‘Beep Beep beep beep’
Splintering the eerie silence of wine-dark early dawn, the alarm went off on her mobile phone. Turning quickly to her side Maliha put it off, lest her sick mother might get up. With the stars in her eyes today, she stretched her arms out as if to catch the flickering streetlight outside her first-floor window. Lately, her lean lonely nights had been ripening into long lonelier days. Solitary autumn nights were filled with unremitting darkness. She acknowledged that even the dreams had abandoned her. It had been 72 brutal days since this forsaken land had been surrogated.
‘But today it will be different.’ She affirmed to herself merrily.
With a very fertile urgency, she turned over and picked up her mobile. She had charged it just yesterday after god knows how many days with an infantile hope that it will Inshallah* buzz today. She had heard people gossip at the bakery that the mobile network will be resumed today. Anyways holding the phone close to her heart, she opened her phone gallery and there he was. A Ronan Keating kind of a toothy smile, most animated pair of eyes which forked at the ends as he smiled.
‘No matter how barricaded our streets are, you always manage to liberate my semblance!’ She chuckled as a faint smile perched on her full lip.
She looked at her mother who was sound asleep and planted a long wanton kiss on the screen. A lump rose up in her throat and a lone tear rushed down her tepid cheek. She quickly sat up in her warm bed and gulped down a generous amount of water from the bottle kept at her bedside.
Outside the morning yawned, peering in from her organza off white curtains. A sudden shiver went down her as the autumn in the valley was already knocking at the monochromatic winters.
‘The air this year is heavier than the usual, for so many reasons.’ She ruminated. Hurriedly getting out of her bed, she went up to her closet to take out her shawl. As she was rummaging through, she got hold of a warm pashmina scarf, his gift on her last birthday.
‘You are missing me too much today, I suppose.’ She quipped, smiling again to herself.
The soft fabric and the delicate Kashmiri embroidery in bright fuschia and turquoise were enough to dispel all her misgivings at this moment. She wrapped it around herself and pulled out the curtains a little. The October wind that crashed against the window glass, carried a promise of lovers’ tryst with destiny today. She could see him out there strewn all over the copious emerald of the Zabarwaan.
Just a few miles away, he was sleepless too. Detained for being cognitive enough to care for the revolution, He held a book of Faiz’s poetry in his hand, ‘Mujhse pehli si mohhobbat mere Mehboob na maang’.*
Inshallah- God Willing
Mujhse pehli si mohhobbat mere mehboob na maang- Iconic poem of revolutionary poet Faiz, where he tells his lover not to ask for the same feelings from him when there is so much bloodshed and mayhem during partition.
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