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Arts/Society Walking On The Mines

Discussion in 'Language, Arts & Culture' started by pk70, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. pk70

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    Writer SPNer Supporter

    Feb 25, 2008
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    (A Short Story, dedicated to those who have hearts like the sea!)

    It was a bright morning. The sun rays pierced through the window curtain and warmed his face and because of this, he woke up—though he didn’t want to. He looked at the alarm clock; it was 9 o'clock in the morning. He jumped out of bed to get ready as he had to go to job in his uncle’s fabric store. His aunt was in the kitchen preparing breakfast for him.

    He tried but couldn’t forget the radiant eyes of Ambar who was introduced to him last night by his aunt. Being very shy, Ambar looked very rarely at him otherwise she kept her eyes glued on the table she was sitting around. There was a strong feeling of wanting to meet her again alone, a feeling that was enveloping him completely.
    Mobin was born and raised in Calcutta. However after his fathers’ assassination by fanatics, his Mother brought him to New Delhi where he started working in the fabric shop of his father’s friend, Tahal Singh.

    Hardly six months elapsed when the police caught Mobin’s friend Iqbal Mohammad with explosives. The police summoned Mobin to the police station for questioning. He knew nothing about his friend’s secretive agenda. During the interrogation he was not only suspected by the official but also warned sternly. “You guys never think India is your country, I know this. Let me tell you, I shall be watching you, and I know how to put an end to all this”. He wanted to say many things to that official but he couldn’t. His mother advised him to tell what he knew and never get into argument with police. So he kept quiet. He was beaten by the police but got spared from getting tortured when his boss Tahel Singh went there to rescue him. It was Tahel Singh who actually lectured the police inspector about Mobin’s father, who became victim of extremists just because he openly declared he would become police witness in a murder case.
    When he got back home, in spite of Tahel Singh’s bold support, his mother decided to send Mobin to his father’s sister, Jamila, who was settled in Lahore, Pakistan. This was the only way out, she thought at that moment, to spare Mobin from the both evils - the Indian police and the extremists - because Mobin was the only one she had to look up to.

    He felt lonely in Lahore for the next few months. However, due to the warm affection shown by his aunt, uncle and cousin, he overcame his loneliness slowly. The night before, he met Ambar and he was thrilled to see such a beautiful girl… possibly a soul mate.

    As he wished, another meeting with Ambar was arranged. Ambar and her older sister met him in a park near a high school. When Ambar’s sister left, he daringly focused his eyes on her face, first time he noticed that her face was round and was glowing. The shyness he noticed during his first meeting with her was not much there now. He went to near by ice cream vender and bought ice cream of her choice. They talked about Lahore, her education and her family. She never asked anything about him as if she knew everything about him and his family. Suddenly he felt urge to hold her hand, he looked in her eyes and took her hand in his and said” Ambar, after meeting you first time, I couldn’t sleep well, believe me...”

    Amber’s face turned red, she didn’t look at him at all.

    He continued, “You are so beautiful, your eyes never left me, and you have taken over my dreams... This is surely… love at first sight... I hope you like me too”

    She stared at him for a moment and then lowered her eyes again and said in almost a whisper, “I do.”

    “Would you mind giving me your picture? I want to send it to my mother. She will be glad to see it, as she already asked for it when I told her about you. ”

    “Um sure! I will,” Ambar responded bashfully.

    “Would you like to visit India?” he asked.

    “If you show me around.” A big smile glowed on her face, now she looked straight into his eyes.

    “Ambar, it is nice country but it has lost its tolerant and secular environment, people are now more into fanaticism.”

    She got serious. “Yes, it is true. Here too you will see, there are some groups always on the edge. They act as if peace is bad for society.”

    “I agree, Ambar! I am glad you have a heart as big as the sky, and truly you represent your name … Ambar, the sky”

    “What would have made me think otherwise?’ she asked curiously but with a broad smile on her face.

    He laughed, “Nothing … don’t think that way, I am happy to hear what you have said. Actually it is the fanatics who are troublemakers. In India, there are some people who think all Muslims are against India… but it doesn’t mean all Indians think so. The father of my schoolmate, Usha, would advise me not to listen to those narrow-minded people who would say Muslims are bad. Good Muslims are as good as good Hindus.”

    She smiled. “Usha, huh? How was Usha?’

    “Come on Ambar, she was just a good friend of mine,” and Mobin smiled.

    “Well I am just asking how she was? ” Ambar giggled.

    He ignored her giggling and continued, “When they killed my father, because he became witness to a murder case, you won’t believe this. All his friends, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims came to rescue us. Uncle Tahel Singh helped us to move to New Delhi and gave me a job, and he paid me well. His daughter, Manjit, would treat me like her own brother, Preet. Ambar, I am convinced that it is not any religion but fanatics who are poisoning society.”

    Ambar turned serious and said, “I agree. This is what these fanatics do, they go on and on saying that these people are bad, and those people are bad… but look at their own religious playground.

    “ I want to live in a place where these disgusting people have no say”, Mobin said.
    “Don’t worry; we will be alright in Lahore. Here we have not that many fanatics, and we will not care about what they are saying”

    Mobin felt proud of Ambar’s thinking, especially her appreciation for social harmony. This was the kind of girl he had hoped to marry. He was sure his mother would also love her as her daughter in law.

    Mobin was not one to make many friends. He kept himself tied to his job, spending a few moments here and there with his cousin and Ambar. At the end of each week he would call his mother. That was his life now. This was the way he wanted to live.

    They got engaged within a week. After seeing her picture, his mother pressed him to go ahead with the engagement because she knew Amber’s family well. Mobin’s engagement, marriage and then of course the grandchildren to come, that was her sole dream since her husband’s murder. Mobin was her world. She was planning to come to Lahore within six months to attend Mobin’s marriage. She asked Mobin and Ambar to send new pictures of the two of them to her. So Mobin thought he would have a picture taken by best photographer in town.

    On his days off he would take Ambar out and they would talk together about all kinds of things. She was very good listener, very rarely would she argue with him. Sometimes he would think of his mother. Like Ambar, not only was she caring towards his father but she would also listen to him, and cooperate with him in everyway.

    Just three months after the engagement, Mobin returned home after dropping Ambar off at her residence. The winter night was truly cold. It was around 8 in the evening. Mobin heard a lot of commotion near a mosque on the road nearby. People were running away from the mosque in so many different directions. Mobin was forced to slow his scooter. A few young men waved him down, and then Mobin was forced to stop. They approached, getting very close to him and asked loudly” are you Sunni or Shia?”

    “Brothers, let me go,” Mobin said softly.

    “First answer the question!”

    “Does it matter?” He asked in a surprise.

    “Yes it does!”

    “Fine… I… I am Shia,” Mobin said tensely. At once one of the men leaped on him. He felt something piercing through his stomach. He fell of the scooter and staggered for moment, then collapsed. For a few moments he thought of Ambar and his mother.

    Then -- complete darkness.

    When Ambar heard the news, she rushed to the hospital to see Mobin. Everything seemed to fall apart before her as his cousin, crying bitterly, said to her, “Mobin has left us Ambar” And then Ambar collapsed on the ground; a wilted flower that could no longer cling to its stem. There were no tears in her eyes, and something within made her speechless. She began to think of Mobin’s mother.

    She remembered what his mother had said last to her, “I am waiting for a fresh picture of both of you together, my child. Send it soon, send it now, because both of you are my world”. It was then that the tears welled up in her eyes, and Ambar began to sob loudly. Mobin’s cousin held her in his lap; he could not utter a word. All words choked.

    By G. Singh
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  3. mkm

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    Mar 1, 2008
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    Respected PK70 Ji, Just guessing, Are mines used for fanatics. GOOD STORY:)
  4. pk70

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    Writer SPNer Supporter

    Feb 25, 2008
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    Your guess is very true and it is about all fanatics regardless of the faith they boast about, I do not believe that they have any religion.

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