Ruttie’s love letter to Jinnah
This blog post is dedicated to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of our beloved country Pakistan. In light of Jinnah’s recent birthday, the media has been showing stories about his life, and newspapers are flooded with anecdotes regarding the Quaid.
Having listened to the news and read up much about him, there is one story in particular that has touched my heart. Our enigmatic, charismatic leader has been very secretive about his private life, yet this story shows the depth of passion his wife had for him.
I happened to stumble across the last love letter written to Jinnah by his wife Ruttie Jinnah. Most Pakistanis are aware that Ruttie was born in a Parsi family, she met Jinnah, and they both fell in love despite the fact that she was only 16 and he was 39 years of age. On facing opposition from her family, Ruttie waited till she turned 18, and then left her family forever to marry Jinnah.
Ruttie’s family did not attend the wedding, but the couple shared a few very happy years in marriage. However, Jinnah’s workaholic nature, and his political career kept him very busy, due to which the couple separated. Sadly, things took a turn for the worse when Ruttie got diagnosed with cancer. Before she died at the tender age of 29, she wrote the following love letter to Jinnah:
“Darling- thank you for all you have done. If ever in my bearing your once 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 the tragedy which commenced in 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 you afresh from the fullness of my heart. R.”
The above letter was written in Merseilles, France on October 5, 1928. The reason this letter is so captivating is because it seems to have captured Ruttie’s raw emotions and true feelings. When reading it, one cannot help but be gripped by the intensity of her feelings for Jinnah, along with a haunting sadness woven in her words. The fact that Jinnah and Ruttie never stopped loving each other despite the misunderstandings remains undisputed. The founder of our nation, Mr Jinnah has been very reserved in showing emotions except on two occasions; he could not control his sadness at Ruttie’s funeral, and he was overwhelmed with emotion when he went to visit her grave for the last time in Bombay before leaving for Pakistan.
We have been accustomed to seeing the stern Jinnah on the face on our text books – a Jinnah who was the founder of our nation. What many of us do not know is that he was ardently in love.
I hope that Ruttie and Jinnah are happy and finally together in the life after death.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.