It was their waleema function, the feast kept after a marriage. She was sitting in a crowd of cousins and girls from neighbourhood, decked up in a red Indian attire and of all them talking and giggling unnecessarily around her. “God knows what kind of bride blushes and smiles in these kind of weird discussions.” She herself was smiling forcefully. Just then he entered with a small bunch of young men. Looking classy in a royal blue kurta pyjama. There was a hush and bush around her, “come let’s vacant the adjacent seat, jiju has come.” Someone called up from the crowd and she gazed up at him. She was totally struck by the aura of excellence as he walked with long strides towards her and looked straight towards her. “Wow! Jiju is looking so handsome!” Another shriek from the crowd as he came closer.
He was walking as if in a magical spell literally staring towards her. She was looking gorgeous in red was a small word. And when she looked up at him, something made him stare straight in to her eyes and left him perplexed as he walked towards her and sat by her side unaware that he was surrounded by so many people around.
“Di, what did you get as your gift for wedding night?” One of the eager girls asked her while she slowly showed her ring to them. ” Wow Nazm, a diamond ring! Looks like jiju has been really impressed with your beauty to gift you this.” Gazal shrieked. “Not impressed Gazal, awestruck is the word.” Even he was in his naughtiest mood today while she glared at him sharply on his dialogue as the girls started laughing. “Oh! Was is two sided jiju or just your feelings are you sharing?” The questions were increasing. “Hmm… that’s something even I am trying to guess! But her expressions clearly say that even she shared the same feeling, isn’t it!” The last line was said a little lightly in her ears which made her glare at him more. “What nonsense! You know that’s not true.” She whispered between clenched teeth slowly with that smile still on it’s place on her lips. “Truth, my dear! I can clearly see in your eyes.” This forced her to look towards him and immediately look away blushing, his gaze was intense and with so much warmth in it that she couldn’t look at them straight. “Saw! I got the answer. Your face says it all now.” He said softly in a warm tone that made her heart beat even faster. Just then Phuppo came in with some guests and looked extremely relieved to see them talking softy and her reaction on it. “What a beautiful pair, I wanted to see this day since ages. I am so glad you both are happy together.” She kisses them both and blessed them.
From the next day onwards, he had to continue office as this was a sudden marriage and his work was all still unplanned. When he announced this on the breakfast table Phuppo was really angry while she heaved a sigh of relief. “At least his staring eyes will be off from home for some hours.” She thought and he was trying to convince his mother about the same. “What should I understand? Have you seen your newly wedded bride’s face? Look how her face has fallen on the thought of you leaving for office. She’s not even interacting with anyone here since we all gathered.” The attack was sudden and she, who was busy thinking about what great it would be if he went to office was totally struck.
“Oh yes? Then I’ll take her along with me in my office. She can give me company for the whole day in my cabin.” He smiled lightly as he saw her and knew exactly well that his mother has assumed it all wrong. “No thanks! I have lots to do at home today.” She answered him flatly and went straight to her room. She knew if she continued sitting here she would be targeted for the next hour.
After a little while he came towards her and blocked her as she was placing some clothes in the wardrobe. “Are you angry because I am going to office on the third day of our wedding?” He asked her in a strange soft tone. “Why would I be?” She glanced up with a surprise. “Rather I am quite relieved that I’ll get some time off without you!” This made him press his lips tighter together, “fine!” Came the reply and he went straight to get ready for his work without a word.
Life started a little abruptly, but was sailing! He had started with his work while she was continuing her weekly lectures for the course she was going through. They hardly interacted when alone and when with family, he would pass some hidden remarks and comments which only she understood and often blushed in its reaction. In short, always teasing her! That morning Phuppo was quite angry, “you both don’t even look like you’ve been married just a month ago. I have never seen Nazm getting ready in the evening and waiting for you neither have you taken her out somewhere. Is everything ok between both of you?” The question flustered them both. “Ofcourse ammi! It’s just I am so busy in my recent work and she’s tied up in her projects and all. Otherwise everything’s normal.” She nodded eagerly in agreement with his excuse. “I don’t know anything. Today, you’ll have to take her out somewhere. and not just for today, let me see you both going out frequently from now on. These are the days to enjoy, then soon you’ll get a child and then you’ll be all packed up with the little one and hardly get time to enjoy yourselves.” Another sudden turn of discussion which made them stare with a start at each other and this time they both looked away, each embarrassed in a different way. “Ok! Nazm, get ready by 7, we’ll be going out today.” Saying this, he left for the office.
“Nazm, I told you to get ready by 7 and it’s already half and hour above it. How much time you need more?” He came bursting in the room and stopped dead seeing her look so pretty in a light green dress with her hair loose and even she stopped dead with a straightening machine in her hand to turn towards him. “Just a minute more. I am just tying my hair and then we can leave.” She said slowly confused with the way her was looking at her. Even in the mirror, she could see him staring at her as she was fidgeting to get her hair tied. When he slowly came very near to her and said softly in her ears, “let them be open. You look beautiful with them this way.” He softly touched her long hair and tucked away some strands of them from her face while she was getting more nervous with all these closeness and his sudden remark and more importantly, the strange magnetic feeling between them which made her heart beat without brakes.
That evening, after years may be, they talked liked good friends. Both of them opening up with each other about their work and studies and views about the world.
“You want to go where?” Her father was totally shocked at the breakfast table, so were others. “Simla Abbu! It’s a two weeks camp for my course and very important for this year.” She answered normally. “Ok! So you both can go. As it is you’ve not gone anywhere for your honeymoon. You can extend the stay for it.” He said it lightly while her eyes flew open. “Wow! A honeymoon in Simla. You never told me Nazm, you wanted to go there for our honeymoon. We would have gone! Still, we can make it a month long trip, what say?” He seemed to be ultra happy or may be was teasing her as usual. “No abbu! How can he come? It’s a women only camp and in a women’s hostel.” She stared at him crossly as she replied to her father. “No worries! We can book a hotel or villa and you can go there when it’s needed.” This man had an answer to everything. “Actually it’s a camp not a college! So, the workshops can be starting at any time, on and off you see. So can’t do that too!” She gave him the news flatly. “So, forget it! You are not going. Either we are going together, or you aren’t going!” This sparked her totally, how dare he! “This is very important camp for my career and I am going. Why are you stopping me?” She started to argue when Abbu calmed them both down,”Ok Nazm! You can go, but take Gazal along with you. She can do the sightseeing during that period and two are always better than one, all right?”
“Oh thanks Abbu, this is great!” Both the sisters jumped with joy and bubbling, they both went inside. She showed him a thumbs down sign as she ran in.
“Uncle? Why did you allow her alone.” He asked him accusingly while Mr. khan turned towards him calmly and said, “sit down young man! It’s time we had a man to man talk!” The dangerous tone that always captured him to talk freely with him and let him know all his doubts!
“I know everything is not like a usual husband and wife between you as you both show!” Zeeshan was shocked, he started to defend when he raised his hand and told him to stop. “I have raised you both my boy! Can understand what’s going on and it’s entirely normal. You will take time. But, do you know what my experience of years say? It clearly can see how much you both love each other! It’s just that you both can’t understand your own feelings. That’s why I permitted to let her go away from you. Some time alone, and she’ll know what’s she’s missing in life. Do you know separation in love from the one whom you love teaches you to love them more? Let her go, I am sure, when she’ll be back, you both will know where you both stand!” He went away explaining him as he slowly moved towards his room.
She was busy packing her stuff as she was to leave the next day itself. She heard him come to the room and thought of teasing him more with his plans being a flop of going with her. But something in the intensity of which he looked at her got her dumb. He continued walking towards her and she was walking backwards when a wall tuned out to be a dead end for both. He brought his face more closer towards her, “will you be able to live without me?” The question was soft, simply said but touched some chord within her deeply, “ofcourse! That’s why I filled the form. So that I can live without you for sometime with ease.” “Hmm why do I feel you are going to miss me like crazy?” He touched her cheeks with the back of his hands lightly but this made her heart thump aloud, ” again a misconception from your side. That’s never going to happen.” “May be! But I am going to surely miss you like mad and will wait for your return.” He said slowly looking in her eyes, kissed her lightly on her forehead and went away. She remained shocked with a thumping heart, unnerved soul and a crazy sense of leaving everything behind.
Next morning he couldn’t be seen. She was searching for him around as she sat in the car. Abbu and Phuppo bid her good bye but he wasn’t there in sure and neither did someone talked about him. She felt extremely strange, as if she’s leaving a part of herself behind…. “Nazm, jiju gave this to you!” Gazal gave her an envelope and continued gazing back at the streets from the car window as she opened it slowly with a beating heart. There, in his beautiful bold writing was written….
Shaam ke ujalo mein
Apne narm hathon se
Koi bolti Khushboo
Koi sochta lamha
Jab bhi likhna chahoge
Soch ke dareecho Se
Yaad ke hawalon se
Mera naam chup chup kar
Tumko yaad ayega!
Shaam theher jayegi
Haath kaanp jayege
Mera naam chup chup kar tumko yaad ayega
Sham theher jayegi….
Sham theher jayegi….,
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