CASE I:

It was Valentine’s Day. The third one we celebrated together, the first one after we had exchanged our rings and vows. The day was extraordinary for Shwetha and me, starting with cutting a beautiful vanilla cake followed by a long lazy sleep. We had a cozy shower together, made a blissful breakfast and set out to enjoy the day. Never did I know, our day would take such a turn and I would be standing in the hospital corridor with my heart and soul struggling for life inside a sterilized room of machinery and masks which flashes the letters ICU in its glass doors. I leaned against the wall, walking down the memory lane, tears trickling down my cheeks.

3 Years before:

She was walking down the road, wearing a white salwar. She was every bit angelic, a green eyed Madonna. It was love at first sight. My reaction to her smell was extraordinary. No one has ever affected me the way she did. I kept staring at her, my eyes never wavering. She stared right back at me. A small smile blossomed on her lips and my mouth went dry. She walked over to me, crossing the road, and it was perfectly natural when I took her hand and we started walking. That day changed our lives, our identity and everything related to our past, present and future. Our parents went wild with rage and she was locked in her house for several days. We struggled all along and finally our families disinherited us. There was a law that was written against us, and we couldn't be legally married. We said our vows and exchanged our rings in the altar called our new home, the cozy little place that we rented pooling our resources. It was full pink, our favorite color and we were quite a happy family until a couple of hours back. We were at the Shrishti Park when the incident happened. We were watching fireworks lighting up the sky and all the couples around us started their kissing ceremony. We followed cue, and I dragged her towards me, gently encircling her into my embrace and slowly placing my lips on hers. That when all hell broke loose. Two rough hands dragged me away from her and I opened my eyes to see a tough man in a saffron robe, punching my Shwetha on her face. Two more hands grabbed her wrist and one more punched her in the stomach.

“Shwetha” I cried watching her touch the ground and a bear like hand punched me in my tummy.

“You sluts!” The men bellowed, “Don’t you know it’s a sin when a woman kisses other woman?”

There were sirens wailing indicating the arrival of law force and we were left on the ground amongst blood, mud and tears. Shwetha was unconscious when I went near, her beautiful face washed with blood. Everything else began to blur and the last thing I saw was a pair of gloved hands that placed me on the stretcher. I regained my consciousness inside the ambulance and Shwetha was near me, her eyes still closed.

CASE II:

It was Valentine’s Day. The third one we celebrated together, the first one after our engagement. The day was extraordinary for Shwetha and me, starting with cutting a beautiful Pineapple cake followed by a long lazy sleep. We had a cozy bath together, made a blissful breakfast and set out to enjoy the day. Never did I know, our day would take such a turn and I would be standing in the hospital corridor with my heart and soul struggling for life inside a sterilized room of machinery and masks which flashes the letters ICU in its glass doors. I leaned against the wall, walking down the memory lane, tears trickling down my cheek.

4 Years before:

She was walking down the road, wearing a pink shirt and white skirt. She was every bit angelic, a brown eyed Athena. It was love at first sight. My reaction to her smell was extraordinary. No one has ever affected the way she did. I kept staring at her, my eyes never wavering. She stared right back at me. A small smile blossomed on her lips and my mouth went dry. She walked over to me, crossing the road, and it was perfectly natural when I took her hand. That day changed our life, our identity and everything related to our past, present and future. Our parents went wild with rage and she was locked in her house for several days. We struggled all along and finally our families, agreed to unite us. There was no law that was written against us, and we could be legally married. We exchanged our engagement rings in an elaborate ceremony, and everything was great, until a couple of hours back. We were at the Shrishti Park when the incident happened. We were watching fireworks lighting up the sky and all the couples around us started their kissing ceremony. We followed cue, and I dragged her towards me, gently encircling her into my embrace and slowly placing my lips on hers. That was when all hell broke loose. Two rough hands dragged me away from her and I opened my eyes to see a tough man in a saffron robe, punching my shwetha on her face. Two more hands grabbed her wrist and one more punched her in the stomach.

“Shwetha” I cried watching her touch the ground and a bear like hand punched me in my tummy.

“You slut” The men bellowed, “Don’t you know it’s a sin to kiss a man out of wedlock? It means any man can kiss you”. He said and kissed her with a bad marijuana breath.

There were sirens wailing indicating the arrival of law force and we were left on the ground amongst blood, mud and tears. Shwetha was unconscious when I went near her, her beautiful face washed with blood. Everything else began to blur and the last I saw was a pair of gloved hands that placed me on the stretcher. I regained my consciousness inside the ambulance and Shwetha was near me, her eyes still closed.

Today -2 hours later:

CASE I:

A lady with a kind face came out with a notepad out of the Intensive Care Unit.

“Do you know anyone named Shwetha?”

“Yes” there was a chorus from me and the man who was standing adjacent to me.

“Shwetha Kapoor” the lady and I stepped forward looking sadly at the man.

“You are?” the woman asked, looking at me.

“Meghna Kapoor” I said looking straight in her eyes.

“Sister?”

“No! Partner” I said rushing inside the ICU room

The man looked at me with a small smile.

Case II:

I kept looking at the doorway where the woman called Meghna Payal just disappeared. It seems that her Shwetha was fine and it did nothing to reduce my agony. There was not a single word about my Shwetha and I was half crazy with sorrow.

“Anyone here, for Shwetha Malhotra?”

I rushed forward following the woman to the ICU ward.

GENERAL CASE:

The man and the woman stood near the foot of the bed of their Respective Shwetha. They looked at each other with a small smile, their eyes conveying a common message.

India – A country where being homosexual is a punishable sin and holding hands with opposite gender is a terrible crime.