The Old Scoundrel
By Hiranya Borah
Copyright 2016 Hiranya Borah
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The name of the book should have been ‘Good old man’ instead of ‘The old Scoundrel’. It is a story of a lady who met an old good man with all good qualities but she misunderstood him totally. Her realization vis a vis her husband’s realization came through a tough test of life. 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 our family structure. Hope my readers will love this story!
Once again I thank my readers and Shakespir for their support and cooperation.
Chapter I: First Meeting
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.’ 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.
Chapter II: He is a mind reader
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 three year 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.
Chapter III: Fatal Attraction
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.
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 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 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.
Chapter IV: Imposing Decisions
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 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 fore head 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 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 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 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 V: Truth and Only Truth
I reached home before time as I took half day leave to spend time with the middle aged man, who finally left me without even touching my hand despite of my tight embrace. 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 advices, 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 him 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 take his advice of telling my husband everything.
I did not wait for his promise and started telling my deeds of the day and the painful experience I gained through my deeds.
When I was describing how I was waiting for the man in the hotel, I saw my husband was raging in anger. Then his anger vanished as I was describing his decision to give me ten minutes to decide my future course of action. When I started sharing my thinking during that fifteen minutes and advices of the middle aged persons over telephone, 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 last six 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.’
Chapter VI: Realization
‘Now I have realized why he 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.’ My husband told to himself perhaps!
‘But I want to meet this real scoundrel soon! I have to settle a score with him!!!!!’ Then he started laughing.
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
Connect with him
,Now I have realized why he 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.â€™ My husband told to himself perhaps! â€˜But I want to meet this real scoundrel soon! I have to settle a score with him!!!!!â€™ Then he started laughing.