Sitting besides the window looking outside up in the starry night, waiting for a miracle to happen!!
Neha was in love with Rajat, and they wanted to settle down in their lives. The problem was that Rajat was a Punjabi boy and Neha was a Rajput, something that didn't seem pleasing to their families. They had married secretly in the registrar's office. She tried a lot but her mind kept rewinding the events that happened in past two days like a tape recorder got stuck on one track only.
India, where children are born and brought up with a teaching that big decisions like marriage must be done with their permission only. But what happens when you fall in love with a person whom you met at your college? Parents wish that their children study in good schools and colleges, but what if they start liking a person who is opposite who, at the same time doesn't belong to their caste.
They met in the college in Delhi. Unknowingly, they started falling for each other unaware of the consequences which they had to face. Neha's brother came to know about their relationship, warning Rajat and Neha not to carry this forward.
'This should not happen again!' he said pointing the gun towards Rajat, his red eyes blurting out anger.
'Bhaiya!! Stop it....' Neha pleaded but she was dragged away by the men that came along with his brother. Helpless, she couldn't do anything but to see him at the other side of the gun which could take his life, in fact her life which could be swept away the next minute.
This had shocked both Neha and Rajat. But love knows no boundaries. He requested him for not doing this violence.
'Bhaiya, I will take care of her. I love her!' Rajat folded his hands, begging for his love but all in vain.
'Tu aise ni sudhrega, tereko sabak sikhana padhega! (You won't let her go that easy, I will teach you a lesson!)
He pointed the gun towards him again keeping the barrel in between his eyes. Rajat was prepared that he was going to die any second now.
'Daalo isko jeep mein!' He nodded to his men to put Neha in the jeep.
'Parson iski shaadi hai, agar yakeen na hoye to ye raha saboot!'(She is getting married day after tomorrow. If still you don't believe then here is the proof!). He smashed a wedding card on his face.
'Bhaiya! You can't do this to me! What about my studies?' Neha was shouting and shrieking hitting the men who were dragging her in the jeep.
'Padhai karne hi to bheja tha ishq ladane ke liye nahi!'(We sent you for studies, not for falling in love!) he said with arrogance in his eyes.
Neha was resisting a lot but her body didn't have this much energy to push back the strong hold of the two men. She didn't realize when she fell unconscious. They started the jeep, drove away.
Rajat lay there helpless. He stood like a loser. He bent down picking up the card. For the first time in life, he was crying. He wanted her back but he was not sure what he could do to get her free from the hands of cruelty. He called his parents, narrating the whole incident.
Rajat was still not satisfied. He had made up his mind that it was now or never. He couldn't leave her just like that; he loved her and after all love happens once in a lifetime. Moreover he was sure that she loved him too! He decided to go to her town, convince her to run away with him. He knew that her mobile also would have been snatched by those bastards. He was left with no option but to straightaway sneak in the marriage and makes her run away with him. He knew that his life was in danger, but he was prepared for that as he already knew that life without Neha would be impossible.
A knock at the door distracted Neha's flowing thoughts. It was her wedding day. She reluctantly after hesitation opened the door. It was her mother. All girls cry on their wedding day because they had to leave their childhood home and parents to settle down in an alien world. But she was crying because she was in love with someone else but was marrying someone else, worst on that she was forced into it. Succumbing to her heavy heart, which wanted to let out a loud cry, cry of agony, the excruciating pain which she was going through?
'You love him a lot?' her mother asked her. She was shocked to hear those words from her mouth.
'Mumma, I can't live without him!' Neha burst out in tears, hugged her mother.
'Does he love you too?' she asked again.
'He could die for me Mumma!' Neha justified.
'Then run away with him, I am with you!'
'What?' asked Neha with astonished look in her eyes?
'I don't want to spoil your life. The guy your dad is marrying you to is not right for you. You deserve someone who will love you, take care of you!' She said without giving a pause.
Neha looked in surprise, more shocked to see her mother react like this. She had her mother by her side, someone on whom she could rely on. She decided to follow the advice unaware of the consequences.
Rajat reached Jaipur with only one aim, to take Neha with him forever. At around 6 PM he reached the venue and somehow managed to get a place in the crowd. The whole place was guarded with gunmen. Rajat had already donned a moustache and a beard like typical Rajputs just to prevent his identity to come out. Paving his way across the guards, he went straight up to the room where Neha was getting dressed for the day in her life.
'Mumma, but he would kill him! And Bhaiya is so egoistic that he would also not think twice!' Neha was so stressed and worried. A knock on the door and their tension grew more. It was the time, they knew. Rajat was knocking incessantly on the door. He had lost his patience now. He wanted to take her away with him as soon as possible before they come to know. After about five minutes, Neha's mother opened the door. Neha was hiding behind her. She didn't want to get married to that scoundrel.
'Where is Neha?' Rajat asked in a heavy tone just to make sure that he sounded like one of them. Her mother, who had spent her entire life with these people, knew that something was fishy.
'Who are you?' she asked with a raised eyebrow. Neha was getting anxious now with cortisol levels rising to the peaks in her blood. She can't resist and came out in front of him.
'Neha, how you have been?' Rajat held her both arms and hugged her. Recognizing his voice, his touch she was so relieved. The miracle for which she was waiting has happened.
'These two days without you were like hundred years Rajat!' She surrendered herself in his arms and hugged him tightly with tears rolling down incessantly from her eyes.
Her mother seeing him holding her was surprised to see that how two people can madly fall in love with this much intensity. She herself had an arranged marriage so she was unaware of what magic love holds. It was merely a word that she heard here and there. Love was in books only, she remembered. But in front of her eyes, was this couple standing holding each other, lost in each other so much that they forget about the rest of the world around them. A tear rolled down her cheeks.
Soon she came back to senses. She pointed them to run away from the window at the backside. Rajat raised an alarm that the area was being guarded by two gunmen. Her mother nodded assuring them to get it cleared for them. She went downstairs towards the backside.
'Listen, I guess there are some intruders at the front gate.' She ordered. ‘I want you both to keep a watch there. I will look around here for some time.'
The gunmen had no choice. She was the boss after all. They quickly strode away towards the front gate. She pointed towards the window indicating that the path was clear now. Neha had already tied knots to her dresses and sprung the loop down the fence tying one end to the hook in the balcony. They both slid down the loop. Neha looked in her mother's eyes. She had not seen her like this before. She was always like the strict mothers making her do the housework, cooking, washing utensils etc besides her studies. But today she lost in front of her. She had understood what love meant.
Meanwhile at the front gate, Neha's father, Bison was surprised to see the two guards.
'What are you two doing here? Your duty was to secure the backside.' he bellowed.
'Sir, madam told us that some intruders have entered the premises. She only told us to guard the front gate.' Bison smelled something fishy. He quickly indicated them to move towards the backside along with him. Rajat and Neha touched her feet for the blessings, thanking her for the support she gave them risking her life. Suddenly Neha heard the voices of few men from behind.
'Time for you to leave, Neha.' her mother said with tears in her eyes. 'Take care of my daughter!' she requested Rajat. The voice was getting louder, an indication that they were coming closer. Rajat took her by hand. Soon they ran away and were lost in the darkness. Bhimsen came closer, staring at his wife.
'Kaha gaye wo dono?' (Where did they both go?) He bellowed again after he saw the loop of clothes hanging down the balcony.
She remained silent, quiet not uttering a single word out of her mouth.
'Tujhko to main baad mein dekhlunga, pehle un dono ko dekh lu!'(I will see you later, first I will take care of them!) He murmured in anger and nodded to his son, Bharat to follow them in the darkness.
'Nahi, aap ko apna beti ki kasam. Aap aisa kuch ni karoge!' she begged him but his ego was not allowing him to listen to those words. He was on a killing spree like a mad man. There was no stopping him.
They both were running unaware of the paths here and there. It was like the cat chasing mouse. Bhimsen and Bharat along with their guards were chasing them down on jeep like hungry predator looking for prey. Rajat was holding Neha's hand firmly as they made their way across the streets, crossing several buildings, hiding wherever they could. They heard the sound of jeep approaching them in the silent night. They kept running for several miles, wishing that they get along safe. Rajat was worried about Neha; he didn't want to lose her at any cost. Same was the case with Neha.
Suddenly at the next minute they came in sight of Bharat. As Neha said, he didn't think twice about his sister. He started firing like a mad man. His wisdom was blinded by his ego. At any cost he can't let his ego get hurt whether it’s being done by his own sister. They both kept running, Rajat holding her hand firmly. They could hear the sounds of the gunshots which Bharat and his men were firing in the air.
Suddenly Neha felt Rajat's grip getting weak. She feared that destiny will separate them again. She hesitantly looked behind. What she feared had become true. She was shocked to see Rajat bleeding in his stomach. He had been shot. Minutes later he fell on the ground as everything blacked out in front of his eyes. His grip getting weak but he didn't leave her hand.
'Rajat!!!!' Neha screamed. She was devastated, broken from within. She didn't want to lose him at any cost. Her life had turned into ruins in a fraction of a second. She lay there resting his head on her lap.
'I love you Neha.......' he squeaked. He was dead. Neha couldn't believe what she was seeing. Her love was turned into ashes in no time. The jeep stopped by the kerb. Two men dragged her inside the jeep. She kept screaming, shouting, shrieking but her screams fell on ears which have been turned deaf with arrogance.
She was brought back to the house. They locked her in the room, directing her to get ready for the wedding. She resisted a lot, but all in vain. She loved Rajat, but he was gone forever. She took out a photograph of their marriage from her purse.
'Neha was always yours. She will be yours.' She was weeping rubbing her palm across his photo.
After fifteen minutes, there was a knock at the door. The Baraat was waiting for the bride to step in the Mandap. There was no response from inside. Bharat, who was knocking at the door, became suspicious. They broke open the door, only to find Neha hanging from the fan. She had committed suicide. All they could find was a suicide note in her hand
What was my fault? Was it I fell in love with a guy who doesn't belong to my caste? I hanged around with him? I felt happy with him? Or I couldn't imagine life without him?
I am sorry papa and Bhaiya, but I think that I hurt your feelings. I failed to be a good daughter and a good sister. But papa, I would like to ask you one question? Would you marry your daughter with whom she would stay happy for life or you would hand over my hand to the one who will make my life miserable?
Love knows no boundaries and it doesn't understand the language of caste as we do. I am taking my life because of my own will and I held no one responsible for it. Ab to aap khush hoge na papa ki aapke raste ka sabse bada kaanta hat gaya? Kuch hadd tak main bhi iski zimmedar hu par kya iski itni badi sazaa milni chahiye thi?
Bhimsen had tears in his eyes. What he couldn't see when his daughter was alive; he could see when she was dead. He was broke; he hugged her daughter's lifeless body. A father was lost that day. Maybe he would have not let his ego come in his way, and then his daughter would have been alive. They would have enjoyed together, laughed together. A father brings up his children to see them happy, not to kill them one day!!
For all those who became victims of Honor killings, it feels a shame to say that our country, India is a secular country. Marriages are made in heaven, at least we believe so. Then why we god fearing people come in the way of God?
Love is Jesus, Love is divine
Love says, you will always be mine
Love knows no season
Love happens for no reason
A feeling which everyone inhibits
Love is the one which knows no limits.
Love means giving your care
My friend, it’s all written up there!
P.S. Marriages are made in heaven. Whether love or arrange, it happens. The above post leaves a moral for all of us that we should not bring the traits like ego and arrogance in the path of love. Love has a magical feeling so we should value it. Even if you are going for arrange marriage, give it some time and love will surely build up!! Parents, Love happens by chance, not by choice, so it’s a request to value for your child's decision by providing proper guidance and support to him/her. And children, please, please don't hide anything from your parents! They are your first and foremost support and confidant. This should not happen to anybody what Neha and Rajat had to face!
This post is entry for the contest hosted by Indiblogger and Sony Entertainment Television, 'Love marriage Ya Arrange marriage'. Don't forget to check out the link by clicking here.
gripping story.... well written.... its horrifying to think that such instances actually do take place.ReplyDelete
thanks for your time Ash :) ya its very shameful that these instances still take place in our country.....Delete
Thanks for visiting and your kind comments:)ReplyDelete
Sad incidents like the one mentioned in the story are common in India. I don't understand why and how anyone can hold a thing like ego and give up on their own children. Hope things change, and we have a little more tolerance towards love.
thanks a lot Akanksha :) ya incidents like these still haunt many lovers in India .....Delete
Well written, Saurabh....ReplyDelete
Wish I could distribute copies of it. Would have, if it would have made any impact 'cos as they say, the value of a well is realized only after it has dried up.
Thanks a lot :) ya u r right .......Delete
This is a lesson for everyone,ReplyDelete
Liked the way you ended your post, with a verse :)
thanks Ghazala :)Delete
Destiny! Well written :)ReplyDelete
yup!! Thanks a lot :)Delete
That was a sad story touching a much talked about topic.ReplyDelete
ya its a much talked about topic but as for now so far ....its been in talks only .....Delete
and this is what actually happens in our society....you have sketched entire scene so well here....but can we ever get the answer Of your question..."why we god fearing people come in the way of God?.."..don't you think we Indians are hippocrates in terms of our believe in God...??ReplyDelete
BTW, thanks for the visit Saurabh...following you now....:)
Thanks a lot :) I think the answer to my question can be given easily only if we leave the path of hypocrisy......we say that we believe in god but we also behave opportunistically in the name of god which seems to be the great hindrance .......Delete
Typical Bollywood style! nice read :)ReplyDelete
Good message at the end.
yeah its bollywoood style but its really happening in our India...... Thanks :)Delete
fictions should not have sad endings...reality is bad enough :(ReplyDelete
reminded me of some Bollywood movies :)
hmmm yes I also don't like sad endings but this has happened many times.... Thanks for the feedback :)Delete
Very well written, problem is we know this story but there is never a try on our part to take anything from it. It's just a story.... Khap panchayats are still a reality.ReplyDelete
yes you are right.....these things are in talks only few cases we take some learning out of it ....Delete
A bit filmi... but nevertheless, differnt from the other entries that have been prosaic, inclined towards school-like debates, and opinionated without having any authentic data to back what they are saying. They are also preachy... this one has a lot of drama in it and this is what Sony may just like... and it latches on to a rather newsy issue too.ReplyDelete
Thanks a lot. I just sat to write and this one thing was just wavering in my mind which I decided to pen down. Though it has a lot of drama in it but somewhat you can relate it to the actual reality that is presently creating horrors for many couples out there. In order to live peacefully, I guess and hope that these things should be put to an end.Delete
Thanks for your kind comment.