Cigarettes, Burqha and a Love Story

It Was Late Eighties. A totally different Era. A Totally different World. A Globalising World With So Much To Explore. A Place Filled With Beautiful People. The World of Letters & STD Booths.

I Had Given My IAS PRE Exams & Waiting For Interview Call. Almost Six Out Of Every Ten Young Lads Of The Middle Class Families Were Waiting For These Calls In Those Days. It Was The Age Of Dying Socialism In India & The World.

I Lived In a Small Town of Uttar Pradesh In India. We Used To Play Cricket In a Empty Ground Maybe a Govt. land. In Those Days Govt. Don’t Have Time For People,Who Cares about Land Then. Just Next To That Ground There Was a House in The Mulla Mohalla. Yes Officially It was Ali Marg But as I Said Who Cares. A Window of That House Opening Towards our Ground.

From Many Days I Was Noticing That Somebody staring at Me Whenever I Was Batting from That Window. Whenever I Look Back The Window Get Closed.

One Day I Hit a Shot Into The Window. The Ball Went Straight Into The House. Now my friends Started to giggle & Forced Me To Fetch The Ball. ” A Brahmin In The Mulla Mohalla House, Guys Don’t Do This To Me “. ” We Don’t Care,Go & Get The Ball.” They Taunted. So In The End I Have To go.

There Was No One In The House Except for Her. She Was Covered In a Black Burkha But Her Gloomy Brown Eyes Were Visible. I can’t Resist Myself From Staring in Her eyes. Her eyes were like Ocean & I Was Drowning.
Suddenly She Shouted ” Hello ! What You Want,My Abbu Is not Here”.  ” I waaas lolo kk…looking for Ball ” I fumbled. ” Oh ! Ok But I Have a Condition” .
” It’s My Ball”  I Said ” And It’s My House ” She Replied.
“Okay What You Want.”
” Can You Buy Me a Pack of Cigarettes”.
What ? I Was Shocked. “Yes Or No” She Asked.
I Have No Choice. Because If I go back to My friends without the Ball They Will Make Fun Of Me With Mr IAS Shy of girls.
So I Promised Her & Get The Ball.

Next Day I Hit The Ball again ,Went To Fetch & Gave Her The Pack. She Smiled Like a Child after Getting a Toy. She Said Thank You. I Was Flattered. Infact I Was Drowned In Her. I Loved Philosophy & She Loved Cigarettes.

After That We Started To Meet Often. Sometimes In The Milk Shop Of Yadav Ji or Sometimes In The Cloth Emporium of Jumman Khan. She Always Visited These Places With Her Fifteen Year Old Cousin.

One Day In The Milk Shop I Pulled Her Hand When Her Brother Wasn’t There. I Told her That I Will Wait for Her In The Backyard Of The Old Palace.

She Came. She Was Shivering. She Said Please Don’t Follow Me. They Will Kill Me. Only Allah Knows How I Came Here. ” But I Love You.” Suddenly She Started Laughing “How Can You, Knowing That Who am I ? “.

She Was The Wind & I Was The Tree. she Was Alive & I Was Dead almost. She Was Talkative. I was always Lost In Thoughts. She Was Full of Wonder & I Was Bored of The World. She Always Said ” Why We Sit Always Like This? Why We Don’t See The World? Why We Don’t Meet New People & Make Friends ? Why We Don’t eat This & That ? She Was In Chains Of Society Outside & Internally Free. For Her Smoking Was The Freedom. It Was Like Rebelling against World. She Can Go To Heaven Because She Was Free & I was Bounded By My Roots Stretching Up to Hell.

I Was Free But internally I Was Deep Rooted In The Worldly Practicalities.
I was Always Busy With My Books Especially Philosophy Books & Playing Cricket. She Was Like Philosophy. Digging Deeper & Deeper In Search Of Truth Knowing That It Is Not There. I Was Like Cigarette.Burning From Inside & Seems To Be Enjoying From Outside She Was Innocent & I Was a Normal Gray Shade Person.

We Met Oftentimes. We Both Know That Our Relationship Is Not Going anywhere But My Masculinity Don’t allow Me To accept this. I Was Planing That After Being an IAS officer I will Move To Delhi With Her. I Had already Done My Complete Planing About This.

That Day I Was lying Under a Tree With My Head on Her Lap. It Was The Most Romantic Thing To Do Before The Porn Became Easily Accessible. We Were Staring at each other & Doing Chit Chat.

Suddenly Somebody Calls her Name. We Both Woke Up From Dreams & Her Cousin Was There. He Split On Me and Started Running Shouting “Allah O Akbar”. I Ran Behind Him But He Vanished.

She Was Shivering & Crying. I Tried To Comfort Her. She Kissed Me For The First Time. Touch My Cheek & Smiled.
She Said

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing

and rightdoing there is a field.

I’ll meet you there.

I Was Amazed . She Went .

I don’t Saw Her For a Week after That. Infact Never Saw Her again. One Day I Was Reading a Local Newspaper. A Very Tiny Heading Was There
” A Muslim Girl Was Found Dead With Cigarette Burns On Her Body. Maybe She Was Punished for Smoking By Godmen.Police Is Investigating” .

I don’t Cry. I Don’t Feel Anything. In The Next Page There Was a List of People Who Were Called For IAS Interview. I Went Straight To The Kitchen & Burnt The Newspaper. My Father Was Angry & So Is My Mother But I Wasn’t. I Couldn’t Feel Anything. I Was Dead In Humane Terms. I Never Went To That Interview.

I Used To Smoke Two Packs Of Cigarettes Everyday. I Have Burnt My Philosophy Books. Three Years Went Like That.
In December 1992 Somebody Called For Diminishing The Babri mosque. Riots Were Happening In Our Whole State. We Were Safe However & It Don’t Matters To Me at All. I Was Wandering Everywhere Maybe Subconsciously In Search For Her. Maybe My Masculinity Don’t allow me To accept That She Wasn’t Anymore.

Suddenly Once again, There’s Too Much Of Sudden In My Life
I heard a Voice of a Girl Crying for help. Two Guys Were Raping her. She Was Half Nude. They Were Shouting ” Ya Allah “. I Recognised One Of Them. It Was Her Cousin. I Ran Away.

I Got a Gallon of Petrol. I Came Back & Just Washed Those Guys With Petrol. The Girl Hide Behind My Back. I Told Her To Ran. Then I Light Up a Cigarette & Boom. They Were Burning & I Was Laughing.

Suddenly Again Somebody Hit Me In My Back. I Turned Back But Wasn’t Able to see anything. Suddenly I Saw Her. She Was Calling Me. My Eyes Were Closed & When They Opened I Found Myself In Nowhere.

She Was Calling Me

There Was a Huge & Empty Field. Beyond Right & Wrong. There Wasn’t any Heaven or Hell. No God Was There. Niether Ram Nor Allah. It Was an Empty Field With a Tree .

A Tree ? What Was That ? She Was Sitting Under That Tree With Same Brown Eyes But Not Gloomy at All. She Was Reading a Book Precisely a Philosophy Book Of Rumi. I Light Up a Cigarette & Went Straight To Her. She Hug Me & Took The Cigarette From My Hand.

She Look at It as a Child Looks at a Toy. She Handed Me The Book & Smoked.
You Know How Long I Have Waited for You ? I Know That In That World We Will Never Meet So I Forgive Them for Raping Me & Killing Me. Atleast I Could Meet You After Death. I Knew That Sooner or Later You Will Come To Me.”

” I Have Taken Your Revenge. “
” I Don’t Think So. You Just Satisfied Your Anger. The One Who Can Kill , Can’t Love. That’s Why I Killed You To Purify You & Be With You”.

Out, Beyond Ideas of Wrongdoing and Rightdoing, There’s a Field

40 thoughts on “Cigarettes, Burqha and a Love Story

  1. Yup it made me cry alot when i was reading it i thought it hsd happened with you n u r the main character in this….. but really u r a vivid writer awesome 🙂🙂👏👏

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well,If I Would Be The Main Character Then I’ll be unable to Write This Because I Will Be Dead long ago.😂🤗
    Thank You Very Much For Such an Encouraging Appreciation 🤗🤗🤗

    Liked by 2 people

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