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The Love Story of a Moment

by Raja Sharma
copyright 04-24-2011

Age Rating: 7 +
The Love Story of a Moment
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She is the most beautiful girl in this world; she loves me more than any other thing; she gives meaning to my life; and she is made for me, etc. are the lines which are so banal that love has gradually begun to lose its weight and platonic aspect of human existence. I had never, before the tragically grotesque and magical moment which I am going to relate, realized that a moment could be enough to change every preconceived notion of love. That one moment, that one glance, and that storm changed the meaning of life forever. It has become an inevitable part of my existence, a page in my life on which the love story of my life has unwillingly been scribbled.

Notwithstanding its momentary existence, it left behind the sense of ages. To categorize this story under the heading of tragedy, tragic love, or misfortune would be injustice, for it is so subtle that words donít suffice to express it. I have experienced it and I am sure that once you have gone through this small story your concept will definitely and drastically change.

After the partition of British India, riots had broken out everywhere, Hindus killing Muslims, and Muslims killing Hindus in their respective parts of the land, left to them by their former British masters, India and Pakistan. I was in a border town of Rajasthan, in the Hindu dominated area. I am a witness to the ugly and hateful dance of humanity.

It was my first major assignment given to me by the newspaper I had been working for. I had to cover the situation in that area. The editor had already sensed that something big was going to happen there, so I was sent there. Being a journalist, it was my duty to meet people, ask them about their village, their neighbours, and the tension that prevailed in the area.

One night, I was given shelter by a villager. The very next morning, the riots broke out. The minority community was the target. The rioters were burning houses, looting shops, killing people, and shouting slogans. The Muslims were trying to go over the border to their Pakistan but the people, the Hindus, who chased them, did not want them to go there alive. Not even children were spared. Being a Hindu by birth, I felt safe there because the majority belonged to my people.

Suddenly, a Muslim family appeared from a house from the other side of the road. I was on this side of the road. Old parents and their young daughter and a little son began to run for their lives. A group of our people saw them and ran towards them. They had swords, tridents, and knives in their hands. A few policemen were standing with me but they were mere spectators because they belonged to the majority community too.

They killed the old parents on the spot and the little child was crushed to death, under the feet of the rioters.

The young girl, around 20, ran across the road. When she was about three yards from me, she fell unconscious. I ran towards her and lifted her in my arms. Her shawl had fallen off and my eyes stuck to her bright face. She was the most beautiful apparition I had seen in my life up to that day. Her young body was so light in my arms that I felt I could easily escape from there, carrying her. That touch, her closed eyes, and warm breaths reached my face when I lifted her up and almost held her tightly to my chest. I knew that I was in love and I had to save her. I began to run, without looking back. The policemen did not assist me at all. I did not know where to go and how to save her. The most important thing that I wanted to do was to change her dress because her kurta and salwaar distinguished her from the Hindu girls and women. The embroidery on her dress eloquently spoke that she was a Muslim.

Suddenly, I heard shouts and I looked back. A group of the rioters was running towards me. I realized that it was useless to run. I began to think the words which I would use to beg for her life. But before I could open my mouth, a young man pushed me and the girl fell off my arms. She was lying unconscious on the ground. A sword came down on her throat and I saw the head cut off. Her body stirred and then stilled forever. I was on the verge of collapse but I controlled myself.

I sat down beside the road, with tears in my eyes. The rioters passed by me, laughing and shouting slogans. I did not dare to look in their direction because I was not ready to believe that humans could be so cruel.

My lover, my prospective lover, with whom I had already decided to spend the rest of my life without knowing who she was and what her name was, who had fallen into and off my arms in a moment, was never going to open her eyes to see that someone was going to repent all his life for the beloved. I did not want to cover the story of that area because I had become the part of a story which was going to touch the hearts of millions of my readers.

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        08-07-2013     dodeydee        

Such a truly heartbreaking story, and one that has left me quite stunned..How does one review such a work..but to say my heart went out to you from the start of the actual story. I have read sad stories that caused my eyes to well up with tears and my pulses race, but never as much as this one did..It is sad to say in one way,but this story has the makings of a book for sure. You write so very well Raja and you related this more than devastatingly tragic story with your tears and heartache.

So very very sad that you experienced such brutality ...A story that will stay with me long after the reading of it...Blessings to you...Dee

        06-10-2011     Alan Reed        

Once I read that one should never describe prose or poetry as poignant. So I will not. This description is outright heartbreaking. It makes the soul not only whimper but cry out loud. To have been there. To have seen the bloodshed. To have witnessed the brutality and the inhumanity and the discrimination while, at the same time, experiencing the emotion of love, makes a boy a man very fast. What might have been? We can only dream. And dreamers writers are.

Beautifully put, but so sadly probable that this emotional scenario could be and probably is the theme of at least a few books and movies. Might its genre fall within the walls of "Love Lost" or "Love Taken Tragically"? Beautifully put brother. - Alan

        04-29-2011     Alan Reed        

Dear brother, as you may know, I lived in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) for four years (1994 - 1998) and saw and dealt with a sufficient amount of tension/rivalry between religions, social ills and stark naked destitution and famine while there.

Certainly my tenure in Bangladesh cannot compare to the barbaric and unbridled bloodshed in the region of the 1940s. Your story is solitary but one of literally hundreds that many are unaware of. And we have no idea what it must have been like to have lived through it.

To me, your dying princess and the woolgathering of the protagonists that shook nothing into the minds of either side are quite symbolic. Your potential lover? Perhaps. More it seems she was the tangible segment of what was being sliced from society and culture at the time. I am unsure. Moving and risky if you ask me. The story is sad. What might have been?

But, brother. I had read the story at least five times and could not utter a word let alone write anything after reading it. Today, I still feel the same way. What a waste. It brings to mind the indifference and resignation of some that, in effect, served to fuel or catalyze the war (or all wars) at the time.

My heart sinks. My heart is still trying to come up for water. I will write more and rate this write at a later date please. ?

Thank you brother -- Alan

        04-28-2011     Raja Sharma        

Hello Mae,
Allusions are often enought to answer the questions line who? where? Why? When? etc.

This one line from the story, perhaps, answers all the answers:

"After the partition of British India, riots had broken out everywhere, Hindus killing Muslims, and Muslims killing Hindus in their respective parts of the land, left to them by their former British masters, India and Pakistan."

The problem with stories with historical references is that we can't explain like it was in 1947, in India. India was divided in India and Pakistan after the partion when British freed india......

I hope you understand.

Thanks for the time

God bless you

        04-25-2011     Mae Futter Stein        

Hi Raja,
The story left me wondering, who, why, where and when. Who was this girl? Why did they kill her?
Where was she from and where did this all take place? It was a good story, but left an ending of many questions. Sad that you fell in love at first sight and lost at first chance. That was the most important part of the story. The rest of the story was words just filling up the chapter. I liked the beginning though.

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