When we talk about lovers and love stories—the great, celebrated lovers of yore like Laila–Majnu, Heer–Ranjha, Sohni–Mahiwal and Mirza–Sahiba come to mind. These star-crossed couples were special, there is no doubt about it, and their stories will be told for many, many generations to come—probably unto eternity. But somewhere down the line from those sepia-toned periods they lived in, we’ve forgotten about other noble lovers whose stories were never told; they were buried under the cloak of shame, callousness, or perhaps sheer indifference. Their love too, was eternal.
So, here, in the pages of this book, I’ve made a heartfelt effort to bring these stories to light now. I want the world to celebrate these splendid souls, for they deserve their pure emotions to be known. These people walked the earth of India, born in times oppressive or just plain wrong for their beating hearts. I’ve heard these stories over the last many years now, since I became a young man, eager to step into love and romance. I’ve heard them from people of my family, friends and their extended families—and even complete strangers as I holidayed through our rich country. I hope to present to the readers, to lovers, an inspiration to let their emotions flow, to feel love, to live and be there for their beloved, irrespective of everything—for the purpose of our birth on this bounteous land is more than just a race for survival.