In this book, I compiled my stories on different topics ranging from crime-thriller to love affairs, from inspiration to bizarre one and so on. However, to facilitate to take a decision whether a reader wants to read a story with a particular subject or not, I have given an idea of the story in few lines at the beginning of the story.
I place my sincere thanks and gratitude to my wife for allowing me to write something. I thank my son, daughters, friends and foes for encouraging me to write something always. However, above all, I am thankful to my readers for sparing their valuable time to read my books.
Finally, I am thankful to Shakespir for publishing my e-book.
Chapter I: Should I Reveal To My Wife
(It is a taboo to discuss with others about own experience as a victim of sexual abuse. If it comes to discuss with his wife, it may be more difficult. But Manish was able to muster the courage to discuss his traumatic experiences with his own wife that too on the very first day of their marriage. What was the reaction of his wife?
It is a fictitious story. Any resemblance with the main character with any living or dead person may be a mere coincidence only. )
Sunita was very happy to have a husband like Manish. He is extremely intelligent, having an excellent job and above all, he is quite handsome also.
Sunita is also very beautiful, highly educated and from a very good family. Their marriage was an arranged marriage. Sunita met Manish only once before their engagement. Sunita actually did not want to marry for another one or two years as she is the youngest daughter of her parent. But after her meeting with Manish she had changed her mind and agreed to marry Manish at the convenience of their parents and Manish.
Their parents agreed for a quick but elaborate marriage befitting to their financial and social status.
After their marriage, as per their tradition (which is different from many others), both the bride and groom stayed for the first time in a decorated room at Sunita’s parental home.
Sunita was sitting on her bed waiting for Manish to lift her veil. Manish came to the room and sat on the bed near to Sunita. As expected, he did not lift the veil of Sunita for some time. Both were sitting silently for some time.
Then finally Manish broke the silence, ‘Sunita, I do not know, how I shall start the issue! But I must tell these things to you. I do not know how will you react to the core issue?’
Sunita thought, Manish must have a past love life. She wanted only that love life should not have a bearing on their married life. Sunita did not utter any word.
‘You must be thinking, I had a relation with another lady. No I did not have any girl in my life.’ He paused for a moment.
Sunita’s anxiety increased this time. ‘Is Manish a homosexual or he is impotent?’ Her head started rolling.
‘You must be thinking now that, either I am a homosexual or an impotent. Again, I am saying a no.’ He again paused.
This time Sunita could not stop from talking. She removed her veil by herself contrary to her own expectation and told, ‘For God’s sake, tell me what you want to say quickly, otherwise I am going to faint. I do not want any more suspense!’
In the next half an hour Manish told a story, Sunita never thought to hear from her husband on their very first night.
Manish was born after his elder sister. He is the only son with three sisters of their parent. He was extremely pampered. His parent wanted to give everything within their reach to him.
From class I, he was provided with a personal home tutor. The first tutor was a saintly person and he thought Manish every good thing of the world. That teacher was the main stay for his career building as his father did not have any time for him. That teacher was sole guide and mentor Manish up to class VIII. But because of his educational qualification, he had to leave Manish at that level itself.
Manish’s father appointed subject-wise home tutors for Manish from Class IX. He hired the teachers from the best school of the locality as his home tutors. At class IX, Manish had to face the most traumatic experience of his life at the hands of one of the home tutors appointed by his father who happened to be a mathematics teacher of a reputed school with a reputation of a very good teacher.
Manish was to appear a mathematics Olympiad in a different city. Manish and his mathematics teacher were sent together for the Olympiad by his father. They stayed in a good hotel for two nights at his father’s expense.
Those two nights were the most traumatic nights of Manish in his entire life. He was sexually abused by the mathematics teacher more than once on every night. He was also threatened by that horrible teacher that, if he divulge it to someone he would be killed.
Manish was so much horrified that he could not do well in the Olympiad and could not muster the courage to divulge the horrific incident to anybody in his family including his father.
However, Manish was able to get rid of the mathematics teacher after his return from the city on the ground that he was not a competent teacher to guide him properly in the Olympiad. But he could not get rid of the scar of those two dark nights for many years to come.
May be due to that trauma, Manish could not do extremely good result in Class X examination. But in class XII examination, he was able to secure a rank in the state level. After that he joined an elite college of the state capital.
He made few friends in the next two years. One day he confided to one of his friends about the two dark nights few years back; memory of which was still vivid for him till date day.
After few days, on the pretext of birth day of a friend, Manish was invited to a hotel. After the party, few friends left and a group of friends decided to stay back. Manish was also requested to stay back in the hotel.
That night, his friends betrayed him and he was forced to go through the same orgy few years ago on the night of mathematics Olympiad. His friends did it one by one, ignoring his plea for not doing so. On that night, he was both physically and mentally devastated. He lost faith in any relation. Throughout the night he was crying as his friends were laughing like some demons.
After that incident, he went to a cocoon. He stopped talking to any of his friends. He did not like to study anymore and he became extremely depressed after that traumatic incident. Luckily for him, a good teacher observed his change of behaviour after the incident.
One day the teacher called Manish to his chamber and cajoled him to say what had bothered him. After getting lot of assurances from the fatherly teacher, he narrated his side of the story in details.
His teacher thought for a while and advised him, ‘Look my son. I understand, it is really traumatic for any boy when a teacher betrays him or he is betrayed by his own friends. I cannot change what has happened to you. Only I can say you, concentrate on your study and become a powerful man. Once you will be powerful, none will dare to touch you.’
From that day, Manish slowly got back to his wits and could pass the final examination with flying colours.
In a couple of years later, he was able to crack the Civil Service Examination conducted by UPSC.
A year back, all those friends came to meet him in his office with folded hands to forgive them. He did not promise anything to them, because he probably cannot forgive them.
He also learnt that his mathematics teacher lost his regular job from the school where he was working while trying to repeat the same thing to another student in the school. This time the student reported the matter to the school authority. Manish lamented, why he could not do that when he was victimized few years ago!
Manish has developed a self-doubt over the years. Is he a proper male or not. Why males were after them, why those males forced him to play the role of a female in bed? Is he lacking something what an ordinary male should have?
During his college days and afterwards also, many girls wanted to have intimacy with him; but because of his self-doubt he never dared to encourage those girls.
When his parent pressurized him for his marriage, he tried to avoid. But finally he succumbed to the pressure and agreed to meet Sunita.
After talking with Sunita, his inner feeling said him, she would be a good friend of him and would understand him and his mental agony. But his self-doubt remained there; whether he would play the role of husband properly? Or will he satisfy his wife as an able male?
He wanted to discuss all these things before his marriage. But over enthusiastic parents did not allow Manish to meet Sunita before their marriage. Therefore, he decided to share his trauma of those dark nights with Sunita on the very first night.
Sunita listened to Manish without uttering a single word till he finished his traumatic story.
When he finished his traumatic experiences, she said, ‘You did a grave mistake by hiding the incident from your family. You should have discussed the matter with your parent when you were victimized for the first time. Family is the best support system for a person. Again you did a mistake by sharing your bad experience with a non-trustworthy friend. However, finally you did the best thing by sharing your darkest nights with me. I am not only your wife, but alsoI am going to be your best friend. As a friend, I promise you, I shall never let you down in your life. I am also sure, as a male you will be able to satisfy me. I am confident that you will be the best husband a wife would always aspire for. I fell in love with you on the very first day and will love you till my last day. Now forget about the past and start your and my life with a new beginning from tonight.’
Finishing her statement of wisdom, she embraced her husband, which was reciprocated by her husband with full intensity.
Chapter II: Fatal Attraction
(The story is based on some wild thoughts. We are always worried thinking about loss of someone near and dear, physically or emotionally. On the other hand, when we leave someone with or without valid reasons, we never try to gauge his/ her emotional sufferings.
Normally, we do not think twice to go for a better pasture. We never look back the earlier fields which fed us till yesterday. In case of development of new relations also, we cannot visualize the extent of the mental trauma of the other one whose importance has been reduced at the expense of a new relation However, whenever we develop some new relations, some old relations are bound to suffer. We cannot visualize the extent of the mental trauma of the other one whose importance has been reduced at the expense of the new relation.
In this story, there was a phase when Deepankar was forced to see Gayatri, whom he saw as his own sister till few hours ago, as his wife.
Afterwards, Deepankar has to face a whole lot of problems when his best friend died in a road accident leaving three month pregnant wife, Gayatri.)
Deepankar and Manoj are friends from their school days. They belonged to middle class families of New Delhi. Both of them were single child of their parents and due to their friendships, their parents also became close to each other so much that they seldom differentiate them in terms of love towards them. Many of their friends thought they were twin brothers. Those who are close to their families used to say, they are brothers born from different wombs.
After their schooling, they went to the same college for their engineering courses and luckily for them, both of them were selected by the same company. To everyone’s surprise, they were also able to join in the same place, office at Noida, about thirty KM from their residences. So, both of them are travelling to their office by a single car, one day Deepankar drives and on the other day, Manoj drives. They never bother who drives whose car.
However, there was a major difference between them, Deepankar is an extrovert, having N number of friends and on the other hand, Manoj was an introvert, having no friend except Deepankar. All the friends of Deepankar used to treat Manoj as their brother, but never treated him as their friend.
Most of their choices are also similar. However, luckily for them a girl, Jyoti stole the heart of Deepankar and Manoj was not moved by Jyoti’s charm. Rather, Manoj was playing the role of a brother of Deepankar. After one year’s courtship, Deepankar married Jyoti where Manoj had organized everything, from food to honeymoon tickets.
Exactly one month after that, Manoj married Gayatri, daughter of his father’s friend. Both Deepankar and Jyoti played the role of perfect host in his marriage. Unfortunately, Manoj and Gayatri could not go for the honeymoon due to last minute stomach upset of Manoj.
Deepankar and Jyoti tried to console the new couple for their hard luck. Jyoti told Gayatri, ‘I understand you must be very disappointed for cancellation of the honeymoon trip. For you and Manoj, going for a week or so was necessary to know each other (indicating that they had not met each other before marriage, a typical North Indian arranged marriage where parents decide whom to marry). But never mind both of you can go after one or two weeks.’
But that did not happen to Manoj and Gayatri even after three months of their marriage. In the meantime, Gayatri became pregnant. So going for a honeymoon has permanently cancelled. However, Gayatri was not unhappy about that. She was happy to attain ‘to be mother’ status.
Openly Deepankar loves Jyoti and treats her equal in all terms of their married life. Contrary to that, Manoj became a typical husband who treats his wife as less equal life partner, a life partner through a contract, not through heart. That did not go un-noticed to Jyoti and Deepankar. Jyoti felt sorry for Gayatri and always thanked God for being Deepankar and Manoj completely different towards maintaining relations, though they were the best friends.
During a short span of time, Deepankar became close to Gayatri as Gayatri filled the void of a sister in Deepankar’s life. Gayatri also took Deepankar as her elder brother. Though Deepankar behaves Gayatri as his own sister, Manoj never behaves Jyoti as his sister; rather he is indifferent towards her.
From her childhood, Jyoti saw her father behaves all the wives of his friends as his sisters only and the other uncles also behave her mother as their sister only. But Manoj behaves completely differently with her, as an indifferent person. That sometimes hurts her. However, she noticed that he treats the parents of Deepankar as his own parents. She found that strange. One day, Jyoti asked Deepankar about this particular behaviour of Manoj. Deepankar told, ‘For him, there are only few important persons in this world which include our parents and me along with his own parents. So far I am concerned, you must have already understood, I am an open minded person. In that sense we are diametrically opposite in character and behaviour. But still we are the best friends. In due course, you may also be part of his core group!’
The car was in high speed as the one way road was free in the early morning. A small distraction was made for the driver due to a huge laughter on a Manoj’s joke. In a fraction of second, the car hit the divider and Deepankar who was on the wheel, lost the control and then car span to the other side of the road. Before the car halted it hit another car coming from the opposite direction. The motionless bodies of all three were trapped inside.
Then Deepankar got his sense. A tall man pulled Deepankar from the vehicle and told, ‘Your wife and your friend have already expired. But within few minutes, situation will be changed. You have to die and your friend will be made alive!’
At first Deepankar became very sad to know that both his wife and his closest friend were dead. But next moment he became surprised, why the tall man was saying that in the next few minutes his friend would be alive and he had to die. The tall man understood his state of mind and therefore he told, ‘First of all, let me clarify that I am not a man, what you might have been thinking. I am a devil or angel whatever you want to say! I am entrusted by the Almighty to clean up the mess some of you have created through your acts. In your case, you have created a mess by over speeding your car, your friend created a mess by not loving his wife and neglecting his wife, his parents created problems by bringing his wife, Gayatri as daughter in law without taking his prior consent. For your fault, you are going to lose your wife whom you love very much, your friend has nothing to lose because he hates you for abandoning him after marrying your wife and his own parents for not consulting properly before his marriage and he does not love his wife. He has no love for his unborn baby also, as his wife conceived his baby because of an accident committed by your friend. Now I am going to fix the problem in this way.’ The tall fellow paused for a moment.
‘Now I put your life into your friend’s body. So both, you and your wife will die in the accident, officially, socially and legally. You will look after your friend’s parent officially, socially and legally. You will be able to look after your parent emotionally and at any point whenever they will need help from a son. Gayatri, your friend’s wife will get a caring husband in you and the unborn will get a caring father in you. Everything will be fine for you so long you will do all the assigned duties faithfully. Otherwise, everything will be finished for you, your family and your friend’s family. Remember one thing, so long you are doing duties as assigned to you, you will be able to remember everything of your life. If you deviate from your assigned duties, you will forget everything and you will be a mad man for another fifty years, till your natural death. In any case, otherwise, since you are responsible for the accident, you have to go to jail, lose your job, hatred from Manoj family, hatred from his wife and enimity from the unborn child and above all, a lonely life without your wife Jyoti. So how do like my solution?’
Before Deepankar open his mouth, the tall fellow vanished and he found himself in Manoj’s attire (initially he thought). A few seconds’ later police arrived and all three were taken to hospital. All three were apparently dead.
Deepankar saw his parent came to the hospital and cried loudly by embracing a dead body lying near to him. When he saw the dead body from the corner of his eyes he was shocked; it was his dead body. Now he realized, the tall man was not an illusion, he put his life into Manoj’s dead body and now Deepankar’s body is lifeless.
So official medical bulletin of New Delhi trauma centre was notified as under:
‘One Deepankar and his wife, Jyoti were brought dead after a car accident on NOIDA expressway. The third occupant, Manoj is fighting for his life.’
On the basis of eye witnesses, police registered a case of rash driving against Deepankar who was on the wheel.
After five days, Manoj, afterwards I shall refer him as Deepankar, as from inside he was Deepankar, not Manoj, was released from the hospital and his recovery was very fast and within ten days he became a fully fit man. During these days, despite of early pregnancy illness, Gayatri gave him the best of the services as a wife can give to her ailing husband.
By heart Deepankar is an extremely good human being, a good husband and a person who values relation. All along he looks Gayatri as his own sister, now how he would adjust his own mind to look the young lady as his wife. For Gayatri, Deepankar (soul) was her husband Manoj (body).
Now she has noticed one thing, after the accident, her husband became more emphatic to her and their unborn child. Though she was extremely unhappy to lose a brother in Deepankar and sister in Jyoti, she thanked God for sparing her husband unscathed. Now his change of attitude made her happier.
So in Gayatri’s perspective, their married life was turning towards a better innings and in Deepankar’s perspective it was heading for total confusion which might be turning to be a mess where only soul of Deepankar had to be grinded.
After release from hospital, when Deepankar reached home, Gayatri helped him to go to their bed room by putting her arms around Deepankar’s neck. While doing so, she did not have any reservation in touching her bosom against his body (her husband’s body). On the other hand, it was a few agonizing moments for Deepankar.
After reaching the bed room, she laid Deepankar to the bed when her whole bosom was placed on his face. Fragrance of her body engulfed his body and mind. For a moment he enjoyed the fragrance; but on the very next moment he was overwhelmed by a guilty feeling. After all she was the wife of his best friend whom he has been looking as his own sister!
However, when she was helping him taking dinner he did not have any such problem. But once dinner was over and they were ready to go to bed, Deepankar started shivering and sweating. When Gayatri saw him shivering and sweating, she became worried. She called her in laws.
When they came, Deepankar got an idea and told his mother, ‘Mom, I want to sleep with you! Gayatri needs a good sleep for her own health and for the sake of our child.’
‘No, I cannot agree to your proposal. Gayatri needs your company for her own sake and for the child. She will have the best sleep with you only. When you were in my womb, I needed your dad’s company only; even I did not want to be with my own mother. So far sweating and shivering is concerned, you may need some more time to overcome the trauma of the accident. Here also, only Gayatri can give back your mental peace.’
Gayatri thanked her mother in law silently but told, ‘No mom, if he wants to sleep with you, it is ok.’
‘I know what is ok and what is not ok for you. Manoj, whatever I said is final.’ Turning to her husband, ‘Why you are still standing here? Let’s go and let them take rest.’
Both left the room without giving any chance to open Deepankar’s mouth. Deepankar took the name of God to save him from further embarrassment in his own eyes.
But God was not with him for last few days.
Gayatri pressed her bosom on his face and told, ‘Let me massage your head, so that you can sleep quickly!’
Deepankar was in a frozen state of mind to encourage or to discourage her from doing anything. How long he was in that state he could not remember as his tiredness got better of him and he fell to a fast sleep. When in the morning he awoke, it was already half past seven and he saw no body was in the room. He felt little bit relaxed. But his relaxation did not last long as Gayatri entered into the room after taking her bath. On seeing he had already awoke, she said, ‘I am bringing tea for you. Last night, you embraced me so tightly; my body is still in pain!’ Her smile did not indicate that she was unhappy for giving her pain by embracing tightly by her husband. Her statement embarrassed Deepankar further.
On seeing him embarrassed she said smiling, ‘Do not worry; you had not hurt me so much. Actually, I liked that (strong embrace); you never embraced me so tightly earlier!’ A tone of satisfaction in her voice was obvious. She left the room for bringing tea for him.
Deepankar thought for a moment, should he tell Gayatri that he is Deepankar living inside the body of Manoj. Next moment he thought, would she believe it. ‘She will be worried and she will consult one or more psychiatrists thinking that I am still under heavy shock after the accident. She has already been suffering from ailment related to early part of pregnancy. Nausea and vomiting has already taken a toll on her body and mind’ he thought. He decided not to tell anything for the time being.
Gayatri came back with a cup of tea and biscuits in a tray. She sat beside him and asked, ‘Should I help you to sit?’ Without waiting for his reply she tried to help him by putting his hands on his shoulders. Her wet hair hit his face to his discomfort. In such a situation with Jyoti, he would have done something special to make ‘very good morning’ for the whole day. He was feeling an ache in his heart.
Gayatri was no mood to leave a single opportunity to enjoy his company. She intentionally fell on him once she put him on his sitting position securing his back on the rest (at the edge) of the bed. She was waiting in that position for some time expecting something reciprocal from her husband. Deepankar heaved a sigh. Gayatri got up from that position and looked at her husband. His sad look saddened her, ‘I understand your sorrow! Please try to forget the trauma! Think about our child! I want to make you happy all the time to come.’ She kissed his forehead and lifted the cup of tea from the tray and gave to her husband.
While taking tea Deepankar looked at Gayatri; Gaytri’s eyes were fixed on the face of her husband. Deepankar understood how much Gayatri used to love her husband. He also loved Jyoti more than himself. Since he had already lost Jyoti, he had no more desire to live. But that lanky fellow told categorically that he would die only after fifty years; so Deepankar has to live as Manoj happily with Gayatri and the parents of Manoj or leaving Gayatri in lurch. But in that case he has to live like a lunatic, because none will believe his story of ‘living one Deepankar in one Manoj’s body.’
Practically, Deepankar has no choice but to live as Manoj for the next fifty long years. As soon as he can adjust with the life of Manoj, his problem will be eased out. For adjusting Manoj’s life, the first thing he has to do is to kick out ‘the Deepankar’ who treats Gayatri as his own sister and then he has to treat Gayatri as his wife. It appears to be an easy task for a person who is not living on a high moral ground, but for a person like Deepankar who always values personal relation; it is really a very hard task. He consoled himself, time is the best healer.
On one pretext or the other, Deepankar avoided any intimate physical relation with Gayatri. Gayatri also thought that her husband was not fully physically and mentally fit for such an intimacy.
On the tenth day after his release from hospital, Anuja, Gayatri’s doctor cousin visited Gayatri’s place to know well being of Gayatri. Anuja became happy to observe that Gayatri was flushing with newly developed confidence. As both of them were of same age, she asked Gayatri a very personal question. Gayatri’s answer perplexed Anuja.
Gayatri told ‘What you have asked, so far nothing happens like that. Frankly speaking after his accident, we have not made any intimate physical relation so far. But after the accident he appears to be more concern about me and our baby.’
‘That is alright; but you have to take initiative for physical intimacy immediately. Otherwise he will not be able to come out of his trauma quickly. In the long run it may affect his psyche so much that he will not be able come out of trauma permanently.’ Anuja cautioned her.
Gayatri seemed to be worried now.
On that night, after dinner Gayatri asked her husband to help her to remove her night gown which was caught in her hair. Deepankar understood, it was not the night gown that disturbs her, but her desire disturbs her. Somehow almost closing his eyes, he cleared the mess deliberately created by Gayatri. As Gayatri did not move away from her husband, Deepankar moved away from Gayatri. But today Gayatri was in no mood to relent. She almost pounced upon her husband and literally dragged him to the bed and placed herself on her husband. Putting her head on his chest she said, ‘Why do you want to avoid me?’
‘No, I am not avoiding you. But you are through a phase where our intimacy should be limited.’ Deepankar tried to defend his position.
‘Today Anuja told me that we should start our physical intimacy once again. Otherwise, I may lose confidence in myself! Am I not looking awesome now a days?’
‘No, no, still you are looking gorgeous. But we should not go for that at the early part of pregnancy. That may invite complications.’ Deepankar wanted to avoid any physical intimacy at any cost.
But she was not going to budge to his arguments and started unbuttoning his shirt and asked, ‘Do you not love me? If you love me, you have to agree to my proposal today and you have to do what I want to do.’
Deepankar was lying like a dead wood. Gayatri’s hands were moving on his body like by a hungry lion searching for a deer. Finally the animal instinct took over the mind of Deepankar also. He embraced Gayatri for the first time as his own wife. Deepankar closed his eyes and imagined Jyoti was lying on his chest. He embraced her tightly and murmured, ‘Jyoti, Jyoti, my darling!
‘Hey baby what happened?’ Jyoti shook Deepankar.
Deepankar suddenly realized he actually saw a terrific nightmare. Instead of answering her question, he embraced Jyoti tightly. Jyoti thought Deepankar wanted an early Sunday lovemaking session, so she tried to free herself from his grip and said, ‘Hey baby, not now! Have you forgotten, we have to go to Agra to attend the ring ceremony of Manoj’s cousin?’
Instead of releasing, Deepankar tightened his grip and said, ‘No, we are not going to Agra today! I do not want to lose you!’ Jyoti realized, Deepankar was not interested to have a love session; but he was worried about her safety. Why?
‘Hey baby, what happened? Are you alright? Probably you saw a very bad dream! Nothing will happen to me, darling, relax.’ But Deepankar was still in a state of shock. Jyoti slowly was able to make herself free from his grip and then pressed her chest on his head and comforted him like a little child.
Deepankar told whole nightmare except one thing that the tall fellow had told him that Manoj hates Jyoti.
‘Nothing will happen to Manoj and me, Baby. But if you do not want to go, we shall not go. I shall give some other excuses to Manoj for not going to the ceremony. I shall tell him that I have a vomiting tendency from the morning. Now you take some rest. I shall prepare tea and take your tea at the bed itself.’ Jyoti told.
As she was ready to get up from the bed, Deepankar caught her hand and pulled her to him and again embraced her tightly and did not allow her to go. This time she did not resist as she understood that Deepankar was yet come out of his shock.
As she was comforting him by patting him on his back, she heard her father in law was banging on their door. That was unusual. Both of them stood from their positions and Jyoti opened the door. Jyoti saw his father in law was trembling at the door. He could not utter a single word for some time and then broke the most horrible news; Manoj died in a road accident while coming from Agra after meeting his cousin whose engagement ceremony was to take place on the next day.
All of them immediately went to Manoj’s home. Jyoti was trying to console un-consolable Gayatri. Manoj’s mother was crying at the top of her voice, but Monoj’s father was completely silent.
In the afternoon only, Deepankar was able to collect the dead body from the hospital after post mortem.
Gayatri insisted that she would lit the pyre of her husband. All the family members tried to convince her that a pregnant lady should not go to the cremation ground. But Gayatri was adamant. Finally, Monoj’s father reluctantly agreed to her and all the family members accompanied her to the cremation ground. Jyoti was all along with Gayatri.
Before, lit the pyre, Gayatri whispered to the dead body, ‘Dear, I am not going to leave you so easily. I am also coming after doing some of my duties.’
Jyoti heard what Gayatri was saying; but she did not comment anything.
While coming from cremation ground, Gayatri composed herself completely and told Jyoti, ‘Deepankarda and you have to take lot of responsibilities of our family in future. Do not worry; I shall take care of myself. But you may have to take responsibility of our child and our parents.’
On that night Jyoti told Deepankar what Gayatri had told to her; but Deepankar did not give any specific importance to what Gayatri had said.
For next few days they were busy in arranging the functions full of rituals. Jyoti had observed, Gayatri was extra ordinarily calm and took special care for her own health. Jyoti saw it unusual. However, this time she did not discuss the matter with Deepankar.
After six days of tragic death of Manoj, Deepankar received a letter without having sender’s address on the envelope. The address was typed neatly. On a close observation Deepankar could identify the name of the post office from where the letter was posted. It was from the location of his office. He opened the envelope and pull a handwritten letter. It was not difficult for Deepankar to identify the handwriting of the letter; it was written by Manoj. He started to read the letter.
My dearest and only friend Deepu,
When you will receive my letter, I shall leave this world forever. You know, except my parents, I love you and your parents as my closest friends, philosopher and guide. But a year back, everything had changed for me after the arrival of Jyoti in your life. Your life started revolving around Jyoti. After your marriage to Jyoti, even uncle and Aunty started giving importance to her more than me. Even my entry to your room had been restricted. As a rational person, I understood all these are natural. But heart never understands those small things.
You know that, I have only one friend that is you. Contrary to that you have hundreds of friends, though I was pretty sure that I am your closest and dearest friend. I never had a feeling of insecurity from those friends. My position in your heart was never threatened. When you first told about Jyoti, I thought she would also be like any other friends of you. But within a short time I realized Jyoti was not an ordinary friend of yours; she was special for you. She actually relegated me to the second important person in your life, which initially I could not tolerate. However, as a rational person, I compromised with the situation. Four months back, she came to your life as your wife and from then everything has changed. You like to stay with her all the time; practically you have no time for me. I cannot even enter into your room without knocking.
I also needed some moral support from someone like Jyoti for you. Therefore, I consented for my marriage with Gayatri whom I met for the first time when she was hardly ten years of age. After that only once or twice I met her. Last time I met her at least five years ago. However, she came out to be an extremely nice wife for me. She treats you like her own brother and I know that you also like her as your own sister. Therefore, she is open to you. Again I lost a game of love to you. How?
Even though, I have known Jyoti for last one year, we are not free in our conversation. No, do not worry; I have no bad feeling about her. She also treats me as her brother, but I could not take her as my little sister; I always treat her as my rival. In the meantime she also became close to my wife Gayatri. In the process, I am losing another battle of love.
Now I realized, the world is very big with full of relations and I am not fit for this world. I have always been myopic. So I decided to leave this world forever. So forgive me for any of my omission and commissions. I know, even if I do not request you, you will look after my parent, Gayatri and the new born. Therefore, I am leaving the world with a satisfaction that my best friend will take the responsibility of my nuclear family.
If there is a rebirth, I want to have a sister in Jyoti so that if she would be married to you, my best friend, I need not have to knock the door before entering into her room after your marriage. I do not know how Gayatri will take my untimely death; but I know you will take care of her as your own sister.
Hope, next rebirth also you become my best friend.
Now, Deepankar came to know that Manoj has not died in an accident but in a successful suicide attempt.
He passed on the letter to Jyoti. Before reading the letter, Jyoti told, ‘Before reading the letter, I want to tell you something special for us.’ Her face was flushing.
Sensing something, Deepankar snatched away the letter from Jyoti’s hand and asked, ‘What happened darling, you seemed to be very happy?’
‘Yes, I am very happy! I am going to be mother of your child. I am pregnant.’ She said coyly.
Deepankar’s face also brightened and embraced Jyoti. He kissed her on her forehead. When Jyoti wanted to read the letter he did not give the letter and said, ‘It is not an important letter for you. It is just an official communication about sanction of my leave.’ Fortunately, Jyoti did not insist to read the letter.
Deepankar decided to destroy the letter and kept the letter in his brief case.
To everyone’s relief Gayatri took her life with a positive manner. She visited the doctors regularly for check up and took all care for the unborn child. In the meantime, with the help of Deepankar, the entire amount due for the family of Manoj has been transferred to the account jointly maintained by parent of Manoj. There was a hitch, that due amount from his office was to be transferred to Gayatri as per the office procedures. However, Gayatri insisted that the money should be transferred to the account of her in laws. Finally after taking an official request from Gayatri, the office of Manoj transferred the amount to the joint account of the in-laws.
After six months of death of Manoj, Gayatri delivered a healthy baby girl through a caesarean operation. Once she delivered the baby girl, condition of her health deteoriated day by day without any apparent medical problem. As Jyoti who was also in a family way, she could not attend Gayatri, the way she wished to attend.
After two months Jyoti also delivered a baby boy without any complication and therefore, she was released from the hospital just after two days. Though there was movement restrictions, Jyoti met Gayatri in her hospital bed after a week.
Gayatri with a faint smile welcomed Jyoti, ‘Come Jyoti, I am waiting for you only. Now hopefully my wait is over. Today, I want to hand over my child to you. I do not want to live any further. I want to join Manoj as soon as possible. If possible, love my daughter as your own daughter. I have no regret to leave this world. My only repent; I could not make Manoj understand that I cannot live without him.’
With these few words she closed her eyes. To everyone’s shock, she closed her eyes forever.
The baby girl started crying, probably she was thirsty. Jyoti picked up the baby girl in her arms and put her nipple in her mouth. She started sucking milk from her new mother!
Deepankar reached the hospital in no time.
On the next day, Deepankar read the letter which was written by Manoj before his death, once again and then he destroyed it by burning so that nobody will be able to know that Manoj killed himself by slamming his car at a high speed in a divider, as he saw in his dream.
Gayatri also followed him by starving herself to death. Probably, Gayatri also knew that Manoj had committed suicide!!!!!!
(Three writers were coming from the same college and same class. One among them was extremely intelligent having good command in English and in his mother tongue. His writings are not easily understandable for general readers.
The second one is neither extremely intelligent as the first one nor is having extreme command in any language as the first one has, though he is extremely meticulous in his writings.
The third one was ordinary writer and always grounded to his roots. His writings are liked by ordinary readers on the streets.
How they fared in their amateur career of writing? Please read the story of three writers.
It is a fictitious story. Any resemblance with the main characters with any living or dead person may be a mere coincidence only. )
Bikram Sharma, Animesh Saikia and Rupak Choudhury were classmates in Cotton College few decades ago. All are in their seventies now. All are still maintaing reasonably good health. All of them are amateur writers and were professional teachers. All are retired now from different institutions.
Bikram was a professor in the premier engineering college of Assam, Assam Engineering College. Animesh was a professor of Guwahati University. Rupak was a teacher in Government High School which is situated within the proximity of the University and the engineering college.
Both Bikram and Animesh were brilliant students whereas Rupak had been an ordinary students. Among them Bikram was the only science student. After his masters in Chemistry he joined the engineering college as lecturer. Subsequently he took Ph.D degree from Delhi University and became a professor of Chemistry. He started writing short stories on different topics after joining the college. His books on short stories are popular among the relatively intelligent readers. Normally, his short stories are not very popular among the common readers.
Animesh after his masters, he completed his Ph.D in record time and became one of the youngest professor of Guwahati University at an extremely early age of thirty four. He started his writing at a very early age. There was a rumor that one of his article was not published by a local English periodical thinking that a student of class ten cannot write such a high standard article. However, the article was published when the board examination was declared where Animesh stood first among the successful candidates of the entire state. He used to write both in English and Assamese, his mother tongue. But standard of his writing is so high that those books were never read by any ordinary reader.
On the other hand, Rupak was an ordinary student and he also started writing career once he joined his teacher’s job. His writings have no depth and he uses common words which are easily understandable to all. In due course of time, he became a popular writer.
Despite of their wide differences in intellectual levels and differences in writing skills, all of them were good friends in their college days. Their bonding of friendship was a great puzzle for their classmates. Surprisingly, their friendship continued even after their college days.
However, due to their busy schedules of their own personal and professional activities, they seldom meet each other. Even their meetings were limited to the presence of two (out of three) persons at a time. Therefore, when all three met after few decades at the side line of the marriage of the son of a common friend, all were elated. The common friend arranged a special room for their private conversation away from the public eyes. The friend gave special responsibility to his younger son (not the groom) to look after the special guests properly.
Both Bikram and Animesh use to take one or two pegs of whiskey after dusk. On the other hand, Rupak was a teetotaler. However, he never minds to sit whole night with his friends in a party where drinks are served like water.
Therefore, whiskey was served to Animesh and Bikram and green tea was served to Rupak.
After initial conversation about their family matters, they started talking about their writings.
Writing is a hobby for Bikram. He used to write when he is free. He enjoys his writing when his family is away and nobody is nearby to disturb him. He writes a story, then he edits, then he re-edits. He usually edits more than ten times before it is published. He always maintains a good quality in each of his writings.
A moderately intelligent group of readers read his stories. Some of them write reviews for those stories. Those reviews are also published in different newspapers of the State. Any book he published, about two thousand copies are sold within few months. Most of his books have more than two editions.
In the last fifty years, he was given some prestigious awards in recognition of his literary talent.
By any standard, he is a successful writer of Assam.
Animesh is an extremely focused writer. His books follow some ethics and morals. His readers are top intellectuals of Assam. Everyone feels happy to boast that his latest book has been read. From top bureaucrats to the professors of the universities use to purchase his books, keep it in their cupboards to flaunt their intelligence. It is a matter of question, whether those books are ever read or not. Top libraries are keeping his books for their intellectual visitors. Ordinary readers look at his book and seldom dare to open his books even in private.
Therefore, publishing and selling of Animesh’s book are never been a problem for any publisher of Assam. Any publisher feels happy to be associated with any of his books. However, as a matter of fact, in the last fifty years he has written only about ten books. So on the average, he takes about five years to write a book and publishers are queuing up to grab an opportunity to be associated with his books.
He is invited by the top intellectuals to deliver lectures in different institutes and his books became referral books of many University across the globe.
He becomes a high-end intellectual writer over the years.
Rupak is writing a book only for fun. He writes stories and novels from heart using his small-small experiences during his visit to villages and town. He talks to the people to know their small problems, their solutions and their un-adulterated happiness in small issues. Everyone can identify himself/ herself with the main character of the book while reading his book. That is why all his books are sold like hot cakes and read by common people. His books have mass appeal over the years. In due course of time, he became one of the most popular writer of Assam. Whenever, he visits a village or a small town, people used to mob him. He always enjoys those moments. One particular statement of a middle aged person, he will never forget, ‘Sir, I used to read all of your books as a young man. Now my son is also reading your books as passionately as I used to read few decades ago!’
But with all the public responses, he has a genuine reason to be unhappy in his life. Till today he has not been considered for any literary award by any literary institute as his writings are always considered as substandard for the jury members over the years.
All of them were frustrated due to different reasons after a successful career of writing at different levels with different styles.
Bikram is unhappy that he could not write anything for the common people. His awards were recognition of his writings, but according to him, real recognition comes from the readers only. After all, readers are the best judge for a writer or for a poet.
Animesh wanted to change the society through his sophisticated writing ability. But that had never happened. Majority members of the society do not read his book and those who read, majority of them do not understand those inner appeals of his writing, those understood properly, majority of them never bothered to do anything for the change and the miniscule, who read, understand and bother to change the society, they are ignored by the majority of the people.
Rupak is frustrated because, despite of his popularity among the masses, he was never been awarded by any organization till today. Most of the award giving organization thought his writings are substandard. He sometimes develops an inferiority complex in the literary world.
After ventilating their frustration as writers, all kept mum for few minutes. Silence ruled the room for some time.
Finally, Rupak broke the silence, ‘Cheer up buddies, do not get frustrated. Whatever we have done so far, for so many years, those are to the best of our abilities. Let us enjoy our today’s get together and whatever success we have achieved so far as writers.’
He paused for a second and then said, ‘Ok, let me try a peg of whiskey for the first time in my life. After all, this is the fag end of my life!’
All laughed heartily together after many years.
All three raised their glasses and shouted in unison, ‘Cheers’.
(It is a small story which came to my mind while I was walking through a shop in Khan Market. I saw a peculiar portrait of a girl who was not good looking but the portrait was extremely attractive.)
Few years back, I was extremely disturbed due to some personal problems. I lost my intention to live any more. I wanted to die as soon as possible. But I did not want to commit suicide either.
During that time, my wife of thirty years left me accusing me of committing adultery. Though till that time I did not indulge into any adultery, I would not have mind for that, had she not gone with my two sons.
My tragedy enhanced as my two sons also supported her. I love my sons more than my own life. I cannot live without them. So, I decided to die; but without committing suicide. In the meantime, I made a will where I gave all my property to my sons. Thus, I was free from all earthly things.
Then I started thinking how I could die without committing suicide.
Then I recalled; once, one of my South Indian friends told me that in a small town in their state, there is an old portrait of a young queen of thirteenth century. As per the local people she was loved by the king more than anyone. But she died in a freak accident when a balcony erected to welcome the King after his victory over a neighbouring king fell on her. After her death, the king was sitting in front of her portrait continuously for ten days without food and water. On the eleventh day he also expired.
There is a strong belief that if any person looks at least one minute a day for consecutive ten days, either the person will die naturally or commit suicide on the 11th day. However, the incident of the last person who reportedly died due to looking at the portrait took place in 1950. After that district authority has taken special care so that none can see the portrait for at least one minute a day for consecutive ten days. To have an airtight control, viewing of the portrait has been restricted by issuing ticket against identity cards. Now practically for every identity card only once in a month ticket is issued.
After a frantic search, I was able to find the phone number of my South Indian friend. When I telephoned him he was elated, but when he came to know the reason for telephoning him he was little bit apprehensive. Nevertheless, he gave me the exact location of the town and told me how to go there. Finally, he asked, ‘Sir, why you want to go there?’
‘Either to disprove your myth or to kill myself, I am going there.’
‘What? Please do not go there sir with that intention. I shall never be able to forgive myself if something happens to you!’ He pleaded.
‘Do not worry. I shall not blame you for anything; it is my choice.’ After saying that, I snapped the connection.
I told my tour agent to arrange my visit to that small town. At first he thought he could not hear me properly as it was a very small town and I have no business in that place. When I repeated the same name and location of the town he asked, ‘Sir, though I am not supposed to ask any question on your proposed visit, I must tell you that there is no good facility to stay in that town. Nearest town/ city having a five-star hotel is about seventy KM from that dusty town. Even getting a car of your class for rent will be difficult in that town!’
‘No problem! Book a suit in that five-star hotel and tell them to arrange a Mercedes for twenty days.’
The tour operator did not ask any more questions.
A car to pick me up was sent by the hotel to the airport on time. When I reached the hotel it was already dark. As expected two police officers from the town were waiting for me as instructed from their HQs. Officially, I was going to the place to establish an industry which would be accommodating at least 1000 employees.
After taking a bath when I came out, I was welcomed by the senior most officer of the district along with few other officers. Welcoming me he said, ‘We are trying to arrange everything for your comfort sir. Hope you won’t find any difficulty!’
‘Do not worry for my comfort. I want to visit some locations for my factory and residential accommodations for my employees. Your Chief Minister has already told me that I can choose my place and he will take care of acquisition of land etc.’ I told the officer.
‘Yes sir. I have already been instructed like that.’ He told.
‘I have a request for you!’ I told him humbly.
‘You can give me an order, sir!’ He tried to be over polite.
‘When I visit the villages and small towns, none from administration and police should accompany me!’ I demanded.
‘But sir—’ He hesitated.
I called him to my room for a personal talk on the issue. After two minutes’ talk he gleefully agreed to my demand. However, he gave me his personal phone numbers for any emergency.
In the early morning on the next day, I went to the town with my driver as a lone companion. He was also given few emergency numbers for any eventuality.
After roaming around the town for two to three hours aimlessly, I went to the place where I intended to go. It was a well-protected place. There were three guards, two of them were with guns. When I wanted go inside they wanted my identity card etc. Instead of showing my Identity card, I telephoned to the SP of the district. Immediately instruction came to the guards to allow me to go inside without any I card/ document.
From third day onwards, in the small town everybody came to know that I was on a mission to establish a factory. To make them believe my intention, I spent thousands of rupees on the streets to show my opulence. I also donated Rs.one lakh to the local municipality to develop a road leading to the place where the portrait was kept.
Up to the ninth day there was no problem in entering into the building where the portrait was kept. But on the tenth day, the guard inside the last barrier objected to my entry. I invited him to my car, parked outside the building. With initial hesitation he came out with me to the car.
‘You have two alternatives. First you do not allow me to go inside the room to see the portrait. In that case, you may be removed from your service on a flimsy ground of misbehaving with me. The second alternative is this, take this bundle of thousand Rupee notes and take this cheque. If I die tomorrow or day after, you encash it, it is a post-dated cheque of one crore. If I do not die, I shall take it back from you after four days. Now you decide your fate. Oh, I forget to tell you, while taking back my cheque, I shall give another One Lakh as gratification money to you.’
He thought for a moment; then he took my money and cheque and told me to come with him.
I stayed with the portrait for half an hour and left the place tapping the shoulder of the guard.
For the next three days, I stayed back in the hotel and thrown three lavish party for the high end officers. In those parties, I met few gorgeous ladies who gave me sufficient reasons to live for another decade by erasing the intention of mine to die early. I indulged myself for the first time in those activities with the ladies for which my wife had accused me long back without any reason.
On the fourth day, accompanied by few body guards (for the first time during my stay in that town) and a beautiful young lady, I went to meet the guard to collect my cheque and to give Rs.one lakh to him as I promised. As soon as I got out from my car, the two guards saluted me and one of them said, ‘Good to see you again, sir. But there is a bad news for you, the inner guard whom you talked in your car, committed suicide yesterday. Probably he saw the portrait for more than ten days at a stretch.’
After getting the shocking news of death of a young man, I left the town immediately. When I reached my hotel, the receptionist gave me an envelope where I found my post-dated cheque and a small letter.
‘When I come to know that even after three days you are alive, I felt like losing a lottery of one crore. Further, if both of us survive after seeing the portrait more than ten days continuously, legacy of the portrait will end. I do not want that; so good bye forever.’ The letter contained that much only.
‘Who gave this?’ I asked the receptionist.
‘An old man; he is waiting for you outside the hotel.’ The receptionist told.
I went out of the hotel to meet the old man. The fragile man told me, ‘My son gave me the envelope to give you and he told me to meet you personally.’
‘Where is your son?’ I asked him as if I did not know about his demise.
‘He was in a hurry. He went to join to his duties yesterday itself.’ The old man replied.
He was not aware that his son had already committed suicide. I told the old fellow to wait for some time and went back to my room.
I handed over Rs. two lakh to the old man as a token of gratitude to the deceased guard who opted to die in lieu of me………………perhaps.
(It is a small tragic story of a Prostitute and a young doctor. The protagonist, a successful surgeon fail to reach in time for their first marriage anniversary due to an emergency operation to save a young Prostitute who was stabbed by a customer over a dispute of payment. Then what happened? This is an imaginary story and far from reality. Any resemblance of any character is pure coincidence only.)
Anuradha Choudhury, wife of a young surgeon, Dr. Devendra Choudhury became very tense as guests started coming for their first anniversary party. Her parent and her cousins along with their spouses had also arrived. Devendra’s own cousin Bikram along with his petite wife also reached the venue. But, Devendra was nowhere to be seen.
Then Anuradha’s mobile rang. It was Devendra’s receptionist, ‘Madam, Pooja speaking; Sir will be little late due to an emergency operation.’
‘Is it a VIP operation?’
‘No, madam. It is an emergency operation of a Prostitute, stabbed by a customer for some trivial disputes.’ The receptionist replied.
‘What? For a Prostitute, he is not coming for our first anniversary! Give your phone to Devendra, let me talk to him.’ Anuradha became extremely angry.
‘Sorry madam, he is already inside the operation theatre. As soon as he will be out of the OT, I shall connect to you.’ The receptionist snapped the phone.
From the face of Anuradha, her father guessed something went wrong. When she told about the reason for his delay in coming, Bikram commented, ‘Devendra is yet to know, how to prioritise his works; otherwise one day he will be known as the most unsocial person in the elite group of the society in the city.’
Bikram’s comment hit Anuradha’s heart like an arrow dipped in deadly poison.
When finally Devendra reached the venue of his anniversary party, almost all the guests had left except Devendra’s in laws and Bikram’s family. As soon as he entered into the venue, his father in law pounced upon him like a tiger on a hapless deer, ‘You should have respected Anuradha’s sentiment! She is very upset at your behaviour and in my opinion, she is justified for being upset.’
‘I understand, I should have come for the party in time. But saving the life of someone is more important than attending a party. Anuradha is justified from her point of view.’ He was too tired to discuss the matter.
‘It is not a question of upsetting only your wife; but it is also showing disrespect to your invited esteemed guests!’ Bikram commented.
‘But all were present to look after the guests. Only I was absent that too for an emergency operation.’ Devendra tried to pacify his relatives.
‘What an emergency! To save a Prostitute, you have dishonoured the respected guests. These guests will always be with you when you need some help from them. What you will get by saving a useless Prostitute?’ Bikram showed his anger.
‘Who will help me? These respected guests are only for attending parties in jolly times. They will be the first deserters when I need them most. I still remember our childhood days; when we were poor, nobody helped us even for our education; forget about inviting us for any party.’ Devendra retorted.
Devendra’s remark reminded Bikram about something which Bikram would never like to hear in public. Devendra’s remark squeezed away all the energy of Bikram for further argument. He along with his wife left the venue in a huff.
He then looked at his father in law and told, ‘Should I tell something on these party animals?’
His father in law, smelling something unpleasant retort from his son in law preferred to keep mum.
Wife is a different breed of animal from other breeds of animals. Though other relatives made hasty retreats from arguing with Devendra, Anuradha had no mood to retreat from an argument.
‘So you are saving a Prostitute and ignored your wife who was preparing whole month for this event?’ She demanded to know.
‘You are right. I preferred to save a life rather than partying with some guests who are friends when your pockets are full of money!’
‘So you think only that category of people will be helpful to you. By the way, do you know her beforehand?’ She asked him obliquely.
‘No, I do not know the young lady. But I lost my best friend, when the attending doctors thought like you and your esteemed honoured guests.’ He retorted.
‘So you have a Prostitute friend?’
‘Yes, I had. She was also stabbed by a customer and none of the doctors available in the hospital attended her properly. She died of excessive bleeding. Her life could have been saved; had the doctor thought otherwise.’ Devendra replied to her wife.
‘That doctor knew whom to give importance and whom not to. In any case, if a Prostitute dies, society will be relieved of a bad person only.’ She defended the action of the other doctors.
‘Who says they are bad for the society? Without their service, society would have been more volatile. No doubt they are not given due respect by the society what they deserve.’ His argument gave Anuradha more fuel to fight back.
‘So you know many things about Prostitutes. You must have a Girlfriend also from that community. Why did not you marry her instead? ‘Anuradha was furious.
‘None marries a Prostitute. Even those visit them regularly, they also think them less human. That is the tragedy.’ Devendra answered thoughtfully.
After a pause Devendra said, ‘She was two to three years older than I. She always treated me as her younger brother. But I never thought she might be my elder sister till that particular night. On that night everything had changed between us, particularly for me.’ He stopped there.
For the first time Anuradha realized, Devendra had a chapter in his life, which was never discussed with her. She was no more under the influence of anger. She understood, the Prostitute, her husband was mentioning had no physical relation with her husband, but there was some emotional bond between them. What was that?
Before she asked something on the Prostitute, her husband started saying, ‘Have you seen how Bikram made a hasty retreat today when I replied back on his comment?’
Then he told his wife about one of his untold chapter of life.
It was 1995 when he was selected for a medical course in Delhi. Despite of the fact that, he was offered a stipend for his study, he was dire need of Rupees forty thousand for meeting the initial expenditure. Anuradha also knew that, his father was a Clarke in Guwahati Municipality Corporation. With five children in tow, he was able to provide food for their subsistence only. He was not able to bear the expenditure of higher education of his elder brothers and sisters. However, as both his elder brothers and sisters were intelligent enough to secure seats in Government colleges, the burden was lessened for his father up to some extent. When his turn came, as all his brothers and sisters were in college, his father was not in a position to arrange another Rs. Forty Thousand for his studies outside the city. From GPF he took some loan and took some personal loan from other employees working with him. All came together was Rs. Twenty Thousand only; still short of another twenty thousand.
Having no alternative, Devendra was sent to his uncle’s place. His uncle, his father’s elder brother was a senior officer in the State Government. His cousins were also well established by the time. Bikram is one of them.
When Devendra reached their home, it was about five in the evening. His uncle’s family was ready for going for a marriage. On seeing him with an irritated voice his uncle asked him, ‘Why you have come at this hour?’
‘I have been selected for a medical college. Father sent me to meet you. I need some money.’ Devendra told with fear in his voice.
Instead of giving a straight answer, his uncle told him to sit in the drawing room till they come back from the wedding reception of a rich relative. That relative did not prefer to invite Devendra’s father and his family as they were not fit in their class. Without waiting to see his reaction, his uncle’s family left for the wedding reception.
Having no other alternative, Devendra sat at their drawing room without even taking a glass of water, till his uncle came at 10 PM. His uncle asked him, ‘Oh you are still waiting, how much you want?’
‘I need forty thousand, father arranged twenty thousand. So—’ He could not complete his sentence.
‘I cannot spare so much for you. Come tomorrow morning and take Rs.500/ – from your Aunty.’ His uncle declared.
Devendra was about to cry. His uncle even did not bother to tell his driver to drop his nephew at his residence.
Devendra started his way back to his residence which is around three KM away from his uncle’s residence at 10-30 PM all alone. He was thinking to surrender his seat. He was moving like walking in a deep sleep.
‘Hey Debu, from where are you coming at this hour?’ A female voice brought him to the reality.
Devendra saw, Madhuri, a young lady with a dubious character was calling him. She was two to three years older than him and she was from the same locality of Devendra’s. Devendra had talking terms with the young lady, but without any intimacy. On that day Devendra wanted to ventilate his sorrow.
He told his misadventures of asking money from his uncle.
‘How much you want?’ Madhuri asked him.
‘Twenty thousand. I have decided to forgo my seat.’ He said with full of sorrow.
‘How can you do that? Your, elder sister is still alive. Come with me.’ She took his hand and led to her own residence.
She opened her trunk and counted her money. Then she gave him Rupees Twenty Five thousand and said, ‘Do not tell your father that I am giving you the required amount of money. Tell him that your uncle has given the amount for your studies. Do not keep a burden on your mind for this money, I shall take it back when you will be a renowned doctor. For the time being, take this as a gift from your elder sister. I always consider you as my younger brother. Will you treat a Prostitute as your elder sister?’
Tears were coming from Devendra’s eyes. He embraced Madhuri as his own elder sister for the first time.
After joining in the medical college, he sent a letter to Madhuri thanking her for timely help. During next two vacations, he met Madhuri at her residence. But third time when he went to meet her, her neighbour broke the most unexpected news. Madhuri was stabbed by a customer and she died of excessive bleeding as doctors refused to treat her in time free of cost and nobody had come forward to bear the cost of the operation.
After few years when Devendra passed out as a surgeon, all the relatives who once avoided him and his parent started flocking around him on one pretext or the other. In the meantime his other two brothers also joined Government of Assam as officers. Now they are invited to all the parties where they were never invited when they were either students or yet to be established financially.
In one of those parties, a discussion was started on helping of relatives, particularly one brother to another one. Till that day, Devendra’s father was under the impression that his elder brother helped him by giving twenty five thousand rupees when Devendra was selected for medical college.
Therefore he commented, ‘I do not know about others, but I am proud of my elder brother who had given Devendra twenty five thousand Rupees when he was selected for his medical college.’
Though his comment surprised Devendra’s uncle little bit, he did not want to contradict his younger brother’s statement for obvious reason.
Devendra was waiting for this opportune moment for the last ten years. He told his father loudly, ‘Papa, your brother did not give that amount. He told me to come on the next day to take only five hundred Rupees. But on that day, I met Madhuriba (elder sister Madhuri) who gave me the amount. She told me to tell a lie so that your false ego would not be hurt. I am waiting for so many years to tell her greatness before some mean-minded relatives including our uncle. Am I right uncle?’
There was a pin drop silence for next few minutes. Nobody could see each other’s eyes for the next few minutes.
Devendra’s wife also could not see eye to eye with her husband Devendra for next few minutes. She also felt, she and all her guests who came to attend their first marriage anniversary are too small in stature compared to Madhuri, the deceased Prostitute. She imagined all her guests on that day were nothing but some ants who came to suck some sugar which was thrown on the floor of the venue by a great lady, Madhuri. For the first time, she realized Prostitutes might be better human being than the customers who pay very little in lieu of what they are getting from the Prostitutes.
(It is another completely fictitious and bizarre short story. You can say it is tit for tat story. If you find any resemblance with any character living or dead with the protagonist of the story, it is nothing but a coincidence only.)
‘Hi I am Madhurima.’ Extending her hand the petite but not very beautiful girl introduced herself to me.
Shaking her hand, I introduced myself, ‘I am Borah, so called expert on Gender Statistics.’
‘I know you for your super natural ability to communicate with spirits and particularly beautiful ghosts.’
‘Oh, that is not true. It is just a rumour because of writing some ghost stories by me in last few years. In reality, I do not have any such power to communicate with ghosts or spirits.’ I tried to clear my position.
‘That hardly matters whether you can communicate with ghost or not, so far I am concerned. But I have a serious topic to discuss with you after the meeting.’ She said with an intriguing smile.
The meeting which we were attending, was a workshop on atrocities on women in general and in India, in particular. Though I was not working in the Social Statistics Division, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation at that time and left the Ministry two months back, some of the acquaintances were still thinking that I could still contribute something in the fight against gender discrimination. With this backdrop, I was invited to that one day workshop. As it was a Saturday, I did not go to the hassles of taking permission from the Competent Authority to attend the workshop as a panelist.
‘Do you know Madhurima?’ My long-time acquaintance Prabha asked me.
‘No, I am for the first time meeting her. She claims she knows me.’ I replied to Prabha.
‘Beware of her. She is a dangerous lady. She blackmails many honest persons using—’ Prabha did not finish her sentence.
‘Honey trap?’ I asked her specifically.
‘Yeah.’ She quipped.
Then only I was able to have an idea about Madhurima. Probably she was aware of my liking about beautiful ladies. She might have thought I might be an easy prey for her.
After the meeting she congratulated me for my talk and interventions.
‘Can we sit for ten minutes at the lobby?’ Madhurima asked me politely.
After sitting at the lobby, I asked her, ‘Yes, madam, tell me your concern.’
With a smile she said, ‘Actually, I do not have any particular topic to discuss.’
‘Then?’ I showed my surprise artificially.
‘Actually I am very much moved by your books, particularly the books on inspiration. Few months ago, I was suffering from acute depression. One of my friends told me to read your books. Though initially I was reluctant, I had gone through your books and glad to admit, I was able to shake off my depression forever. However, later on I read your books on love and ghosts and like them also equally.’ She tried to buttress me. But why?
‘I am honoured by your words. In reality, I have not come across any fan like you so far.’ I commented.
‘I do not know about others. But I want to confide with you one thing; I fell in love with you.’ She whispered.
‘That is great. But I am an old man, married for more than thirty years having grown up children. It will not be wise for me to have a relation with you.’ I replied with a smile.
‘Everybody has own thinking about love. But it is an open proposal from my side.’ She said with a tantalizing smile.
After that we talked for another half an hour, spiced with love, romance, adultery and sex. She offered everything to me at such a fast rate, I was rather perplexed. Thanks to my over talkative habits, I retorted her on all her opinions. Finally, I excused myself from the discussion with a promise to meet her soon.
As I stood, she hugged me tightly and said, ‘Your body betrays your age. I am looking forward to meet you again at my place or at a place of your choice.”
As a true sex-starved Indian middle-aged male, I promised her to meet an early date. On my way home I was thinking about the young lady. For the first time, I thanked myself for writing something unpalatable and incorrigible books for the masses!
Varun is known to me for last thirty years. He is a nice boy, oh sorry a nice man of 52. He is working in a public sector bank and has a beautiful wife with two college going kids. But his liking for beautiful girls sometimes put him in trouble. But somehow he was managing those problems by himself. But this time he has faced a real problem. Madhurima sent a demand letter of one crore along with a video clip where Varun was in a compromising position with Madhurima. Varun does not have Rs. One Crore to give Madhurima nor has the guts to go to the police to lodge a complaint against Madhurima.
When he approached Madhurima with a request to forgive him and told his inability to pay Rs. One Crore to her, her answer was straight, ‘You pay or be ready to go to jail on rape charge. You are working in the largest nationalized bank, you can steal that amount for me from your bank.’
Varun came to me to help him out from the mess which he had created for himself.
‘You can communicate with ghosts. Please tell a ghost to bring all the CDs featuring me and Madhurima.’ He pleaded.
‘I have told many times in different fora that I do not have such power. But definitely I shall try to help you out.’ I assured him.
When he left, I recollect my meeting with Madhurima. She wanted to trap me also in her net. Now her intention became clear to me. I thought for a while and decided to help Varun to come out of her clutches.
Though, I do not have any power to communicate with ghosts, both Varun and Madhurima were in the impression that I have the power to communicate with ghosts. I wanted to capitalize that myth to help Varun.
After two days, I called Madhurima to tell that I wanted to meet her in the same hotel. Madhurima agreed immediately to meet me at the hotel.
I reached the hotel half an hour before the appointed time. As expected she was present in the hotel even before my arrival.
As soon as she saw me, she hugged me and said, ‘I knew, you cannot ignore me. My feeling for you is too strong to ignore.’
‘Yes dear. You are right. I can easily get the actual feeling about me by an individual. If anyone pretends, I can find out by closing my eyes two minutes in front of that individual. Many know about my ability to communicate with ghosts, but very few know that I can read mind of a person with closing my eyes.’ With a convincing voice, I told her looking at her eyes straight.
I could easily see her nervousness in her eyes, but I did not want that she should leave me immediately. Therefore with an innocent smile I said, ‘But do not worry, I am not doubting your love for me. At least I am not closing my eyes to read about your mind. After all I believe in that Hindi song, even if you love me from your lips only, I shall be happy.’
She became relaxed with my comment on love. ‘However, let me confide one more thing about my extra-ordinary power. Even I can see a person through his /her dress if I wish with my closed eyes. If you permit, I can tell you about you also right now.’ I said with a twinkle in my eyes.
This time probably, she wanted to test my power. She challenged me to tell about her. Closing my eyes I started telling, ‘You have a pair of beautiful breasts. One black spot just below the nipple of your right breast…’
‘Ok ok, you need not have to prove your power. I surrendered.’ She forced me to open my eyes. She was convinced about my power to see beyond the clothes of a person.
‘You are a dangerous man.’ She exclaimed.
‘No I am not. I am a helpful person. My power lies with my helpfulness only. I cannot harm anyone with my power. I can use my power to help others or for my self-defence. Suppose someone tries to harm me, I can even kill him or her in the open, in the midst thousand persons, without even touching. I can kill entire family of a person, if I find him or her as enemy of mankind.’ I stopped there to see her reaction. I could see clearly her worrying face.
‘Are you worried?’
‘No no, why should I worry? I have not done anything wrong with you.’ She stammered.
‘Yes, darling, I know. You love me. You cannot think even, to harm me.’ I assured her.
‘What is your programme tonight? Are you going to give me something special? Any beautiful gift?’ I asked her with a mysterious voice.
I could see drops of sweat on her forehead. I ordered the waiter to give a glass of water to Madhurima and then two cups of strong coffee.
As we were leaving the hotel it was raining. I asked her whether I should drop her at her residence. She only nodded.
As I was driving I asked her, ‘Have you enjoyed the evening with me?’ She again nodded only.
I always enjoy my time with a frightened lady. I put my hand on her bare shoulder and pressed in such a way what every lady understands when a male presses a lady in that manner. She closed her eyes. I drove her to the road running to the nearest park. I stopped the car and switch on the parking light. By the time rain was becoming intense. First, I went to my back seat of my car and then I virtually pulled Madhurima to the back seat. Madhurima was trembling like a lamb before a wolf. I was sure, at that time she was so frightened, she could not even think about switching on the audio or video device she was always carrying to record my actions with her.
After an hour, I dropped Madhurima at her residence. ‘Do you enjoy the evening with me?’ I repeated the same question again. This time also she nodded only.
While driving back home, I thanked Varun for sharing the information about Madhurima’s inner parts in detail on his last visit. His description of her body behind her dress was so detail, I could have said everything beyond the black spot on her right breast. I could have said her favourable utterances during sex even. Up to that extent I was prepared to confront her on that day.
I advised Varun to tell Madhurima to go to police with her clippings. I also advised Varun to file a case of blackmailing against Madhurima before she could reach the police or the court.
Madhurima was arrested by police slapping 420 of panel code along with some other codes. In her defence she filed a case of committing repeated rapes by Varun for several weeks.
Luckily for Varun, another two persons came forward as witness as they were also victims of blackmailing by Madhurima. Some associates of Madhurima were also picked up from different places. When Madhurima’s apartment was raided by police, they found a number of spy cameras installed at different points to catch every move of a victim caught in honey trap.
Madhurima was caught in her own trap finally. But is it the end of the story?
Varun’s wife filed a divorce petition after knowing true character of Varun. Other two witnesses also faced similar typhoons at their family fronts.
I along with my wife visited Varun’s place and with great difficulty convinced Varun’s wife to withdraw the divorce petition.
While we were about to leave Varun’s place, she asked my wife, ‘Bhabijee (sister in law), are you going to pardon bhaisaab (brother), if he commits same mistake?’
‘No. But I am not going to divorce him. I have given everything to him in so many years by sacrificing everything of my own. I am not going to give him freedom from my clutches. I shall torture him for his mistake day and night on every opportunity, but not going to award him by giving complete freedom from me and my children.’
Varun’s wife got the message. I felt sorry for Varun. No, not for his unethical actions, but for his stupidity. Now onwards he has to pass his time in a hell created by himself.
After a short arguments in the court, Madhurima had been jailed for two years for her crime. She did not appeal in the higher court as she knew the evidences were against her. Practically Police made a water tight case due to some obvious reasons.
After a month of sending her to the jail by the authority, one afternoon, I met her as a close relative of her. As soon as she saw me, she hugged me like a small girl hugging her father after her class.
‘I heard about your ordeal through newspaper only as I was out of the city for few months. Therefore, I could not visit you earlier.’ I lied.
‘I know, you would have come to help me. It is my hard luck. I know we shall meet again. Two years is not a long time.’ She told me after wiping her eyes.
We talked for half an hour and then I left. During the whole period neither she mentioned nor did I mention about the rainy night when we last met.
While coming back I felt somewhat sorry for Madhurima. Her conviction was basically built on some falsehood on my part. She thought I can communicate with ghost and later on, I convinced her that I had the super power to read mind of a person and could see beyond the dress of a person. She wanted to trap me through her honey web, but I trapped her with my convincing words. In fact I sucked all the honey from her trap without being trapped.
Chapter VII: Celebrity
(This is fictitious story about a lady who purportedly to be heartthrob for many of my generation who was an excellent dancer and a reasonably good singer. However, one should not search anything in my story about personal life of any of celebrities of Assam)
While returning from Kohima, Nagaland Eastern part of India on my Swachh Bharat Mission (Make India Open Defecation Free) I had a halt at Guwahati for three days. On the intervening nights of 26-27 December, 2016 at Guwahati, I was invited by a friend for dinner.
I reached around 7 PM with my casual dress as the host and his wife are my close friends for last thirty odd years. However, my heart started thumping as soon as my friend, senior Police Officer and a classmate of mine at Cotton College, Mr. Pranab Barman told me that, our young days’ heartthrob Aparajeeta Saikia nee Choudhury a renowned actress of Assam would join us at our Dinner Party. I felt like, I was cheated by my friend for not informing me well in advance who were coming for the party which resulted me not at the best of attire. I scolded my friend for not informing about her visit beforehand.
He smiled with an intriguing twinkle in his eyes and told, ‘Do not worry, she is no more the glamorous lady whom we used to adore as youngsters. She is a mother of two employed children.’
‘So, what? We are also old now!’ I sighed. Pranab did not replied. Instead he yelled to an orderly to arrange drinks for us.
After second peg of whisky, we started our dirty gossips whenever Mrs. Barman was away from us.
When she came at 9 PM, I was awestruck at her beauty even today. Still she can kill hundreds of lesser mortals like me with her beautiful smile. She was introduced to me as a successful senior bureaucrat and a successful writer.
When Pranab tried to say something on her, I interrupted, ‘Do not tell me anything on her introduction. She happened to be one of my most favourite dancers of all time.’
Again, that beautiful smile hit me at the very core of my heart. With an apologetic smile, I shook my hand with Aparajeeta’s husband and commented, ‘I was like a fly sitting on a glass container of sweet, so far, your wife is concerned!’
I know my comment made her husband more than happy. Why not? The lady who stole hearts of many young and old with her beauty and charm at her prime, is his life partner sharing everything; yes, everything including a common bed. The very thought of sharing a common bed itself was enough to spoil my evening party.
Like many, I was also a fan of her dancing skill. Did I love her? My answer is ‘perhaps not’. Did I fantasize her at night? The answer is ‘yes’. At night, under the quilt in a winter of Guwahati or Delhi, I used to fantasise with many celebrities of our time. But I never fell in love with those celebrities. The list of celebrities is a very long one. However, in that list, Aparajeeta happened to be one of brightest. The reason of being bright was, she was from Assam and probably, with little luck, I could have married a girl of that celebrity status. No, I am not demeaning her status nor I am overestimating my status. So, you might be interested to know, why I am commenting like that.
My starting point of my life was nothing to be boasted at All India level nor even at All Assam level. I was born to a middle-class family whose immediate goal was to make me high school teacher or at most a clerk of a Nationalized Bank. As my sister’s version, my father who had given neither a very good financial support nor an emotional support in my pursuit to excel in my life, surprised to see my ascendency in educational and professional life. I had to fight for my life every time to achieve anything in my life. You can call me a bull dog who has to fight all the time even for a meatless bone.
Naturally, my company of friends was also no different from me. Everyone was ready to fight for a position in the society from the day one and still all of us are fighting a space of our own. Pranab is also no different from any fighting bull dog like me. He also withered all weathers to float himself in the society just after his arrival on this tough world. The persons who refused to recognize him even as a human being once, now bee line for his favour as a senior police officer.
I did not know how time had passed like in a Concorde flight. Aparajeeta’s beautiful songs were highlight of the evening. I did not know she can sing so well. To tease me a little bit, she asked me to choose an Assamese song as her first song for the evening. She sang beautifully my favourite song, ‘Jhil mil Jon jale kapalat, tir bir tara jale nayanat (The moon twinkles on your forehead, stars twinkle at your eyes)’
In between, with a deadly smile, she asked me whether I follow in my life what I write in my books and whether I write true story as well.
I said, ‘sometimes I write true stories with lot of spices and yes, I am little bit truthful about myself also! But why you have asked me this question?’
‘Just to know about you. From what age, did you start your writings?’
‘I got a prize for writing a story for the first time in class eight. My first article was published when I was in class X in an Assamese periodical, Bismoy. My first book was published when I was in the second year in graduation. In between, I wrote some articles in some other magazines also. But unfortunately, I decided not to write anything after I reached University for my masters.’ I paused for moment.
‘A few years back, I was told by an astrologer that I might die within two years. Therefore, having no alternative, I started writing on every possible topic.’
Pranab interrupted at this point, ‘He has already published more than fifty books in last the two and a half years!’
‘What? Are you mad?’ Aparajeeta exclaimed.
‘Long back, I wrote an article on you also.’ I wanted to see her reaction.
‘What! When did you write?’ Her eyes were about to come out of her sockets.
‘When you won the first major dancing title in 1979.’ I said with a calmness which may ignites many memories.
‘Oh, my God!’ Looking towards her husband, she said, ‘Yes, I remember the article. But unfortunately, I could not find the person behind the article! I have mentioned about the article many times to you in the past.’ Her surprised reaction gave me an unknown pleasure.
Because of old age or due to some health reason, now a days, it is very difficult for me to control my urge for an urgent pissing. If I feel for that, I have to rush to the washroom. After taking three-four pegs of whiskey, I had developed the uncontrollable pressure under my belly. I rushed to the washroom and felt relieved only after releasing a gallon of the fluid from my body. As I opened the door of the washroom, I saw Aparajeeta was standing.
She asked me, ‘Why you did not find me thirty years back?’
‘I thought, it was a futile exercise considering my economic and social background. I did not know at that time, whether you would even like to talk with me or not. In a similar situation, my son would have proposed you.’ I tried to explain.
‘I am an artist. We never asses any person on the basis of social or financial status. Who knows, if you had met me as a young man, I would have fallen in love with you!’ With the trademark, deadly smile, she entered to the washroom.
I think, that was the final assault on my heart.
Finally, when we finished our dinner by half past one in the morning, I was able to take permission from Mr. and Mrs. Aparajeeta to write an ebook on her. She appears to be very happy, so was I.
Before leaving, she promised me to keep in touch with me, though I knew she was lying!!!
Her promise reminded me another promise of a friend who accused me of double standard by asking me, ‘My dear friend, do you follow what you are writing?’
I said, ‘I do not want to be a saint nor a demon. I am trying to write what is good and what is bad for a person. What you want to follow; it is your choice, so is mine.’
He told me, he is not going to read any of my books in future.
I told him, that is his choice. But I requested him to be in my touch, as I may need his help in future.
He said, ‘Hiranya, you are extremely selfish.’
I said, ‘Yes my friend and that is why I am here. I cannot remember the number of persons whom I had elbowed to create some space for me in last five decades.’
He murmured something about me before leaving. I know those might not be pleasant for me. I tried to forget my friend for the time being.
I was thinking about Aparajeeta again while I was on my way to hotel. Her beautiful face disturbed me till then. I asked myself a question, if before my marriage, had I met Aparajeeta, would I have elbowed her husband to oust him from her life! I always consider myself as an uncanny man in that department. After all, my success rate in winning a heart of a lady might be well above than that of an average Indian. I patted my own back with a lot of appreciation looking at the empty dark road of Guwahati.
Moving inside the quilt, I tried to remember how many times I fantasised sleeping with Aparajeeta before my marriage. ‘Should I do it once again?’
I became a boy of 19 once again under the quilt.
Chapter VIII: Return from the Doorstep of a Hell
(It is a small story how Ajay had landed at a brothel and how he was able to come out of the brothel unscathed.)
Ajay was overjoyed to visit a foreign soil for the first time, that too on Government funding. He telephoned all his relatives prior to his visit and naturally, all the relatives gave him long lists of articles to be brought from the foreign country. He also took all the lists with a promise to bring those items listed in their lists. Naturally, his wife was not amused to hear those promises to his relatives.
However, Ramen, his evergreen colleague, who visited different parts of the globe, had promised to give a different list to Ajay.
‘So, you are going to Bangkok for the first time. Keep a spare day for Pataya.’ Ramen advised.
‘The approved tour programme does not have any provision for a spare day!’ The novice replied.
‘Oh, I forgot, this is your first foreign visit. OK, it is better for you to return without any manipulation of your tour programme. I do not want that on your very first visit you are black listed by the seniors. But still I shall give you a list of places where you must have to visit at Bangkok.’ Ramen had gone to Bangkok many times earlier on official as well as on personal visits.
‘Sure, I shall consult with you before I leave for Bangkok.’ Ajay told Ramen with a submissive voice.
A day before departure to Bangkok, Ramen gave a list of places to Ajay, which according to Ramen, Ajaye should visit without fail. From the list Ajay could find out easily that the list consists of places where cheap dress materials are available and few land marks like Baiku tower etc. are located. However, few places were star marked by Ramen which Ajay could not understand, why they were star marked. When he asked Ramen, why some of the places were star marked, Ramen replied, ‘You will know, when you reach Bangkok.’
As he got down from the plane and got out from the immigration counter in the early morning, he realized it is no different from any Indian airport. The taxi drivers were waiting to flinch an unsuspecting passenger like taxi drivers in any Indian railway station or any Indian Air Port. However, in India, he never felt worried; but here he became little bit worried.
He approached the ‘May I help you’ counter and showed his address of the hotel he had booked for his stay. The lady sitting at the counter was a lovely girl and she said in her typical pronunciation, without pronouncing the letter ‘R’ in her words. With little difficulty Ajay understood that if he would hire a taxi from pre-paid booth, the fare would be 400 Baht. But if he would go by the Express way, he would have to pay another 75 Baht to the hotel which is situated near to the Bobey Tower. Ajay was also told if he would take Express Way, he would be able to save at least one hour.
Ajay took a pre-paid taxi and told the taxi driver to take the Express way. When finally, he arrived at the hotel counter at 10 AM, he was told that he would get his room only after 2 PM. The receptionist, not as polite as the girl at ‘May I help you’ counter told Ajay, ‘You will get your room after 2 PM only as you have booked your hotel accommodation from today evening only. Otherwise, if you want your room right now, you have to pay one day’s extra rent.’
Ajay had an impression that being Bangkok a tourist hub, the people must be politer than any place of North India. But after arriving at Bangkok, he got the real taste of Global tourist hub.
But everyone was not like that. A local gentle man came forward and said, ‘Sir are you from India?’
‘You can deposit your belongings at the cloak room free of cost and roam around the city for three hours by hiring my taxi for 300 baht only.’
Ajay quickly thought. ‘I may not find time to see the city from tomorrow once meeting will start. Further, when the person is well inside the reception area of the hotel, he can be believed.’ However, instead of answering the gentleman, he asked the receptionist, ‘Can I keep my belongings at your cloakroom and go for sightseeing with this gentleman?’
This time receptionist became very friendly and told, ‘Yes sir, you can do that. He is our man, do not worry.’
The receptionist told one of his orderly to keep the suitcase of Ajay and he gave a receipt of the cloakroom. He also offered Ajay to use their common washroom to refresh.
The gentleman driver took Ajay around the city for half an hour and took him to India-market where most of the shopkeepers are either Indian or from Indian subcontinent. In this market one can bargain in Hindi comfortably. But on the very first day Ajay did not want to do any shopping. So, he requested the driver to take him to some tourist place where he can see something very special to Bangkok.
The driver obliged. He took Ajay to a Buddhist temple where he could see a large reclining Buddha statue. He was overwhelmed to see the magnificent golden statue. It was already 12 Noon and therefore both of them took lunch.
After lunch, Ajay thought, ‘As it is only 12-30 PM and I have to pay him 300 Baht in any case, why do I not use his car for another at least one hour?’ Then he recalled the list Ramen had given to him. He opened his paper and asked the driver, ‘Where this place is? Is it far off?
The driver with a mystic smile said, ‘It is not far off. Now let us go to the hotel. Take rest. I shall take you there in the evening.’
‘But-’ Ajay wanted to say something.
‘Do not worry sir. I shall take you there without any extra charge!’ Ajay became very happy to find such a gentleman in the driver.
They reached the hotel around 1 PM. As soon as the receptionist saw Ajay he welcomed him, ‘Sir, your room is ready. You can occupy.’
Ajay realized, the people of Bangkok are friendlier to the tourists than he thought a few hours ago, after reaching the city.
After occupying the room, he tried to take a nap.
The sound of the calling bell in his room awoke Ajay from his sound sleep. Ajay actually slept for more than three hours on that evening. When he opened his door, he found the gentleman driver was standing before his room with a broad smile.
‘Sorry, I fell asleep for a long time. I shall be ready within five minutes.’ With an apologetic smile, Ajay told him.
‘Do not worry sir. I shall wait at the lounge for you.’ He went back to the lounge.
The car took hardly ten minutes to reach their destination.
It is fully illuminated place. But all the buildings are with dark glasses. The driver told Ajay, ‘Take your own time sir. I shall wait for you.’
As he entered to the building, Ajay understood, where he landed. For a moment, he thought, ‘Should I go back?’’ Next moment he thought, ‘I am not a kid. I must go inside, explore fully, whatever may be the consequence. ‘
A young man welcomed him and said, ‘Sir please take you seat. Would you like to drink?’
‘No thanks.’ Ajay told him.
He saw ladies with skinny dress were sitting behind a glass house. Like the beauties of beauty pageant, they were also tagged with a number. Most of them were local young girls. Officially this is a massage parlour. But basically, it is a place where everything is sold. Ajay recalled a story told by one of his friends of his first encounter with a sex worker when he was a young boy of twenty years. Before he could do something, he lost his --- which landed on the thigh of the lady. The lady scolded him right and left. When Ajay and his friends came to know about that story, they teased him, ‘Now you can claim to be a foreign returned person from Thailand (thigh-land).
The young man came again to Ajay and asked, ‘Which number you have selected sir?’
Ajay looked at him with a question mark. He understood something and told Ajay, ‘For one and a half hour 2500 Baht. You can enjoy fully. All are fully trained to give you full satisfaction. For every next half an hour additional 500 Baht you have to pay.’
Ajay looked at the watch. It is the time, when his daughter sits with him for her homework. He stood up from the chair and proceeded towards the glass door.
(It is completely fictitious story. If you find any resemblance with any character living or dead with the protagonist of the story, it is nothing but a coincidence only. Hope my readers will like the story.)
I was heading a Government Delegation to the beautiful city, Bangkok. One of the members of the delegation, Abhinav Srivastava was not a first timer to the beautiful city of Bangkok. By nature, Abhinav is a shy and disciplined guy of around forty. He had been to Bangkok for at least five times before this visit. Only difference for this visit was that his passport has been upgraded to diplomatic passport from an official passport. He enjoyed the privilege of being a diplomatic passport holder for the first time.
After the first day of the meeting, he went with me to the Indian market, near Byoko Tower to buy some garments for his family. On the way back to hotel, he asked me, ‘Sir, have you visited any of those famous places of Bangkok?’
‘Yes, I have visited almost all. So I prefer to sleep in the hotel now-a-days.’ I replied without thinking over much on his question.
‘Is it safe to go outside the hotel in the night?’
‘Bangkok is a safe city. At any time you can go out. By the way, where do you want to go?’ I asked him with twinkling in my eyes.
‘No sir, I just ask you for my knowledge.’ I observed little nervousness in his answer. I understood why he had asked the question.
Many of his friends made fun of him, every time he returns from Bangkok. This time he promised to himself, he would not allow his friends to make fun of him. That is why he asked me some preliminary questions about the night life of Bangkok.
It is immaterial whether true or false, I have a reputation, that I can visit any place at night in any foreign country on the very first night. Therefore, many of my friends believe without any doubt whenever, I describe about night clubs and their activities in different countries. Many a times, I add sufficient spices to enhance my reputation as an adventurer of night life of any city world over. Abhinav was also wanted to know something more from me. But somehow on that day I did not have the mood to talk on those spicy nights. Probably, I did a mistake on that day.
After reaching our hotel, I went to my room and I saw Abhinav for the last time in Bangkok. I could not find him in our hotel in the next morning.
Actually after saying good night to me he went to his room. He took a bath and came out of his hotel by 10 PM for visiting some night clubs for the first time in his life.
He hired a tuktuk to take him to a Boom-Boom place. The tuktuk driver took him to a night club where from one can pick up escort girl for one hour/ two hours/ for the night.
Abhinav selected a lady for two hours. As a precondition, he paid 2500 Baht to the owner of the agency. The same tuktuk took them to a nearby hotel free of cost. The lady became very friendly on their way to the hotel.
As he was guided to the hotel room by a hotel boy, Abhinav noticed the hotel was not up to the mark. He saw on the wall of the hotel it was written, for a couple hotel rent is 300 Baht for two hours. Extra 100 Baht, for every additional hour. He felt somewhat nausea in that hotel premises.
As she entered into the room, the escort lady demanded Abhinav to tip her 1000 Baht in addition to the payment he had already made to the lady who was the master of all the escort ladies in the night club. By the time Abhinav had to pay 300 Baht to the hotel as rent and 20 baht to boy who had led them to the room. The tuktuk driver had already taken 50 Baht. All sums up, already he had cough up 2880 Baht without any real fun with the lady.
Once she entered to the room while demanding for tips, she removed all her cloth to become stark naked. For the first time, Abhinav saw a naked lady other than his own wife. She had a fantastic body. Abhinav admired her physique. Now he wanted to touch her body. But, every time he wanted to touch the naked body of the lady, she demanded tips of thousand Baht.
After sometime, Abhinav lost his temper and thrown 400 Baht on the face of the lady and left the room and walked to the street without even looking back.
As soon as he opened the TV for news in the next morning, a flash news sent a shivering sensation to the core of his bones; the lady who accompanied him to the unknown hotel room, had been killed by some unknown person. The next news was more shivering; the police suspected a foreigner who had accompanied the lady to the hotel room at around 10-30 PM. Unfortunately, Abhinav was the foreigner who had accompanied the lady at 10-30 PM to the hotel.
The police declared that they had contacted the agency who provided the lady to Abhinav to draw a sketch of the foreigner (Abhinav). Abhinav was in a fix; he knew that he did not kill the lady. He was in a dilemma, whether he should go to the police and tell his side of the story or flee from the country. ‘Will police believe me?’ He thought for a while. Even if police would believe him, whether they would allow him to leave the country.
His head started rolling and finally he decided to flee from Bangkok before police could issue his sketch for the public.
He hurriedly packed up his belongings and took a taxi to the airport without informing me or any of the team members of our delegation.
When he reached Bangkok International airport, he saw in the public address system his sketch was flashed with an appeal to the public to inform police if anybody see the person. He immediately returned to the taxi stand and hired a taxi to take him back to the city. He requested the driver to take him to a shop where he could buy artificial beard etc. for his son who was to perform in a drama competition.
As the driver dropped him in a shop having material for dance drama etc., he hurriedly bought some artificial beard and a turban usually used by the Sikh Community.
To avoid arrest by Thai Police, Abhinav decided to cross Thailand border by road where there might be little slackness in the duties of the police. If however, he would face problem, he would bribe the police; he had decided. For that purpose, he withdrew 20,000 Baht from the nearest ATM. Then he took a taxi from Bangkok to Myanmar border at a price which was at least one and a half times more than the normal fare. He put a turban to disguise himself as a Sikh. He avoided any public places to take meal etc. on his way to the border. He took only dry fruits and cold drinks for next twenty hours till he reached the border.
As he approached the border post, he heard his own heartbeat like drum-beating in a religious festival in Mysore. As he approached, he removed his turban and the artificial beard to match his photograph on the passport. On seeing his new appearance, though he doubted earlier Abhinav as a fugitive, the driver demanded two thousand Baht as tips to shut his mouth before the police. Abhinav had no alternative but to oblige the driver.
But as dusk descended, Abhinav had to stay in a dingy hotel of Thailand border. In the next morning he took another taxi to the border.
As he presented his passport, the policeman saluted him and to his pleasant surprise allowed him to cross over the border. In Myanmar also for a diplomatic passport holder, visa is not required. Therefore, he was welcomed by the Myanmar, immigration without any fuss. But he had to walk through a no-man’s land of one KM.
Only after crossing into Myanmar around thirty KM, Abhinav reached a non-descript small town of Myanmar. Then only he heaved a sigh of relief. After another one day of torturous journey by public transport, Abhinav reached the Rangoon International airport.
As finally when Abhinav landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport from Rangoon after five days behind his original schedule, he was a totally exhausted man.
As he came out of Indira Gandhi International Airport at 7 PM via Shanghai (no direct flight from Rangoon), he saw his wife came to the airport to receive him. He could not see to her eyes. But his wife Namita behaved with him normally and drove him to his Quarters at R. K. Puram. His two children also behaved with him normally as if he came with the original scheduled time and date.
When his children went to bed, lying on his bed, he recapitulated his traumatic last five-six days. He thanked to God for the end result of reaching home hoodwinking the border police. He also acknowledged that all along his credit cards came handy for him in his troubled time.
When his wife sat on the bed, he tried to embrace her. She removed his hand and in a taunting voice said, ‘Do not try to show your love towards me. I know everything what you had done in Bangkok.’
Abhinav now realised normal behaviour of his wife was nothing but a lull before the storm. Abhinav thought silence might be the best way to face the storm. To his utter surprise his wife smiled at him and said, ‘Why do you try to show yourself as a brave and wicked person to your friends? Your foolishness ultimately made nothing but a mess for yourself. I know how much capable you are in the bed. You even cannot control your wife in bed, how you can control a lady from that profession.’ She paused for a moment. Abhinav tried to gauge whether she was sympathising with him or taunting him. Still he preferred to keep mum.
‘Do you know when without consulting your colleagues, particularly Mr Borah, your team leader, you fled from the hotel what happened? A missing complaint was lodged. Then Mr Borah came to know that you are the prime suspect in killing a call girl. Luckily for you, Borah managed the police in such way that they could able to catch the actual culprit within two days.
Actually, after you had left the hotel, the hotel boy, entered to the room you had occupied few minutes ago with that escort girl. He saw the naked girl and could not control himself. As she objected to his advances, he raped her ruthlessly. The lady threatened the hotel boy to report the matter to the police. To frighten the lady he mocked strangulation on her neck. As she struggled his mock strangulation, the strangulation became a reality and she died due to suffocation. The hotel boy immediately fled from the scene. He even tried to flee from the city next day. But alerted police posted in the bus stand caught him and his injury marks made him the main suspect of the murder. After getting third degree treatment from the police, he confessed his crime and you had been exonerated from suspicion. In the meantime, Mr Borah narrated the whole story and requested me to come to Bangkok to fulfil some formalities. Without smartness of Borah and his timely action, you would have been in Thailand jail. I had to stay in Bangkok for three days and we were able to request Bangkok police to issue an order to cooperate with you wherever you would be found. We came to know after four days of your missing that you had cross Myanmar border by road. Then when I got your telephone call from Rangoon, I was happy to know that you are hale and hearty.’ She stopped there.
She told almost everything to her husband except one minor thing. She did not tell him that she was with me in Bangkok for three days and three nights and we had a wonderful and satisfying time in the city. She admired my innovativeness and prowess on bed. Further, she promised, even after our return, she will be in touch with me on regular basis in Delhi.
Chapter X: Planned Murder
(It is a murder mystery of a housewife of a top bureaucrat which was solved by a lady police officer. I need not have to say it is a fictitious story)
Dr. Pranab Saikia was attending a meeting when his phone started vibrating as the phone was on silent mode. He saw the number, it was an unknown number. He disconnected the phone. The phone again vibrated. This time he picked up the phone and before other party could say ‘hello’, he said with a very low voice, ‘Please call me later, the Minister is taking a meeting.’
‘Inspector, Rajesh is speaking. Sorry sir, there is a very bad news for you. Your wife has been murdered.’
‘What?’’ Dr. Saikia screamed.
The Minister looked at him with a question mark on his face. Everyone in the meeting turned their eyes on Dr. Saikia. Dr. Saikia putting his hands on his head started looking to the wall vaguely.
Everyone in the room realized, there was something horribly wrong with Dr. Saikia. The Minister hurriedly said, ‘We shall discuss the topic later on. What is the news, Dr. Saikia?’
But Dr. Saikia was yet to recover from his shock to answer the Minister. Someone took his mobile and rang back to the caller. From the other side the police officer repeated the same sentence, ‘Your wife has been murdered.’
Dr. Saikia murmured, ‘My wife has been murdered.’
The Minister patted his back but did not find any word to console Dr. Saikia.
It was indeed a horrible sight. The wife of the top-level bureaucrat was killed with a vengeance. The body was lying in a pool of blood. The murderer stabbed the victim several times. It appeared the culprit stabbed the victim even after knowing that she was dead. It appeared the murderer killed the victim out of immense anger and hatred.
The body was first seen by the maid who used to live in Dr. Saikia’s servant quarter with her family for the last five years. The moment she saw the dead body of her Memsaab, she fainted. Her scream before fainting attracted the attention of Mrs. Gulati, wife of Dr. Saikia’s neighbour. On seeing the ghastly scene, she also screamed. But within a minute or two, she composed herself and dialled no.100 to inform the police. Then she called her husband and urged him to come quickly home.
Within five minutes, police party led by an Inspector reached the place. Then the inspector informed Dr. Saikia about the murder taking the mobile number from Mrs. Gulati.
All over the world, whenever a wife is murdered, the first suspect is her husband. The next suspects are servants, robbers, other relatives and finally other acquaintances.
Since the murder was committed in a high security zone of New Delhi, the Assistant Commissioner, Miss Reena Kaur herself visited the crime scene after half an hour.
The lady was brutally murdered with some sharp weapon. The house was not ransacked and entry of the murderer was friendly one suggesting that the murderer was known to the victim. So, suspicion of the police went to her husband first.
Ms. Kaur asked the Inspector Dutta, ‘What are your preliminary findings?’
‘The murderer and victim are known to each other. Multiple stabs on the body of the victim suggest that the killer was not a professional one and the killer hates the victim very much.’
‘Where is her husband? Have you interrogated him?’
‘No madam. He has been informed at his office. He is arriving at any moment.’ As the Inspector finished his words, Dr. Saikia appeared at the door.
On seeing the dead body of his wife, he almost fainted. He was offered a glass of water. He started weeping like a small boy.
‘Sir, I am sorry. But still I have to ask you few questions.’ Ms. Kaur told Dr. Saikia. He nodded his head.
‘When you left for office and had anyone visited your home at that time?’
‘I left at 8-30 AM. Today the Minister had to take a meeting with the senior officers, I being the concerned officer, was busy in arranging the meeting. The Minister arrived at 11 AM and while I was attending the meeting, at around 12-30 PM, one of your officers informed about the incident.’ Dr. Saikia composing himself answered.
‘Sir please check your house if anything valuable is missing.’ As Dr. Saikia went to the other room, Ms Kaur instructed her junior to verify the statements of Dr. Saikia at his office.
Before her junior could depart for Dr. Saikia’s office, Deputy Commissioner, V. K. Gupta arrived.
‘What is the progress of the case?’ Gupta asked Ms. Kaur. She almost repeated what her Inspector told her few minutes ago, ‘I am sending Mr. Dutta to verify the statement of Dr. Saikia’. She concluded.
‘You need not have to send Mr. Dutta to his office. Actually, the Minister called me to his office where his Secretary and other officers were also present. Dr. Saikia was present from 8-45 AM with the senior officers of the entire Ministry till he was informed about the murder. He cannot be present at the crime site. So, he is out of the rather, unless he hired someone.’ Mr. Gupta concluded.
‘No, sir. The murderer cannot be hired one. A hired professional murderer will not stab so many times. The murderer stabbed many times the victim to settle score, not for money.’ Ms. Kaur argued.
In the meantime, Dr. Saikia also confirmed that nothing had been stolen from the house.
Mr. Gupta agreed her argument. ‘Who saw the dead body first?’
‘The maid. She fainted after uttering a loud scream. Then Mrs. Gulati, Dr. Saikia’s neighbour came out of her house and saw the scene and telephoned the police.’ Ms. Kaur informed her boss.
‘Have you interrogated the maid?’ Gupta asked Ms. Kaur.
‘No sir, she is yet to recover from the shock. She is in her room. On seeing somebody she only screams, khoon, khoon (murder/ blood, murder/ blood). Her husband has been informed. He is coming. Only after his arrival, we shall try to take her statement.’
‘Any other family member of Dr. Saikia is staying here?’
‘No sir. They have two sons. The elder one is working in USA and younger one is in England doing his masters in law. They are yet to be informed.’
‘Very sad!’ Mr. Gupta commented.
After one hour, the dead body was sent for post mortem. Sons were also informed about the tragedy.
The key witness, the maid was not out of shock for the next few hours!
Though the police ruled out involvement of the close family, involvement of other relatives was not ruled out. Police took the names and addresses of all the cousins from both sides.
The maid finally got her wits back and was ready to give her statement. According to her, a middle-aged man came to meet Mrs. Saikia at around 10 AM when the maid was working in the kitchen. The person was known to Mrs Saikia as she welcomed him inside and the maid was told to give tea and Mrs. Saikia went to the bath room. While offering tea, when the maid looked at the face of the person, he scolded her for looking at him so intensely.
‘How was he?’
‘He speaks Hindi well but his facial appearance says that he is from the hills or from North Eastern Part of India. He spoke with madam in their language which I could not understand.’ The maid said.
‘Have you seen him earlier?’
‘No. I saw him for the first time.’
‘Was anybody visiting Madam in absence of her husband?
‘No, madam never allowed anybody inside house when Sahab is away. Earlier, when her sons were here, their friends used to come to meet them. But in the last four years, I have not seen anybody visited her except her brother who stays in Guwahati. He normally visits after three to four months and stays with the family two to three days on his every visit. I heard he is a senior officer there. He comes to Delhi on official tour.’ The maid told to the police.
‘Tell us, what happened on today.’ Ms. Kaur asked the maid.
‘After one hour, I finished my wok and left the house. In the meantime, madam joined her guest and talked to him in their language. They appeared to be good friends. At around 12 PM when I came from the market, I saw the guest was rushing out from the house. To my surprise, he was wearing a different dress. When I peeped through the door, which was half open, I saw madam was lying in a pool of blood.’
As the maid finished her statement, Ms. Kaur realized, they lost some precious time in nabbing the culprit due to the shocked state of mind of the maid.
On the next day, sons of Dr. Saikia and brother of Mrs Saikia arrived. With due permission from the police the body of Mrs. Saikia consigned to flames. But before that, all present at cremation ground witnessed a heart-broken scene of weeping of the sons and brother of Mrs. Saikia. Dr. Saikia was seen consoling his sons and his brother in law.
Through a professional artist, on the basis of the maid’s description of the killer, police were able to draw the sketch of the murderer.
Police scanned the phone calls of Dr. Saikia and Mrs. Saikia for last three months. However, nothing unusual was found.
However, police were able to arrive some important conclusions. The murderer was from Assam from where Saikia-family originally hails. No close family member is involved in the murder. Character of Mrs. Saikia was clean and she had no love affairs before and after her marriage.
But in subsequent days, police came to know that, Dr. Saikia had a lover boy image when he was in college and University. Though Dr. Saikia has no steady relation with any lady after his marriage, he has some colours in his life. Therefore, police were concentrating their line of investigation on the brothers/ husbands of those ladies with whom Dr. Saikia had some relations before and after his marriage.
Dr. Saikia was cooperating with the police to nab the murderer of his wife. Though he had and still has colours in his life beyond his married life, he used to be a dotting husband and used to love his wife. In his own words, he loves his wife because she had gifted him two wonderful sons and she always loved him. According to Dr. Saikia, she was not only faithful wife but also a good friend of Dr. Saikia. She stood by her husband during his thick and thin days like a solid rock.
Police scanned all the husbands and brothers whose wives/ sisters had even remotely involved with Dr. Saikia. Police looked at the financial angles from Dr. Saikia’s official dealings. There also police could not find anything wrong as Dr. Saikia had a clean image of financial dealings. Personal enmity with anyone of Dr. Saikia which could lead to the killing of his wife was also found to be remote.
Then naturally the question had arisen, who might have killed Mrs. Saikia?
From the sketch, Dr. Saikia and his brother in law could not identify the person. When their sons also could not identify the person after looking at the sketch, the police lost hope to solve the case.
With no headway, Ms. Kaur started to think the whole case afresh. She was determined to solve the case at any cost. She thought she might have missed something which is vital for the case.
An idea struck her head. She blamed herself why she had not thought earlier in that line, might be because due to age of the victim.
The murderer cannot be close to Dr. Saikia.-because she invited the murderer into her home as her own friend. Was the murderer a spurned lover of Mrs. Saikia?
‘Had your wife told about some of her friends whom she met after a long time recently?’ Ms. Kaur asked Dr. Saikia.
‘No.’ After a thought Dr. Saikia replied.
‘Did she attend some social function which you did not attend?’
‘Yes, she attended one marriage ceremony at Guwahati six months before. But she said nothing special about that marriage.’ Dr. Saikia replied.
‘Whose marriage it was?’
‘It was her friend’s daughter. Actually, she did not go for the marriage. She went to meet her ailing mother. But as she was there, she attended the marriage.’ Dr. Saikia replied.
‘Now I am sure, she met her murderer there! You give the address of the friend of your wife.’
A police team led by Ms. Kaur went to Guwahati where Mrs. Saikia’s friend, Anuradha did not take even a minute to identify their common friend Bijoy Choudhury after looking at the sketch made by the professional artist on the basis of the maid’s inputs.
‘Yes, I killed her, because she ruined my life. I have no regret for killing her.’ Bijoy Choudhury told the police with a defiant mode after his arrest.
She was my classmate in my college. I had a brilliant result in class twelfth and she had an ordinary result. I fell in love with her. I helped her in her studies. I had given sufficient indications that I loved her. I was sure she understood that. She took all my help and she was able to do a much better result in the final examination. Contrary to that I had a worst possible result. With that unenviable result, I could not get even a seat in the University. I went back to my village. My parent scolded me for my result, though they were not aware about my one-sided love affair.
I wanted to repeat my B. Sc. examination to improve my result. But when I returned to Guwahati, I was told by a friend that Anamika (Mrs. Saikia) married to a Direct Recruit Central Government Officer. After hearing that news, I left the idea of repeating my examination and went back to my village and joined a school as a science teacher. I did not marry and I did not think for taking any revenge either.
But before six months when I met her at the marriage ceremony of Anuradha’s daughter, my blood started boiling. When she told me that her sons were abroad, her husband loves her very much, I promised to myself to kill her. However, I showed no anger before her and took her address and promised her to visit her at her Delhi home whenever I would visit Delhi. She took my assurance to visit her at Delhi with warmness of an old friend.
On that day, I bought a knife from a Gurudwara and visited her home after her husband left for his office. She did not suspect me and welcomed me as a good friend. She offered tea and started talking about our college days. But as long as maid was in the house, I did not attempt anything suspicious. As soon as the maid left l told her to switch on the TV to see the news.
As she switched on the TV, I snatched the remote from her hand and increase the volume. She looked at me with a surprise in her eyes. Before she could realize what was going to happen to her, in the next few minutes I stabbed her repeatedly. After few stabs, she died. But my anger was not subsided. I stabbed her dead body many times before I realized that I should flee from the scene.
I changed my cloths which I was carrying as per my plan.
As I was rushing out of the house of Dr. Saikia, I saw the maid again. I thought to kill her also. But I did not take the risk as I saw few people on the road.
I took an auto rickshaw and went straight to the airport. I sat at the airport for two hours before I boarded my flight to Guwahati.
I thought I escaped from the clutch of the police. But the maid did all my efforts to a naught!
(This story is based on a news item published few years back where a herd of elephants saved the lives of many persons in a similar circumstances in Assam as I described in this story. Some portions of the book is based on my childhood memories of riding on elephants without saddle and offering of rice and paddy to the visiting elephants to my parental home. I try to project the news item to a true love story between a person and female jumbo. Hope my readers will like the love story between a man and an animal. Photos are taken from Google)
I fell in love with her much before I attained the age of thirteen. She was big enough to carry me and my elder brother on her back comfortably. She was ash black with comparatively very small eyes. I wondered how she can see the world with two small eyes. My mother used to tell me she was very intelligent who can remember a person for hundred years. Her walking was an envy to all of us. When she runs, whole world shakes! She was about thirty years when we first meet.
When I was young she used to visit our parental home quite often. I used to look forward her visits. My father used to give her few banana trees for her lunch or dinner. In lieu of that my elder brother and I used to ride on her for few minutes. Though it was interesting to see the world from a height of ten feet from a moving jumbo, it was also very scary. After getting down from her back, we felt lot of pain in our stretched young legs for few hours (she was never saddled for a comfortable ride). But the pain did not deter us from our next ride on the magnificent female elephant. I used to envy the Mahut who looked like a dwarf on the back of the black lady for his controlling power on her with mere movements of his legs.
My mother used to give us handful of rice to feed her. Both of us, my brother and I enjoyed her efficacy in taking the rice from our little palms with her huge trunk.
The Mahut used to like her very much like his own sister. He gave two huge steel earrings with few small bells which used to give some soothing sounds for the ears of the passer-by.
Those are my memories about the female jumbo I used to ride on as a young village boy.
Once I passed my matriculation and I had to leave my green village for good. I seldom saw the black lady moving around our village during my occasional visits to my village during our college vacations.
During one of my visits after joining into service, I met the Mahut of the black lady on foot. I enquired about the black lady, I use to adore.
He told me, ‘The owner of the black lady died few years back. Now Government has banned catching of elephants from the forests and cutting of log has also been banned by the Government. The son of the owner joined a Government service and left the village. Though he told me to look after the elephant as owner of the elephant, how can I afford an elephant? Now a days, none gives a banana tree free of cost like your father used to give us. Therefore one day, I left the elephant in the jungle from where from she was picked up few decades ago. I do not know the fate of the elephant. If she was welcomed by other elephants she may be alive; otherwise she may not be alive today. I have no idea about her wellbeing once I left her two years ago. Now I become a daily labourer.’
I saw few drops of tears in his eyes, but I could not find any appropriate word to console the old man. I put a hundred Rupee note in his hand and left the place with a heavy heart.
Recently, I was on an official tour to few villages near to the Arunachal boarder to see the progress of SBM (Swachhh Bharat Mission) of Government of India to make the country free from open defecation by second October, 2019 coinciding with 150th Birth Day of Mahatma Gandhi. The villages were situated after crossing Diploonga Reserve Forest from my home town Sootea. The officers from State Government selected these villages to show me the progress of the Mission at my own backyard.
When I was returning, as my car was abruptly stopped by the driver, I lifted my eyes from the novel I was reading to know the reason for abrupt stoppage of the car. The experienced driver whispered, ‘There is a herd of elephants nearby. They might be ahead of us. Unless they leave the road for us we cannot move further.’
I was frightened. Before we leave the last habitation, the village headman told us to cross the forest before dusk. We could have crossed the forest before dusk had my escorting vehicle not punctured. We lost crucial half an hour in changing the spare wheel and when we reached that particular patch of the forest, darkness had already descended. Our movement had also been hampered due to heavy showers in the last few days prior to my visit.
It did not take a long time before we sighted a huge female elephant on our side. Her very presence near to our vehicle terrified us. I was expecting a huge kick on our vehicle; which might be enough to turtle our vehicle. But that did not happen. As she was standing beside the vehicle peacefully, I gathered enough courage to look at the huge female elephant standing hardly a couple of feet away. As I looked at her she shook her head showing her steel earrings. What a pleasant surprise? She was my life’s second lover after my Mom. To my driver’s surprise, I opened the door of my car and hugged the trunk of the black lady.
A huge drop of tear hit my head. Probably, my eyes were also moist enough to see her accompanying herd of elephants a few feet away.
She invited all her family members to near my car. The officers following told me afterwards that they were almost sure that all the occupants of my car would be crushed to death by a rampaging herd of wild elephants.
But I started loving the situation and my feeling was nothing but meeting my near and dear relatives after few years. I asked my driver if we had some bananas or any other fruits in the car. With a trembling hand he handed over few bananas in my hand. After distributing amongst the elephants, I found few of elephants were left out.
I realized, we did not have sufficient bananas in my car. So I came out of the car to collect some more bananas from other cars. The speechless occupants of the cars behind my car handed over all the bananas to me. Then, I comfortably distributed all the bananas amongst each one her family. With serving small banana to the jumbos, I only try to show my love and respect to the elephants and particularly to my dear black lady.
The members of my troupe slowly gained confidence and started coming out of their vehicles. I introduced my beloved black lady and her companions to my colleagues. Despite of my standing very near to the black lady, none could gather enough courage to be very near to the herds. There was another reason for their discomfort. Though the elephants became friendly to us, they did not allow us to move forward. Some of them already stood covering the forest road completely.
I understood, their discomfort. I told my lover, second to my mother to give our way home. She shook her head vigorously indicating that she was not going to allow to move. I did not make a second request. I went back to my car and tried to have a sleep. But thanks to swarms of mosquitoes, I could not sleep.
Time passed with snail’s pace. The night appeared to be very long.
Finally in the morning the black lady allowed us to move. All the members of the herd vacated the road in the advent of day light. I hugged her trunk before I left the place.
After a KM my car was again stopped by the driver abruptly. Then he showed me something which gave me a shivering beyond core of my heart. The small bridge on the road was washed away by the strong current of flood water, probably last night.
Now I understood, why my black lady did not allow my car to move till morning. I do not know, whether, she knew that I was travelling in that car or not. I do not know whether, she wanted to save me from my sure death or she just stopped a car occupied by unknown people.
Did she smelt my body odour and she got to know my coming by that road a few KMs away before my actual arrival at that spot or it was a mere coincidence only?
After a deep thought and going back to analyse the sequence of event I came to a conclusion that she got my smell of my body, or may be due to her sixth sense, she positioned herself on my way to save me from the grave danger.
I do not know when I started crying like a baby.
‘Why you are crying sir?’ The driver asked me when without my sense I was crying.
Wiping my eyes, I told him, ‘The black lady reminded me what my mother had said to me when I was a teen. She told me, elephant never forgets even a small token of love. He/ she will help you when you will be in trouble, if you treat him/her well. I just rode on her back by giving a mouthful of rice as a token of love whenever she visited our home few decades ago. She saved my life just for a few mouthful of rice. Today, she became my second mother by giving me a second life.’
The driver did not tell me anything to stop my weeping, probably, he heard the voice of a new born baby in my cry.
Chapter XII: Pushed Into a Hell
(It is a sad story of a poor lady who was pushed to the flesh market by a group of people with conflicting interests.)
Niharika, from a non-descript village of Assam, was married to a middle-aged rich man when she was hardly 17 years. Her poor father had little choice but to marry her to an elderly rich man who had already four children, eldest one was of Niharika’s age. When she reached the new home, she was categorically told by her mother in law that her status would not be more than a glorified maid. She had to do all the household chores along with sleeping with a person double her age.
The old lady of the house, the mother in law of Niharika called a bez (quark and magician) to give some medicines so that Niharika could never be a mother. Niharika was administered the medicine without her knowledge during her menstrual period. She was about to die in the process due to excessive bleeding. Somehow, she survived, but with damaged uterus and ovaries. Why the old lady took that drastic step? From her experience, the old lady was sure that once Niharika would conceive, the equation might have changed, her middle-aged son might have taken interest in Niharika. That might lead to neglect of the children from his earlier marriage.
Niharika had to live with that old man for next eight years as a kept and maid till her so-called husband died in an accident. By the time her two step children got married. She was tolerated by the step children for another one year after death of their father and finally she was thrown out of her house. She had to come back to her parent’s home at an age of 26.
After three months, through a person from her village, she landed at Guwahati as a maid of a rich man, Bikram Choudhury. Bikram Choudhury was at least ten times richer than Niharika’s diseased husband. He had a very beautiful wife and two children, a son of ten years and daughter of five years. From the first day, she was able to develop a good rapport with the children. In due course of time, both the children became completely dependent on her for their daily needs. Mrs. Manorama Choudhury, wife of Bikram Choudhury also started to be dependent on her on many counts.
However, she had practically no interaction with Bikram Choudhury for first few months. Bikram Choudhury opened an account for her and her monthly salary was deposited in her account regularly and occasionally, he was sending few hundred rupees to her parents also.
After around six months, the life of Niharika changed for ever. Along with children, Manorama Choudhury went to Dibrugarh, her maternal home for six days. On that night after dinner, Bikram Choudhury called Niharika to his bed room. He told her to sleep with him for the night. His voice was so authoritative, she could not dare to refuse his order.
Once she was on his bed, she slowly enjoyed his company. Bikram Choudhury, though he was indulging an immoral activity with Niharika, she felt that he respected her body and mind during that night which was completely lacking on the part of her late husband. Next six days she slept with Bikram Choudhury and she for the first time fell in love with someone.
After arrival of his wife, Bikram Choudhury started behaving Niharika as if he did not know her. One day when no one was around, Bikram Choudhury told her, ‘I know you must be thinking that I am a very bad man. Maybe you are right. But I have no alternative. However, whenever, you need something, you tell me, I shall give you. I shall be depositing some more money in your account as your monthly salary from this month. But keep your mouth shut.’
‘Do not worry sir, I shall keep it confidential and you need not have to deposit extra money in my account for that.’ She wanted to tell, ‘I love you, sir.’ But she did not dare to say that.
After that day, Bikram Choudhury used to embrace her, kiss her as and when he got slightest opportunity. At the middle of the night, one day he came to her bed for an hour or so. Initially, he used to come to her after one week or so. Then his frequency to visit her at midnight had gone up. She was also looking up for his visit daily.
This continued for next one year without any interruption.
One night when she was waiting for Bikram Choudhury she heard his footsteps. She got a beautiful smell which she never experienced before. She did not know when she fell unconscious.
When she opened her eyes, she found herself in an unknown room. She heard some sound of gossiping among ladies from the nearby room. When she tried to get up she felt a strong headache and body ache. She felt as if every bone of her body had been broken to pieces. She wanted to sleep but at that time someone opened the door.
‘Oh! you got your sense back!’ An elderly lady commented.
Niharika could not identify the old lady nor the place where she was at that time. But after few hours she came to know that she was in a brothel of Shillong, sold by few persons for fifty thousand rupees.
For next few days she was kept under strict vigil and she had to cater few dozens of customers.
Slowly, she adjusted in her new role as a typical prostitute. For one long year, she could not understand why Bikram Choudhury sold her to a brothel for only fifty thousand rupees (Less than One thousand dollar) when he was a multi crore-pati (Multi-Millionaire).
I am the only son of Bikram Choudhury. My mother Manorama always advised me to become a doctor when I was in school. Unfortunately, I became a businessman like my father. My sister, Shivani got married to a doctor at my mother’s insistence as she does not want another businessman in her family.
She used to tell me in front of my father, character of a business man cannot be good. My father used to keep mum when she used to utter that sweeping remark about business man. As a young boy, I could not understand why she taunted my father in front of me. However, after my graduation when I was on my visit to my maternal uncle’s place, my uncle told me that my father had some illicit relation with our maid Niharika which was known to my mother and due to that, my mother had suffered a lot mentally.
For me, Niharika Aunty was like a mother to me and my sister. She took lot of care of the entire family when she lived with us. All of a sudden, she disappeared from our house after two years of working in our home. My father tried to find her but mother was reluctant to find her. I was told that father went to her house to find out whether she went there or not. But all his efforts to find her failed to yield any result. Slowly my father also left hope to find her out. When she vanished from our house, I was about 12-year-old and she was twenty-eight.
Now I am twenty-eight and my mother found a suitable girl for me. She is not from a very rich family. Therefore, my father was not happy with the alliance. But my mother did not heed to his reservation, snubbing him that she is not favour of any girl of a rich businessman.
Despite of my mother’s constant moral teachings, I followed my father’s footsteps so far building my own character is concerned. After attaining a certain age, I started my life as a spoilt child of a rich father. I became a prisoner of 3 Ws (Wealth, wine and woman). When my mother had chosen a poor girl for me, I did not oppose the proposal to marry her as I had a feeling, being a poor girl she would never dare to taunt me like my mother used to taunt my father, even if she would come to know my illicit relations with many girls.
Five days before my marriage, I was on a business tour to Shillong . Whenever I visit Shillong, I usually stay in my favourite hotel Lake View, situated at the bank of Barapani Lake. Those who visited Shillong, they must be spell bound to see the beauty of this lake. The lake is situated on the road side, covers more than five KM on Guwahati -Shillong road. It is 75 KM away from Guwahati and just 25 KM from the heart of Shillong. In winter thousands of people are seen picnicking on its bank.
Apart from having a beautiful view of the lake, the Lake View hotel attracts lot of romantic couples who want to have a peaceful day away from city lives. Further, one can stay overnight in the hotel with beautiful girl(s) against payment without any police problem in a hygienic and clean atmosphere. I was a regular visitor to this hotel with many of my girlfriends. When no girlfriend accompanies me, I used to request the management to provide one companion for the night which they gleefully supply for the night with a price tag.
On that day, it was raining and I was alone. That was a bad day for me. The management also said they did not have any spared lady for the night. When I was about to leave the counter for my car, the receptionist with a hesitation in his voice said, ‘If you do not mind we have one; but she may not be up to the mark for an excellent customer like you.’
I thought for a moment and then said, ‘Ok, I shall have that rotten egg for one tonight. How much I have to pay for that rotten whore?’
‘No price tag, Sir. Whatever you give, she will accept.’ The receptionist was happy at my answer.
As I was waiting for the lady, I heard a soft knock at the door. As I told her to come inside, I saw a middle-aged lady entered into my room.
When our eyes met, I was about to faint. I said with a feeble voice, ‘Niharika Aunty!’
She could not recognize me. When Niharika Aunty disappeared, I was just twelve and now I am twenty-eight. On the other hand, she was twenty-eight at that time and now she is forty-four. I could recognize her as she has changed less compared to my physical change s in the last sixteen years. She looked at me with a question mark on her face.
‘So many years where you had been? Why you had left our home? My father searched you for so many places, but he failed to find you out.’ Embracing her like a little child, I asked her many questions at a time. At that moment, I was not embracing her as a lady for the night, but like a lost mother of a child.
By the time, she also recognized me and started weeping.
After initial round of shock and weeping we started talking about our past and the present. I told how my father was frantically searched for her and how reluctant was my mother in her search. Then she said the most unbelieving story in my life.
Niharika Aunty was abducted by my maternal uncle and his friends at the behest of my mother. They sold her to a brothel; but not before they gang raped her. My mother came to know about the illicit relation of her husband with Niharika. But she did not show any indication to her husband that she knew about their relation. She instead hatched a conspiracy to get rid of her with the help of her brother. On that fateful day, she sent her husband to her mother’s place telling that her father wanted to discuss some important business matter. As he left for Dibrugarh, Niharika was abducted and sold to a brothel.
Niharika came to know about the conspiracy when one fellow prostitute told about that after one year of the crime. Then only she realized Bikram Choudury did not sell her to the brothel. She also realized love of Bikram Choudhury was not mere physical one. At that time, she could have gone back to her village or to our family. But she decided not to go back to a so-called civilized society.
For the first time, I also realized my father was not that bad as was projected by my mother and her family. Contrary to that, my mother was not as good as she projected herself.
‘You have to come with me, Aunty.’
‘No, my child, I cannot come with you. My life is now different. You all are respectable people. My association with your family will diminish reputation of your family in the eyes of others.’ She said.
‘No Aunty, you have to come with me. How long we shall live with the falsehood of a good family. My father had an illicit relation with you, a hapless lady, my mother is nothing but a mastermind of an abduction of a poor lady, my uncle was a rapist who can deal with a brothel and I am a regular visitor to brothels. None of my family member is good. Only plus point about our family is, we are rich. We are a family of hypocrites only. You come with me and I promise you, you will have an honourable life with me. I also promise you, I shall never go to a brothel in my life again and I shall be always a faithful husband to my wife.’ I finished my one way ruling to take her with me.
She was weeping!
I saw the arrival of a dawn of a new day.
(This story is based on an old man’s perspective towards happiness. Positive thinking of the lonely man actually inspire me a lot. Hope he may be an inspiration to others as well.)
I have seen the old man with a dog for the last three years in the park adjacent to my residence. The old man apparently lives in a different world, I have never seen him in a conversation with anyone in the last three years. His only companion, a golden retriever runs one point to another point of the park keeping an eye on his master, the old fragile man. As I am not a regular visitor to the park, I cannot say whether they are always coming to the park or they are also irregular visitors like me.
The dog is apparently healthy, though he appears to be old. Sometimes however, I wonder if the dog has some arthritis problem as I saw some discomfort in his legs while running. But, I must admit, he is always happy with old man.
The old man must have crossed the barrier of seventy few years ago. He normally moves slowly and always keep an eye on the dog. He sometimes gives some instructions to the dog, which are apparently heard and followed by the dog very obediently.
The pair, the old man and his pet apparently happy in their secluded company of each other.
On a cloudy day when I saw the duo in the park, I decided to talk to the old person. But being a person of 55, it is difficult to address a person of around 75 as uncle or as elder brother as I do not know the psyche of every 75 year old person about his age. I had been snubbed twice by two elderly persons for two diametrically opposite reasons. First, when I addressed an elderly woman on a bus from my maternal uncle’s place to my father’s place as ‘Mahi (younger sister of mother). She asked me with a stern look whose son I was. When I told my mother’s name, she admonished me for addressing her as Mahi instead of Jethai (elder sister of mother) as she was much older than my mother. Again when I addressed a forty-five year lady as Aunty, she admonished me for not addressing her as Bidew (madam / elder sister), when I was barely twenty year old with an age difference of twenty five years.
Finally, I addressed the old man, ‘Sir, I have seen you for last three years with your dog. If you do not mind, can I ask you a question?’
He looked at me for a while and then said, ‘You can ask me any number of questions. But do not address me as sir. You must be a senior officer. I was a mere peon of an office though my son is also a senior officer in Government of India like you. I do not know the name of the office of my son.’ He stopped there. I got another snubbing for ‘wrong addressing’ to an old person.
‘Ok, uncle, can I address like that?’ I wanted his permission before I get another snubbing.
‘Sure, you must be my son’s age. You can call me uncle.’ The old man permitted me to address him as uncle.
‘I saw you for almost three years with your dog. I have never seen you talking with anyone. You do not like talking or—’ I did not finish my sentence intentionally.
‘I love to talk with any positive person. Initially when I came to this place, young and sophisticated people never talked to me due to my humble background. However, few old people talked me just to ventilate their grievances against their children and particularly against their daughter in laws. They always try to tell their side of the stories. From their stories, it appears, all the daughter in laws are devils. They never try to understand the problems of the daughter in laws who also might be under tremendous pressure. I do not know, as young people, few decades ago, how much they had served their parents. Now, being old they try to extract sympathy from others by saying something against their children, particularly about their daughter in laws. I did not like that habit. I stopped interacting with those old persons.’
I was surprised to hear such an allegation for fellow old people on alleged neglect by children and daughter in laws.
‘Your answer gives me a new perspective of old age. I was fearful about my own old age after my retirement. I shall definitely like to know about you and more about your thinking on neglect by children!’ I was very much interested to know about the old man.
Smiling like an innocent ten year old, he said, ‘To know about me, you have to wait for a day. I have to go home now. After half an hour, normally all my family members, except my son, who is always late from office, will sit together for a cup of tea. I cannot miss that. It is the time when all the family members see each other’s face.’
Without waiting for my reply the old man left the park with his dog slowly. I looked at the pair till they disappeared in the evening darkness.
Next day, the old man started to tell his journey of life.
My name is Hari Prasad Sharma. I was a peon for thirty-five years in the District Magistrate Office of Moradabad, UP (I have changed the name of the district and state to honour the privacy of the family). I have one son and three daughters, now all married. With a meagre salary of a peon, I was able to give proper education to my only son, Vijay. But I could not afford the educational expenditure for my daughters. That is common in almost in all parts of rural India. Though sometimes, I feel, I did gross injustice to my daughters.
Nine years ago when my wife died, my son, Vijay brought me to Delhi as none was there in my home to look after me. As a typical North Indian village man, I was not habituated in cooking and other household chores despite of the fact that, I was not from a wealthy background. In our village cooking by a male, that too by a Government servant was almost unthinkable. Therefore, starting cooking at the age of 65 was almost impossible for me.
As a man from Indian rural background, I cannot stay in any of my married daughters’ place even though all of them were staying nearby my home, though I would be more comfortable in staying in their homes. Under those compelling circumstances, I landed at my son’s door nine years ago.
Though I was financially not dependent on my son, my arrival gave his nucleus family some discomforts in their personal lives. They have to rearrange everything, from time table to living rooms for me. For some days, I was also disappointed. However, looking at the problems from their perspective, I felt rather sorry for them. I discussed all the problems with my daughter in law. Then we found some workable solutions.
In the meantime, after my arrival, my son had to buy this dog due to his second son’s (at that time he was eleven year old) irresistible demand or tantrum. He promised to look after the puppy by himself. But his interest for the puppy evaporated within a month and they were about to return the puppy to the seller. But on my intervention, the puppy was not returned and from that day onwards, I looked after him and subsequently he became my constant company.
He is my only companion for the whole day for the last few years. He has a positive impact on my lifestyle. I do not know who will go first. I am already 74 and he is 9 years. Normally his breed has an average life of 10-12 years and I have also crossed my prime and counting my days.
My son has an important job in the Government of India and he leaves for office at 8-30 AM and seldom returns home before 7-30 PM. I know his problems in the office. Being son of a peon, he does not have a Godfather in the Government. He has to work twice than his counter parts with better family backgrounds to get his normal promotion etc. When others are going for a party, he has to be in the office just not to get a scolding from his boss. I am not saying that happens always, but mostly it is like that in his long career.
My daughter in law is working in a Central School located 10 KM away from our home and has to go to a school in time. She should be always punctual in her attendance to avoid her transfer from the city. Fearing her transfer, she always reach her school by 8-30 AM for her school from 9AM. Who knows who is after her? She comes back from her school by 5PM.
My two grandsons are in some technical college and they also have to go to college in time. Their college also starts at 9 AM. Though the children come back from school by 3 PM, they have their daily home-works and time bound projects throughout the year.
So practically, everyone leaves home by 9 AM in the morning and returns after 4-30/ 8-00 PM. Thus, practically, none has time for me or for the dog.
Therefore, it would be wrong on my part to think that they do not want to spend time with me. I am sure, all of them have intention to spend some quality time with me, but they are helpless. Whenever, they get some time, they sit with me and asked about my health etc. For providing food etc. they have kept one servant in their servant quarters. She is taking care of me as far as possible.
In my wildest imagination also, I never think that they have ever neglected me intentionally. I must understand that they have their own problems and I must appreciate whatever they are doing for me.
After staying with my son’s family for three to six months, a positive thinking struck me. We all men think that we are superior to women, as we were taught from our childhood by our family or by our male dominated society. Then, if it is so, why can’t we do a thing which a lady can do easily, cooking.
First, I start with preparation of a cup of tea. I did not find much difficulty on the first day itself. In a few days, I was able to cook my necessary food which are essential to live in this world without depending on anyone else.
Then I started learning other household chores as well, from my daughter in law and from the maid. Though initially my daughter in law dissuaded me from doing any household chores, on my insistence she allowed me to do so.
My positive actions inspired my two grandsons to learn cooking and helped them to discard the feeling that their mother and maid are only supposed to do household chores.
However, only objections came from my daughters in my endeavours. They tried to accuse my daughter in law to make me their servant. However, getting snubbing from me few times, they stopped criticising her.
Now, at a ripe age of 74, I am a totally happy and contended man like my dog upside down. I love my family and I am sure they also love me. But they cannot spare time for me which I have to agree from my heart.
Every old man wants that they are surrounded by his/ her family members. But is that possible? They should ask a simple question to themselves, did they spend whole time with their parents when they were young?
I have seen some of my friends who did nothing for their old parents, now they are complaining about their sons and daughter in laws. Is it right? But who cares? Every third party, without analysing their past deeds jumps upon to criticize the sons and daughter in laws, who actually learn nothing good from their parents when they were young. If you peep into the lives of the critics of daughter in laws, you will find, they are also not doing anything good for their old parents.
At this age, I am reiterating, I am a happy and contended man. I am happy with my children whatever they are doing for me for the last one decade with so many problems of their own.
He stopped there. I wanted to leave the place thanking him for giving me new perspective old man’s life. But he gestured to sit down for a minute more.
‘If you ask me one point of being happy, I shall tell you, I love my daughter in law as my own daughter. I understand her problems as a father. I am not a burden on her now, but I am a friend, philosopher and guide to her. I never allow anybody to criticise any of her actions in front of me. I always defend all her actions as a father. In the process she also treat me as her own father, not as her father in law.’
As I was leaving, I saw a natural glow in the face of the old man in the deem lights of the park.
(One-day Emperor Akbar the Great asked his trusted courtier Birbal, ‘What is the distance between ‘True and False?’ Birbal said, ‘About two inches, my lord.’ When Akbar asked him to explain what he had said in his explanation, ‘What you can see, that is true and what you hear may be false. Truth is visible and can be believed without further verification. Hearsay has always to be verified from other relevant materials and evidences. If one believes hearsay, he is likely to commit mistakes in his decision making process.’
Emperor was happy to hear the answer. But at times what you see is also not true. In this book, I try to depict a story where everything was based on falsehood. But everybody, except one person, saw as if everything was right. The right person was implicated wrongly and wrong person was portrayed as an honest person, in a sense, which you have to judge after reading the book. I gave the name of the story as ‘Only He Knows’. Here ‘He’ means the protagonist and the Almighty.
I want to clarify one thing; I always personally believe that no disease can be associated with any misdeed or sin. So sufferings by Seema and Himangshu cannot be associated with their actions. But my emphasis is on the fact that public perception about a person may not be always correct.
Then anyone can ask me, why I repeatedly associate adultery with cancer. The reason is deep rooted in our minds, in our society and in our religions where we always try to associate our sufferings and misfortunes with our misdeeds. I heard the statement made by Seema, ‘I have not done anything wrong, why God has punished me with this particular deadly disease?’ many times in my life in my own mother’s mouth when she was suffering from cancer and many times in many patients’ mouths who were terminally ill. In fact, the sentence, I am using repeatedly in the story is a borrowed one!)
He brought good luck to his family. After three days of his birth, his father got a promotion and his mother got a plot of land in her name from her father. He was adored by his elder sister as her own son, because of the age gap, almost 12 years, between them. However, his elder brother, eight years elder, does not like him considering him as his rival of love and affection from his father. For his parents, he is always a darling! He is Arnav, youngest son of Himangshu and Seema, little brother of Deepankar and Deepanju.
Both Deepankar and Deepanju are brilliant, but once Arnav started going to school, everybody realized, he is extraordinary. Arnav not only brilliant in his studies, but is also brilliant in debating, extempore speech on any subject under the sun. His teachers, who happened to be the teachers of the elder siblings also are equivocal about his extra ordinary brilliance.
As he grew to become a teenager, his siblings left their home for higher studies to USA. When Arnav cleared his twelfth, his brother and sister were well settled in USA and Canada respectively. Both his brother and sister invited him to join them after his twelfth. But he refused to join them as he did not want to leave his parents, though his parents also advised him to make his career first, instead of looking after his parents.
After twelfth he joined St. Stephens College as a B. Sc Honours student in Physics despite of the fact that he had cleared IIT entrance examination with ease without joining any coaching course. Many of his family members criticized Himangshu for not sending his son to IIT with little bit of persuasion. But Himangshu knew his son is better than anybody else. Himangshu knew, his son would flourish whatever he would do-that would be his destiny.
Himangshu was correct in his assessment of his son, he started his college life with publishing papers with extra ordinary standards to the envy of the seniors as well as junior teachers of the college. All the senior teachers started treating him like a colleague- not as a student. He was not only good in Physics, but he was also equally good in other three subjects, Chemistry, Mathematics and English.
So far extracurricular activities were concerned, he became the champion in debating and extempore speech in the college on his very first appearance.
Himangshu was becoming a father of Arnav, Arnav was no more the son of Himangshu in public life!!!
Himangshu and Seema had a perfect happy married life. Though their marriage was an arranged marriage, they started loving each other from the day one of their married life. Himangshu was an ideal husband who seldom raised his voice on Seema’s fault. Seema always enjoyed her freedom which Himangshu never tried to curtail throughout their married life.
After one year of marriage, the couple was blessed with a daughter and after another four years, they were blessed with a son. Though they did not plan for a third child, another son was born to them after a gap of eight years. Initially, they thought for an abortion, but due to pressure from their peer group and relatives, they abandoned the idea of abortion. However, afterwards they always thank the peer group and relatives for their timely good advice as Arnav, the third child became the cynosure of the whole family for his extraordinary qualities.
In the financial front, the couple was in the upper middle class category and practically they did not have any financial problem in their married life.
Himangshu’s concern for his wife was envy for every wife who knew the couple. Seema was also very possessive about her husband and always guide him in his life as a true partner of life.
As parent also they were successful as all the three children were brilliant in studies and first two became economically independent much before their counterparts could leave their studies. Both of them studied in USA on scholarship as they scored heavily in GRE. Both of them are in good jobs for the last few years.
The youngest one, though not settled now, is expected to have an excellent job once he will complete his studies.
Two years’ back, Seema was diagnosed liver cancer. It was a devastating news for the happy family. Himangshu took Seema to Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Cancer Institute, Delhi and consulted with Tata Memorial Cancer Institute without losing any time. But both the institutes are of the same opinion, cancer had already spread to the other parts as well. However, chemotherapy was started on her. She lost her beautiful hair and at first she lost her weight also and then she gained a lot of weight. Happiness has been lost for Himangshu and Arnav more than the other two children who were at a long distance and could not see the agony of their mother on daily basis.
Pressure on Himangshu was tremendous. He had to manage his office works and also household works. Though Arnav wanted to help him in his household chores, Himangshu told him categorically not to spend his time other than his studies.
Seema had never been very good in household works. She never liked cooking and other household works and therefore for Himangshu, household work had never been a problem. But situation became different after chemotherapy; Seema became completely dependent on Himangshu even for her personal works.
Seema became very depressed and used to utter, ‘I have not done anything wrong, why God has punished me with this disease?’
Himangshu used to console her, ‘It is a simple disease, anyone can suffer. There is no relation between committing a crime and suffering from a disease. Further, you will be alright after some days.’
On an another day, when Seema uttered those words, Himangshu told, ‘Had there been a direct relation between committing a sin and cancer, I would have been diagnosed cancer much before you had been diagnosed cancer!’
Seema did not say anything.
In the next two years, sometimes she recovered somewhat and again after some days her condition deteriorated.
Few months back, she had been hospitalized as her condition did not improve.
Every known person to this family was surprised to see the devotion of Himangshu towards his wife. The wives of his friends and relatives were in the opinion that Seema had been very lucky to have a husband like Himangshu.
Everyone was praising Himangshu’s stamina also. Himangshu used to sit with his wife whole day skipping his food and sleep. Whenever she wanted something, he was there to provide her the item she asked for. He used to give light massage time to time so that she was somewhat relieved of her pain.
As a dotting father, he did not allow Arnav to stay overnight nor to skip any class. Himangshu took a long leave to nurse his wife. He also instructed his elder children not to take the pain by travelling a long distance just to see their ailing mother.
However, when doctor said that there had been no chance for any recovery, he called his elder children to meet their mother, might be for the last time.
Even when his elder children arrived, he used to nurse his wife single handedly without giving any trouble to his children.
We some time surprised to see some good persons are suffering which he or she is not supposed to suffer. When Seema was diagnosed cancer, everyone known to her became very sad. All the persons who knew Seema for a long time in unison remarked, ‘How God can punish this pious lady who perhaps never committed a sin in her life.’
Though Himangshu had a good reputation as a perfect gentleman in the society, among the close friends, Himangshu was known for his adultery for many years. Despite of his extraordinary love and concern for his wife during her hospitalization, even then he did not hesitate to sleep with a lady who might be also an attendant of another patient!
However, some of his close friends who knew about his adulterous character remarked, ‘How God can punish this pious lady for the sin committed by her husband.’
Those who knew the darker side of Himangshu further remarked, ‘Today, Himangshu is suffering for his misdeeds! Cancer gives trouble not only to the patient but also all the members of the family, particularly the person who is looking after the patient. So Himangshu has been punished for his own deeds. No sympathy for him; sympathy is for his wife only.’
Most of the friends agreed with or without misdeeds, Himangshu was suffering along with his wife. Many of them had genuine sympathy for both of them. To be precise, most of the ladies had genuine sympathy for Himangshu and others (who were aware of Himangshu’s darker side), all had sympathy for Seema.
‘I want to confess something which may hurt you!’ Seema told Himangshu with an extremely feeble voice when she thought her days were numbered.
‘Do not worry, tell me whatever you want to tell me. Nothing should be kept inside you which actually is hurting you, even if that will hurt me for the time being.’ Himangshu assured the dying woman, his wife for thirty-five odd years.
‘I do not know whether you will be able to forgive me or not. However, I am not expecting any forgiveness from you; but I am worrying for another innocent soul!’ She paused for a moment. It is not clear whether she paused because of her weakness or whether she was examining her husband’s reactions.
Himangshu was waiting to hear the confession from his wife. ‘Carry on dear. Do not hurt yourself by not saying anything. I assure you, I shall forgive you and I shall not hurt the innocent soul which you are referring.’ He said with a voice, Seema understood he was genuine about his assurance.
‘Arnav is not your child!’ She paused again to see the face of Himangshu. To her surprise, Himangshu did not show any anger on his face.
‘I know you always love him more than the other two children. I doubt whether the situation will remain same in future also or not. Rather, I am worried you may start hating him.’
She paused for a moment and then said, ‘He is your cousin Subhas’s son. Subhas used to visit me in your absence when Deepankar and Deepanju were in school. Initially, I ignored him. He used to talk explicitly about a girl of his college who used to have physical relation with many classmates including him. One day his explanation was so lucid that I also felt the heat and I could not resist myself in surrendering to him. After that he used to have physical relation with me many times and I became pregnant of his child. Thus Arnav was born. I was worried, you might doubt me as you always took precautions. Luckily for me, you did not suspect me. From the bottom of my heart I am telling you, I never wanted to lose you and your love; I always love you from core of my heart. I never loved Subhas. The first physical relation was an accident. But subsequent physical relations were due to black mailing by Subhas. I still repent for that particular moment when I was swayed away by his talks. I beg to you, even if you cannot forgive me, please remain same to Arnav.’ She heaved a sigh.
Still Himangshu showed no emotion or anger on his face.
‘Are you not angry with me? Can you forgive me? Can you love Arnav like earlier?’ She asked all the questions in one go.
‘No, I am not angry with you; because I knew Arnav is not my child much before his birth. Long before his birth I had forgiven you (he told a damn lie-at that moment-perhaps). Even after knowing that Arnav is not my child, I love him more than my own children. Even after knowing about your adultery, I always loved you and treat Arnav as my own child. Therefore, do not worry for his future also. Our relation will remain same.’ Himangshu told her as if nothing had happened.
His statement and his cool approach was too much for the ailing wife. She immediately suffered a massive heart attack from which she could not recover even after lot of medical interventions. She was in coma for a day and then she expired.
Both the elder children came from abroad before few days of demise of their mother. After completion of all the rituals they left for their places of working instructing their little brother to look after their bereaved father.
After few days, Arnav also started going to college. For him, Himangshu became both father and mother.
When everything became normal, Himangshu also started going to office with a heavy heart. Now he realized, Seema was not that bad as he thought for last twenty odd years! Now he thinks, he should have confronted her to know her side of the story. If he would have known her side of the story, perhaps he would not have stooped so low in his life. But he felt happy that he protected her dignity in the eyes of his children and public till her death and beyond.
One day one of his closest friends came to his office and started saying, ‘So you are a free bird now!’
‘No, I am more caged now! I cannot leave my youngest son alone at home. So I have to go home early to prepare his evening snacks and dinner. In fact, I go home earlier than when my wife was alive!’ Himangshu said with a sigh.
‘I understand your problem! When your wife was alive, you had cheated her always, what a poor lady she was! By the way, how many times you had cheated her?’ His friend asked him.
‘No, not much, may be only 30 odd times!’ Himangshu said with a grin.
‘You bastard!’ His friend commented.
After his friend left, he went back to the memories of his married life. He remembered how much he was happy with his wife till he came to know about the adultery of his wife. He thought to commit suicide after knowing his wife’s illicit relation with his cousin. But somehow he controlled himself from committing suicide. Then Arnav was born and he went to make a horoscope for him. The astrologer commented, ‘You are the luckiest man to have this angel as your (did he know the fact?) son. He is your good luck. He will always be with you till your death. He will love you more than himself. In future, you will be known as his father only.’
Whatever the astrologer said came true. After his birth everything started looking good for him and his family. He is more intelligent and more concern about him than the other two children. In course of time, Himangshu started loving Arnav more than his own children.
He always shows his love for Arnav more whenever his cheater cousin visits him. Arnav’s extraordinary academic performance gave his cousin a heartbreak every time he meets Arnav as his (Subhas’s) own sons are not as all brilliant as Arnav. He expresses his frustration on that issue many times before Himangshu.
‘In my absence, he must have showed more frustration to Seema’. That was Himangshu’s one of the most favorite fantasies for the last twenty years.
After knowing her adultery, he thought he started hating his wife and started to have physical relations with many ladies, including with many women, against payment. All his friends think he is a cheater, but he cannot say who started cheating first! But, was he right in his thinking?
He realized, probably he was not right after hearing the confessional statement of Seema at her dying bed. Actually, after that Himangshu could not digest the pain of Seema’s death. Unfortunately, he also died within two months’ of Seema’s death making his children orphans.
After few months, Deepankar took emotionally drained Arnav to USA after disposing all the properties of their parents in India!
Deepanju also migrated to USA to join her brothers. In due course of time Depanju filled the void of his (Arnav’s) mother. However, Arnav realized his father was unique and nobody can take his place, not even by his brother, Deepankar!!!!!!!
Chapter XV: Hawk Eye
(He has an extraordinary power to identify his innocent victims. He has an extraordinary power to lure victims to his web. He cannot be caught as per the existing law. He is extremely powerful in his endeavor, perhaps next only to the God. How long he can play the role of unfortunate widower and social worker to lure rich vulnerable ladies to his trap?)
It was a pleasant surprise for me to see Arnab after thirty years at a recent seminar on women empowerment in South East Asia. He was invited as the main guest lecturer by the organizer and I was attending the seminar as a Gender Expert from our Ministry. He was accompanied by a lady of around 25, whom I thought to be his daughter. I could recognize him because of his baby face with an obese body. He however took his time to recognize me as according to him, I had changed a lot and looked more than my actual age. Looking older than my age has been a problem for me from my childhood. My elder brother looks ten year younger than I. Therefore, I took his comments in my stride.
‘Anyway, I am extremely happy to see you today unexpectedly.’ I commented.
‘Me too. Let me introduce my wife Vineeta.’ I was about to faint to hear that the lovely young girl is his wife. My elder daughter might be older than her at that time.
Somehow, after composing myself I said, ‘Glad to meet you madam.’
‘So I am. You can call me Vineeta.’
‘Thank you Vineeta.’
During lunch time, I came to know that Vineeta is Arnab’ seventh wife. ‘What about your first six wives?’
‘First wife has divorced me a few years back. My only child, a son was from her and he lives with her. All five expired within one year of our marriage. Unfortunately, all died due to cancer. I am very unlucky in that sense!’
‘According to an old Indian proverb, you are a real lucky man. Every year you are getting a new wife. I am dragging my life with only one wife.’ I heaved a sigh.
‘It is not like that. I was very happy to be with my first wife for first ten years. Then differences cropped up between us and finally we decided for a divorce with mutual consent. Therefore, still we are good friends.’
‘I do not know having a wife for one year is a good thing or not, but definitely an interesting one.’ I commented.
‘Forget about my life. What about you?’ He asked about my family life.
‘I have one wife for twenty five years, one son and two daughters. My elder daughter and son are working and my younger daughter is still in school.’ I said.
‘Why there is so wide age difference between the first two and third one?’ He asked.
‘At the age of thirty five, I thought I was still young to play another innings!’ Both of us started laughing.
It was year 1988, when I last met Arnab before a cinema hall. On that day, he was with his first wife, Purabi and I was attending a training programme organized by our department; venue of which was adjacent to a cinema hall. Actually, our training was organized at a hotel which was very near to a cinema hall where he and his wife came for a movie. On that day, he introduced his wife Purabi with me. She is an ordinary looking girl with strong feminist ideas. At that time Arnab was extremely vocal, may be today also, for women’s rights. He was equally supported by his wife. On the other hand, I always advocate, right and duties should go side by side.
We had a strong debate on the issue with the couple for half an hour on some gender issues. Thanks to movie time, they had to leave the place after half an hour.
I wondered why the couple had divorced when their ideology was so similar. On the other hand, my wife and I have diametrically opposite views on most of the times, but still we are pulling our lives together for last twenty five years.
‘Can you tell me what prompted you to divorce your first wife?’ I asked the question exactly not expecting a truthful answer from Arnab.
‘Somehow we could not go along with each other further. But still we are good friends.’ He reiterated his good relation with his divorced wife once again.
‘All the other wives, who died of cancer, are they as young as the present wife?’ I was already jealous of Arnab for having such a beautiful young wife.
‘No, not all are young. Rather most of them were middle-aged. But all died within one year of our marriage.’ He said.
‘That is quite strange.’ I commented.
‘Yes. But so far I am concerned, it is not strange. Actually, I am doing a social service by marrying cancer patients for last ten odd years.’ He said thoughtfully.
‘How?’ I asked Arnab.
One day Arnab saw a middle aged lady and immediately his sixth sense alerted, this lady would die within two years due to cancer. She was known to his wife. She was a widow having a son of ten year old. He was very disturbed of the very thought of death of the ten year Old’s mother.
He discussed the matter with his wife. First she ignored what he was saying. But one phone call from her friend had changed everything about her future life.
‘Hi, Purabi, I have to tell you a bad news for all of us. Manorama, our PG classmate diagnosed breast cancer.’ Jahnavi, their common friend told Purabi.
‘What? When did you come to know? Only fifteen days ago, I along with my husband met her. She did not tell anything about her ailment.’ Purabi was horrified.
‘Only yesterday, she was informed by the doctor.’ Jahnavi told Purabi from the other side. Purabi could not react further.
In that evening, Purabi and Arnab had a long discussion on the power of Arnab’s ability to identify a cancer patient before declaration by a medical practitioner.
But next one year was a watershed in Purabi’s life. Due to sympathy for Manorama, she allowed her husband to be close to Manorama. But may be over sympathetic attitude of Arnab, Manorama started loving Arnab and led to a strong marital discord between Purabi and Arnab. Their relation made a nasty turn after one year and culminated in a divorce,
After divorcing Purabi Arnab married Manorama. Unfortunately Manorama died after nine months after their marriage. But before her death she admitted that she had a most beautiful life in her last nine months of marriage with Arnab.
After death of Manorama, Arnab wanted to reconcile with Purabi. Initially Purabi was reluctant to have any relation with Arnab. But again another development had an impact on Purabi. As per the will of Manorama, Arnab got 50% of her property which was whopping Rs.10 Crore. News of getting 10 crore by her ex-husband gave an idea to make money by using the extra-ordinary power of her ex-husband.
They discussed the matter and decided to stay as friends after divorce and Arnab will marry as many as possible ‘would be vulnerable and rich cancer patients’ to accumulate as much as property for their only son and for their old age.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That happens to Arnab also. His power to identify cancer patient made him greedy, instead of real social service or service to the mankind.
His and his partner in crime, his ex-wife modus operandi was simple. Identify a rich widow or divorcee, likely to have cancer as per his sixth sense, or already having cancer, lure her to his life by proposing to marry her. Normally, a lonely cancer patient is vulnerable for love and fell into the trap laid by the couple.
In the process, Arnab got lot of laurel from the society and easy access to the hearts of rich vulnerable cancer patents. In the process he became rich and richer at the death of his wives one by one.
Criminal conspiracy of Arnab and Purabi has not been noticed by anyone in the last ten years and they have already amassed property of more than hundred crores already.
He did not know, one day he would be caught as a victim of his own web. The present wife Vineeta is the only daughter of a lady of dubious character. As she grew to a lovely lady, her mother wanted to marry her to a rich old person to grab his property.
When she met Arnab while delivering a lecture on women empowerment a year ago, she put her eyes on Arnab. She deputed her daughter to lure him by using her beauty and youthfulness.
Arnab, though initially not interested in her, but youthful beauty was enough to attract him to her trap. For the first time he told his ex-wife a lie or a damn lie that Vineeta is going die within a year due to cancer.
As a middle aged man, Arnab enjoyed the company of her thoroughly for the first few months. But after that he developed some physical problems.
As her husband went to the most modern and expensive hospital for his medical checkup, Vineeta smiled and said to herself.
‘He will be diagnosed cancer and he has to die within next six months. I did not tell anybody including my mom that I can identify a cancer patient much before he/she develops any syndrome of cancer. I am going to inherit all his properties as I shall be the only heir to his property. I have to stop his ex-wife to visit him in the hospital so that he cannot give away a single rupee to his ex-wife or to their son.’
Yesterday, I got a call from Vineeta to meet her in a restaurant near to their palatial building at Greater Kailash. Am the next Prey of her?
(It is another completely fictitious crime-thriller short story. If you find any resemblance with any character living or dead with the protagonist of the story, it is nothing but a coincidence only. Hope my readers will like the story.)
‘Who has told you to meet me and who has given my address?’ The cine-star looking guy asked Varun coolly.
‘Mr. Vikash Barman, my friend who had once taken your help, gave your address.’ Varun answered, not being sure whether this handsome fellow would be helpful to him or not.
‘ Oh, Vikash. He is a good guy. If he is your friend, I shall definitely help you. But he must have told you that my fee is little bit high and I take 50% before the execution of the work as an advance and I take the next 50% within one hour of execution of the work. My fee is always in cash. Otherwise, I cannot control myself.’ With a chilling smile the cool guy told. His cool voice ensured Varun that he is at the right place.
‘Yes, Vikash told me everything. I have brought 50% of the fee right now. It is one Crore. Please take it.’ Saying this, he pushed a brief case to the cool guy.
‘Please count it.’ Varun told the cool guy.
‘I never count any amount. In the last ten years of business, only one guy dared to cheat me. Unfortunately, he became late Mr. Cheat today.’ The cool guy smiled with a chilling effect in the entire room.
‘Now tell me, whom you want to eliminate? But do not waste your time by explaining why you want to eliminate the person. I am not interested.’ The cool guy said.
‘My wife. This is her photograph.’ Varun gave a photograph.
With the same smile the cool guy said, ‘Ok. On the next week end, you come with your wife to Hotel Kuber, along with your money. Before reaching the hotel, your car will be intercepted by a black Jaguar and you will be robbed and --.’ He did not finish his words. Varun understood what he intended to say.
Varun became somewhat assured that with Rs. Two Crore he would be able to get rid of his estranged wife.
Varun and Priya married two years ago as per the wishes of their parents. Both the family knew each other for a long time due to their business relation. Both the families are rich and that is why the marriage took place.
However, both of them became unhappy within a week after their marriage due to their individual educational attainment. Varun was a class eight drop out and rustic due to his educational background. Contrary to that, Priya is a MBA graduate from London School of Economics. She is no match for her uneducated husband or otherwise.
Initially, Varun tried to dominate Priya like any other North Indian husband. But Priya is a highly educated girl for which it was difficult for Varun to dominate her. Within a week, Priya started humiliate Varun. For the first few weeks she humiliated Varun privately within the four walls, but then she started humiliating him in front of his friends and family members at any time anywhere as and when she wished.
Varun decided to divorce Priya after six months. But due to huge monetary involvement in some joint business ventures of the two, deterred Varun from taking any such move. Finally, Varun decided to get rid of Priya permanently without effecting their business interest.
When he learnt from his friend Vikash about the cool guy, a true professional in eliminating anyone from this beautiful earth, he decided to meet the person.
While driving home, Varun decided to behave with his wife cordially, because she would be a guest in his room for the next few days only.
He told his wife in that evening, ‘Can we not live peacefully for the rest of our lives?’
Priya thought for a while and said, ‘Yes I am also tired of fighting. If you are serious about it, I am also going to cooperate with you. I promise.’
Varun hugged his wife which she also reciprocated. On that night, after a long time, they slept on the same bed like husband and wife.
In the next couple of days they were seen moving around as an ideal couple. Their family also noticed that and they were relieved a lot.
Varun thought whether he had taken a wrong decision in hiring a professional killer to eliminate her. But in the next moment he thought, she had already tortured him enough and there was no guarantee that she would behave as a normal wife even after a week.
On Thursday morning through messenger, Varun got an envelope from the cool guy. Detail instructions were jotted down by the cool guy; how to bring his wife in his white Mercedes Benz along with the brief case of Rs. One Crore. He was instructed to drive the car himself as the cool guy did not want to kill an extra innocent person. He also instructed what should be the speed of the car and when to start his car from his home. If due to traffic jam, he had to slow down, Varun had to send a code message in the given phone number where he should mention about the expected time to reach the place of the planned attack. He was also given a route map from his home to the hotel so that nothing was deviated from the plan.
Varun read the instructions many times so that he could memorize everything before he would destroy the papers; as instructed by the cool guy.
Varun asked his wife on Friday morning to accompany him to Hotel Kuber for a business meeting on that evening at 8 PM. She thought for a while and then agreed to his proposal.
In the evening, when they were ready to go for the meeting, the driver requested Priya to spare him for the evening as his son was reportedly ill. He also wanted three days leave. The driver did it as ordered by his master, Varun.
As Priya was hesitating to allow him to go for three days’ leave for which he had requested for, Varun allowed him to go and offered to drive the car himself for the next three days.
The car in which Varun and Priya were travelling was intercepted as per the plan by a black Jaguar at the pre-designed secluded place. Varun smiled to himself. He told to himself, ‘From today, I shall get rid of this bitch!’
Priya also smiled to utter astonishment of Varun.
‘Why you are smiling?’ Varun asked his wife.
‘Within a few seconds you will come to know, my dear husband.’ She smiled again. For the first time, Varun got some rotten smell and became little bit nervous.
Varun saw two persons with covered faces and revolvers in their hands, came out of the Jaguar. Now he was a worried person as he was expecting only the cool guy to come out and kill his wife. He looked to his wife. He saw her smile had already vanished and a wild fear developed in the eyes of Priya also.
Before, Varun could do something to save himself from the approaching gun-toting persons, one of them shot twice Varun at his chest, killing him on the spot. Another man pumped two bullets in the chest of Priya killing her also instantly.
Then they opened the doors of the car and took away two brief cases full of cash.
As the robbers were about to board the waiting car, the driver shot both the robbers within a matter of few seconds before they could realize what was happening.
The driver of the car was none other than the cool guy who was hired by Varun to kill his estranged wife. He was an extremely good sharp shooter to kill both the killers with one shot each. The robbers cum killers were killed instantly, as the bullets struck the foreheads of the robbers/ killers.
As he started his Jaguar leaving four dead bodies behind, the cool guy looked to the sky and told to himself, ‘Hope in the next few months also, some rich people become unhappy husbands and wives and come to hire me to kill each other. I hope God will also be kind enough to send some small time foolish professional killers to me to kill my victims at a small price and then to be killed by me. Amen!’
He drove his Black Jaguar singing his favourite distorted verse of Gita, ‘None can kill anybody, nor can be killed. It is the Mahakaal (God of Death) who can snatch someone’s life! The apparent killers are only via media of God of Death. There is no sin in killing someone who does not deserve to be alive. One falls prey to one’s destiny only!’
There was an uproar in the media, political circle and business circle. Everyone blames the law and order authority for not able to catch the culprit of the gruesome murder of a young couple associated with two large business houses.
Police investigated following three main angles; one, it is a simple robbery case, two, enmity between the victims and the killers and third, it is fallout of business rivalry. Finally after three months, police closed the file with the following comments:
‘The murder was planned and executed by some business house due to some professional rivalry. The conclusion came from the fact that, the original killers had been killed by another truly professional killer. The third killer was so expert in killing, he used only two bullets to kill two persons on the spot. The killers of the couple were identified as two first time professional killers lodged in Tihar jail for the last few months and were released just three days before they committed the crime. They had been in judicial custody for alleged murder of two politicians in separate incidents. From their telephone records also nothing could be dug out. However, the police were baffled by a fact that the revolvers used by the killers had only two bullets in each revolver as there was no proof of removing any bullet after the incident.’
The file was put up before the young and dynamic police officer in charge who had investigated the crime. He opened his pen to sign. Then he closed the pen and typed a letter in his computer. He read the contents of the letter and signed. It was his resignation letter.
He did not sign the file, instead he sent the file to his boss along with his resignation letter.
He did not want to sign a file where he had to agree that he was baffled by the fact that the revolvers used by the killers had only two bullets in each revolver He knew, why only two bullets were given to each of the killers with the instruction to pump both the bullets in killing the couple. He knew that the professional killer himself appointed the killers and knew that giving more bullets might invite trouble for him as the killers might use those bullets against him. Therefore, he decided to resign from the post instead of admitting that he was baffled.
Further, now he has enough money to enjoy his life somewhere in a friendly remote village in a hilly state bordering an unfriendly country.
He is really a cool guy!
(This story is based on a village girl who destined to win all the battles wherever she was pitted, against all the odds. However, she was not from Assam as I portrayed in the story. I have not given any name of the person who had helped her all along as an elder brother and as a mentor. I have done it deliberately)
When you are sewing or knitting, if a thread is snapped you can find the two ends of the snapped thread quite comfortably. But while a thread is snapped while weaving, it is very difficult to find out the two ends of the snapped thread. If thread is missing, the weaver feels to be on a boat in the midst of a river without a radar. She/ he tries to find out two ends of the thread, but mostly in vain. She/ he tries to find a substitute or in extreme cases he/ she dumps the whole process for ever.
Every person is on a journey; journey of life. During the journey one person meets another person and in the process he/ she makes both friends and foes; normally in good numbers. If one of the friends leaves the company, he/she feels uncomfortable for some time and when he / she gets rid of one of the foes he/ she feels happy; again only for a small period.
However, everyone will agree with me that losing a good friend is extremely painful, which cannot be compensated by getting rid of ten enemies. But God has a design to lose friends after going together hand in hand for a particular period of time. Losing of a friend may be temporary or may be permanent depending upon the closeness of the friendship. In this world vacuum cannot exist for a long time. Therefore, if you lose a friend, you are likely to get a substitute; sometimes substitutes are better than the originals and sometimes they are poor replicas of the originals.
As a teenager, I loved a girl who was a very beautiful girl of my own age. I thought without her, my life was useless. But unfortunately our affair did not last long. I had to settle for a period of two to three years with a poor replica of the original. That affair also did not last long. Then luckily for me I got a chance to get involved with a much better substitute. So journey of love was like a roller coaster for me. These are my stories of thirty- forty years old, but still vivid in my memories.
Now situations have changed completely. I have a nuclear family and an extended family of two spiritual daughters and a number of young boys and girls like my sons and daughters. My movements are limited; no I am not saying about physical movement; I am talking about my mental and eyes movements. Now if I see a beautiful girl, I try to gauge whether she would be suitable for my son or not; or my nephew or my friend’s son. A few years back, my thoughts were different. Similarly, if I meet a handsome and earning boy, immediately I start thinking should I approach him for my daughter or for my niece or for my friend’s daughter.
Recently, I have been transferred from my earlier office to a new office and immediately I felt that I lost a thread. I have to come out from a comfort zone where I was helped by a team of youngsters, some of them are like my children and some them are like my brothers and sisters. Do not worry, I shall not bore you by saying something about me and my transfer, I am going to tell you about a girl who had to leave behind her comfort zone at a remote village of Assam while migrating to New Delhi. She was ambitious and intelligent but short of experience. With cheer hard work and intelligence how she was able to stand on her own feet is an inspiring story. However, in the hind sight, she had to lose many things which otherwise probably would not have to be lost had she not come out from her comfort zone.
She was Malati, but she became Malti after reaching Delhi. I shall use both the names as in Assam she was Malati and in Delhi she became Malti.
Though Malati studied in Guwahati, being in a hostel where most of the occupants were intelligent and of same background that of Malati, practically, Malati did not find much difficulty in adjusting herself among the other students. Further, every month one or two visitors from her place used to visit her which used to give her additional comfort of having some homemade food on a regular basis. Expectedly, due to her hard works and intelligence, she could manage to do extremely well in her twelfth examination.
In small towns or villages idols are not as great as Nobel Laureate, Dr. Amratya Sen or Sports’ ultimate icon of India, God of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar; they are lesser mortal like us or little better than us. For the same reason, Malati’s idol was a local boy, Sameer Saikia, who studied in Delhi after his twelfth and was able to crack UPSC examination and got a lucrative job in Government of India. When Malati wanted to pursue her studies in Delhi, following the footsteps of Sameer, whole family supported her, though none of her family members had ever visited Delhi till then.
She booked tickets to Delhi for her and for her father from Guwahati railway station. No, at that time there was no website to book tickets for railways; to be precise, there was no e-mail, no web portal etc. in India, at least for any public utility. Before their departure, they organized a Naam Kirtan (prayer meeting as per the customs of the followers of Great Assamese Saint and reformer of Fifteenth/ Sixteenth Century, Shri Shri Sankar Dev) in their home for safe and successful journey of Malati and her father to an unknown place. An unknown fear had engulfed both father and daughter duo.
Some of her relatives tried to dissuade Malati’s father from sending his daughter to a far flung area; after all girls have to be married away to another home! Malati’s mother was also little bit convinced with their arguments. But both father and daughter were clear about their priorities.
The moment they entered into the second class compartment of the Delhi bound Brahmaputra mail, they understood, life would not be same for Malati in near future. So long the train was running in Assam and Bengal, there was no extra passenger in their compartment. But once it entered Bihar, the compartment was swarmed with daily passengers, most of whom were unruly and they did not have any respect for the passengers who had reservations. Initially, Malati’s father tried to object to their unruly behavior, but Malati stopped her father from arguing with the passengers without valid reservations.
With an uncomfortable and unforgettable journey, they landed at New Delhi station. As soon as they landed, their first encounter was with the drivers of the taxis and auto rickshaws. All these people wanted to fleece the tired passengers from long and uncomfortable journeys. In those days, prepaid taxi system was in an infant stage (still it is not as good as in the airports). Malati and her father hired a taxi to Assam House at a fare which was actually more than four times of the prevailing taxi fare.
After reaching Assam House they got the second shock of their lives, as the persons sitting behind the desk were the most uncooperative officials Malati’s father had ever come across. With a young girl who is visiting for the first time to a Mega city, Malati’s father felt committing a crime to agree to his daughter’s demand to study at Delhi.
But world is not full of persons like those sitting behind the desk, who behaved awkwardly to every person asking for a room in Assam House. A person of early forties or late thirties, who was sitting in the lounge, observed the persons behind the desks for a while and recalled his own journey to this Mega city 20 years back to take admission into Master degree course. Even few minutes ago, the persons sitting behind the desks were very uncooperative to him until they came to know that the gentleman was a senior officer settled in Delhi. Once they came to know that he was a visitor only, they tried to become very friendly.
He came near to Malati’s father and asked, ‘Are you coming for admission in Delhi University?
‘Yes.’ He murmured.
‘Do not worry for the initial hiccups. Everything will be fine, after this initial turmoil is over!’ He said in chaste Assamese.
Hearing his assuring sentence, that too in his mother tongue, Malti’s father heaved a sigh of relief and said, ‘Thanks God! Hope you have understood my problem. You have heard what they have said. Where I shall go with this young girl? Night is also falling!’
‘I have already said, do not worry. I shall leave you only after you are put somewhere, where you and your daughter are safe. Now it is my responsibility!’ He said. ‘I am waiting for my friend, a senior officer of Government of Assam. Once he comes, either he will take care of you, or I shall take care of both of you. Now relax!’ Turning to Malti he asked, ‘What is your percentage?’
‘92%. I want to take major in history.’ Malti answered politely. The incident took place more than fifteen years back. At that time 92% was good enough to get admission into the best of the colleges of Delhi University.
‘Oh, you will get it! Have you got rank?’ The helpful person asked Malati.
Looking to the persons at the desk, he told him with a voice of authority, ‘Please look after their luggage. I am taking them for a cup of tea. If Bikash comes by the time, you please inform him that I am waiting outside.’
‘No sir, you need not have to go outside for tea. You better sit inside sir’s room; I am sending tea for you!’ Now they appeared to be very polite.
Afterwards, they said the helpful person, ‘Sir we are also helpless! We have only few rooms, everyday people are coming for rooms ten times more than the available rooms. Particularly during admission session; it is real tough. The senior officers are also coming for admission of their wards by booking their accommodations from Guwahati itself.’
After taking tea Malti and her father became little bit relaxed. Bikash also joined them after half an hour. Malti and her father were offered two options, they could stay with Bikash for two days or they could stay with the helpful person for a week or so as his family had gone to Assam for a month and likely to return after a week.
‘Uncle, sorry sir, I would like to stay in your house.’ Malti opened her mouth before her father could say something.
After an hour they reached the Government Quarters of the helpful person. However, they did not stay for one week as offered by the helpful person, they shifted to a rented accommodation after four days, though their stay with the helpful person was most comfortable.
Malti and her family remained grateful to that person for his unconditional help. Malti however, came to know why that helpful person offered them to stay for week only; his wife was complete opposite in nature to her husband so far helping attitude is concerned.
She felt extremely sad when her father left after she saw him off at the railway station. She thought the thread of bonding was finally snapped with her family. In those days, mobile phone was not there. Land line phones were available for the ultra-rich or some other important people. Malti or Malati’s family did not fit to either category. At that time courier service was also not introduced in the rural areas or scantily introduced. Therefore, the only mode of communication was letter through Indian Postal Service. In those days, a letter used to take at least 10 days to reach Malati’s home from Delhi though a letter from her home used to reach Malti in less than a week. Therefore, her assumption was correct up to some extent.
After seeing her father off at the railway station she took a DTC bus for her destination at Kingsway camp or Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar. On the very first day, she realized boarding a DTC / Red Line / Blue Line bus was not an easy proposition. After lot of efforts she was able to board into a bus. But travelling by a DTC bus for a lone girl was equally traumatizing. She was grabbed by goon/ fellow passenger and none of the other passengers had come to her rescue. She was somehow able to free herself from the goon and got down at an unknown place much before her destination. Having no alternative she hired an auto rickshaw at a much higher rate.
From that day onwards she never travelled in a DTC bus for the next one year. But slowly, being an intelligent girl, she adjusted with the unfriendly surroundings in a nice way. Throughout her turmoil period of adjustments, her only mentor was that middle aged helpful man. She used to visit him in his office as his wife was not so friendly to Malati. Between Malati and that person a brother-sister relation was developed within a short period of time.
During those days transferring money was also not easy; only reliable way to send money was through money order whose service provider was Indian Postal service. Normally money order used to take at least seven days. Problem to receive money from the postman was simplified by those postmen. They would inform the landlords where the students reside and give a time when on the next they would come. If you are generous enough to give a tip of Rs.5/- for every delivery, he would not return the money till he meets you. Otherwise if you cannot contact him on the stipulated time, money would be returned back. However, these small tips to tackle such problems were available in the air of Delhi University.
As the good helpful man was aware of these practices from his university days, he offered to help out Malti from paying Rs.5/- to Rs.10/- every month. He advised her to tell her father to send her money order to him in his official address. Eventually Malti continued to collect money from the good helpful man for the next six years till she completed her M. Phil course. In many occasions, she used to take her expected money much before that good helpful person actually received her money orders.
In the next six years, she earned three degrees, made many friends in Delhi, one elder brother and one boyfriend. All these had different implications in her life.
Whenever you get a new friend, you are likely to lose one old friend. Malti also made few new friends at the expense of few old friends; after all you cannot spare some time for your new friends unless you save some time from your old friends’ allotted time. Slowly her communications with her friends in the village started declining. After two to three years, communications between her and her friends who stayed back in Assam, came to a complete halt. When she met those friends during her visits to her village, they used to complain her for not writing letters to them. She promised to write to them, but that never happened. She realized the horizon of her friends in her village was too limited due to lack of exposure. In fact, she had very little to discuss with them. Even discussions with parents became dull and routine after second day of her visit to her home. Contrary to that she found that her discussion with the helpful person was more productive, educative and interesting. She wanted to come back to Delhi as early as possible from her vacation.
After completion of her M. Phil her mother wanted her to come back to Assam and search for a job in Assam. But by the time, Malati had a complete different idea. She wanted to appear for civil service and for that she wanted to stay in Delhi only. Even if she would fail to crack civil service she would join some private job; but she would remain in Delhi only. She conveyed her decision to her mother. Mother of Malati was not expecting such an uncompromising decision. But she did not complain as she knew Malti was a strong girl and she knew her priorities.
In the next two years, she studied very hard for her competitive examinations. Though she could not crack the civil service in the first attempt, in the second attempt she was able put herself in the selected list. In all the Assamese papers her name was flashed. Her parents were elated like never before. When she visited her village after declaration of the result the whole village came to the railway station to receive her like a princess. She became the new idol for the new generation like her senior Sameer Saikia for her generation!
For the last three years Malti had a steady relation with a local boy of Delhi, Arvind. Both were appearing for the civil service together and cracked the civil service together. So apparently there was no problem in marrying each other. Malti divulged their relation to her mother.
Being from a remote village of Assam, her parents were not in favour of the marriage. But due to her insistence they agreed for the marriage.
Arvind visited Malti’s village and fixed the date for their marriage. After returning from her home, Arvind rang Malti to tell her to marry her she had to fulfill a small demand of his parents. When Malti asked about the demand, he put forward an astronomical amount as dowry. Malti was taken aback.
She categorically said that her parents were not in a position to fulfill the demand of their parents.
Finally, marriage was cancelled.
Cancellation of marriage had a devastating effect on Malti’s health. She had to be hospitalized.
After one month she was able to recoup herself from the great betrayal by her lover and joined her duties at Ahmedabad as her first place of posting. During this period also her mentor, the helpful person talked to her over phone many times and advised her to see forward forgetting Arvind and her affair with him. The helpful person told her that she should be grateful to the Almighty to save her from a heartless money minded person! His inspiring advices had a positive effect on her body and mind.
If you are cheated by someone, God must have a better idea for you. In Malti’s case was also like that. Finally, she met the man who was born to marry Malti.
Ajay an IPS officer from Rajasthan fell in love with her at his first meeting with Malati in an officers’ meet.
Once bitten, twice shy, Malati was little bit apprehensive to develop another relation. She talked to her mentor. Her mentor advised her to tell Ajay about her earlier relation with Arvind and the reason for break-up.
Ajay loves Malati unconditionally. He wanted to marry Malati even after knowing her past and assured that though he is also from a society where dowry is rampant and is a real menace, he would marry her without dowry. To convince Malati, Ajay brought his mother to Ahmedabad. Ajay’s mother saw Malati and liked her.
‘He loves you, so he will marry you with or without our permission. But I am happy that I also like you for my son on our very first meeting. However, we have a problem which both of you have to solve!’ She told Malati and Ajay thoughtfully.
Before Malati could ask her about the problem, Ajay asked, ‘What is your problem?
‘Everybody from our relations will ask how much cash we got as dowry. You have to tell me how I can respond to that answer. Otherwise, our relatives will say, you must have some shortcomings, which I cannot tolerate.’ She showed her helplessness.
Finally, Ajay told, ‘Ok, Malati’s father will hand over a suitcase with Rs.10 lakh which will be the money of my father. I do not think, he will have any problem in arranging that cash!’
Ajay’s mother agreed to the arrangement for the sake of their only son’s happiness. She also knew her husband will never object to her decision as he also married her without consent of his parents thirty years ago.
There is a saying ‘marry the person who loves you, never marry the person whom you love; if you want to be happy in your married life’. So Malati met the person who loves her after her failure to marry the person whom she loved.
That is the end of the successful saga of the Assamese village girl who destined to be successful and happy after lot of ups and downs in her life after snapping the thread with her roots.
(It is a completely fictitious and bizarre short story. If you find any resemblance with any character living or dead with the protagonist of the story, it is nothing but a coincidence only. Hope my readers will like the story.)
They were perfect couple in the eyes of all the relatives of both sides. They were blessed with a son and daughter within five years of their marriage. Both of them were working in two reputed MNCs situated in Delhi. Their working hours are also not odd as many working in MNCs have to face due to high profile posts. They were envy for many of their relatives and friends.
Their children were also admitted in one of the best schools of Delhi. To look after their children they kept Governess and Ayah. For cooking they kept cook and for other household chores they have part-time workers. In all sense, they were a blessed couple.
So far they have completed their journey of togetherness for twelve happy and fruitful years.
I cannot say it was a dream or a nightmare. All I can say, that dream or nightmare had changed the course of life for Biman and his wife Manshi.
One evening, after coming from office he took meal and went to sleep little earlier than other days due to fatigue for some outdoor inspection conducted by him in a nearby city. He fell asleep within a very short time after hitting the bed.
He saw in the dream that with a magic wand, a holy man clad in spotless white dress from top to bottom, made him a beautiful young lady. Then he vanished to the thin air. Biman sat on a roadside bench not knowing what to do after becoming a young beautiful lady.
After sometime, Biman was forcefully taken to a chariot by an odd looking, but very strong muscular man. The charioteer drove Biman to a busy market where she/ or he was auctioned to a rich merchant. The rich merchant gifted him/ or her to his twenty year old young son for his enjoyment. The young son of the merchant was extremely handsome and strong. As night descended, the young son of the merchant took Biman to his room.
After locking the door from inside, Biman was undressed by the young man so beautifully, Biman liked it very much. After that the young man undressed himself and started lovemaking with Biman. As Biman was enjoyed by the son of the merchant, he also started to enjoy his role as a young lady in his dream. He did not know how long he was enjoyed by the son of the merchant. But as soon as the young man finished his job, Biman got up from his slumber.
To his surprise, Biman found liquid were passing out from his private part without any erection of his manhood.
He was a normal male with all normal qualities of a male till that night. Like any able male, he also used to enjoy at looking at the breast-lines of any young lady, visible through the blouse/ shirt/ kurta from a suitable position. He also used to like big boobs and butts of young ladies or thin red lips of a young lady and so on. But after that dream/ nightmare he started a new feeling ‘not interested in lovely ladies any more’. On the other hand he developed interest in ‘tall and handsome males’ around him.
Slowly he felt the existence of a lady inside him.
Slowly, Biman started avoiding his wife, Manshi in bed with one or other pretext and after a year, he stopped completely any physical relation with his wife. Initially, his wife started fighting with him alleging some imaginary extra-marital relation with someone from his office or from outside his office. Their marital life went to the hell from the heaven within a span of one year.
Finally, one day he confided his wife about his internal changes. He told about existence of a young lady within himself.
Hearing his confession, his wife cried a lot for the whole night. Then in the morning, at the initiation of Manshi, the couple decided to visit a Psychologist.
They visited one of the best Psychologists of the city after a week. After few questions to Biman the old Psychiatrist realized that it was hopeless case. He called Manshi to a separate room and told, ‘It is too late to revert his thinking process of having a lady inside him. No medicine or therapy will help him to become a male from inside. Now, you have to choose your life beyond your husband.’
Manshi stood like rock for next few minutes as her thinking process stopped for a while.
Biman and Manshi decided to stay together for the sake of their young children. Biman advised his wife to make some workable relations with a good person to fulfil her physical desires and needs. Manshi rejected his unholy proposal outright at that time, like any married lady with thirteen years of married life from a respectable society.
But, as time passed, Manshi’s loneliness had increased. During this period Pradeep, a colleague of Manshi entered into her life without her knowledge. He is also a married person with a nagging wife. Finally when Manshi surrendered to her desires, today she cannot remember.
Pradeep and Manshi became a couple, in all practical purposes, outside their marital lives. The immoral bonding between them grew day by day to the utter discomfort of their growing children. But unfortunately, Manshi could not see their discomfort due to her blind love for her illicit lover.
In the meantime, the lady inside the body of Biman started coming out to open shamelessly. Biman decided to dump his male identity forever for the sake of the lady inside his body. Biman started visiting doctors to transform his body to a body of a female.
After three years with few surgical operations, Biman was able to get a beautiful female body. Bimal became Vinita with the beautiful female body. Vinita became a lady with all female organs except uterus and ovary. Precisely Vinita became a complete lady without the capacity to conceive a baby.
However, Vinita did not have any inclination to become a mother anymore as she has already two children from her earlier life as Biman. Vinita’s devotion to her children made her closer to the children of Biman and Manshi. In the same time, Manshi was drifted away from her children.
In the last three years, Pradeep became a regular visitor to Manshi’s home and became somewhat friendly to Vinita aka Biman in due course of time.
One fateful day when Manshi came home early due to severe head-ache, after opening her flat, she found her bedroom was locked from inside. She thought to knock on the door. But instead of knocking the door, she peeped inside the room through the key hole to see who was inside the room.
To her utter dismay she saw his paramour Pradeep was in a compromising position with Vinita aka her former husband Biman.
They were laughing with full flow.
Manshi heard, Pradeep was saying to Vinita, ‘I am fed up with Manshi. Her body is completely loosen by her advance age. Further, every time we meet, we have to take precaution for unintentional pregnancy. Your body is perfect and you are not going to be pregnant even we meet every day.’
Manshi could not dare to see or to hear more from the shameless couple. She removed her eyes from the key hole.
Manshi’s head started reeling. With great difficulty, she went to the nearest chair and sat on the chair like a sack of sand. She looked at the ceiling fan. It was not moving. She hoped someone would come and switch on the fan.
Chapter XIX: The Matured Girl
(Appropriate Choice at appropriate time makes a person successful. Sometimes, correct choice in your point of view, may attract criticism from others; but a successful person seldom cares for those unwanted opinions of others who may not matter to him or her. In this story, the protagonist, Divya had to take a decision to marry either Abhinav or Sameer. One of them was handsome and lover of Divya; but yet to be established and another one was chosen by her parents who is from a rich family and already well established.
Finally, Divya took a decision. You may like her decision or you may not like the decision. However, Divya took a decision which was best for her; not necessarily best for anyone else. What was her decision?)
She is the only daughter of a senior officer of Government of India, Gaurav Talukdar posted at Delhi. Her mother is a teacher in a Government school and her only brother has been in UK for the last two years. He is expected to settle in UK itself.
She passed out as an MBA graduate from a reputed Business School of Delhi in the last year after acquiring her Engineering Degree from another reputed institute of the city. She is a very beautiful young girl of 25. She may be a dream wife or girlfriend of any eligible bachelor in the world.
Just after her final examination she got an appointment in a large company with a hefty pay package. She was provided with all the possible amenities by the company. Her father once said, ‘Divya, you are getting some benefits which are yet to be given to me by my employer. You are very lucky, my child. Hope God will be always kind to you!’
As a young girl with a desire in her eyes, she also fell in love with an equally brilliant and handsome boy, Sameer. He has everything to be loved by a young girl except a family background for an elite girl like Divya. But Divya ignored his family background and decided to have a steady relation with Sameer since both of them joined as students of the MBA course three years back.
Sameer used to tell everything about his family and his financial liabilities for his family. Divya used to give him all emotional support he needs but as he refused to take any financial support from Divya, she could not help him in financial matters.
Due to some unknown reasons, despite of his far better result than Divya, Sameer was not able to get a better job than the job Divya had got just after their final examination. Even he could not be able to a get a job which is at least comparable with Divya’s job in terms of pay package. However, Divya always says, ‘You will be able to get a good job soon. It is only a matter of time.’
Unfortunately, for the last one year ‘that time’ has not come for Sameer.
Sameer hails from a remote area of Eastern part of the country. His native place is one of the most backward areas of the country in terms of poverty and lack of education. However, he came out to be a brilliant young man in his studies and also equally a handsome one. All along he was able to get scholarship to get into admission in the elite institutes and was able to successfully complete his studies with flying colours. For any eligible girl, he may be a perfect boyfriend; but is he a perfect choice for an elite girl of Divya’s stature as a husband at present? That might be a thousand-dollar question.
He is the third son of his marginal farmer father of a poverty stricken rural area where education is the first causality of a moderate student. His mother is primary educated housewife. He has two elder brothers and two younger sisters. Unfortunately, none of his siblings is as brilliant as Sameer and none of his elder brothers is, so far, established as both of them are only college dropouts.
In the last one year, Sameer is looking for a better job like a mad man to support his family members who are looking for his financial support even for their day to day life. He has been helping his elder brothers to stand on their own feet with his limited resources; but his efforts are yet to yield any positive result. May be, they were happy with their dependent status on his younger brother. In India, it is a common scene, particularly in Rural areas, siblings become liabilities of one person, who toils for comfort of others thinking it is his or her noble duty.
Now, he has to arrange fees for his sisters in their studies also. They are not bad in studies like his elder brothers. But he knows, even if they are able to achieve some academic qualifications, he has to arrange large sum of money for their marriages.
Sameer confided all his problems to Divya many times and he also warned her to be ready for a tough life after their marriage, if at all it materialises.
Divya always used to assure him, she would be perfect folly to his life. She used to say, ‘You will get a good job within a short time. I am already having a good job. Both of us can take care of your family without financial support of anyone else.’
Her assurance gave Sameer much needed emotional support.
Abhinav is from a rich family having a number of industries along with other business. Despite of his extremely rich background, he is a studious boy in his student career and has a management degree from a reputed US Business School. At an age of twenty nine, he has already started two industries of his own. Otherwise also he is the only heir of his industrialist father, Amit Jaswal. He is a serious looking young person with a normal body and normal face.
Abhinav did not fell in love with any girl till last year. To be frank, he was a lady hater till last year with a myth that ladies are obstacles for personal growth and success. But everything had changed in the last year when he bumped upon a girl who was appointed by his father in his corporate office to make a rapport with a senior officer through which he can negotiate some dealings lying with in some other offices.
Divya was appointed by Abhinv’s father, to make an inroad to the office headed by a friend of Divya’s father. Divya’s father is an honest officer who thought his daughter got her job on merit. Therefore, he did not mind to introduce Abhinav’s father to his friend in a party. That was enough for Mr. Jaswal to develop a rapport with the all-important officer for him. After that, Amit Jaswal thought Divya is a lucky charm for his family. Incidentally, in the last one year, after Divya joined their group, Amit’s fortune has a North-ward direction constantly.
When Abhinav told his father that he wanted to marry Divya, his father was surprised as well as happy. In the last one year, Amit Jaswal was trying his best to convince his son to marry, but every time he failed to convince his son. Now when his son agreed to marry, that too a beautiful girl from a good family, whom he had already recognized as a lucky charm for his vast business empire, he was overjoyed. After a short discussion with his wife, he sent a message to Mr. Gaurav Talukdar asking Divya’s hand for Abhinav.
The message from Amit Jaswal made a tremor in Divya’s family. A conflict had arisen between Divya and her family when Divya told her parents that she was with a steady relation with Sameer and she wanted to marry Sameer only, not Abhinav.
Gaurav Talukdar is a sensible man. He did not want to forcibly marry his daughter to a person whom she does not love. On the other hand, as a practical man he knew, Abhinav is far better than Sameer in almost all respect, except look-wise. Does look count in an Indian arranged marriage?
Gaurav tried to convince her daughter to rethink her decision. But she was adamant. Gaurav then approached her mother and wife to persuade his adamant daughter. But that efforts also failed to yield any result.
Finally, the father succumbed to the love and affection of his only daughter and allowed Divya to take a decision on her own on her marriage. However, he advised his daughter to think over the whole issue once again with a cool brain in the night and come with her decision before breakfast on the next morning.
Divya could not sleep in that night. She visualized both the situations. If she would marry Sameer, on the very next day, she would have to resign from the present post under Abhinav’s father. She would never get such a prized job again very easily. Sameer was after a good job for the last one year which he was not able to get despite of a better result than her. There is no guarantee that Sameer is also going to get a better job in the next couple of years. With two under-paid jobs, they would have to look after a family of few persons who would always, may be for the entire life, and be dependent on them. Divya would never be able think even a life with present comfort level. Her life might be made of hell by Sameer’s inefficient and lousy family all the days to come.
On the other hand, if she would marry Abhinav, she would find a life which might be even better than the present life. She did not know much about the family of Abhinav, except Amit Jaswal is a big business man and always considerate to her. She saw Abhinav once or twice in board meetings. He has a terrifying personality for the employees for his no-nonsense look. However, he has also a reputation of helping others when needed. But, old and time tested wisdom says, ‘Known devil is always better than the unknown angel’. So, she decided to her own decision in favour of Sameer.
Being a positive young lady, she thought that everything would be alright over time once she would marry Sameer. She started visualize a sweet and beautiful life with Sameer.
She did know when another dawn had arrived in her life.
When in the morning, her father asked her what she had decided, she said, ‘I thought about both the options whole night and finally decided as a village damsel to marry Sameer.’ She paused for a moment.
‘But I am not a village damsel who takes decision emotionally. I am a city girl and a student of management. Therefore, I decided not to plunge into a fire of poverty to make me a lump of pure gold in course of time. I am sure, if I marry Sameer and look after Sameer’s lousy family, I shall be termed as a demi-goddess by the fellow villagers. But even then, I shall not be loved by his family as I shall not be able to full-fill their ever-greedy desires. Therefore, I decided to join a bandwagon of a family who probably may give me all possible comforts a girl can aspire for.’
All the family members of Divya heaved a sigh of relief!!!!
Chapter XX: The Day Dreamer
(Dream makes a person competitive and tougher in life. But unrealistic dreams and non-achievement of those lofty desires may hurt the dreamer. But I found two persons in my life who dreamt great, achieved nothing, but still they were smiling to all they met. I salute the indomitable spirits of these two persons.
In this story, I tried to superimpose each other’s character to make the character funnier. However, in the last chapter I portrayed him as a hero. Therefore, the character of the story became a fictitious character which does not resemble to any living or dead person.)
It is an old story, rather off repeated story in different languages. A writer could not sell his book; a friend bought all the copies and dumped in his room. The poet friend came to know about the sacrifice of his friend only after death of his friend who had to starve due to spending all his money while buying the books of his friend. Many of us who read this story as child, shed our tears and promised not to write any book on poetry who might kill a good friend to satisfy the ego of the poet. But unfortunately, I could not keep my promise to myself and wrote few rotten poems and distributed free with the noble intention not to force any of my friends to sell his /her property to buy my unsold books to satisfy my ego.
Now I am going to tell you a real story of a childhood friend who was nicknamed as Rajesh Khanna, the first super star of Indian Cinema by the villagers of all ages. He was three to four year older than I and he was a day-dreamer. He used to dream always something extremely big. He wanted to be a world class writer, wanted to be an actor as successful as Rajesh Khanna and as rich as Tata or Birla. He was a son of a marginal farmer of a remote village of Assam.
One day he told me, ‘By 1980, I shall publish at least five books and decided the names of the books also.’
‘Are you going to write novels or poetry?’ I asked him, controlling my loud typical laugh of a Hindi Films’ villain. One of my junior officer in Delhi once told me about my loud laugh, ‘Sir do not laugh like Amresh Puri. I may faint!’
‘Out of these, two books will be of poetry and rest three will be novels. The names of the books will be—’ He wanted to tell me the names of the books. But I cut short him and left the place citing that I had to do an important work which my father had given to me.
At that time, I was hardly fifteen-year-old, but I was sure that he would not be able write a single book not only before 1980 but also not before 2080, if he would have survived up to 2080.
Babu alias Deepak Das (names changed) was a stupid boy who used to take at least two years to clear one annual examination. Despite of his repeated attempts, he could not clear his matriculation (tenth examination). Hope, I need not have to elaborate his intellectual ability further.
You must be wondering, he must be having a beautiful physique which is a precondition for an aspiring actor of Hindi cinema. Yes, he had a wonderful physique with five feet two inches’ height, with chest measuring hardly 34 inches and biceps--- no I should not say. If I am 10-30 PM, he was at least 11 PM in his colour. So, you can understand, he was the most suitable for candidate for a Hero of Hindi cinema.
Therefore, all villagers called him the most stupid boy of our village at his back; but never said before him. Instead, every one of our village referred him as Rajesh Khanna or Deepak, the actor.
However, he was finally selected for a role in a Bhaona (It is a drama which is based on different mythological themes introduced by spiritual Guru of Assam, Srimanta Sankardev, during 15-16th Century) organised by our village. In upper Assam (Eastern part of Assam), the roles of ladies are played by males. Considering his capability, he was selected for the role of a queen. He was damn happy and boasted that he had arrived in the acting world.
Normally for those plays, we used to assemble in the evening for an hour or so for rehearsals. But the over-serious Deepak used to be present much before time of rehearsals on every evening.
I also got a supportive role in the play as a devilish prince, who tried to rape the queen after treasonously killed the king who was on a hunting tour to the nearby forest.
Every day, he requested me to rehearse my role as the rapist prince. Initially, I did whatever he was expecting from me as the rapist prince. However, within a week, I was so disgusted with his request to rehearse the rape scene again and again, I told the village elders to change my role. They gladly obliged my request as they also understood that the role was not suitable for a fifteen-year-old boy.
Finally, play was enjoyed by a full house and rape scene became so funny, each and every audience present in the Namghar had found no option but to laugh.
The performance of Deepak was appreciated by all not as the role of a dignified queen but as a comical queen. Thereafter, I heard, he featured all the Bhaonas in the neighbouring villages as a comedian in funny costumes of a medieval rural lady.
After few appearances in those Bhaonas in different villages, he put up a name plate at his father’s residence, ‘Deepak Das, The famous Assamese Actor of all time.’
In front of him, everybody acknowledged that none in the world could compete with him so far acting talent was concerned. Some of our friends even used to ask him, when he would be migrating to Bombay (Mumbai).
Whenever, I visited my village from my College or University, I also used to ask him, when he would be seen on the silver screen. Always he used to smile back and say, ‘I have been approached by many top Directors. But I told them categorically that I cannot move before the harvesting season as I have taken advance payments from many to help them in harvesting their paddy.’
He had one extreme good quality, he used to give his answers to each and every one with a smiling face whenever he was posed with any question to him for fun.
After he established as an actor by his own words, he was adamant that he would be a leading writer of Assamese literature.
One day, when I was in my village on a vacation, he came to me with a manuscript of his first book. Handing over the manuscript he said, ‘Please go through the book. There may be some spelling mistakes which you have to correct as a younger brother before giving it to the press. But remember, it is my book, do not print your name as the writer. I have already thanked you for your help in the preface.’
I tried to read the manuscript. If I say, hand writing was bad, it would be a gross understatement. The words which I could decipher, not a single word was correctly spelt. I kept the manuscript at my father’s residence till today. Every time I visited my village, he used to ask me whether the book was printed or not. Every time I used to tell the book had been under printing! He used to thank me for my efforts to print his great book.
Both of us knew, both were lying; but none wanted to face the truth.
After achieving two major milestones, his next venture was to establish himself as a poet at par with Kalidas, the immortal Sanskrit poet of the fourth Century of India. Thanks to God, he did not handover the book with hundred poems to me to publish. He told me about his compilation but said, ‘I am not handing over these priceless poems to you. Anyone can steal this compilation, I cannot trust even you, though I always consider you as my younger brother. Further, I have already taken your help in publishing my epic novel.’
I was relieved to say, ‘You are right! There is a saying, a poet cannot resist himself from stealing a good poem from another poet, like a king cannot resist himself from stealing a beautiful wife even of a farmer.’
I do not know if there is a proverb like that or not, but he was very happy to hear my answer. Particularly he was happy to hear that I compared him with a king.
Till today, I do not know what happened to that poetic book.
In a tragic accident, five years back, he died in a road accident while saving a kid from a speeding car. He died instantly, but fortunately he was able to save the kid from the speeding car.
Everyone in the village attended his funeral with moist eyes. Everyone in the crowd acknowledged, he might not be the greatest actor nor the greatest writer nor the greatest poet in the world but he was an extremely good person who tried to make everyone happy by telling his lofty dreams. Everyone agreed in unison that he was the live wire for both young and old of the entire locality comprising more than 100 large and small villages. He harmed none by his unrealistic dreams and lofty claims. Everybody was aware that he said those absurd things for giving some enjoyment to them.
When I was informed about his death, I murmured to myself, ‘He was the greatest hero in my life with whom I interacted personally many times.’
(It is a story of a lady who met an old man apparently with all good qualities. She believed him blindly. Her realization came through a tough test of life. She finally realized why the middle aged man is worse than her husband. He is nothing but a vulture who is after the ladies who are not happy with their husbands. He used their sentiments to exploit their weakness and after using them, he dumps like a used cane!)
He is a social worker not attached to any foundation or any NGO. He is famous and extremely publicity savvy. He did many good works for the poor but always with extensive publicity. He never loses any opportunity to take a selfie with the down trodden so that he can post it on his FB. He always uses ‘twitter’ for saying he is going to this and that particular slum and so on. Therefore, he is one of the most over-rated social worker (hero??) in the social media.
I am married to a senior officer of Government, 10 year-older than I. Since our marriage he has been always dominating me in all my activities. Now I am 34 and my husband is 44. His liking and my likings are different; but I always have to do which is liked by him.
In such an occasion, my husband ordered me to accompany him to a meeting where he was made the chief guest. I was attending the meeting sitting on the first row. A volunteer introduced me this particular social worker before he was escorted to the dais to sit along with my husband. He was the guest honour for the meeting.
He had a mesmerising voice and his eloquence is un-parallel with any of the persons I had come across. I was very much impressed with the old fellow!
When we were taking high-tea, he came to me and said, ‘I always fear to talk to a lady whose husband is very powerful!’
‘Because their husbands are very possessive about their wives; irrespective of the fact that they love them or not!’ He laughed as if he knew the unhappy life of mine.
‘It is not like that! My husband is not very much possessive about me but he cares for me!’ I intentionally defended my husband; though I knew the old fellow was correct.
‘Then we can talk?’
‘Yes, moreover, my husband does not mind if I talk to an old man!’ Indirectly I reminded him that he was an old man.
‘Madam, you may be wrong! Man and horse never become old!’ He started laughing.
He was right. I observed, he might be physically more powerful than my husband, though he might be ten-year older than my husband.
By the time, my husband approached us and as usual, he started talking to him purely on official lines.
Without knowing any specific reason, I felt bad at my husband’s presence between the old man and me. When my husband was requested to meet another important person, he had to leave us for another round of talk. As the old man started again flirting with me, I liked that very much and I did not know when tea time was over.
At lunch time also he was talking to me and I liked his company very much. Finally, before he left, he gave his mobile number to call him whenever I intend to call him. He was so confident that I would call him, he even did not bother to take my number!
Like most of the typical Indian wives, I never fell in love with anyone in my life. The marriage for most of us is an understanding where a wife has to sacrifice many things and husband has to gain a lot. Freedom of a lady curtailed to the maximum possible. On the other hand, a husband gets everything, a free cook, free servant and above all, a passive (sic!) sex partner. From the day one a girl is taught to be obedient to her father first and then to her husband, after marriage. I also taught like that!
After my marriage I find worst thing about our relation is that I have to spread my legs as and when my husband wants. He never bothers, whether I feel for that or not. There was no love between my husband and me; only I have to surrender to his will all the time at all the places!
Do I fall in love with this guy on the very first meeting? I asked this question many a times to myself. I could not get a clear reply.
I did not want to call him. I resisted my temptation to talk to him for two days. But on the third day when my husband left for office, children went to school, I rang him!
‘Hello, I am Reba!’
To my surprise he said, ‘Oh, darling you took two long days to ring me! Do you know I could not sleep for the last two days?’
‘I do not know what black magic you have done to this old fellow!’
I wanted to disconnect the phone; but I could not. We talked for a half an hour or so.
After that, I telephoned him regularly for a month or so. But surprisingly he never telephoned me.
Probably, I was under his spell of mesmerisation. When he requested me to meet him in his hotel room, I could not say no to him. He requested me to come at 3 PM sparing at least two hours for him to discuss our future plan.
I was so eager to meet him, I reached his room one hour before. When I reached his hotel room, a pungent smell of wine hit my nose. Peeping out his head he said, ‘Oh you have come! Please wait at the lounge so that I can clean my room.’
As I was about to return, I heard a voice of a woman from inside the room, ‘Who was on the door?’
‘A business partner!’ The old fellow said.
‘Are you sure? She should not be a disgruntled wife of a senior officer!’
My head started reeling. I understood real character of the person before I lose everything to him. I almost ran out of the hotel and took a cab straight to home.
He is worse than my husband so far behaving with a lady is concerned. At least my husband never had a relation with another lady! He may not love me; but he cares for me. He may not be as manly as the old man, but he is also not odd looking! After all he is the father of my two children!
As I was on the way, the old man told me over phone (for the first time he rang me), ‘I understand, you are able to know about me. But do not tell your husband or anybody about our relation. I have enjoyed many unhappy wives like you. After three to four meetings, I always dump them. I never continue any relation more than three months. Some of them tried to black mail me, but they were caught in their own web. From the call records it was clear all the ladies used to call me and I never did! You are lucky, you came one hour before and therefore you caught me with another lady. It is the first and final warning, do not tell anyone about our un full filled love affairs; your married life will be spoiled; nothing will happen to me!’
He hung the phone.
I reached home before the expected time as I did not spend much time with the middle aged man, whom I left without allowing him to even touch my hand. On my way, I picked up my children from the crèche. My husband was yet to reach home. I prepared some snacks for me and for my husband.
All along the old man’s last words over the mobile phone echoed in my mind. I was mulling over his threatening, whether to tell my husband all the things or not to tell anything. Perhaps, my mind was not in this world for few hours. Doorbell brought me to this world again.
I opened the door and led my husband straight to the dining table. That was somewhat unusual. He looked at me with a question mark on his eyes.
‘Today I want to say something important over a cup of tea.’ While arranging tea and snacks for him, I told him.
‘You have to promise me that you will not interrupt me till I finish my story.’ I had already decided to dump the advice of the old fellow for not telling my husband everything.
I did not wait for his promise and started telling my deeds of the last few days and the painful experience I gained through my deeds.
When I was describing how I went to the hotel to meet the fellow, I saw my husband was raging in anger. Then his anger vanished as I was describing how I ran out of the hotel without meeting him. When I started telling my husband why I was inclined to the old fellow, my husband started looking down to the floor. When I finished, he stood up from the chair and he came towards me. I was expecting some slaps on my face. But instead of doing that he picked me up in his arms. Then only, I saw his face. His eyes were moist.
My husband kissed me and told, ‘I am sorry dear. He has opened my eyes. I have never thought; I was giving so much pain to you by imposing my decisions on you for the last ten years. Now onwards, I promise, I shall respect your decisions and never try to impose any decision of mine on you without your support and consent.’
‘I shall also confront the Old Scoundrel and teach him a lesson.’ Finally, my husband thundered
(Recently, I was attending an official party where I noticed a person who was sitting at a bench without taking any part in the party. I tried to find out why he was not taking part in any of activities. From his look, I understood that he was not highly educated and not from the high-end society. When I asked him in Hindi why he was sitting alone, he told me in chaste Hindi, ‘I am invited by DG sir to attend the party. I am his driver. But all the persons present here are senior officers and they are talking in English. I do not know English.’ My inquisitive nature took over me and finally, I was able to find out that his son was selected for the prestigious Indian Police Service (IPS).
‘Can you recognize me, Hiranya?’ An old man with moderate dress, somewhat out of place for the party asked me.
A close look from me identified my hostel and classmate Himantamalla Saikia. With usual flare in my voice I asked him, ‘Hey, the old scoundrel, why are you sitting alone here?’
Pulling him up from his chair, I embraced him. ‘Are you not drinking?’
‘That is good. But you still can join our wild party of bootleggers!’ I was trying to pull him towards the lawn where some of my friends were already in the seventh heaven.
‘Let them enjoy there. I am happy to sit alone at this corner.’
I understood there was something wrong. Therefore, I also sat with him and asked, ‘Why you do not want to join the party? Any specific reason?’
‘No specific reason I am just fine. Go and join the party. They will like your company.’ He said
‘By the way, what is about you and your family? Probably we are meeting after thirty-five odd years.’ I asked him while adjusting my new coat, specially purchased for this party.
‘I am a science teacher of my village high school at Da-Parbatia. I got a message from Atul (Sharma-Additional Chief Secretary of Assam) that there is a Get-Together of our ex-classmates. That is why I am here. But a few hours back, Atul told me that he had to go to Delhi with the Chief Minister.’ He paused for a moment. ‘Now I am feeling that I should not have come. I am not fit for this party!’
‘Oh, come on! We are not drunkard and please do not behave like a typical village head master preaching morality all the time. By the way, Bikram had already told me few years back that you had joined as a science teacher in a school.’ I, with my typical laugh, uttered those words.
‘You have not changed much. What you are doing now?’ He asked with a timid smile.
‘Now I am a Joint Secretary in Government of India, posted at New Delhi. I have a meeting at Guwahati and that coincides with this GTG and that is why I am here.’ Probably there was some arrogance in my voice.
‘Oh, that is great. What (is) about your family?
‘I have a son and a daughter. Both are working at different MNCs. They are not staying with me as, son is working at Bangalore and daughter is at Mumbai. Both passed out from IIM Kolkata.’ With a pride in my voice, I replied.
‘That is great!’ Patting on my back he said.
‘You have not said about your family?’
‘My wife is also a teacher in a primary school. I have two sons. The elder one is doing MS in surgery in Guwahati Medical College and second son has been qualified for IAS this year. He passed out as an Engineer from Kharagpur IIT.’ He said with a satisfaction of a content father without an iota of arrogance.
This reminds me of my own selection to an allied service thirty-two years back when my mother asked me whether I shall be a bigger officer than the local Sub-Inspector of Police.
‘Congratulation my dear friend. You might be the most successful father of our batch. Having an IAS officer as own son puts you in the upper echelon of the society. Has any of my friends here knew about it?’
‘Except Atul, probably nobody knows about that. I do not want to over-publicize the information. After all, it is the achievement of my son, not mine.’ He said with a thoughtful voice.
‘No, my dear friend! It is a greater achievement for you than your son. As a father, I always envy my parents for making all three of our siblings gazetted officers (The names of senior Government Officers are published in the Gazette of India/ Assam). Your achievement is similar to that of my parents. Your achievement is one step better than even that of my father!’
I embraced him from my sitting position. Without my consciousness, tears flowed from my eyes. Probably, images of my parents, who had left us long before, flashed before me.
‘Let me break this happy news to all my friends.’ Pulling him up from his seat I wanted to drag him towards the lawn where my other friends were enjoying.
‘No, please let them enjoy. Let me sit here. Go and enjoy your party.’ From his voice, I understood he was hurt by someone of us after reaching the party. Who might be the culprit? Or it is a ‘collective ignore’ by my well-placed friends. But I wanted to break the ice at any cost.
‘I tender my unconditional apology, if I hurt you by any of my words or any of actions. Even if any of our friends had hurt you knowingly or unknowingly by words or by actions, I am extremely sorry for that. But do not sit here away from us like a stranger.’ I told him with my folded hands.
Clasping my hands, he said, ‘I have nothing against anybody; at least not with you. I feel, I am not fit for this party.’
‘Why man? You are one of us. We studied together though I agree, we were not very close friends during our college days. I know, you were very close to Bikram, he is also there dancing with Amita. Then where is the problem?’
‘If you do not tell anybody, I shall tell you why I am not willing to mix-up my old friends.’ He whispered.
Patting his back, I told him, ‘OK, I shall keep it with me. Now tell me the reason.’
‘A few years back, when I met Bikram on the bank of Dighali Pukhuri, he showed his hurry to leave me when he came to know that I was a mere teacher of a school.’ He said with a sigh.
‘Actually, he might be in a hurry. You might have misunderstood him. Otherwise, he is nice to all of us.’ I tried to shrug off misunderstanding between the two close friends.
For the first time, he laughed and said, ‘You also think I am a fool, because I am a mere school teacher.’
‘No, never! You were an intelligent boy. You did better result in Class X than I. However, we all knew that, due to some health problems, you could not do better result in XII. Of course, after that we never met and nobody told about you except once Bikram told me that he had met you few years back and you had joined in your village high school. So, I think he still remembers you as a close friend.’ I tried to defend Bikram.
‘You cannot convince me that Bikram has not changed over the years. On that day, I saw him after leaving me, he talked to Sweta for half an hour on the same bank of Dighali Pukhuri.’
Though I was also convinced that he was right, I told him, ‘My friend, there may be still misunderstanding on your part for two reasons: one-talking with Sweta was the important thing what he had mentioned about; two- A girl has many attractive things which you are not having. At least I would have also dumped you for a beautiful girl like Sweta.’ I still tried to defend Bikram.
‘I know, you have not changed even now in running after a lady nor arguing. In any case, I cannot mix-up with our old friends ‘who is who’ in the society. Go and enjoy your party. Do not spoil your evening.’ He told me.
As he did not accompany me to the lawn, I had to go alone. Everyone was happy either in dancing or looking at the dancers. Light music was in the background. I stopped the music and I shouted at the top of my voice, ‘I have to make a big announcement for all of you.’
As everybody looked at me with a question mark, ‘I want to re-introduce my classmate Himantamalla Saikia as the proud father of Sanjibmalla Saikia, the only candidate from Assam who has been qualified for proper IAS this year. I feel proud to inform you that his elder son is also a brilliant student of medical science doing his MS in surgery at Guwahati Medical College.’
Then I pointed to the corner of the room where Himantamalla was sitting. Everyone noticed his presence for the first time in that evening. Some of them rushed to him to give him congratulation. Among the front-runners, Bikram was very much visible.
I noticed everyone in the room was busy with Himantamalla as if no one is present in the room except Himantamalla. After a simple announcement by me, he became the most important person in the party. Thinking that, before few minutes of my announcement he was the most unimportant person in the party; I laughed at myself.
I left the party without telling any of my friends who were busy in talking with Himantamalla. Probably, I was feeling jealous for my teacher friend as a father!
Chapter XXIII: The Nightmare
( You can term this story is a bizarre one or a perverted one. Here an old man married a young beautiful girl of his grand- daughter’s age. To lure the girl, all the properties were transferred to her. However, within three months’ of marriage, the old man was able to garner respect and true love from the young girl! This is the same old story of eternal love with a twist at the end. Some of the readers may like it!)
Eighty-five-year-old Arun Barua is lying on a hospital bed all alone. He is an angry old man! He is angry on himself. He is angry with the society and above all he is angry with his three married sons and their ever busy families. All his three sons are abroad earning in Dollar and Pound sterling. They became so materialistic that they send him money for hospitalization etc. even though he actually does not need any money from his children. They want that their father should stay like a king spending his own money and money they are sending. But they do not know even a king cannot be happy without subjects and his family.
The children do not have time even for a telephone call; forget about meeting. They are busy with their ever demanding families.
Arun Barua lost his wife at the age of fifty-five when two elder sons were already married and youngest one was to marry his fiancée. All the three sons settled abroad with their families. Initially they used to come every year to meet their father for the first three to four years after demise of their mother. Then they started coming in alternate years. Now they seldom come at all. Probably they have not visited him in the last five years.
For few years he was busy with TV, then he was busy in the park with some elderly people of his age. The group was also dwindling over time. He then started keeping himself to his home shouting quite often to his servants and maids. Due to his shouting, very few servants were able to stay with him for more than six months and maids were changed sometimes even after few days of their appointment. The servant providing agencies also started avoiding the old man.
He has lot of money, but he cannot spend those. He is completely bored with his lonely life. Once he thought for committing suicide; but abandoned the idea because he does not want that he should be branded as a coward!
Finally, he started feigning ill to be hospitalized for few days every month to break monotony of his life. Talking to the nurses used make the old man happy up to some extent.
Sometimes society criticizes the sons and daughters for their neglecting behaviour towards their parents. But nobody in the society want to address the problem in a different way. Everyone wants to solve problems in a traditional way. Society always discourages any person who thinks out of box.
The same society ridicules a person if a person remarries at the age of fifty or more. But in the society, particularly no relative will visit the poor fellow how he/ she is managing his/ her life after death of his /her spouse. Sometimes, some court rulings are coming which forces the children to look after old parents. It is helpful, but how many parents approach court for legal remedy?
It is a real problem, particularly when death of one spouse occurs and the other one has to live all alone. The court is looking after those cases where children are not providing financial help. But for the higher middle class and upper class, finance is not an issue, loneliness is the issue; emotional support is the issue. So as a member of the society, you have to think and act on this issue. Hope you will do!
All children, including you and me are selfish. As children, we use our parents for our personal gains. So long we are dependent, we will show our all concern for them. As we grow, parents need our help, we started avoiding them, on one pretext or others.
It is universal, so do not blame your children or my children. You put yourself in their place, you will understand their problems. Water flows downwards; so is love! If you want to reverse the direction of water, one must have to use a pump. Similarly, for love also you must have to use some other external forces, sometimes we call them money power, political power, emotional blackmail and so on.
However, why should we only blame our children? Parents are also not free from selfishness. If you are having children, you ask yourself this particular question, ‘why you do not love all your children equally?’ This is because you are also selfish. You see something in your children which can never be common to all of them. You start differentiating them for your narrow gain. So———
Arun Barua, the grand old man finally decided something unthinkable! He would marry a young nurse attending him for last one month. But there was not ‘one single nurse’ attending the old man. There are at least four nurses who are attending him and who are unmarried also. He decided to talk to them openly and in a single group. But that was not possible because of different duty time of the nurses. So he changed his decision and talked to the nurses one by one.
Leena, the first nurse refused his proposal without iota of confusion. Then he talked Reena who told him that she will think over it.
The third nurse, the most beautiful one, Ambika readily agreed to his proposal.
‘Do you understand my proposal properly?’ Arun Barua asked her.
‘Yes sir, you want to marry me and you promised me to give me all the rights of a married wife. Hopefully that includes some of your properties around Delhi?’
‘No, you have not understood properly. You will get entire properties of mine, not some of the of properties. My children who do not have time for me, they do not have the right to claim my property also. Probably they may not need also! For them my properties are only peanuts.’ The old man sighed.
‘Probably, you are thinking, I am a money minded girl and that is why I agreed to your proposal. I am not hungry for money, but I need money for my widow mother and two younger brothers. Further, so far many rich patients asked me for sexual favour for money, but nobody has proposed me for a marriage. I know all my relatives, my friends will criticise me for my decision and will dub me as a money minded girl; but I am helpless.’ Her voice was choked while uttering the last sentence.
‘Do not worry, once I marry you, I shall look after your family. After my death, which may come very shortly, you will own sufficient money to live a decent life. You need not work as a nurse rather you can open a nursing home of your own if you can manage my money properly. Only I want, you should serve me as a wife till I die peacefully. Further, if you are ready for marriage, it should be solemnized as quickly as possible. How about today itself in an Arya Samaj Mandir?’ Arun Barua asked the young lady with an innocent smile.
Actually, both were in a hurry. Arun Barua wants, he should live with a young beautiful wife for a few days before an inevitable death. Ambika does not want to lose a jackpot as she knows without a formal marriage she will not get a penny from the dying old man.
Ambika bunked her duties and straight went to the nearest Arya Samaj Mandir to arrange the marriage at the earliest. To her good luck, the priest told that on the very next day there is slot for marriage which she immediately booked.
On the next day, in presence of Ambika’s family, they tied the knot and moved to Arun Barua’s palatial house.
Arun Barua became a happy man with his very young wife. To his surprise his sons also supported his marriage and however, though expectedly they did not show any unhappiness over the will which gave all the properties to the new bride of their father.
Ambika is a nice girl who served the old man with all devotion of a good wife. She encourages the old fellow to full fill his desires to act as an able bodied husband. His efforts are praised by his young wife sensibly without letting him to feel of dejection nor over sympathy from his highly able bodied wife.
However, their married life, as expected, ended after span of three months. The old man died in the arms of his young wife after a massive heart attack. He died with a satisfied smile in his face!
Ambika did not cry to satisfy his and her relatives. She informed the sons to attend his funeral if they desire. All of them rushed to Ambika’s (now she is owner of all the properties) place to show their respect to their dead father for the last time. Ambika played a perfect mother’s role to the sons of double the age of her. They all went to the crematorium for Arun Barua’s last rites.
At the crematorium, for the first time Ambika cried loudly embracing the dead body of her husband. Why she cried? Did she love the old fellow? His gift to her was much more than she deserved? Or something else?
She cried because, she respected her husband for his open-ness and generosity. He gave her a status, from where she can now dictate some people around her. She became non- vulnerable to the society. Now no one will dare to come to her waiving few thousand rupee notes for sexual favour. He placed her in a position from where she can dictate her leaching relatives. She was crying for losing a good person and a good friend of her. She was crying because she lost a well-wisher who gave everything to her and return, he demanded too little from her. Even with 10% of what he had given to her, he could have lived with another 10 more girls, who might be more beautiful than her. She was crying for losing a good human being. She was crying inconsolably shaking the dead body vigorously.
Someone was shaking the dead (?) body of Arun Barua and yelling, ‘Dada, get up, it is already 7 AM. You have a meeting with some of your friends to finalize all the works pertaining to Shradh.’
Arun Barua, the 24-year-old, nephew of Prakash Barua, 54 whose wife, Kadambari, 49 died four days ago, opened his eyes and saw his cousin, Maman is standing before him.
Prakash and Kadamari have two daughters and they always treat Arun, son of elder sister of Prakash Barua, as their own son. Arun Barua has recently joined as an Assistant Executive Engineer in a PSU. As soon as he came to know about the demise of his Aunt he rushed to his maternal uncle’s home yesterday.
Yesterday night, before going to sleep there was a heated argument over the issue, whether his uncle Praksh Barua should go for a remarriage or not. Arun and two cousins were dead against for a remarriage of their father/ uncle whereas, some elderly relatives were in favour of the idea of a remarriage. The discussion or argument remain inconclusive.
Arun thought for a while about the long but educative dream and finally decided to tell his sisters to allow their father to remarry at least after their marriages. Otherwise, he will also suffer like ‘85-year-old Arun Barua’ after daughters leave him alone for the sake of their own families.
(Three film directors, two of them were still struggling, met after five years of passing out from the same film making institute in a party on the day before the opening day of a film directed by the other one of them. The struggling batch mates were ignored by the successful friend along with other successful people present in the party. Both of them were habituated of such humiliations for last few years. However, there was a surprise waiting for them. Then what happened?
It is a fictitious story. Any resemblance with the main characters with any living or dead person may be a mere coincidence only. )
‘Congrats man. You have done a wonderful job. This film will be a mega hit.’ Manish congratulated his batch mate in the film institute, Varun.
‘Yes, I also see, it will be a great film. After this film, Varun will be in the same brackets with the top directors of India.’ Arunabh said with same degree of enthusiasm.
Varun is a smart guy having strong economic background and was able to marry Priya who happened to be his childhood friend and daughter of a diamond merchant. After passing out of the institute, he joined a production house for one year and then directed one film of his own. The film had a moderate success. But that opened his road to success in the volatile industry of film-making. This is his second film roping some big stars as cast for his film. Money was not a problem to arrange as he casted the most salable actors of the industry. This was a calculated gambling by shrewd Varun. He pinned all hopes in this film as a gateway for the stardom. A day prior to release of the film he threw a lavish party inviting ‘who is who’ of the film industry.
Arunabh and Manish are still working as Assistant Directors only for few insignificant films in the last five years. Though, they were also equally talented, they were not getting any chance to direct any film so far as both of them are not from families with strong economic back grounds, nor they were sons of any family with filmy background nor they could marry ladies from strong economic backgrounds like Priya.
‘Thank you. Make comfortable in the party. Hope some big shots will be around in a short time.’ With a voice of authority Varun announced.
He actually would not have mind if they (Arunabh and Manish) would not have come at all.
Arunabh and Manish had to face lot of hurdles to keep their dreams afloat. They had to face all sorts of humiliation at the hands of many producers and established Directors.
When they got the information that Varun was throwing a party, they had decided to attend the party with or without invitation. Manish telephoned Varun and said, ‘Both of us are coming to your party before time so that we can be some help for you.’
‘You are always welcome!’ Without saying anything more, Varun hung the phone. His tone of answer was just opposite what he was saying.
Another round of humiliation was meted out to them by their own batch mate. But by the time, they were habituated to that type of humiliation every day.
They ignored the tone of invitation and accepted the words only, ‘You are always welcome!’
As promised, both Arunabh and Manish reached the venue of the party at around 4-30 PM, much before anyone reached there, not even the host, Varun and his wife, Priya.
Varun and Priya reached the venue after half an hour of their arrival. Priya asked Arunabh and Manish about their welfare and thanked them for coming to the party knowing fully well that they were not invited by their friend, Varun. In fact, Varun did not want their presence in the party at all. Therefore, Varun did not bother to welcome his friends.
Slowly, the venue of the party started filling up with small fries. All came and took selfies with Varun and thanked him profusely for inviting them. Most of them ignored Arunabh and Manish totally and many of them even ignored the hostess of the party, Priya. The cynosure of the party was Varun. Varun enjoyed the newly acquired star status whole heartedly.
On the other hand, both Arunabh and Manish were facing humiliation one after another. First, one of the established Directors, mistaking Arunabh as waiter, asked him for a glass of water. When he hesitated, the guest remarked, ‘Oh you are not a waiter, you are a struggler. Waiter is better than you people. At least they have jobs; they can feed their families with their incomes; no matter how meagre those may be. You people spend all your father’s saving and then return back home empty handed after few years.’
Arunabh could not find an appropriate answer except fumbling, ‘Sorry sir.’
At this, another guest, might be little more successful than Arunabh, told, ‘Go and fetch a glass of water to sir. That will not reduce your stature in the industry.’
Having no alternative, Arunabh brought a glass of water to the established Director. At this, the lesser established Director also asked for a glass of water for himself.
Manish had also terrible time in the party. Manish is as handsome as a star, much better looking than Arunabh. That might be the reason, why a yester year’s top actress called Manish to a corner of the venue and asked, ‘Are you a struggler?’
‘I can help you. I know many important personalities of the industry. But nothing is free in this world. If you can satisfy me, I can be a great help for you.’ She smiled awkwardly.
Manish could not say anything but had to digest the indecent proposal of the old lady of his mother’s age silently.
Finally, the showman of the industry had arrived. Everyone present there rushed towards him. Many of them touched his feet for his blessings. Arunabh and Manish also tried to go near to the showman. But they could not go near to him as his bodyguards pushed everyone away from him, other than the known heavy weights of the industry.
When dinner was ready, all the heavy weights along with the showman were invited to the dining room by Varun personally.
When finally Arunabh and Manish’s turn came for dinner, almost all the guest had left. While they were taking their supper at 11 PM, Varun left the venue without saying a good bye to his batch mates. He asked his wife also to accompany him. However, she told Varun that she would leave only after the last guest would leave from the venue.
Manish and Arunabh were about to leave from the party at 11-30 PM when Priya called them from back. ‘I have something to tell you today, before it is too late for you and me.’
Both of them came back and stood before Priya like primary students before the class teacher.
‘I know, you two are also equally talented like Varun. But so long you will be going after successful Directors and Producers, you always have to be their Assistants only. Be bold and produce a small budget film by both of you. If you have talents you can rise from there itself.’ She stopped for a moment.
‘Even for a small budget film, we need at least a crore for initial expenditure.’ Arunabh stammered.
‘I shall give the initial money with one condition. If it is successful, you have to do the next film under my banner only. I want to produce the film under the banner, Laxmi Patel Production, in my grandmother’s name. She was an avid film goers as a small kid. But as she was married at an early age to the family where daughter in laws were not supposed to go to cinema halls for enjoying any film except for enjoying (or torturing) religious films like Har Har Mahadev or Jai Santoshi Maa, she had been frustrated for next thirty long years till she herself became a mother in law of my own mother.’
Beggars cannot be choosers. Both agreed to all the conditions that Priya put forward in next thirty minutes.
Another party at the same venue has been organized where one year ago Varun threw the party. This time party has been thrown by Priya; not on the opening day of a film but for the National Award she got for her maiden film, Aparajita (Lady who never loses) as a film Producer.
The film is based on the life of Laxmi Patel, grandmother of Priya, who made her son (Priya’s father) from an employee in a diamond shop to a rich diamond merchant through her business intelligence and her sacrifices.
The film was a low budget film and completed within six months. Getting a hall for release of the film was a herculean task for Priya and her two friends Arunabh and Manish. But due to interference of few financers of film industry known to Priya’s father, they could release the film at a hall located at sub-urban area of the city.
Once the film was released, they got raved reviews of the film. However, as expectedly the film did not do well in the box office, though the film managed to recover the expenditure on the film. Even some insiders say that Priya and his two friends were able to make a modest profit also from the unconventional film.
Whatever might be the commercial fate of the film, the film gave birth two extremely talented Directors in Arunabh and Manish in the eyes of the industry.
After six months, the film was able to win the National Awards for the best film and best Directors along with some other insignificant awards.
All the successful people of film industry have attended the party including the showman of the industry. The showman himself came forward to Arunabh and Manish to hug them. That gesture has lot of significance in the film industry. The bear hug of the showman of the industry means that the two new comers have been inducted into the top bracket of the Directors of the industry.
Arunabh and Manish were informally offered few new ventures by top film houses at the side lines of party itself.
Varun was also in the party as a special guest of Priya. But many of the party goers did not notice him taking gallons of whiskey at a corner of the venue. World is very cruel; Film Industry is also no exception to that. After a huge flop of much vaunted film with top actors, directed by him, many of the top producers ignored very existence of Varun in the party. He has been written off from the industry very quickly. Today, he does not have any film in his hand. His present position is worse than that of Arunabh and Manish one year ago.
Once party was over, both Arunabh and Manish lifted the fully sloshed Varun to his car. Priya took another car to go home alone.
After the party, a strong rumour has been floated in the film city that Priya is going to divorce Varun in the next few months! Truth of the rumour is yet to be verified!!!
Chapter XXV: Two Professionals
(It is a fictional story of a ‘one night relation’ between a young lady professional and an old male professional where the young professional seduced the older one for the vested interest of the Company where she was working. She was able to make the old hack tow in her lines. But who had the last laugh? Please read the book to know what happened after that.)
A project for developing an infrastructure for a particular project was solely funded by our bank a few years back. The slow progress of the project due to some avoidable and un-avoidable circumstances caused a major headache for the Government and for the bank. A Parliament question on undue delay of completion of the project, prompted our bank to send a fact-finding team to the site of the project. I was selected to head the fact-finding team by our bank.
When the team led by me reached the airport of the state capital where the project was to be implemented, a team from the implementing agency joined us to explain their point of views on delay of the project. The nearest town of the project site was about five hours journey from the Air Port of the State Capital. A group of officers led by senior officers from the implementing agency tried their best to impress upon by us through all possible means. It was so blatant that one young officer of our group whispered at my ear, ‘Sir,I think there are many rotten eggs in their urn.’
I smiled; but did not say anything.
The agency had arranged accommodation for our team in different expensive hotels. Considering my seniority, I was accommodated in the best hotel available in the town. The hotel, though they claimed to be a Five-Star hotel, it was not better than a three -Star hotel of Delhi. The rest of the team was accommodated in a three-star hotel.
The actual project site was about ten KM away from the town where we were accommodated.
I was mandated to see only part of the amount funded by our bank.
A friendly young lady, a member of the official delegation of the agency, approached me with her extending hand for exchanging a handshake. ‘I am Anurupa, Executive Manager looking after, IEC based at the project site for last three years.’
Shaking my hand with the lady I asked her, ‘What is IEC by the way?’
‘Sorry sir, I should have explained before you had asked what IEC means. IEC means, Information, Education and Cooperation among all the stakeholders of the project.’ She said with a glimmer of confidence.
In the next few hours, I noticed that she was taking extra care of my comfort once we have introduced to each other. She tried her best to develop an intimate relation with me as early as possible. I also encouraged her in her efforts; though I hoped, she did not know about my reputation as an old hack of having my inclination towards beautiful ladies from any class of society.
There were lot of discrepancies in execution of the project. The loan taken by the agency was not properly utilized. A stern action had to be to be taken against the agency. However, I understood, if I would point out all the discrepancies at the field itself, our lives might be in danger considering the fact that the town is infested by thousands of antisocial elements. The agency might be able to arrange a stage-managed attack on us blaming the antisocial elements. So I decided not to allow to read my mind by the agency till I reach my HQs at Delhi.
The inexperienced young officer accompanying me told me in camera, ‘Sir, why you are not allowing us to point out the discrepancies we have discovered in their files!’
‘You enjoy their hospitality. You will learn many things in the process. However, keep a record of the discrepancies you have noticed with you as I may need those when we reach our HQs.’ I told with an arrogant smile in my face.
I saw anger in his eyes. He probably lost faith in me. He might be thinking that I had already been sold!
Finally, we sat for our discussion with the senior management of the agency after scrutinizing some important files relating to the use of the funds provided by our banks.
In my opening remark, I told, ‘I am thankful to all of you for extending your cooperation in finding a workable solution to expedite the pending work. I understand the field problems faced by your agency in executing the project. My juniors will tell you some of their observations. But I assure you, those are not result of some fault findings on our part, but our efforts to find ways and means to achieve our common goal of completion of the project without further loss of time.’
I hinted that even if my junior colleagues would give some adverse observations, I would mend those in such a way that the agency would not face any unfavourable action from the bank. The senior management became happy to hear my assurance. The senior most officer of the agency whispered something to the young lady, Anurupa who all the time kept an eye on me for the last two days. She left the room immediately, with a lovely voice, ‘Excuse me.’
After our successful discussion, the agency arranged a party in honour of the visiting team led by me. The party was attended by all the senior officers from both the organisations. As expected wine/ whiskey/ vodka flowed like water. Best of the dishes were served to all the guests. The beautiful lady took care of all my needs during the party. As I am not taking any hard drinks, I could observe every member of both the parties minutely. The inexperienced young officer of my team was seen in a cosy position with a young lady of the agency against whom he was emanating venom few hours ago. The other members of my team were also fully sloshed. I smiled to myself and uttered to myself, ‘God save this country!’
The party was over by 11-30 PM.
The young lady offered me to drop at my hotel by her own car after the party was over, despite a car was waiting for me to take me to the hotel. My other colleagues had already left for their hotel as their hotel was a little far off from the hotel where the party was held. As most of them were fully sloshed, they needed helping arms of few ladies to lead to their cars. As I had not taken any hard drinks, I was fully aware what was happening around me.
My hotel was hardly one KM away, I knew, I could have gone by myself alone. But I was insisted by the young lady to come with her in her car. While driving, she said, ‘I am always attracted by middle aged men.’
‘But I am always attracted to young ladies only.’ I retorted.
‘Does it mean, both of us are converging towards a same point?’ She smiled mysteriously.
‘I also hope so.’ With a naughty smile, I told her.
Within five minutes we reached our hotel. She picked up my folder with some official documents and proceeded towards my room.
As we reached the room, she said, ‘I am so tired, I am not feeling like going to my quarters. It is about three KM from here.’
‘Is someone is waiting for you?’ I asked her.
‘No, I am staying alone. But I do not want to disturb you. You are also tired after a hectic day in the field.’ She did not show any sign of leaving.
‘I shall be happy if you stay back, instead of going to your Quarters driving alone at this time.’ I told her, showing some concern about her safety in my voice.
‘But I do not want to disturb you.’ She smiled without any sign of leaving my room.
I stood up from my seat and I slowly went up to her to take her in my arms; but not before putting off the lights.
In the early morning, she told me, ‘Sir, I am leaving before someone comes. I am coming again with a draft report at ten. You have to leave by eleven to catch your return flight. I shall remain grateful to you for giving me an opportunity to serve you well.’
Before I say something, she left.
When she came with the file at ten, I signed at the dotted line without even reading what was written on the papers. Once I signed the file, she said, ‘Thank you sir. Kindly forget what happened yesterday night! I am not a bad girl, but I am a true professional in my work. Unfortunately, probably you are not. I heard, experiences make a person perfect, but my experience of last night, gives me a different idea.’ She smiled triumphantly. I did not see her eye to eye.
The cars arranged by the agency dropped all of us at the airport much before time. Luckily flight was on time.
As all of us waiting for the boarding, we were so ashamed about our deeds and behaviour on the last night; none could see each other’s eyes.
After boarding the aeroplane I thought, ‘The young girl by the time must have understood that experience always matters in dealing with the corrupt persons. My signatures on her document must have vanished by the time. She also must have realised why I put off the lights in my room before I took her in my arms. My subordinates will also realise why I am paid more than them. Hope, the young officer under me, will appreciate my patience to react at an appropriate time!!’
I heard that young professional was fired by the agency for her in-appropriate handling of the inspection by the bank officials and Government has initiated action against the agency on the basis of my report. I thanked the young officer for giving his valuable inputs of discrepancies for my report which he had noted. After that visit, the officers accompanied me on that tour bee lined for my professional advices on tricky issues.
Chapter XXVI: Messiah
(It is a story of a lady who met an old good man with all good qualities but she misunderstood him totally. Her realization came through a tough test of life. She finally realized why the middle aged man is loved by so many ladies of different ages, why parents allow their daughters to go with him even at midnight, why husbands do not hesitate to let their wives to hug him even in public places. He is unique! If he is not a father to a young girl, if he is not a son to an old lady, a brother to a lady of his own age, if he is not a friend of a lady, even then he is a man whom one can rely blindly; he will never mislead her, once she believes him.
The story may be an extreme example of unhappy life of a lady; but I think it is not impossible to find a lady in your vicinity who is suffering all along for lack of inclusive decision making process of family structure. )
I joined my duties after five years of forced leave to look after my twin sons. Job of a journalist is a very taxing one. Today’s assignment is the third one after return to my old profession. Today’s function is not exactly a political one; yet an influential politician came to inaugurate the opening session and that is why I have been sent to cover the inauguration session. After the tea break I have to rush to my office.
During tea break a middle aged, not so attractive man caught my attention. He was approached by one lady after another one. The ladies are of all ages from twenties to sixties. Some of them openly hugged him, some put their head down for blessings, some were giving blessings to him and some simply shook hands. A very few men also hugged him and shook hands with him.
I was sure he is not a politician nor he is the senior most officer of the organization. Then who is he: the question struck my head again and again. I could not control myself from approaching him!
‘Yes, madam; you must have some questions for me. But you have to wait for some time for answers of those questions. Let me start the post tea session of the conference.’ Without waiting for my reaction he rushed to the auditorium instructing someone to request the participants to reassemble for the technical session.
I was to cover only the inaugural session and take interview of the politician and the Head of the Organization; not anyone else. But my legs were stuck to the place from where the middle aged person had left.
As promised, he came after five minutes after the start of the technical session. Without wasting his time, he started, ‘I knew, without knowing about me you will not go. So let me answer all your queries one by one.’
Before I could open my mouth he started again, ‘my name is Amitabh, no, not Bachchan, I am Amitabh Barua. I am a senior executive of the organization. This was your first question which you were mulling for last few minutes. Then let me give the answer of your second question, why so many ladies surrounded me, though I am not a good looking person rather a bull like middle aged person. Even some of my close friends refer me as a gorilla.’ He paused to see my reaction. He had already answered my first query, who was he.
Again before opening my mouth he started, ‘From the day one, when I became conscious of my surroundings, I never reject any open arms of a lady in my life. Some of the ladies embraced me as their son, some as their brother, some as their father, some as their uncle, some as their simple friend, a very few as lover when I was young and little bit attractive, perhaps and of course some embraced me as a man only to full fill their un-full filled desire. I have never crossed the limit determined by a lady. I never draw any line when I first meet an unknown lady. However, within ten minutes of talk, I can read her mind, whether she looks at me as a son or as a brother or as a father or any other relation. I always respect her ‘look’ on me. God is the witness, I never betray her feeling. That is the reason why they rely on my advices, suggestions and unconditional help.’
He paused for a moment and started again, ‘Then let me give answer of your final question. Why you will believe what I am saying? You have seen some ladies were blessing me; they have been known to me for last forty years, the middle aged ladies are known to me for more than twenty years and the young ladies who seek my blessing are also known to me for at least three years. Even a period of three years is enough to ditch someone or to hurt someone emotionally. So for the time being, you have to believe me. Anyway, you cannot waste your valuable time on me as you are to rush to your office to file the report. Is not it?’
Without waiting for my answer, he proceeded towards the auditorium.
At night I talked to my husband about the exceptional personality I had met during the coverage of the inaugural session of the scientific organization. My husband immediately retorted, ‘Beware of that fellow; he might be a lady killer!’
‘I do not think so. He is a person, who respects relations and the relations that defined by the ladies and not by him.’ I defended the unknown or very recently acquainted person.
My husband looked at me surprisingly. ‘You are giving a character certificate of a person whom you do not know properly.’
I did not want to start an argument with my husband for an unknown person and therefore I preferred to keep mum.
On the next day, I was sent to cover another programme. After covering my programme, as soon as I finished my work and submitted the report, the face of the middle aged person started disturbing me. I opened the website of the organization and found his phone number. After little hesitation, I rang him. But I cut the connection after one ring and decided not ring him again, at least on that day.
But after ten minutes again I rang him. After two rings he picked up the phone and started talking, ‘You hesitated to telephone me. But I was expecting your call my dear madam!’
‘Hello!’ I murmured.
‘When and where you want to meet me? However, from tomorrow I shall be out of station for a week. You can meet me today at around 7 PM or in the next week only! You have to decide.’ He talked me in such a way as if I was dying to meet him. I became little bit angry and little bit annoyed also.
‘Who told you, I want to meet you! This is a courtesy call only!’ I tried to express my annoyance in my voice.
He laughed slightly and told, ‘After submitting your today’s report, you searched my contact number, then before ten minutes you rang me and cut the line. You promised yourself not to ring me again but you could not keep your promise even for ten minutes. Now you are showing artificial anger and annoyance. I am doing a favour to you; you join for a cup of coffee today at 7 PM at CCD nearest to my office. I shall drop you at your residence after our meeting. Another call is waiting for me. Meet you at the CCD at 7 PM and that is final.’ Without waiting for a reply he snapped the connection.
I told myself, ‘I am not going to meet this ugly man; let him wait for me.,
After office I took an auto rickshaw for my home. But instead of telling the auto driver my home address, I gave him the address of the CCD where I was supposed to meet the old fellow. I reached the CCD much before 7 PM.; but he came at exactly 7 PM.
He ordered coffee for both of us and told, ‘I did not ask for option or preference for any coffee from you because you are already at a confused state.’
‘Will you give me chance to talk or you will answer all the questions I am purportedly having?’ I was little bit annoyed.
‘Definitely madam. But if I allow you to ask questions your confusion will be increased only!’ He said thoughtfully.
‘Why do you think so? I demanded.
‘You might be around 35, that means, you are at least seven years older than my daughter. Any girl, who is more than five years older than my daughter, does not qualify to become my daughter automatically. However, any girl of any age can qualify to be my daughter if she whole heartedly desires for that. But your actions in the last two days do not indicate that. You cannot be a sister, because you love your brother very much and you have never aspired for another brother. Further, you have never desired for any male friend. You are coming from a society where friendship between girls and boys is a taboo.’ He paused.
‘Do you think I want to be your lover?’ My voice was carrying lot of anger.
‘I am not saying anything right now. But one thing is clear; you are still not sure what do you want from me. First be sure, what is your expectation from me. Otherwise, you will promise to yourself not to meet me again and then you will break your promise once again and meet me.’
I kept mum. He knew every movement of me. At that moment his mobile rang and I heard a female voice asking him to accompany somewhere.
‘Sorry I have to go now. A girl is going to her friend’s wedding. I have to pick her after the marriage as her father is out of station. She just reminded me to pick her up at around 11 PM. But before that I have to go home and put something in my stomach and have to take permission from my better half.’ He said hurriedly.
‘Will your wife allow you to go out at night to pick up a young girl?’ I asked him.
‘Yeah, she knows me for the last thirty years. We have perfect understanding on those issues.’
Saying those words, he told me to finish my coffee so that he could drop me at my residence as he had promised.
On the way I admitted to him that I was attracted to him. My feeling for him is not as a daughter but as a woman only. I want to do everything what a woman wants to do with a desirable man. When I was opening up my mind to him, he was only smiling without uttering a single word.
When I was disembarking from his car, he said, ‘You have to take a decision in the next 7 days what type of relation you want to maintain with me Whatever decision you take I shall support you fully. But remember whatever decision you take, you are responsible for that. You will not blame anybody on the earth for your decision whatever may be the outcome of your decision. I love you, darling, I want you to be a happy young woman forever!’
As usual he did not wait for my reaction. For the first time in my life I felt some stickiness between my legs while talking to a male.
I was waiting for his return eagerly. I had already decided to give everything to the man who showed respect for my decisions. In my life none had asked for a decision from my side. He was the first man who empowered me to take a decision on my future. I was feeling some unknown happiness which I had never experienced.
Finally, the D day had come. He returned from his tour and he telephoned me to know my decision. Without beating around the bushes, I said, ‘I want to spend one afternoon with you in a hotel; closed door. I hope you understand what I want to mean.’
‘Ok darling, as you wish! But you have to arrange our hotel accommodation in your name. You inform me the name of the hotel, room number and time of meeting one day before so that I shall be able to make myself free for the entire afternoon for you only. Ok then Sweetee, see you on that that day.’ He hung the telephone.
Probably I was becoming mad to meet him. I booked the hotel accommodation immediately and telephoned him, ‘I have booked my hotel accommodation. We shall meet at 2 PM tomorrow itself.’ Then I gave the name and address of the hotel.
He promised me to me at the designated time and venue on the next day.
I could not sleep whole night fantasising for the impending hot and steamy meeting. I could not concentrate in the office work also. As soon as lunch break was started in the office, I left the office and reached the hotel by 1-30 PM.
After occupying the room, I changed my clothes. I did slight make up also to look more attractive.
Exactly at 2 PM he knocked at my door. As soon as he entered to the room, I embraced him like a first time lover on her first dating.
He kissed me on my forehead and then told me, ‘You have to decide whether you really want to ditch your husband or not. I shall wait exactly ten minutes for your final decision at the hotel lobby.’
Like earlier occasions, he left the room without waiting for my answer.
After his departure I started looking back to my past life. When I was young, what to do, what to wear on what occasion, my parents used to decide. None had ever asked me what I wanted to do or what I wanted to wear. After tenth examination, I was forced to take science stream against my will. After twelfth, what course I have to take, decision was taken by my father. Even without asking my consent, I was married to a stranger. The stranger became my husband and he started taking decision on my day to day activities. He made me pregnant when he decided to make me pregnant. Then, he took a decision that I should resign from my service. Now he has taken a decision that I should join to my earlier job at a much lower grade! None had taken any consent of mine while imposing their decisions on me. I thought, this is my time for revolt! I must teach everyone a lesson for imposing their will on me.
Then coming to this man; this is the first time when a man has asked me to take a decision of my own for future course of action. Depending upon my decision, my married life, my social life; all may change within an hour or so. ‘My married life will be in a limbo’- I thought for a while. ‘Should I take so much risk for this middle aged man? I am sure, he will not abandon his family for the sake of my happiness!’
Again my revengeful attitude and fatal attraction towards the man over powered my good sense.
Finally, I removed all my clothes from my body and picked up the phone and rang to him, ‘I am ready, you please come over to my room.’
‘Sorry madam, I waited for your decision exactly ten minutes as I had promised. You rang me after fifteen minutes. I am on the way to my office. You missed the bus forever. Go to your husband and tell the whole story to your husband; particularly what you were thinking for the last fifteen minutes! I am sure, your husband will understand the whole episode in proper perspective! I am sure you will have a wonderful married life ahead. If possible, you forgive me for putting you in the toughest test of your life. I wish all the best for your bright future. I shall be happy if you consider me as a well-wisher in your life.’
He switched off the mobile.
Tears were coming from my eyes while putting on my dress.
Chapter XXVII: Girl with a Golden Heart
(Delhi is infamous for road rage. Due to this impression, we forget that most of the Delhiites are law abiding and not interested to indulge in physical aggressiveness. In this story, I am describing about a beautiful young lady, who is more beautiful from inside. On this background, I have written this fictitious story.)
Monkey has a habit of making somersault in the air. They cannot avoid this even at a very old age. Males are also having a bad habit; looking at beautiful girls at any age. They are comfortable in looking at the ladies if they are unknown. However, it is also a fact that, they see the ladies with different perspectives depending upon the age of the ladies and of course, depending upon their own age.
At my age, I see young ladies with an intention, whether she would be good for my son/ nephew or son of my friend who requested me to look for a good girl for his son. I do not want to comment what I want to see in a beautiful lady who is younger than my wife but at least 10 year older than my elder daughter.
While driving my fair lady or my lovely new car, I want to see if any lady is sitting at the driving seat or otherwise, whenever I have to stop my car at a signal crossing. If the lady is very young, my mind started thinking whether she will be good for my son/ nephew etc. If, however, she comes within the limit of monkey’s somersault limit, what transpired in my mind, I do not want to share with you in any public platform.
The scope of scanning beautiful faces is enhanced when I use to sit at the back seat of a chauffeur driven car. I use to look at the beautiful ladies as if I am looking at something very interesting behind her car. My vague look at their faces may be dampener for some of them also, after all, they also perhaps do not like ‘royal ignore’ from a male if the lady is in range my ‘monkey somersault’. However, young girls may think, the male in front of them has crossed the ‘expiry date’.
However, I have to admit that, despite of fascination for beautiful faces, for a father, faces of daughters are the most attractive and most beautiful ones.
It is a story about a beautiful girl with beautiful mind who used to drive a white Maruti swift car on the street of Delhi. There are thousands of girls driving cars, some with great speed carelessly and some with moderate speed with caution. This girl always drives her car with a moderate speed with due caution. She has joined a multinational company after coming out of her MBA course from a prestigious Management Institute of India. Her father is a senior officer working in Government of India. Her mother is a Government school teacher. She happened to be the only child of the couple. I have known this girl since last year.
However, meeting with her was extremely dramatic. Becoming close to her was also not less dramatic than the first meeting with her.
One evening, when I was on my way to my residence from my office driving my Ram-piyari alias my fair lady, she cautiously overtook my car. But unfortunately, (or fortunately), due to fault of another driver, back side of her car touched my front side. She could have sped away from the scene. But she stopped her car ahead of me.
When she stopped her car, I was expecting a volley of accusations from her that I was not driving properly as customary abuses from a Delhi driver. Normally, drivers of Delhi follow only one rule, no matter who is at fault, shout at the other party so that the other party may back-out from a fight.
But in my case, nothing happened like that. She came out from the car and said, ‘Sorry, uncle, I could not control my car properly. Hope, no damage has been occurred to your car.’
‘No beta. Nothing happened to my car. Further, it was not your fault. It was the fault of the speeding car who sped past you without signal.’ I assured her with a smile.
‘Even if my old, already damaged one, would have been further damaged, I would not have said anything to you, little angel.’ I told to myself.
She went to the car and left. I also followed her suit on that day.
After two days, we stopped at the same signal. This time, she waved her hand with a mesmerizing smile.
I started liking the young girl. In the next few months, I met her at the signal quite often. Every time I met her, my liking for the girl increased.
One day, I waived my hand to stop her car. She stopped her car and we introduced ourselves.
One day while coming from office I saw a crowd around a car. When I slowed down I saw, the young lady was surrounded by some agitated young boys. Immediately, I stopped my car and approached the crowd. As I reached the car, I saw a slightly damaged motorcycle was deliberately placed in front of the car. I asked the boy who was in argument with the young lady, ‘What happened?’
‘You have no business to interfere!’ He told me rudely.
‘I have a business. The young lady is my daughter. Now tell me what happened and what do you want?’ I told the boy with a voice of authority.
‘She hit me from behind.’ He accused the young lady of reckless driving.
‘Ok, you want some compensation? Or anything else?’ I asked him. Before he could say something, a police van arrived.
The police officer saw my red ribbon with enshrined with ‘home ministry’. He with all politeness asked me, ‘what happened sir?’
‘The young lady hit the motorcycle from behind. I do not know who was at fault. But I know about driving of the lady. She is very cautious in her driving. I saw her driving for last one year on this road.’ When I finished my statement, I saw the motorcyclist picked up his motor cycle and drove away.
The police officer said to me, ‘Sir, the motor cyclist must be from thak-thak gang. He intentionally hit the car and created a commotion to steal something. Please check your belongings and tell the young girl also to check her belongings.’
When I checked my purse and mobile, they are still in my possession. However, young lady lost her purse with few hundreds in it.
As I wanted to proceed to my car, the young lady embraced me and started sobbing like a little girl.
‘The man was about to assault me. Had you not been here today, I do not know what would have happened to me! I do not know how I should thank you.’ She was telling those words continuing her sobbing.
‘Do not worry beta. It is God’s wish I arrived at the right time’ I comforted her by patting on her back.
‘You call your father. I think that you should not drive now.’ She took my advice. Her father arrived at the scene within half an hour in his official vehicle.
We discussed the matter and he drove his daughter’s car leaving his official car with his driver.
Before leaving, he gave me his address and mobile number and took mine as well.
His family visited our home to say thank you two days after the incident. Both the families became friends after two more visits in the next six months.
In the meantime, there was another development. My only son, Gaurav who was one year older than the young lady, Leena fell in love with Leena. So did Leena. As both were economically independent and matured enough to take decisions about their lives, we did not find any reason to object to their feelings. After few months of courtship, they decided to tie the knot.
We were more than happy to support their decision.
Last month they were married three times. First at a Catholic Church, as Leena was a Christian, then at a temple, as we are Hindu and finally at the local Court to meet some legal formalities.
Our meeting at the signal crossing, her tipping on my car, attack by thak-thak gang on her and finally her marriage to my son, everything was dramatic, but for some good reasons.
Moral of the story, avoid road rage, you will only gain something priceless in due course of time!!!
The author is a Government servant and a man of vivid experiences derived from his official postings across the country, travels across India and numerous visits outside India. He is presently placed at New Delhi.
His earlier publications are:
1. Random Thoughts through a Coloured Prism
2. Dilemma of a Young Mind
3. Funny Statistics and Serious Statisticians
4. Melody of Fragrance
6. Few Cities through the Lens of Hiranya Borah
7. Guilt: Gift of Winter Spring
8. Beautiful Ghost
9. Great Fighters: Grace of God
10. All Blurred
11. Putting kids to sleep
12. How to become unpopular
14. My grumpy Face
15. Love and Worries
16. Discussion of own Birth: A Taboo
18. Indecent Love Affairs
19. My Fair Lady
20. Waiting time
21. Two Stories
22. My Mother: Dashami Borah
26. First Attempt
27. A father
28. The Portrait
29. Snapped Thread
30. Only He Knows
31. The Stupid Mother
32. The Same Old Story
33. The Old Scoundrel
34. Third Attempt
35. Some of my First Days and First Nights
36. Snubbed Twice
37. Have You Met the God
38. Frequent Flier
40. Forgive and Forget
41. To Win or to lose
42. Call Girl
43. Beyond Blood Relation
44. Lady with a Black Car
45. My wife
46. Complete Woman
47. Diwali Gift
48. Romance with a Lady
49. Open Heart Surgery
50. My First Love
52. Pebbles on My Way Home
53. My First Bengali Book
54. Murder Mystery
57. Make a Habit to Thank God
58. Killing of a Bird
59. The Hero
60. Fantasy versus Reality
61. The Party
62. Road Rage
63. Death of a Friend
64. Cannot Live with Memory Only
65. None Cares for Me
66. A Tribute to My Guru
67. Two Professionals
68. The Choice
69. The Elusive Spouse
70. First Encounter with A P
71. Plane Crash
72. Plane Crash Part-II
73. Plane Crash Part-III
75. A Bag of Currency
76. Suitable Groom
77. Head Hunters
78. My Dear Sister
79. Selection While Waiting at the Airport
80. Oh Shit
82. He Got Back His Wife
83. Beautiful Faces
84. Elder Sister
85. Good Morning
87. Pass on your Death to Someone Else
88. Colour of Holi
89. Why blame others
90. A Forbidden Issue
91. Hat-trick of Failures
92. Agony of Writers
94. Three Directors
95. An Unusual Love Affair
96. Birth Day
97. Do not Tell Anyone
99. Late By Ten Years
100. Murder in a Foreign City
101. Strange Life
102. I love You Darling
104. Lady in the Park
105. Do Anything, I Shall comment
107. Art of Flirting
108. Are We Human
109. Old man and a Dog
110. Relation with Relatives
111. Sun and Cloud
112. My Second Lover
113. In a Meeting
114. Love at First Sight
115.A Psalm of Life
116.He Wants a Solution
118. Twenty-five Love Stories
119. Me and a Dozen Plus One Ghost Stories
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In this book, I compiled my stories on different topics ranging from crime-thriller to love affairs, from inspiration to bizarre one and so on. However, to facilitate to take a decision whether a reader wants to read a story with a particular subject or not, I have given an idea of the story in few lines at the beginning of the story. These stories are already published as e booklet form on this platform earlier.