It had been 18 years that they were living together. They would have been celebrating their 18 years of successful journey today if Rashid would have been there. But alas!!! he wasn’t there to share her happiness and sorrow. She was herself responsible for this rift. Who said that love meant to keep their beloved near to them. Love had a different meaning of sacrifice. She did the same what rashid had done 18 years ago for the sake of family, his family, his dilshad.
She knew his happiness was with his family and not with her she just let him go thus making herself free from the burden of guilt she was carrying so long.
She was unaware of this repressed guilt until she found of her bhaijaan’s and bhabhi’s wrong doings with them. They had cheated everyone. Rashid lived as a captive with them. She had to free the bird from this prison of gold that had not allowed him even to breathe by himself. Everything was an imposition which he drank as poison.
Shireen sighed as she thought of the previous day’s happenings. What would have happened if she hadn’t let rashid go? she would have been happiest of all to have her love. How she dreadfully wished tat she would have never met rashid..
She froze as she saw dilshad and rashid crying in each other’s arms. They were in the doll factory. The whole doll fiasco was out in the open when razia had confessed of the murder. Rashid was innocent after all. It was difficult for her to believe that her bhaijaan and bhabhi had used her for money. The story had started 18 yrs ago because of a doll and today it ended with a doll. Shireen started feeling like a doll, a puppet who was used and thrown away. She was the puppet of the destiny. They all were. Back then old relations had broken and new were established. Today the reverse had happened. The old relations mended, the old love started blooming once again.. Resurrection was happening. Asad had forgiven his dad and forgotten the grudge that he had held for so long. She could see Rashid’s eyes twinkle with joy that she had never seen for these years. His eyes spoke volumes for how much he had loved dilshad always. He stayed with her for dilshad’s sake. She was the sole reason for his existence.
Rashid and dilshad pulled off as they realised that someone was watching them intently.
” shireen, maine koi gunah nahi kiya tha. Na hi maine kabhi tumhare saath yeh sab karna chaha. Main to na chahate huye siddiqui ka ghulam ban gaya tha”
” kya aap dilshad se aaj bhi ishq karte hain?”. was what rashid heard from the other end. Ayaan, nikhat, nuzhat stood behind shireen. Asad, zoya and najma with dilshad and rashid in between his two families. All were waiting for the reply. Both the families in unknown fear and unusual anticipation.
He could never choose both. Though their children had developed an unbreakable bond of love and trust. Asad had always been the sole thread which tied them together. But dilshad and shireen could never co-exist which was but obvious.
rashid stood at such a shore that whichever route he took would lead him in a situation of loss.
Rashid stood dumbstruck unable to say anything. But he didn’t knew his eyes gave away everything to shireen. Shireen was possessive, a bit slow by nature, naive, feared of losing loved ones but she possessed one great quality tat everyone had missed to notice coz of her child-like nature, that was caring attitude and wishing good to all for which she could readily sacrifice herself.
” Hum jaante the rashid ki aap aj bhi dilshad ko chahate hai. Bas aapko ek baar poochkar apne dil ko yakeen dilana chahate the ki humara shak sach tha. Par aj hum aapko aazaad karte hai. Aap par aj se koi bandish nai hai. Pehla pyaar kya hota hai koi humse pooche. Fark sirf itna hota hai ki wo kisi ko milta hai to kisi ko nahi. Shayad hum wo badnaseeb hai jinke paas sab kuch hote huye kuch bhi nahi tha. Sapno ki duniya me jee rahe the,par sapne to toot jate hai na kaanch ki tarah hote hai. Aj humara bhi toot gaya. Apne dil par koi bojh mat rakhiyega rashid. Rahi baat bacchon ki to hum jaante hai wo aapse aurasad se kitna pyaar karte hai. unhe apse durr nahi karenge hum.”
Saying this shireen left teary eyed. Ayaan tried to stop her but his efforts were futile.
” aap ko humari kasam hai ayaan aap hume kuch dino ke liye akela chod dijiye.” Ayaan respected her wish and left her.
Shireen stood near the window gazing at the moon all alone. She felt dejected. She had qualms not with rashid but with her fate which had ditched her in such a place that she had no strength to come up.
She didn’t show yesterday how deeply she was wounded with the decision of her. But once home she had cried for hours together.
She took out the albums from the store and spent hours looking at the old photographs.
After an hour, the phone rang. Shireen answered, it was ayaan.
” Ammi aap thik to hai na? kab se hum sab ko aap ki fikr ho rahi thi. Abbu bhi bahut pareshaan hai. Na aap ki koi khabar aur na hi aapne hume apne saath rehne ki izzazat di hai.”
” Hum thik hai ayaan. Aap humari fikr mat kijiye. Bas apna, nikhat aur nuzhat ka khayal rakhiye. Bas thoda thakk gaye hai kuch der aaram karna chahate hai. allah hafiz beta. Humesha aabaad rahiye.”
Saying this she hanged up the phone. But ayaan was not convinced then he felt something amiss with the way his ammmi was talking. Everyone was at asad’s place and they were in the drawing room. Silence pertained as everyone was shocked because of the sudden turn of events.Zoya sat next to asad holding his arm offering him her silent support.Dilshad shared rashid’s pain. Humaira stood next to ayaan rubbing his shoulder trying to calm his restlessness. Dadi and najma tried to offer comfort to nuzhat and nikhat.
Ayaan was still confused and fear had started engulfing him. Unable to guard his thoughts, he went to share the conversation with asad and others.
The atmosphere had surely became tensed after ayaan had disclosed his fears.
” Rashid hume ek baar ja kar shireen ko dekh aana chahiye. na jane ab humara jee bhi bada ghabra raha hai.”, rashid’s ammi said to which dilshad agreed. Within no time they reached shireen’s place.
The girls started ringing the doorbell but there was no answer. They started banging the door but shireen didn’t come.
Asad and ayaan broke the door open when all their attempts were in vain. Ayaan ran upstairs to her room. Others followed.
“Ammi!!!”, ayaan screamed as he saw shireen in bed. All of them surrounded the bed. All tried to wake shireen but they had no success. She didn’t even stir from her deep slumber of her dreams. Shireen’s hand dropped down from ayaan’s grip. It seemed to be a lifeless body. Panic was in the air.
Dilshad spotted a bottle of tablets open near the bed. She took and drowned in a sea of shock. The bottle was going to fall when asad caught it and read it loud as the “sleeping pills”. Doctor was called up within fraction of seconds.
On examination shireen was declared dead. The world came crashing down for all of them. No one knew what ultimately had trigerred her to take this drastic step which costed her life. She herself had let rashid go..
INDEED THERE WAS LOVE, FIGHT AND BREAK-UP HERE ALSO. UNLIKE THE PREVIOUS WORKS, HERE LOVE WAS ONE SIDED, FIGHT WAS EMOTIONAL BUT NON-VERBAL AND INDEED SHIREEN BROKE UP WITH HER NEAR AND DEAR ONES AS HER WORLD OF DREAMS HAD DIED..