Chapter 1 – War background
Deepika a girl from News Media centre is in her last month course. She in search for her placement in a good news agency. One day she along with her class mates goes on a tour to Kashmir. A week stay out there changes Deepika’s life totally.
Heena a local girl of her age who is been tortured by the local police. Her beauty is what makes her life miserable. Her father was killed by the militants in an attempt by the militant to hide in their home. She seen her father killed brutally in front of her one cold night. The night she lost everything she had, her family, her honor & respect all in hands of a corrupted policemen Abdul Meer. A protest all she could was that she did & got herself jailed for a month on suspect of helping the terrorist. Abdul was helping the militants to which some local opposed but it resulted in their life being turn into miserable.
It all happened one day when Deepika lost her bag and she went to inform the police. There she finds Heena being harassed by Abdul. She gets to know the story behind this. She returns back to New Delhi. But her mind still there in Kashmir. One day she does not get Heena on phone. Her suspicion arises and she heads back to Kashmir. Here she comes to know that Heena was forcefully married to a person from Pakistan. Deepika wants to get to bottom of this but she has to return back to Delhi for her interview in Times of Bharat paper. She gets selected & gets involved with her work.
One day news about human tariffing from Bangladesh to Pakistan brings heena’s memories back in her mind. She looks for a way to go to Pakistan. Luckily a joint project between two leading newspaper on both side of the borders takes her to Islamabad. A month stay out there takes Deepika emotionally over her thoughts & liking of people on this side of the border. Same people same language still totally different from each other.
One night she is nowhere to be found. All leave except her back to India with tension back on the borders. Armies on both side lined up on the fronts. UN efforts in vain with any moment a war to be started on the border.
Chapter 2- LAHORE
Reshma khan along with her mother is busy washing the clothes of the hostel girls . The principle had kept them as they had nowhere to go. Reshma tries hard to make ends meet. She often used to watch the girls at the hostel. What made them so proud she thought to herself, though they were not as beautiful as her? It was really a pain for her to work among them, but to earn a living and have a roof over their head, she had to work there. She would quite often see some senior girls coming late at night with their Boyfriends. One night as she was about to go to sleep she heard a loud cry outside the gates. First she thought she was assuming, but then it came again …she found herself running down the stairs towards the gate. Rustam was on the ground with three men trying to drag and take her along with them. “Hey ….”Yelled Reshma and ran outside in the night. Rustam was in a bad condition, and before she could realize what was happening she felt a hard rusky hand over her shoulders. She looked at the hotel …some lights did came on and noises could be heard. Seeing her chance she kicked the guy on his manhood and freed her. “Help..Help” she screamed. The men seeing the situation ran away. Reshma took Rustam by her hand and made her stand. She was badly hurt on her forehead .Blood tickled down her cheeks and she stared at Reshma. All that she could say was she wept and feel again. By this time a crowd had gathered and people were reaching out for help. She stared at the girl as she was taken to Hospital. Slowly the crowd began to whither away ….and finding herself alone on the road..She hurried to her room. Her mom was in deep sleep unaware of what had happened.
She woke up with a start as she found her mother shaking her and screaming in her ears ...’ why did you got involved in that blunder…you know these girls…characterless girls. ’…she walked up to the window and again came back to her temper ‘ mind if you answer any of those policemen or even come in front of them …..ya Allah …what has this girl landed us into …..’ Reshma was in a shook as she watched her mother and her madness. She looked at the watch...it was already 10. She had slept too late. Time for her to get the clothes from the laundary. Just then the door opened and a tall girl walked in side. It was Sophie. She used to quite often come to Rustam’s room. She was in a living relationship with a South African student. She took Reshma aside and whispered something in her ears and walked away in a hurry. She stared at her walking outside and disappearing in the corridors. Her mother came close and looked in eyes asking her what she said.
Just then the principal entered the room along with two lady constables. Reshma mother was surprised and happy that Reshma denied knowing any of the guys she had seen last night. Walking back to her room she was deep lost in her thoughts …unnoticed by a shadow approaching her . As she closed her door..She sensed someone very close to her ….. Her heart dropped down and she well in time had the shutter closed behind her. What was happening she wondered to herself? Some voices were coming close to the room. Hearing some girl’s voices she relaxed herself and opened the door. As she stepped outside, her foot landed on a paper scrambled at the doorstep. Seeing the girls approaching her she quickly took the paper and hid behind her. She was glad to know that everyone was talking about her bravery she had showed last night. But tensions aroused within her as she knew she had landed herself into some deep trouble.
It was very hard and disturbing for her to even go outside the hostel for two days. She managed to walk herself with some hostel girls to see Rustam at the hospital. When no one was other then two of them in the room ….Reshma found herself asking questions to Rustam. It made her knew that Rustam’s bad company had brought her into some big trouble. The men who were trying to take her away were no other then her college friends. Rustam and her group were at a late night party at one of her close friend house. By 11 everyone was fully drunk and out of control. The group slowly began to part away and in a group of 3 male members Rustam was all alone. One of the person Javed was trying to come to close to her. By the time she knew that she had landed herself in some odd situation it was too late. She heard them talk as she excused her to the kitchen. She scanned the kitchen for some safety measure while she started thinking of tricking them. As she heard some footstep outside …a quick plan flashed her mind…. She ran outside towards the footstep nearly knocking Sahil ….and yelled … ‘Sophie has fallen from her Scotty at street 6 ….she needs help …’. Hearing the same Javed and John stared at each other. Good for them..One more prey to make their night better. Rustam sensed their dirty thoughts and the smile they tried hiding behind their faces. At least out of this hell thought Rustam and to make the situation more realistic she caught hold of Javed and walked outside. The moon was high in the sky as three bikes rode on the silent roads. She searched for someone on that lonely road …no shops were open ….here and there 2 – 3 vehicles passed them. She prayed for some police patrolling party at this time. But as they came close to street no 6 …..Rustam mind started racing up..for some ideas . Javed stopped the bike at the street no 6 …his greedy eyes searching for a prey ….who was not even there.
‘What….if she had taken some shortcut through these streets …and walked towards the National library’ spoke Rustam knowing the library was too close to her hostel. Now all she had was luck with her. She took Javed by his hands and with seductive looks stared at him.’ you two look that side..While we search for Sophie …down this side ….’ Before the other two could say anything Javed started walking with her in the opposite direction. She could feel his warmth too close to hers. His hand was trying to reach her from every side . Laughing she distanced herself from him and started getting in some conversation. Now with some quite distance away from Sahil and John..She started looking for some chance to trick Javed . Every second she found herself too close to him . she waited for her turn at the corner and seeing some quite safe distance to run and hide herself , she kicked Javed on his knees and pushed him hard on the dustbin . Completely surprised and taken back …javed could not understand what was happening. Rustam ran into the darkness and ran as fast her shaking legs could take her .
Rustam reached the hostel gates and pushed them just as she was pulled back by some hands. And after this is with your help I managed to get myself free spoke rustam with tears in her eyes.
Reshma came to knew that Sophie was also in bad company and she could do anything for money. No wonder her living standard rose so high within a year of her college life. She remembered the time when Sophie used to remain separate from other girls due to her poor economic condition .and now she was a way ahead from everyone. She came to knew that javed was some MLA’s son and John was in his last year course. His father was in the South African embassy and he enjoyed all the comforts of life. Sahil was a local resident who had only a little brother his parents killed in a riot last year. Reshma remembered the hard time they were .she could still see their tears running down their eyes looking at their parents dead bodies. She held little Sohil close to her and prayed one day Allah will do justice to him.
Reshma found it hard that sahil would involve him into such bad group. She felt frightened to even to go to meet sohil. Thinking by this time sohil would be back from the Madrasa she made her way to the old haveli. The old Haveli stood very straight as it was before the partition. A strange story ran through its walls, about the families that lived there, then the partition destroying the peaceful life within it. Still a small statue of Lord Ganesh along with the crescent moon on the entrance was visible. This reminded the people of the Pahardganj the love between the two families.
A loud horn made Reshma come out of her thoughts as she saw John driving back in his posh car . she managed to hid herself . the place she loved to come often started seeming too strange for her . The haveli was as silent as before but this silence made Reshma scared. She went inside through the small gate in the heavy doors. Seeing sohil playing with a ball made her relaxed and comfortable. Sohil ran towards her and clinged her. Today I have got one more ball to play. John uncle is very good. he gave me some sweets also . ‘Where is Sahil’? She asked Sohil and without any reply moved inside the courtyard.
Sahil was lying on his bed. Something was wrong thought Reshma as she went close to the bed . Blood was flowing from his hand. Rushing close to him, Reshma touched his bare chest. He was still breathing slowly. She needed to get some help before anything could happen. Running out she calls the neighbor’s. The doctors took Sahil into emergency and left Reshma and little Sohil wandering as to what happened and what else would happen next.
Chapter 3- Who am I ?
Deepika’s family is all worried about her. Its been nearly six months and yet no one knew about where she was . The fear of her been killed by some terrorist or any other kind of mishappening always worried Dr Kapoor and his son Rohit. Rohit is in his 2nd year graduation and things were really going on tough for both son and father. They had approached the foreign ministry many a times but only reply they got was that they had not received any information from the Pakistani counterpart .The war had not yet started but some firing news at the borders could be read in the newspaper’s . The UN was trying its efforts to make both the govt reach to a peaceful solution. Rohit prayed that the situation was normal and he could go out to Pakistan to search for his sister.
One day she reads in the paper about a woman militant being caught at the border. Reshma stared at the picture. Why did it look so familiar?. The next headline was of 3 soldiers killed by Indian forces near kargil front. She felt some pain in her head. She gets hold of something just as she was about to go down. Naz her mom takes her to the bed and runs to the drawer. Taking a powder pouch and with glass full of water she makes Reshma drink it. With a cough she spills half on the bed. Naz annoyed, screams at her to take her medicine else she will fall ill again, and walks outside the room. Reshma wonders – what had gone wrong with her? Why is she taking those medicines? Why can’t she remembers much of this place and people out here? She had many questions flowing in her mind, just then she hear’s her mother yelling at someone outside. Walking at the window she sees’s two men walking out the door.