In spite of currently living 6,618 air miles apart, being from two different races and growing up in two different continents and cultures, Chris and I are just a regular couple. 🙂 Later tonight, we’re having a Skype movie date while eating pasta.
But this Valentines Day, I’m sharing something extraordinary that made an impact when I first read it.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a lawyer, politician, statesman and was the founder of Pakistan. He was the first Governor-General of Pakistan under the British Empire and dedicated most of his life to laying the foundation of the new state and rehabilitate millions of Muslim refugees who had migrated from India. He died a year after Pakistan gained its independence.
Such a man could not fall in love with an ordinary woman. He married Rattanbai “Ruttie” Petit, daughter of a wealthy Indian textile magnate, when she was just 18 and he was 42. Ruttie was talented, intelligent, mature for her age, extremely headstrong, and was ostracized by her family when she chose Jinnah. And while the couple were as happy as newlyweds could be, the marriage broke down after a few years due to the ever-increasing distance between the two.
Ruttie died on her 29th birthday in Bombay after suffering from cancer. She penned the following letter to her husband a few months before her death.
(Image and transcript courtesy of Letters of Note)
S. S. Rajputana.
Marseilles 5 Oct 1928.
Darling – thank you for all you have done. If ever in my bearing your over tuned senses found any irritability or unkindness – be assured that in my heart there was place only for a great tenderness and a greater pain – a pain my love without hurt. When one has been as near to the reality of Life – (which after all is Death) as I have been dearest, one only remembers the beautiful and tender moments and all the rest becomes a half veiled mist of unrealities. Try and remember me beloved as the flower you plucked and not the flower you tread upon.
I have suffered much sweetheart because I have loved much. The measure of my agony has been in accord to the measure of my love.
Darling I love you – I love you – and had I loved you just a little less I might have remained with you – only after one has created a very beautiful blossom one does not drag it through the mire. The higher you set your ideal the lower it falls.
I have loved you my darling as it is given to few men to be loved. I only beseech you that our tragedy which commenced with love should also end with it.
– Darling Goodnight and Goodbye
I had written to you at Paris with the intention of posting the letter here – but I felt that I would rather write to you afresh from the fullness of my heart. R.