Love is not defined by religion or boundaries; it unites two souls together forever (part 1)
Javed and I didn’t mean to fall in love. But love happens when you least expect it. It creeps up suddenly when someone needs attention, care, conversation, laughter and maybe even intimacy. Love doesn’t look at logic, or at backgrounds and least of all religion.
I am from a very conservative South Indian family that go to a temple every Saturday. Javed bought goats for his family every Eid. That said it all. Our paths would never have crossed if it hadn’t been for that fateful day; that day when he walked into the coffee shop. I wondered if destiny chose our loved ones for us. Did we have any role to play at all?
I looked at my watch. Javed was late. We met every Thursday at five pm to catch up. Our conversation lasted for hours, sometimes at the café, sometimes in his car, sometimes in places that I could never tell her friends about. They would never understand. And yet Javed made me happy.
Suddenly my phone beeped. He had sent me a message. “On my way, have something important to tell you.”
I stared at it and realised I had knots in her stomach. Thoughts flooded my mind. What did he want to tell me? Does he want to break up with me or has his family found out about us? I would only find out when he will tell me and till then I was just sitting in her chair hiding from the rest of the world.
“Hey sorry I’m late, got a lot of traffic on the way” he said a few minutes later when he arrived at the café
“Are you okay, you look like you’ve just seen a ghost?” he asked
“Yes I’m fine, don’t worry about me. So what was it that you wanted to tell me?” I asked
“Ah yes Sonali, I’m actually scared to ask you this but I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and want to know what you think, let’s move in together?” he asked
“What? Why would you ask me that?” I asked
“It is a valid question, I want to be near you all the time and not wait for every Thursday to meet you and touch your beautiful skin” he said
“You know it’s not possible”
“Why not, what is it that’s stopping you?”
“You know our families will never agree to it” I said
“This is not about the families; this is about living your life the way you want to. You and I are over 25 years of age, not married, I think our families would want us to be with somebody and be happy” he said
“I know all of that but it is not possible” I said tearfully
“I don’t agree, I think you don’t have the guts to do it” he said
“Please don’t say that, you know I would do anything for you” she said holding herself strong
“Then do it, show me you can”
I was silent for a while
“I knew you will not do it” he said and left the coffee shop. In a matter of seconds my world was shattered, one moment I was happy and on cloud 9, the other I didn’t know what to do, I was in shock.
On the other hand, when I went home that day reluctantly, miserable and heartbroken, more bad news waited for me. My family had found out that I had been seeing Javed and they were quite upset with me. My little brother saw us at the coffee shop and told the family.
“Sonali, how could you do this to us? Don’t you know better to go out with a Muslim; what will the society say. We can’t go out anywhere ever again” said her father fuming
“It’s not like that father, he’s a really nice guy, please don’t be angry” she said
“Don’t be angry, you say, I’m forbidding you from leaving the house; you will stay inside and learn to do the daily chores, help your mother” he said and left the room.
My world was completely blown apart, my family was angry with me on one side and Javed wouldn’t talk to me because I wouldn’t move in with him. It’s not like I didn’t want to, I did but I had my inhibitions about it and plus if my family knew about it they would completely abandon me.
Two days of crying and locked in my room I decided to do something about my situation and take control of my life. I decided to run away with Javed and live my life according to my wishes. I knew that my father comes home around 7:30 pm, that time all the ladies of the house are in the kitchen preparing food and my window to get out. The hinges of the window in my room was a little lose and with the help of a screwdriver I took it out and jumped out to my freedom.
I went straight to the coffee shop where we used to meet.
“Hey, I meet my friend here every week, do you happen to have his details, he’s not answering his phone, and I was thinking maybe you could help me?” I asked the barista
“Sorry ma’am, we don’t have any details” he said
“Ok thank you so much” I said
As I stepped outside a man who was smoking signalled me to come to him, reluctantly I did and thank God I did, he told me where I could find Javed. Before I could say anything my eyes went black, someone covered my face and took my away. I didn’t know where I was and what would happen to me, I was freaking out.
A few minutes later when my blind fold was lifted Javed was in front of me. I was ecstatic to see him.
“Oh my God Javed, I’m so glad to see you. How are you?” I asked trying to hug him but he shrugged me away
“I’m ok. Sorry to bring you here like this, I didn’t mean to hurt you or upset you” he said
“It’s ok Javed as long as you and I are together” I said
“But you didn’t want us to be together” he said tauntingly
“I never said that I just said it was not possible at the time but now it is; I’m here for you. We can be together now” I said
“Are you sure?”
“Yes I am” I said
“By the way, what are you doing in a dingy place like this? Are you doing something illegal?” I asked
“I’m writing a soft ware that would try to eradicate unemployment in our country; my software will match suitable candidates to suitable companies. People looking for a job will not have to run around looking for jobs, the suitable jobs will be in their hands, they will only have to go for interviews, same for companies they will have suitable candidate details with them in their hands” he explained
“But why do it here?” I asked
“I can’t tell anybody yet what I’m doing, my family doesn’t want me doing this kind of stuff, they want me join their family business. Do you know what ‘jihad’ means? It means inner spiritual struggle, it is a holy war against unbelievers. I need to do this to prove myself and then maybe people will believe in me and stop tormenting me. Plus this is what I love doing, I want to do something I love doing and not do something just because I have to” he explained
Read the next part here