2003. 7:30pm. LSR.
“Shit!” says Zoya as Ram smiles. “I’m going to miss the curfew time and I haven’t even taken a night out slip.”
Ram rushes through the traffic and reaches outside the LSR gates that are about to shut. “What kind of an institution wants the girls to come back at 7:30? It’s cruel.” Zoya doesn’t care. If she doesn’t get in, she will have a lot of explaining to do to her strict aunt who has heard rumours of Zoya dating a Hindu boy but hasn’t confronted Zoya yet. If she got to know, Zoya wouldn’t hear the end of it. “One last kiss,” Ram pleads. Zoya pecks him on the cheek and rushes towards the doors. The guard has been bribed well by Ram, an industrialist’s son and lets Zoya in even though the clock says she’s ten minutes late. Zoya flips her hair and looks back at the Honda City across the road. She smiles. Ram’s heart melts.
They had been dating since first year college. They met through some common friends and had been keeping their relationship a secret from the parents for the last three years. Ram’s orthodox Marwari parents would have a heart attack if they knew he was in love with a Muslim. As usual fifteen minutes later his mobile beeps. It’s an sms from Zoya. They chat through the night. He can’t wait to meet her again the next day.
2013. 7:30pm. LSR.
Ram sits in his BMW looking at the gates. The parents and aunt did find out. The very next day. She was sent that same day to USA to get married. Didn’t even let her graduate. She has two children now. From her Facebook status she looks happy. Ram looks at his wedding finger. It’s empty. Like his heart. He whispers, “I’ll always love you Zoya.”
(based on a true story)