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Neha! I saw Rishi on the Television. He died in the encounter after the attack? He was a terrorist?” Rohan was surprised.

“Yes! He and his team had planned for the attack on the temple.” Neha answered.

“You knew all of this! Still, you let him stay in your house for three months. Were you also included in the team? I don’t think he loved you, otherwise, he would have left all of this. Why did you let him do this?....” Rohan was continuously asking questions, at the moment Neha shouted

“Shan, His name is Shan! He did this because he was told to live with me, get into a relationship with me and live like a normal Indian so that when the time came for the attack he would be the nearest to the temple!”

“Why did you support him, Neha? He was a bloody terrorist!” Rohan said!

“Three months back, We met in my favorite coffee shop. He was a waiter there! He served me coffee with so much fun that I got attracted.

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay 

“Mam, This is the coffee you have ordered right?” Shan said.

“Are you asking or telling me? How poor are your skills for being a waiter?” Neha said.

“Mam, I am asking because you are confused!”


“Yes mam, When I came to take the order, You said cappuccino first, Then Americano, and then you saw someone holding filtered coffee. So, you said Filtered coffee and put your hands on your eyes. Then I ran to the kitchen so that you don’t cancel Filter coffee. By the way Mam, this is our chef’s special!” Shan said.

“You are working here to take the order, mind your business….” Neha was about to say more.

“These are very old dialogues. Try to make new ones, then I will come to listen to you!” Shan said.

This was the first time a professor has heard so much from someone and was not able to speak.

“I went to the café regularly and I started talking to him about him, about me, and slowly slowly we started loving each other and moved into my flat because he was living in the rented house,” Neha said to Rohan.

“You did not ask him about his parents and members?” Rohan asked.

“After we moved in together, He told me that his parents died when he was very small and his relatives live in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Neha replied.

The doorbell rang.

Rohan opened it and was shocked to see the police.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

“We are here to meet Neha.” Inspector Yasir said.

“Yes, I am here!” Neha came forward and said.

“I have got your picture from the terrorist’s pocket. Are you his girlfriend or a victim?” He asked Neha.

“We loved each other,” Neha said.

Rohan was getting very upset as she was inviting problems for her.

“You loved a terrorist. Are you also involved in the attack?”

“No, sir. Loving someone is not a crime. I loved Shan. That’s my fortune.”

“You are saying that you were not involved in the crime but you are also proud of him.”

“I am feeling proud because we love each other very much.”

“Why did you not stop him from doing wrong? Why did he do this? Just answer this. I am sure that you will not lie because you have not lied till now.”

The week before the attack.

“Let’s go to the market. The grocery needs to be refilled.” Neha said to Rishi.

“Yes, I am downstairs, please come fast!” Rishi said.


After 5 minutes, Rishi checked his pockets.

“MY PURSE!!!” Rishi ran upstairs!

“ You left your purse on the bed,” Neha said when she saw the bed while going to the door.

Neha thought, “He always hides his purse from me, Let’s see what’s in it.”

Neha picked up the purse and saw her picture first along with his parents. It was a bit shocking for Neha as his mother was wearing a Burkha. However, she ignored thinking she might be a Muslim or she might have wanted to wear it.

The purse fell on the ground only, Rishi’s ID was in Neha’s hand.

He saw his ID was there in the hands of Neha and she was sitting on the floor aligning the bed. Neha saw Rishi.

“ Hii Shan!” Neha said.

“So, you got to know about it. I always told you to not touch my purse. Why did you? I don’t want to see you in any kind of pain.” Shan said.

“What about the pain I am getting now! I have no issue if you are Muslim or Hindu. I just wanted to know why you hid it from me?” Neha asked.

“I am sorry!”

“I do not want any apology. I want you to tell me the whole truth.”

“I was 4 when my parents wanted to visit the BABRI masjid. It was also a religious heritage for us. We were in Afghanistan then in 1992. They wanted to visit the masjid with all of us, me, my 6 brothers and my 5 sisters. My father’s elder brother died in an accident so his 6 children also lived with us. We all come here but the conflict between Hindu and Muslim started and my parents, all my sisters and 1 brother died. Only we 5 brothers survived. I was very small, all the responsibility was in the hands of our Bhaiya who was also small, just 17 years old. But he took care of us. We decided not to take revenge and live in India. How could we, our mother had taught us,” An eye for eye makes the whole world blind”.

Image by Shany Kasysyaf from Pixabay 

We have got our parents in our neighborhood, Janke aunty and Alok uncle. They did not have children, they considered us their children. We were living happily but that day After 3 years, during the Moharram and one of the 'Hindu's Jhanki', again the political leaders lit the fire for their benefit. They were murdered in the conflict. We were very sad but Bhaiya took over Uncle’s business and his business started flourishing then. But again, political parties started lighting the fire among the people. 

We were inside our house but the police came and arrested our Bhaiya. We were being labeled as terrorists! We then decided to teach the parties a lesson. So, whenever they started to teach people, we jumped in between and cooled many conflicts but they attacked us as they were not gaining the news headlines. They killed my just big brother and named our neighborhood friend for it. That was our limit. We then left the place and attacked every place where we got the information that the people from the parties are going to gather or they are trying to lit the fire for conflicts.” Shan explained the whole situation to Neha.

“What are you planning to do now?” Neha asked.

“I can not tell you where I am planning an attack but We are again planning for the attack. I have got the information that the one who has faked an allegation on my Bhaiya and sent him to jail will be there.”

“Where is your Bhaiya?”

“He is no more! He died the same month! “

“I am sorry!”

“This attack is going to be the most dangerous. It might be possible that I will die!”

“Leave all of this, let’s start afresh. I don’t want to lose you!” Neha asked.

“This start is costing me my identity. I can not tell anyone that I am Shan Yasir. My brothers who are in Porbandar, are facing so much criticism. They are always told by the people out there that ''Go to Pakistan”!

Image by Abdul goni from Pixabay 

And why because they like the playing style of the Pakistan cricket team captain. You like Daniel Radcliff (The Harry Potter) Why? Because you like his work. You have not met him. Why are you not labelled as a traitor when there are great actors in India, you like someone who is not an Indian. Similarly, My brothers also like the style of the Pakistan Team. Why is it a problem?” Shan said.

“ I have never thought this way!”

“Of course, You never will, because you are always taught so, dear! I can not live like this anymore. I feel suffocated as I have to hide my own identity for no cause! All of this because of the bloody political parties who tell us that they are doing all good for us. I don’t feel suffocated because I am living with you. This is the most beautiful part of my life. But I have started to hate myself because I have to hide myself. If a person cannot love himself, how can he love others? That is the reason why I can not live with you anymore. I had already booked my tickets yesterday. I am leaving at night today. I am sorry Neha but I love you so much and I don’t want you to face any problem because of me!”

“Why are you going? I promise I will not tell anyone. Please don’t go! I love you too.” Neha said

“I am sorry Neha.” Shan said and got up after hugging Neha.

That was the last time she saw him.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

“If you are considering him a terrorist, consider the political parties the primary terrorists. Because they are the ones who lit the fire everywhere. You don’t have to go anywhere else to find the terrorist. They are here in the country itself. The terrorists who came at the second step are the people who get along with such leaders and destroy everything around them. They don’t even realise that they are destroying their relationship for the dirty games of politics. Then came the people like Shan who was forced to be like them so that what he faced, would not be faced by anyone else. I do not know whether my Shan was right or wrong, but I definitely know that the politics and the pessimistic people here are destroying the country more than the terrorists.”

Neha said this to the Inspector.

“You are right. But we can not arrest the leaders.” Inspector Yasir said.

“But we can make the people aware about their dirty games and improve the relationship among ourselves,” Rohan replied.

Neha finally felt that she was not alone.

“Just a question. Do you know where he lived or where his brothers lived?” Inspector Yasir said.

“Strange sir, You just said that I am not wrong and you are asking about his whereabouts?” Neha said.

“I am just asking as a part of protocol. I am not forcing you.” inspector replied.

“NO sir, But I would request you to please make sure that people will be aware about the parties dirty games,” Neha said smiling.

“Ok, BYE!” Inspector said and he was also smiling. After saying this, he left.

“I am glad that I loved you. But I am grateful that you loved Shan” Rohan said to Neha.

.    .    .