Tuesday, June 4, 2013


She woke up with tired yet curious eyes. Her mind was like a blank blanket, ready soak in memories. A throb was hammering on the left side of her left eye. She was not sure how long she was awake or how many times she woke up before this. She wanted to lift her hand and press her head.
A woman with a face full of emotions was sitting by her bed. She had a black robe hanging around her: a Burkha just like her friend Zora wore. It was a sign of a Muslim religious woman.  And since her return from Haj, Zora made it a point to wear it. But that was so long back.
Nanda closed her eyes and wished Zora was here. Maybe she was. She called out her friend’s name, which made the woman in the room get up and come forward. The strange woman smelled of jasmine as she hugged her. Her hands were gentle, comforting. Nanda tried to ask questions, unsuccessfully.
A nurse entered the room urgently and injected some medicines into the saline tube attached to her hand. She left the room with instructions to let the patient rest.
The woman with the black robe on her part talked animatedly and looked positively excited. Soon, drowse took over Nanda, and she fell asleep.
She woke up again in the middle of the night. The room was filtered with blue light and looked kind of eerie. Where was she? She had no recollection of her whereabouts. She felt warm and comfortable under the blanket. The place had the smell of a hospital. Nanda saw a woman was sleeping on a sofa beside her bed..
Nanda wanted to sit up but found herself drained of strength. Her head felt like a ton of brick. When she turned her head, her left eye hurt like it had been stabbed a couple of times.
She wondered about the woman on the sofa. Who was this woman? What was she doing there? Was it her friend Zora, for she had the same body proportions and was wearing a Burkha? Nanda could not help but think of Samir, Zora’s brother and the love of her life. Where was he? Was he aware that she was in a hospital? Would he care enough to come visit her?
They had been in love for a long time but he had married a Muslim girl to please his family. On days like this she wished, she had him by her side. But there was no way that was possible. Their respective families had made it clear; they would never accept the difference in their religion.
Nanda found herself crying. Tears spilled out of her eyes and her left eye burnt like someone had poured acid in it. She tried to sleep and found it the easiest thing to do.
Nanda heard the noises first and opened her eyes next, to find five people surrounding her. Her first impression was of shock. Where was she? Who were these people? There were two girls, who wore white uniform and looked like nurses.
There was a woman wearing a Burkha, who had the kindest of faces. She was the first one to take notice of her and came forward. A clear affectionate face, which had multiple concerned lines. However, she was most definitely not Zora, her childhood friend, who too wore a similar black robe.
‘Noor, how are you, beta?’ She ruffled her hair and kissed her cheek. She did not wait for her to reply instead turned around to hug the other two in the room. She was chanting a prayer in Urdu and went to a corner of the Spartan room to roll out a mat to do her Namaz.
The two men she hugged were obviously her relatives. The older one smiled through his tears. He came forward and took her hand in his.
‘Noor, you had us worried. Thank Almighty God for keeping you safe. Your mother almost died with shock’.
Nanda immediately liked the man even though she was not sure what he was saying and why he was addressing her as Noor.
‘Noor Apa, so happy to see you doing fine. You have been sleeping like for two days, now. I almost asked Sanjay bhaiya to come and kiss his sleeping beauty, good morning. He is on his way’.
Nanda realized, she was perhaps in some kind of an accident. That did not worry her, what bothered her was, who was this Noor? Why everyone thought she was her.
 ‘What happened to me’? She asked uncertainly. The woman, who acted like she was her Mom, was done with her prayers. She came forward to bless her.
‘Oh, you don’t remember your accident, do you? You crashed your car’.
‘Oh…’ Nanda had no recollection of ever driving a car. She did not know anyone who owned a car.
‘You wanted to surprise Sanjay Bhaiya. He was out on a tour for a week’. The young boy had settle on the sofa next to his Dad.
‘You hit your head hard on the steering wheel and fainted. We were so worried for last two days’. The man was supposedly her father, the woman her mother and the young boy was her brother. But she could not believe she was married to some Sanjay. There was no way she could love anyone except Samir. And then a tall man in his late twenties, who had the most adorable eyes walked in. It was her Samir.
‘Sanjay bhaiya, your sleeping princess of a wife woke up before the kiss’. The teenager joked.
‘Noor is no sleeping princess. Ours is a modern love story, where a Hindu boy married
a Muslim girl, against all’. Sanjay parked his bag on the side table, wished everyone and came to Nanda’a side.
‘How are you, my patient’? He held her hand and put his lips to it.
‘I am good, Samir’. Nanda said. She was surprised that she was a Muslim girl and Samir was a Hindu boy. However, they seem to be happily married. At times, dreams take multiple births to come true.
‘You called me, Samir?’ He asked with quizzical eyes beaming with love.
‘What’s in a name?’ Noor replied with a wide smile.


  1. A passionate love story, Ghaz. Your extraordinary skill in portraying Nanda's mind builds a tale of beautiful love. A fine write up...its going to mesmerize everyone--and I'm so sure!!!! A winning piece! xoxo

  2. Dear Di,

    Your appreciation always encourages me. Thank you so much. I am glad you liked this one. Wrote it in a hurry :D

  3. That's a sweet love story, Gazala. :)

  4. this reminds me the 'spirit brides' of Gibran...
    loved this plot very much...

  5. Nice intriguing tale - wished for a few more pages. Look forward to reading your stories regularly. Best wishes to you and plz convey my best regards to the Suls gang on FB. :-)

  6. Nice intriguing tale...wished for a few more pages. Look forward to reading your stories regularly.

    Best wishes. Plz do convey my regards to the Suls gang on FB. :-)

  7. that was beautifully written..Loved it :)

  8. Engrossing, from the start till the very end. Such a beautifully written piece with so much love infused in the story. Brilliant writing, Ghazala :)

  9. Very interesting Ghazala. I wish such things happen more often and people think beyond religion.

  10. Nice love story. Simply loved it...

  11. Good to see a post after long... Nice story :)

  12. Interesting story! you carried off so well :)