he adored her for that. He tried giving her gifts but she refuse them flatly. She didn't want anything that could raise suspicion. It was strange how a guy's eyes would wander all over girls but when he finds the one he loves, only her face can send thrills.. Her love was the nectar he was living on.. 

If someone had asked him what the happiest moment of his life was, it was the day Sara had hugged him.. When he had landed a job with a company of a very good profile. There was an uneasy silence which followed the hug.. He had wondered if this could lead to a more tangled involvement...

With his job and her final year studies, it had become difficult for them to meet. They had become bold enough now to meet outside. Sometimes in outlets like Mc Donalds, Cafe Coffee Day etc. She would sometimes come without her hijab.. It was afterall her last year in Mumbai.. "Might as well experience this freedom" she used to say. Those days he had a 100 watt smile on his face knowing that he was the envy of every other male in the room. Her slender frame, graceful poise , her contagious smile and her soft sweet voice filled the air with happiness.. Her childlike innocence warmed and won hearts..

When they would meet in open places like the beaches, Marine Drives or National Park she would fully cover herself, revealing only her eyes.. Yet she would hold his attention.. 

Back in Mc Donalds, he was upset that it was her last week in Mumbai. She was called home by her parents. A danger loomed over his head.

"What will I do here Shiven? I m here for last 3 years. Abu jan hadn't sent me here to settle down." she said.
"But Sara, what if they fix your marriage?" he had asked and droplets of sweat formed on his forehead. 
"So what Shiven? He will do what is best for me.." she said without conviction..
"Sara... Sara I love you.." he said in desperation.
"I love you too Shiven.. But that doesn't change things.. We cannot be together.."  was her curt reply.
"Don't go Sara.. What will they do ? Kill you?" He asked trying to prove his point.
"They can.. You don't know my bhai jaan.. They can kill me if I disgrace the family.Even you." she said with her eyes filled with tears.. He had held her hand softly but failed to give any reassurance.. 
He watched her leave for home..
In the next week he had seen her off for Gujarat.. Hugged her the second  time.. She was putting on a brave face..like at Nandiad station.. She entered her compartment... He watched her settle down and turned back to leave..

He hurried into her compartment. She looked as if she was anticipating his return. She hugged him tightly. For the third and the last time and he breathed in her sweet fragrance.. She reached his cheeks and gave him a light  kiss.. He leaned in and slightly touched her lips... She smiled again.. A mature, knowing and retiring smile.. She thrust a note in his hand..

"Sara... oh Sara.. Please call ok.." he whispered... A lump formed in his throat as he battled for words..
"I will... Shiven I love you.." she said as he alighted from the train..
"I love you too Sara.. I always will.." he said as the train began moving..

He stayed there a long time even after the train had long departed a station and watched her figure becoming miniscule till it disappeared... What could he do? He was just a 22 year old Hindu in love with a 21 yr old Muslim..



He slowly opened the note Sara had given him.. Wrinkled and ironed several times over the years.. He traced the page where once her dainty loving hands had moved.. The page which had held her gaze as she must have scribbled away her feelings.. The blots on the paper where she might have stopped to think or brush aside her silky hair or maybe playfully wind her fingers in her hair.. The edges on the page folded when she might have hidden it away from anybody's view or when she had so meticulously placed it topmost in her bag.. The stain where her tear might have fallen....

His hands shook as he unfolded the note.. It felt the same way he had felt when he had first opened the note 9 years back... The feeling that had altered his life...

(to be continued)

6 comments:

Priyanka said...

I feel like I'm reading a novel by an accomplished author. How do you write like this? *sigh*

TheGirlAtFirstAvenue said...

I totally agree with Priyanka!

Hmmm difficult times for love... what's going to happen next??

Jyoti Mishra said...

You r undoubtedly a brilliant writer..
u make reader read till the end.. :)
what will be next .. M waiting

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

WHAT DID SHE WRITE? :O :D

Don't make me wait. I can half imagine her face.

Cheers,
Blasphemous Aesthete

maithili said...

@Priyanka : What a compliment! I m flattered and under pressure now to deliver the best ! Thanks for reading girl..

@Chandana: Thank you for reading :) Hope you will like the coming parts too..

@jyoti : I m glad you could read through till the end.. Length is a concern you know :)

@Blasphemous Aesthete : The next part posted :)

Mystical Skeptical Me said...

Maithili, you are such an amazing writer...this post...touched my heart! :) :) :)