I Lost The Love Of My Life Before I Could Make Her Mine. I Can’t Blame Anyone For It.

Anonymous Anonymous in Your Story on 4 September, 2018

I wonder why people feel that ‘love is powerful’. I don’t think this is true. I am a young Kashmiri student. I have been living in the midst of political conflict ever since I was a child. My day begins by listening to the announcements made on loudspeakers. Sometimes we hear the sounds of gunshots as soon as we wake up. We can easily identify the smell and sound of tear gas shelling.

Around 2 years back I met a girl called Gazala. She was my batchmate in college. She was worried because she had not been able to submit her exam form that day. The Hurriyat leaders had called for a ‘hartaal’ because the army had killed two militants in south Kashmir the previous day.

I picked her up on my bike and took her to the college so that she could submit her exam form before 4:00 p.m. She had a smile of joy on her face when she came out of the college.

I was impressed by her looks but I was afraid that she would reject my proposal. I knew she was a girl who lived by her morals. I also knew that she was a Muslim.

After dropping her home, I asked her for her phone number. I wanted to send her some questions on WhatsApp. I felt happy when she gave me her number. I was on my way home when a few army men stopped me and asked me to show them my ID card. The army and the police were checking the IDs of several other boys and elders too. I showed an army officer my college ID card. As soon as the officer saw my card, he asked his juniors to let me go. I was studying law in a reputed Kashmir university. I guess that had impressed them.

As soon as I reached my house, I had a long conversation with her. She wanted to know if I had reached my house safely. We then started talking to each other over the phone. I proposed to her after a couple of days. She was shocked by it at first but she accepted my proposal after a while.

We exchanged our thoughts with each other for a couple of hours and debated a lot about our views on love. We started falling in love with each other slowly.

Sometimes we would talk all through the day. At other times we would talk with each other throughout the night. We even managed to meet each other whenever it was possible to do so.

The most memorable meeting was when I kissed her. I will remember that moment till my dying day.

One day, we went sightseeing to all the famous tourist places in our district. She then asked me to show her our apple orchard. Most of the people in our village visited our orchards either in the mornings or in the evenings. So I knew we would not meet anyone there in the afternoon.

Gazala and I walked for a while and then sat down under the shade of an apple tree. The sun was shining splendidly. It was hot. But no matter how hot it was, the cool refreshing breeze always revived our spirits. And this is what I loved the most about Kashmir valley.

We had a romantic conversation for a while. I then held her hand. I realized that she was shivering. My heart too was beating at an extremely fast pace.

I kissed her hand and then held it with my right hand. I brought it closer to my face. I then kissed her on her forehead and then finally on her lips. I kissed her for a long while.

That moment filled me with a lot of joy. It was the best feeling that I had experienced so far.

We had just celebrated Eid on the previous day. We happily chatted with each other till 9 p.m. that day. But that was the last time we managed to speak to each other.

There were widespread protests all over the valley that very same evening. The top Hizbul Mujahideen commander was a young handsome Kashmiri rebel militant called Burhan wani. He along with two of his associates had been killed by the army. The news spread like wildfire and there were widespread protests in Kashmir after that.

I had not expected this to happen. I did not know that I had just had my last conversation with my lover. The next morning when I checked my phone, I was shocked to see that it was working on the emergency mode. The network and the internet too had been blocked. Several announcements were being made all through the day. People were staging anti-Indian rallies all over the town.

I was not scared of all that was going on in the real world. I was worried about my girlfriend, my love.

These protests and network blocks continued for the next 4-5 months. None of us had expected it to go on for such a long time. I couldn’t talk with Gazala even once during this time. I visited her village more than a dozen times but I could not find her there. I could visit her village only during the late evenings because they had imposed day-long curfews even in the villages. Service providers now rejected our numbers because we had not been able to use our phone for several months now.

After around three months, I finally got a glimpse of Gazala when I was going to a local town. The minute I saw her I stopped my bike. My heart was beating at an extremely fast pace.

I just wanted to hug her tightly at that time. But I remembered that I lived in Kashmir, a place where we had to live with a lot of religious and social restrictions all the time.

She was with her sister and both of them were buying some material from a shop that sold wedding material. The shop was half open because the curfew was called off after 6 p.m. every day. The Hurriyat leaders published the curfew timings in the local newspaper every Saturday and all of us had to adhere to these timings for a week.

I went close to her. She said, “Asalamalekum”. I returned her greeting and asked her several questions.

I wanted to know where she was. I asked her if her phone was working. She was asking me the same kinds of questions. We were wondering how to get in touch with each other again. Her sister asked her who I was. She said that I was her classmate. She then asked me for my new number and promised to call me that night.

She was very upset. When I asked her about it, she didn’t say anything. She just said that she would discuss everything with me over the phone.

When I reached home, I parked my bike and went to our orchard without informing my mother. I knew that was the only place where I could talk to her without getting disturbed. I knew I could cry or laugh loudly only there.  I had already put my phone on the silent mode. It was chilly outside. I was wearing a Faran, a traditional Kashmiri long woollen kurta cum cloak that protected us from the cold winds. I had put my phone in the pocket of my Faran. At around 8 p.m. my phone started vibrating. I picked up the call. There was silence. She was crying and was unable to control herself.

At first, I thought that she was crying because she was talking to me after a long time. But then after a while, she said that her parents had fixed her marriage with a guy who belonged to her own village.

I was shocked. I asked her why she had agreed to get married to him. She said that she had been forced to do so. Her mother had threatened to consume poison if she refused to get married to him. She then went on to give me all the details and finally said, “I will miss you a lot. Take care of yourself.”

She then disconnected the call. She did not even ask me about my views on what had happened. I could not even find the right words to describe my own feelings for her. And that is how our love life ended. We had not even known each other for a year when the whole thing fell apart.

It’s been three months now. I am still not able to forget her. I still wait for her. I don’t know whether she finally got married or not. I just live with the hope that she will call me because she has my number. But I feel dejected when I realize that she will never ever be mine now. 

Editor's Note:

Sometimes we can make absolutely zero sense of the things that happen to us. And strangely enough, it is at such times that we realize that we can do absolutely nothing about it too. Maybe some things are never meant to happen. Maybe other things are waiting to happen in our lives. Let’s share this story and learn to be gentle with ourselves at such times. Only then can we heal. Let’s spread our love to others and move on with our lives.