It was raining outside on the day. Meera was listening to the droplets falling on the roof; that musical sound was enchanting. Funny how the sound of rain seems so engaging sometimes. You just can’t stop hearing that sound of rain.
The sound was continuous, only occasionally distorted by the roar of a jeep which was running on the road like some uncontrollable angry bull. Meera was annoyed by that jeep, but she couldn’t do anything about it. Living in a lawless place you just can’t do anything about anything.
She looked on the bed. Kartik was sleeping safe and sound like a one-year-old kid. Fresh stitch mark on his left cheek was enhancing his handsome face. In his sleep whenever he took a turn his neck long hairs fall on his forehead and become untidy, Meera preferred them untidy.
Meera loved Kartik, even when he was not Kartik Arya but Abdulla Mohammad Farukhi bin Mohammad Abu Alfazi. He always used to joke that his name was awfully long and he always wanted to change that. But it was not the case when his mother died and he paid her the last visit like an authentic Muslim. Then there came a moment when he asked Meera to pay last tribute to his mother, even when it was against his religious norms.
On the night of the same day, his father with his countless uncle and brothers assaulted Meera for making Abdulla a Kaafir. This raged Abdulla and he threw away his name for once and for all; and shot his brothers, father, and uncles dead on the spot. The violence they taught Abdulla proved fatal to themselves.
When all the storm passed, Abdulla’s only friend Kaazi Mohammad helped his escape the police authority and hid Meera and him for a month. Even he helped Abdulla in getting a new identity. In the lawless nation of Hindus, he was no more prone to any trouble as he became a Hindu.
But this didn’t end well. Abdulla changed his identity but he couldn’t change his past; neither he could change his brother Abu bin Abu Alfazi, the real gang lord of the clan. Abu was so murderous that he tried to kill Abdulla on the street but Abdulla fought bravely. At last, the gang of Hindu crusaders jumped in to save their brother Kartik. Abdulla sustained few injuries but his identity of Kartik saved him.
Meera was angry with whole society she was living. First, they tainted love with the term Love Jihad, criminalized the lovers and after the World War III they tainted all Muslims as criminals. Every peaceful Muslim was forced to become a criminal after that. But she found Abdulla, an angry youngster who was changed because of he fell in love with her.
‘Hey, Meera, what happened?’ Abdulla asked her and wiped her tear with his hand. Meera was unaware of them.
‘Nothing, I was just thinking… in the world full of hate, is it possible to love?’ Meera asked.
‘Of course, and it is necessary,’ Abdulla replied. He continued, ‘my father married 6 women but for producing fiend like him. Out of 30 of his son none of them were more than swine, even I was an animal but then I saw you. People fall in love but I was raised in your love.’
‘I forget something,’ Meera said as she wiped the tear from her cheek.
‘What?’ Abdulla asked.
Meera bent down on his face and their lips met. At the same moment, 20 of Abu’s henchmen opened the fire from outside the apartment. The bullets penetrated the wooden door and showered on Meera and Abdulla. The bullets were piercing their body like it was nothing more than an old linen cloth. Post World War III era brought more guns than it ever brought in all the wars combined. When the gun shower ended, the little life left in Meera and Abdulla ended and they left the world like they always wanted to, together, while kissing each other.
A short story based on the painting “The Kiss of Love” created by Devleena Dey.
Copyright © Shiv Shankar Gupta & Devleena Dey.