Saturday 20 February 2016

Poetry 500 2016 Longlist Aditi Mahajan

Not A Love Jihad

Sitting with Kamran on the Ariyaman beach, Dhanya felt that the Bay of Bengal was going to engulf her. Kamran asked her to tell her parents about them so that they could marry.
After returning home, Dhanya gathered all her courage and told her conservative family about Kamran. Her father asked her various questions about his salary, job and family. The things he actually cared about. After getting satisfied with her responses, he said that he would be happy to fix their marriage. But Dhanya’s gloomy face raised some doubts.

“Dhanya, you should be happy now,” Dhanya’s mother said.
As Dhanya was getting consumed by the fire in the room, her throat became dry and she was dripping with sweat. She drank water, perhaps in some vague attempt to fight the fire. As the water went down her throat, she thought, “If not now, then never.”

 “Papa, would you not ask the name of the boy?” She spoke in a low voice.
Her father joked, “What’s there in a name?” 
“His name is Ka--Kamran.”
“‘K’, ‘A’, ‘M’, ‘R’, ‘A’, ‘N’. Kamran.”
Her father smashed the vase next to him.
 “What have you done, Dhanya?” her mother.
“I haven’t done anything wrong.”
“I know,” said her mother hugging her.
 “Will everything be fine, mother?” Dhanya said with tears in her eyes.
Her mother remained quiet. How could she give any answer?

Next day, when things got settled down, her mother asked her father to talk to Dhanya.
Her father went to her and said, “We trust you Dhanya. I know you are not wrong on your part. But we aren’t wrong as well.”
Dhanya nodded.
“Your life will be really difficult once you marry him. I know he will keep you happy but what about people around us? Will they let you be happy? The step that you’re going to take will forever be ingrained in their memory. This society won’t let you live. Now it’s up to you whether you want a life full of happiness or miseries,” he added.

“If my life is going to be filled with miseries either way, then why not choose the misery I want?”
“We are with you, no matter what your decision is.”

Both the families agreed and Dhanya and Kamran married in a small ceremony. They moved to Delhi with immediately after their marriage.

After, two days Dhanya read the following excerpt in the newspaper-
Another Case of Love Jihad in Tamil Nadu
A Muslim boy married a Hindu girl yesterday by giving her false promises of wealth. There was no trace of the couple in the city. Sources say that they flew to UAE after the girl’s parents came to know about the marriage and threatened to kill the boy.
The neighbours and relatives of the girl are in a great shock. “We warn people about traitors. We didn’t know there was one living among us,” said one of them. The cases of love jihad are increasing...

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