Killing of a Bird
By Hiranya Borah
Copyright 2016 Hiranya Borah
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Love makes a person softer; breaking of heart makes a person tougher and healing touch makes a person reasonable. I have gone through all the phases of my life. While looking back, I feel happy about my love, heart break and becoming reasonable. I thank God for realizing my life from different perspectives.
This story is a fictional story of a boy who used to love a girl one year younger to him. He is thankful to the 12-year girl who gave him the first chance to have the heavenly feeling of teen-aged love. Breaking relation with her was inevitable as he was not able to know her name even after three years of love due to shyness.!!!!
I thank all my friends and relatives for their encouraging words. I am thankful to my family members for their constant support. My sincere thanks are always due for Smashwarods for their support.
Chapter I: Killing of Birds
As a young boy, like any other youngsters, I was always fascinated by the adventurous books like Robinson Crusoe, Around the World in Eighty Days, Birds etc. I was also fascinated by the books written by famous hunters like Anderson and Jim Corbett. I wanted to do something special like those heroes.
Slowly, I understood, I could not become like them as there was no scope for to land in an unexplored island like Robinson Crusoe. At the age of fifteen, if I would have told someone that I wanted to cover the entire world in eighty days, the person would simply laugh. Had I killed a lion or tiger, I would have been put into a jail. Under these circumstances, I had to change my priorities at different ages of my life!
There is a saying in India, if you want to have licence for a revolver, you have to apply for a machine gun. Similarly, if I want to be hunter like Anderson or Jim Corbet, then only I shall be able to kill a bird. With that principle, keeping a larger picture in mind, I picked up my single barrel gun of my father to kill some innocent hapless birds.
Unfortunately, I was able to kill few of them. But once I fell in love with a girl, I promised to myself not to pick up a gun for killing innocent animals. Fortunately, I am still keeping the promise though I failed in my first love.
Chapter II: Love Birds
I fell in love for the first time with a girl of 12 when I was barely 13.
I was accompanying my mother to Tezpur (Our District HQs) to visit an Aunt’s (my mother’s youngest sister) place. On the third day of our stay at Tezpur, my mother took me to a family which once had been posted at our maternal grandfather’s place as a Ranger of Forest Department. As my great grandfather was a reasonably rich person of the locality, all the senior officers posted in that locality used to be regular visitors of our great grandfather’s home. Naturally after their transfers also they used to keep a cordial relation with our grandpa’s family.
We used to call the lady, wife of the retired Ranger of the forest department, as Jethai (elder sister of my mother). She was a very strong lady, both physically and mentally. My mother used to give example of the lady whenever bravery, toughness of a lady came up for discussion. Though I was also very fearful to talk to Jethai, she used to love me very much. She used to take me in her lap up to a certain age whenever we used to visit their home at Tezpur.
She liked me for two reasons, I was good in mathematics and very bad in drawing. I used to give ample scope to laugh her whenever I draw something.
She had two sons, both married and none was staying with her due to their posting outside Tezpur. Only once I met one of her daughter in laws (elder one) in one of my several visits to Jethai’s home. My memory about her sons and the elder daughter in law is not very strong. But somehow, I still remember the long hair of the elder daughter in law who allowed me to touch her hair as a six-seven-year-old boy. In one of the occasions, she tied me with her long hair and said, ‘I want a boy like you. Stay with us and call me mom.’
Afterwards, I came to know that she conceived in that month and she delivered a baby boy after nine months of my visit. Therefore, Jethai used to call me lucky boy for their family as her daughter-in-law conceived after three years of their marriage. Sometimes, Jethai used to tell me as her eldest grandson. Therefore, I had a special relation with Jethai despite of not having any blood relation.
Unfortunately, our busy lives have not allowed us frequent meetings after I had reached my college. However, I used to visit her also whenever I used to visit my Aunt at Tezpur. Today neither my mother is alive nor Jethai but memories of my stay at Jethai’s home give me immense pleasure.
Jethai had few houses which were let out for rent. In one of those houses, a family of a clerk used to stay along with his family. I cannot tell you right now whether the twelve-year girl of that family was beautiful or not, but I can say you for sure, she was my first love. The daughter of clerk caught imagination of a fairy in my mind for the first time as a teen-aged boy. Her spotted frock disturbed me at night and sometimes she appeared inside my book even. I did not have the guts to ask her name nor mention about her before anybody. I saw her for the first time when I visited Jethai’s home during my summer vacation when I was barely 13 years. I overheard my Jethai told my mother that the new family had a daughter of twelve. So, by default, I came to know her age.
I saw the girl three times in the next three years and vanished after three years as their family shifted to some unknown location, might be in the same town.
Chapter III: Broken Heart
I do not know whether the girl ever took any cognizance of my very existence in this world or not, but my love for her was clean and has everlasting effect in my life. She made me a soft and understanding matured boy. At the age of thirteen, I stopped fighting with my brother and sister. In school also, I started behaving like a matured boy.
I was the first boy of my class from the very beginning of my school days, but after meeting the girl, my level of study went up to a level from which I could discuss on any topics with best of the students who were three to four years’ senior to me. Even my elder brother’s actions appeared to be childish to me. Except his age, I started behaving him like my younger brother. Within a very short time, my elder brother also started looking to me for some practical advices as if I was his elder brother. The senior students took me as their friends and on the other hand, my elder brother was never inducted into their company as equal even today. Slowly my classmates started to look forward my advices for their study and made judge to mediate whenever there was difference of opinion among them. She had changed my life for ever.
When I could not see the girl at my Jethai’s rented house, at first I thought to ask about her to Jethai, but I could not muster the courage to ask her. However, my mother helped me in eliciting some information about the family albeit without knowing that her son was desperate to know about her.
When my mother asked about the family Jetahai told, ‘I kicked them out. They were not regular in paying their monthly rent. Sometimes, after drinking he used to beat his wife also. Their daughter also failed in her examination and above all, I heard that she had a relation with one of our neighbours’ son. One day they had complained about the girl and I kicked them out in the next month.’
My heart was broken to pieces. ‘She had a relation with someone else.’ This particular piece of information was enough to spoil my life. But in the next moment, I consoled myself, it was good for me as I was only one year older than her. To stand on my own feet, I need more time, whereas she would be eligible for marriage within next few years.
However, consoling one thing and realization is another thing. I was sad, but I could not discuss with anyone. After this un-noticed incident, I was sent to hostel at Guwahati by my parents for my higher studies while I was trying to cope up with the realty of a broken heart.
Chapter IV: Healing Touch
I did not have any close confident with whom I could share my tragic experience of my first love. I tried to concentrate in my studies forgetting my bleeding heart.
One day while crossing the road, I was about to be under the wheels of a car. Thanks to the alertness of the driver, nothing happened. The driver scolded me for my absent mindfulness. At that time, the lady sitting at the back seat asked me with a kind voice, ‘What is the matter? Anything is wrong with you?’
Her voice was so kind, I could not resist my tears. She came out from the car and asked about me, my family and reason for my sorrow. I told about me, my family; but I did not tell her about my broken heart. She told me to sit in her car and as I obediently follow her order, the car moved to her residence.
She was Namita Rajkhowa, Principal of a Higher Secondary School. She was living with her two young daughters as her husband was posted outside Guwahati at that time. From the very first moment we met, we developed a bond which still exists. On that day, when I met her daughters, I felt like meeting my own sister.
In due course of time, she became a mentor of my life and one day I told her about my first love. With a smile, she told me, ‘I knew one day you would open up to me about the reason why you were coming under my car’s wheel. On that day, I knew you were hiding something; but I also knew that you are a very good boy. That is why I brought you to my residence. Do not think I was helping you, rather I was helping myself in coping up with my own loss.’ She heaved a sigh.
I know her tragedy. She lost her only son few years ago, who was of my age, while on a picnic party at Barapani, Shillong with his friends. His body was washed away by massive waves when sluice gates of the dam were opened to get rid of excess water. The young boys could not hear the sound of the siren. Three boys died in that incident. Fortunately, some were rescued by the villagers. After that tragic incident, the concerned Authority has banned the downstream for picnicking. But for her loss was irreparable.
From that day onwards, I told everything to her as an obedient son without hiding anything from her. We became instrumental to provide healing touch to each other’s wound. But I knew, my loss was not even a miniscule compared her loss!
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
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
47. Diwali Gift
48. Romance with a Lady
49. Open Hear 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
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Love makes a person softer; breaking of heart makes a person tougher and healing touch makes a person reasonable. I have gone through all the phases of my life. While looking back, I feel happy about my love, heart break and becoming reasonable. I thank God for realizing my life from different perspectives. This story is a fictional story of a boy who used to love a girl one year younger than him. He is thankful to the 12-year girl who gave him the first chance to have the heavenly feeling of teen-aged love. Breaking relation with her was inevitable as he was not able to know her name even after three years of love due to shyness.!!!!