Sunil R P Sethi
It was on 6th June when Suraj met Noor who came to his office for professional consultation. It was love at first sight. She was not very beautiful but there was something in her which shook the whole existence of Suraj. He was the most eligible bachelor in the town. A very successful career as an architect and an imposing personality at little over 6 feet with white complexion and masculine features . Nobody could have imagined him falling for Noor who was not beautiful in traditional sense but knew how to carry herself .
It took only three meetings before Suraj could open his heart before Noor. There was however reluctance because they belonged to different religions and with no chance of her family accepting such a  proposal . But then love has its own ways and does not care  about future or difficulties. So they  immersed in a stream of love . Most of their free time was for each other. Whether in person or on telephone . Noor, however, made it clear to him that she will go for marriage only with the  consent of parents . As marriage was not sure thing so they decided not to extend their relation physically. Laxman Rekha crept  between them.
Suraj met father and brother of Noor with marriage proposal which met with expected reaction. He was abused and insulted and brother of Noor even threatened to kill him as marriage to idol worshipper for a Muslim female is Haram. It was with the intervention of  the father that Suraj was allowed to leave . He never understood the reason why a Hindu can’t marry a Muslim girl when it is permitted for a muslim to marry Hindu girl and even convert her. He got news of marriage of Noor with Imtiaz within a month . Imtiaz was working as an engineer in Hyderabad. She left for Hyderabad after Marriage . Suraj got a letter from Noor after 2 years with picture of her  baby boy. She had named him Aftab with same meaning as Suraj. He fell in love for second time  with Aftab. He also had something in him which instantly attracted Suraj .
Time flew and Suraj was a very successful architect running his own company . He chose not to marry.  He had tasted love and couldn’t have  shared it with anyone else . Efforts by his parents failed and then they stopped even asking him. When Aftab was 5 years old  tragedy struck the family. Car in which the family was travelling met with an accident. Noor and Imtiaz died but somehow Aftab survived with minor bruises. Suraj went to Hyderabad for burial. He felt completely devastated. There was none in family of Imtiaz who could take care of Aftab and even in Noor’s family there was none . Her father had died few years back because of cancer and her brother was killed by militants suspecting him to be Police informer. Mother of Noor was alive but she was herself living with her sister with no financial support. The only option available was to send  Aftab to orphanage. Suraj thought of sending him to best Boarding school so that he could be taken care of. In burial ground after every body left he was still there with Aftab holding his finger. He had met Aftab for first time but there was something  between the  two of them. He saw in the eyes of Aftab to seek permission for leaving. Aftab had tears in his eyes . “Ab Mera Kya Hoga”. Words of Aftab pierced him like spear. “Don’t worry I am with you”. Answer came from deep inside him . May be his soul.
Suraj brought Aftab back with him and put him in school. His parents raised his and cry on this as also his friends and brothers  . If he had to adopt a boy he should do it properly and from his community , he was told . After fighting for few months when it became apparent to him that his family won’t allow him and Aftab to live in peace , he took a difficult decision and shifted to Chandigarh with his son Aftab.
Aftab got admitted to best school in Chandigarh and Suraj started his life afresh . They got so mixed with each other as became one . Relation  between them was of Father – son , of friends , of Trust and love . Aftab was Alfa 2 and Suraj Alfa 1 for they used to call each other  as such . It was  not an easy way  to put their relation in the bracket of giving it some name which was never required or needed .
Twenty more years passed. Life together had been very meaningful and comfortable. Aftab had also joined Suraj as Architect and was doing good . Suraj wanted him to marry  now and lead his life happily . Aftab had been avoiding discussion on this .
It was bright Sunny day in chilly winters and Suraj was sitting in his lawns. When   he saw Aftab coming holding hand of a very pretty and cute little girl. She looked like Angel . Suraj wondered who  she was . May be daughter of some friend of Aftab. ” Who is this little princess ” asked Suraj . ” Alfa 3 ” replied Aftab . Much was understood by Suarj . Aftab had treaded path of his  Alfa1.
Aftab then told him that Simran was an orphan and a very bright and brilliant student who was adopted by a family from Orphanage only last week . During a police investigation it was found that family which adopted her was using children for prostitution after adopting them . Police raided their house and saved a number of children including Simran who could be saved before any damage was done . Superintendent of Police was a friend of Aftab and had  told him all and with his help Aftab had adopted  the girl . He saw the adoption document . Adopted father was shown as Suraj . With tears in his eyes, he took both Junior Alfas in his arms . Life was melting like a dark chocolate . He could hear music in distant fields and could smell fragrance of Jasmine.
(The author is senior advocate)