Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Of Promises Kept And Broken


I ran out of sunscreen in Iraq! I must have turned atleast 3 shades darker, shooting in the sultry sun !”, she was complaining.

“Your smile is breathtaking”. I said and broke her chain of conversation.

“You liar! You don't notice my smile! You are always lost in your own dreamy world and stare bleakly into my eyes!”, she said.

She was immersed in an animated description of her latest adventures in Iraq. She was proud of her brave stunts of acquiring an exclusive footage of shocking war revelation. That's her job. She is a war journalist. She is posted to terror stricken and tension centered war zones of the world.

She trekked the rough terrains of Zagros mountains in Iraq, in a camouflaged dress, survived only on the water of River Tigris for 2 days and shot secretly at the enemy's camp from behind the rocks. The video footage was to be submitted to the BBC news channel and the anti-terrorist intelligence. She captured the terrorist's conversations, all by herself, in their camp which revealed their strategies and future targets.

I wasn't listening to her talking about her experiences in Iraq. I was transported to the beautiful land of Kashmir...six years ago....that was where and when I first met her.

And fell in love eventually.

I was a tourist to Kashmir. A bomb raid broke out by terrorists. Everyone who were boating in the Dal lake previously were fleeing for their dear lives. I ran towards the shelter of apple woods. In the midst of all this chaos, I saw her shooting with a video camera from behind the thick apple trees.

Love at first sight.

There was a mystique glint of bravery flickering in her eyes.

That's what I liked in her – her eyes and her bravery.

There was no one around. She was startled at first. Confirming that I was harmless, she came forward and dressed my bleeding hand with her scarf.

That was just the start.

During my stay at Kashmir, we exchanged our mobile numbers, talked late into the night and went out in the snow every other day. I must say she talked a lot. A very talkative girl she was!

Our love blossomed in the beautiful land of Kashmir-- rightly called ' heaven on earth'.


I was scared for her...for her life...of her dangerous job.

I pleaded her, persuaded her and pestered her at many instances to quit the job. I wanted us to get married, move to Dalhousie and happily live ever after...always...forever.

She was very adamant of her journalist job. At first I thought she was being headstrong.

One day she told me, “my parents died in front of my eyes in the hands of the terrorists. I was barely seven then! I've dedicated my life to do everything possible in my own small way to uncover their strategies.”

It was then that my love to her took a new dimension. I started respecting her job. My love for her grew even more in intensity.

Relating to those horrid childhood incidents there were tears in her eyes.

Nonetheless, the mystique glint of bravery flickering in her eyes didn't fade away.

That's what I liked in her – her eyes and her bravery.


I was scared.

I was scared for her.
A lie.

In truth I was scared for myself. I can't live without her! I can't envisage a future for myself without her being beside me.

“Hey don't be so gloomy! Do you think I'll die so easily and sacrifice you to the other pretty girls !!?? No way! I'll be there for you...always...forever.” She teased.

I asked ,“ Promise?”

She replied, “ Promise! I rarely promise anyone. But if I do, then I value it with my life!”


When she was away covering news in the war zones, my time would go out of sync with the rest of the world. I would lose track of days and dates. My time was divided into two phases-- the time I was with her and the time I waited for her. I would wait frantically clutching my mobile in my hand for that one call from her, assuring me she's safe and sound.

She feared nothing. She was brave.

She had her priority – her aim of exposing the activities of terrorists.

I had my priority – it was 'she'.


I was in the airport. I got a call. I could not believe my ears! My head was spinning...my whole world went topsy-turvy!


It was 2 days for my birthday to arrive. She was in Sarajevo reporting the war there live.

I urged her to come back.

She said yes.

It was a promise.

It seemed she had a surprise gift for me and wouldn't reveal it till we met. I pretended to be very much interested to know what the surprise gift was. I didn't want to be a spoilsport.
In truth, the gift didn't matter to me.

It was her coming back from Sarajevo after 2 months which truly was a gift to me.


It was the day of my birthday. I went to the airport to receive her. I was waiting for her eagerly. Finally the flight arrived.

But... there was no sign of her.

I waited for her for another hour.

I heard my cell phone ringing. I was sure it was her. Smilingly I answered the call...but ... it was a male voice.

“I am from BBC news. I'm really sorry to say...but she is no more. She was killed in the war at Sarajevo”.

These words changed my life. For worse.


She did keep her promise to come back on my birthday. But it was not the intact her. Her body was flown in a coffin to the airport. Her luggage was recovered and handed over to me.

I thought I would celebrate my birthday with her lively self around.

I was wrong.

I laid beside her lifeless body and for the first time in my life I cried.

I don't know for how long I cried.

My tears were exhausted. Nonetheless, they could not alleviate the emotions which burnt my heavy heart.

At night, I was flipping through her luggage. The surprise gift she planned for me was a hand woven kerchief with my name embroidered at the center.

It was as if she was consoling me not to cry and wiping my tears with the kerchief.

I preserved everything belonging to her....somethings tangible which lay safely in the cupboard...and as far as those intangible moments were concerned...they were there to stay in my memory, always...forever!


It's been 3 years now. I still couldn't forget her.

Every night, from that day till today, I get scary dreams. She would be writhing and wriggling in pain just in front of my eyes. She would scream at the crest of her voice for help. But I would be handcuffed and helpless to rescue her. She would die every night again and again in my dreams.

I fear sleep.

Every day, those beautiful moments I spent with her keep flashing back. Everything and everyone remind me of her. No matter what I do, I think of her and her thoughts send pangs of pain in my heart. I try to suppress the pain, but the feelings gush out and churn my heart. I take sleeping pills to switch off from the pain.

I fear being awake.

Someone said that love is a bucketful of emotions. So true!

Her voice reverberates in my ears--“ Promise! I rarely promise anyone. But if I do, then I value it with my life!”

She did really have to value the promise with her life. She had to forgo her life...our life!!

It was a broken promise...a promise unkept...a promise unfulfilled.

I am so frustrated that, I want to kill her again and again for her broken promise. Why did she leave me alone??


“You liar! You don't notice my smile! You are always lost in your own dreamy world and stare bleakly into my eyes!”

Yes, I used to lie about her smile. It wasn't her smile or lips that I noticed. I used to look deep into her twinkling eyes. She had an unflinching flame of bravery flickering in her eyes and the brunt of the horrifying images of her parents dying in front of her.

Her eyes spoke for her.

He eyes said it all!

That's what I liked in her – her eyes and her bravery.


  1. Just one word "Beautiful".
    You seem good in writing, keep up

  2. M sad. U killed her.. After all u killer their love :(.. hehe Nice story dude. Keep it up.


  3. Wow.. man .... So well written...
    Feelings wonderfully expressed.... :)

    "I am so frustrated that, I want to kill her again and again for her broken promise" I loved this line... :)

    n thanks for visiting mine... I loved ur blog.. really..! :)





  5. Well aparna,gr8 story,but i wonder why life is so cruel-very touching indeed,keep it up.

  6. very nicely written story.... some of the lines are very expressive.... kudos... there is a poem "MEMORY" in my blog.... which i think goes along really nicely with ur story...neways.... keep postin...

  7. nice one...:)...good narration...but i guessed the ending;)....

    p.s- is there any girl who isnt talkative in this world???

  8. Good. Really good. This is the first story of yours I read, and now I'm gonna go and read the rest ^__^

    Well it was sad, but well handled. The romantic tragedy stuff was well done. :) But there's one thing...The ending(i.e. his emotions after her death) was drawn out too much..could've been shorter. The story just seemed to drag on, after her death.

    Other than that, well done!

  9. Good narrative flair... Could visualize the story as it unwrapped.,.

    Keep Expressing !!

  10. hey thnx for droppin by my blog and wow @ ur blog good writings keep rocking

  11. Very nice and beautiful story and it really touched my heart, believe me...only the background of your blog was making it difficult to read it.

    People who we love are always with us even if they leave us and go far away...they remain in our hearts.
    Keep the good work on and i look forward to read more of your work and all the best for your book which is going to be published.

    Nazish Rahman

  12. hi.... lemme comment on the literary aspect first...

    Very well written, but den i could guess dat the gal was supposd to die... dats getting common.
    You writing is very professional. but please don keep such flashy background. It makes it difficult to read. Your style is very mch similar to that of Chris Kuzneski though. Take it as a cmplement as he is a great author.

    Four lines touched my heart...
    "I was scared.
    I was scared for her.
    A lie."

    Great meaning in jus few words.

  13. i often miss some nice blogs....i don't want miss ur's....nicely kept...

  14. at first I thought I would read it after a while.......but I don't know why something made me read this.....after a while I was deeply engrossed in the story.......I was feeling the characters.....I was going through their emotions........I was experiencing their pain........I was trying to fake myself that it is only a story......but these kindaa incidents keep happening in our society.... a very recent post on my blog also dealt with an unkept promise but It was real.........And about the blogger:
    Aparna is a much matured writer than what I first felt about her....
    I know she'll someday write novels...and I would be reading one of her works and saying to my offsprings...."she is my friend.."

    I'm waiting for more posts lady.....

  15. really good one...it was quite long...but u held my interest till the end...hope to read more such posts!

  16. story is fabulous.i almost cried in the last..looking forward for more...keep writing :)

  17. hey appu (aa juz felt like calling u so, after readind d story) yu've touched my heart. iz wonderful ra.
    i wanna hear smethng from u, on my blog.

  18. That was a good one...I loved the lines “Hey don't be so gloomy! Do you think I'll die so easily and sacrifice you to the other pretty girls !!?? No way! I'll be there for you...always...forever.”

    Rock On...!

    B/W I hate catchpas...he he

  19. hey, touching story. although it got a bit cliched wid her dying, the ending, saying that she kept her promise with her life was nice:)

    nice description of emotions too



  20. so did it get published?

    very well written.

    the background was a bit sore on the eye :)



  21. [read my post on blog anniversary and be a part of it:)]

  22. nice story....
    i also like to write stories...havent done in a while...
    I write about instances rather than full stories...
    n i was surprised u didnt write the story from a gal's point of view...I usually write stories in my point of view....

    ur story tells a lot about u...

  23. n also check out the stories i've written if u like...they are labelled as "love-fiction"....

  24. why do people have to die in love stories :(

  25. Ok.. i will be honest..

    Ur story.. had a good plot but very boring and predictable plot.. so u lose out there..

    Your backdrop was even more cliche.. like some bollywood film picked up and penned down..

    Writing style was broken.. confusing.. not that impressive.. ur broken lines never actually made sense.. and ur story seemed like a slideshow to me rather than something that was flowing..

    The story had died even before 'she' died..

    And then u kept dragging it on and on and on...

    Ok, i know this comment is rude.. but am being honest.. Didn't like it..

    But th words u use.. they are good.. ur writing style.. is ok sorta.. ur emotional work is good.. appreciate that..

    Advice: Try and cut down on the flashy stuff..

    Be more original in approach..

    And write from the point of view which interests one..

    Still.. good work

    Take care..

    Keep smiing :)

  26. Thanx anwesh..for ur honest review. Will improve next time.

    Folks ! Thanx for all ur comments. Loved them!

  27. It's a very beautiful story though it was predictable...you're writing style is pretty good but somewhere the strain of thoughts are rather disconnected in the story..but it holds ur attention till the end somehow

  28. It's beautifully written... keeps the reader right upto the end...


Please be nice :)

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