Adhan was being sounded by the Muezzin at the Mosque. It was the first call to worship that evening. Iqama,the second call to line up for prayer, would soon burst out of the huge loudspeakers at the peak of the mosque. The children and adults at Mohammed’s house always looked forward to Adhan, especially this holy month of Ramadhan. Mohammed was a stounch Muslim who saw to it that his family observed a strict fasting.
Everybody in Mohammed’s house looked forward to Ramadhan. Not because of the spiritual naurishment it brought along, but for different reasons. The children loved it because of the feast it promised every night. But Gaucho loved it for a different reason. It gave assurance of more visits to the mosque, which meant he could see Liz more often.
Liz was mildly Catholic. Adhan always meant something for her. It meant it was time for her love to blossom. That first call always found her feet scampering towards their private spot. It was a dark corridor hidden behind tall buildings, close enough to her house and the Mosque, but far enough from the curious eyes of neighbours. She knew Gaucho would soon arrive and her heart was threatening to pop out of her chest. It was their second year now. The beginning of Ramadhan marked their anniversary.
She saw a shadowy figure approach. Her heart was at it again. She could hear her heartbeat now, loud, fast but with rhthmic beats. That was how it had been during the past year. Always waiting for Adhan to be sounded then awaiting in the dark corridor, excited but scared. What if someone followed her and raped her? What if Mohammed, Gaucho’s dad, found out about their little arrangements and followed Mohammed there? Those thoughts always scared Liz. Thats why she had to be sure the shadowy figure approaching was Gaucho, to determine her next action.
It was Gaucho alright, but he was walking funny. He seemed uncertain, as though he wished he would never get to her. She could feel the distance between them increasing as he drew closer. Her heart rate felt it too. Her breathing was faster and her eyes misty. There was something about Gaucho today, she just couldn’t place a finger on it. She tried smiling but it soon melted into a frown. The love of her life was infront of her but her legs refused to go to him for an embrace. It was as though they had grown roots.
Gaucho felt weak at the knees. He could tell she knew something was wrong. They had always feared something would form stumbling blocks in their love path, but never had Gaucho imagined it would be this big. He held on to the rails beside him for support. His head felt heavy and he felt something that was as warm as a tear fall. It had to be that he was crying. His knees gave in and he fell with a thud on the hard gravel. He supported his head with his hands. The thoughts were making it too heavy for his kneck.
Liz watched as the nightmare unfolded. She was now sure she didn’t want to hear what Gaucho had to say. This was bad enough. Her heart went out to him. She went over to where he sat miserably and held his free hand. He couldn’t bear looking at her. they both broke down and wept. At the breast pocket of his Kanzu, a piece of paper was popping out. Had Liz seen something like Fly Emirates? She reached out and removed it from his pocket. It was a plane ticket alright. But why would Gaucho have a ticket.
“Dad found out!” Gaucho managed amid sobs. That explained so many things. No Muslim was allowed to associate with Christians, atleast not the was Gaucho and Liz did. It was Haram. It was a sin.
Liz nodded as if she understood any of it. It pained her that love so pure was forbidden by religion. She questioned the legitimacy of Islam and the doctrines of Christianity. Both of them had been willing to conform to whatever religion just to be together, but that meant being branded outcasts. It meant losing family and all the people they cared about.
Gaucho’s dad was determined to save himself from “humiliation”, even if it meant ripping Liz’s heart apart. She felt it breaking into tiny pieces that scattered allover, it would take an eternity to collect them back together. Their fate was sealed. Their destiny was decided. Accepting it was the difficult part. They sat there, locked in a tight embrace and feeling like they would conquer the world. But deep down they knew they were two helpless children at the mercy of religious fanatics. Soon adhan would be over and Gaucho would be back in their enormous bungalow behind huge iron gates. But till then they had to make the best of this moment. They had to feed each other’s eyes with enough of each other to last them a lifetime.
It goes without saying that nothing would be enough for these love birds. United by love separated by religion.
It got me thinking just how many love impossibles are there just to please other people. How many people break up because other people felt they were not meant to be. Society, religion, circumstances and distance among other things drowning pure love. Then two soul that were soulmates are left wandering looking for suitable replacement.
I dedicate this to all the lovers that fought or are still fighting against all odds to be together.
Based on a true story.