Loading...
Menu
Ebooks   ➡  Fiction  ➡  Romance  ➡  Clean & wholesome

Twenty Five Love Stories

Twenty-five Love Stories

****

Hiranya Borah

Copyright 2017 Hiranya Borah

Shakespir Edition

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

Thank You for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favourite authorized retailer.

Thank you for your support.

Preface

 

All these stories are already published in different names on this platform. It is a compilation of the edited versions of twenty five stories published over the years as independent books. Now readers need not have to download many times for reading my books on love affairs separately; instead of that, with one go they can read 25 love stories by downloading only this book. This will help them to keep 25 stories at one place. With this intention I have compiled this story book on clean and wholesome love affairs.

Most of the stories are based on mere imagination unless otherwise specifically mentioned at the top of the story. Therefore, if any similarity or resemblance of any character in any of the stories is observed with any living or dead person, it is purely a coincidence only. The description of the society described in these stories may be also far from reality.

Every story is preceded by a small note for those readers who are very specific about types of stories they want to read.

I got inspiration to write this book from my family members, friends, readers and critiques. I am thankful to all of them.

I am also thankful to Shakespir for publishing my stories as e-book.

 

Author

Story No: 1. Ideal Partner

 

(This is a poetic description in prose form of much anticipated first night of a couple based on pure imagination. Happiness of a married life is standing on few solid pillars. Some of them are faith, love for each other, mutual respect, physical intimacy, mental compatibility, common goals, children, good communication, resilience, financial stability and understanding between each other. I am not mentioning them in any particular order of importance.)

 

Both of them were waiting for this day. For Arunabh, Rini is (was) his first love and for him it was a love at first sight. However, in Rini’s case, it was a different story. Initially she said ‘yes’ for the marriage because of her family pressure, as according to the family members, she would never get such a good boy as her life partner. She realised after few days of their formal engagement, her family members were absolutely correct in assessing the quality of Arunabh as a person. She could come to know how much Arunabh was good by heart just after few weeks of their first meeting. A few weeks after their first meeting, Rini was formally engaged with Arunabh in presence of their parents and relatives from both the sides.

But after few days of engagement, Arunabh unilaterally severed the engagement with her when he came to know that there had been an understanding between the two fathers for some financial transactions over the engagement. Arunabh first fought with his own father and told him that he was going to cancel his marriage with Rini. On the same day, he blasted Rini’s father over phone. He categorically told Rini’s father that he is not a material for sale. As the marriage was arranged on the basis of an understanding of some financial transactions, he had no alternative but to cancel the marriage. Rini’s father, Prabir Choudhury tried to explain under what circumstances the understanding was arrived at, but in vain. Arunabh snapped the phone line wiothout hearing any explanation from his ‘to-be father in law’.

For Prabir Choudhury, it was a bolt from the blue. The dejected father, being a high blood pressure patient, sat on the floor to avoid an unexpected fall. The receiver of the phone was kept hanging by the poor father. He was looking to the ceiling fan vaguely and tried to find out where he went wrong. Though Arunabh’s father had not demanded anything for their only son’s marriage, he offered to repay the education loan of Arunabh which was taken for his MBA after coming to know the fact that Arunabh’s father had to pay a huge amount as dowry for their daughter’s marriage two years back.

Arunabh was a crusader of anti-dowry campaign in India. Arunabh’s stand on dowry got a severe jolt when he came to know that his father agreed to take the loan amount which was taken for his studies. To defend his own position, Arunabh’s father told him that he demanded nothing and only on insistence of Choudhury, Rini’s father, he agreed to his offer. This infuriated Arunabh so much that he lost his temper and blasted the old person (Rini’s father). He used such a language in his conversation with Rini’s father, which he never uttered (those words) to a person of his father’s age in his 27 years of life. After cooling down, he felt very bad about his own behaviour.

When Rini saw his father sitting on the floor, looking vaguely to the moving ceiling fan and the receiver of the phone was hanging, she became really worried. She shook his father by holding his shoulders and asked what had happened. Choudhury looked at his daughter, touched her head and started weeping like a little boy. Then, after some time, he said to her daughter, ‘We are probably going to lose the best boy in the world as your husband! It is because of my fault! I treated a diamond like an ordinary stone!’ Then he hugged his daughter and said, ‘Pardon me my sweetheart, I have spoiled your life!’

In the meantime, her mother also came to room and started crying without knowing any reason. Rini was also about to cry but composed herself and asked her father, ‘Tell me what had happened? Who was on the line? What he actually said?’

After two to three minutes, composing himself a little bit, Choudhury told his wife and daughter, ‘I have already told you that Arunabh was dead against of taking dowry as I was informed by his father. However, when I came to know through a common acquaintance that the father of Arunabh is in debt after his daughter’s marriage and he has an education loan of Rs. 5 Lakh which has to be paid in the next five years, I offered him to repay the education taken for Arunabh. As Arunabh was dead against of taking dowry, his father did not want to take the amount. But on my insistence, he agreed to take the amount. Arunabh came to know about the understanding from his mother. Unlike a normal lady, she is also very much against dowry. Then both son and mother first fought with his father and decided to sever the engagement with Rini and look for another girl who should be good but whose family might not be in position to give dowry. Now tell me, did I not the enemy of daughter’s fortune!’ He started again weeping like a school boy.

Rini is a soft spoken beautiful girl. At the first meeting, she thought Arunabh is also an ordinary boy with a decent job with a good monthly salary. He is little bit talkative and on the very first day he warned Rini in a polite way that if she is a shopping maniac, she would be disappointed as he is a miser (others say, economic in his own words). He admitted that probably he is suffering from a rare psychological disorder of Chrometophobia (fear for having more money; very rare in the world). If she wants to work after their marriage, it would be perfectly alright; but he would never insist her to work. According to him, as desire for more money leads to unhappy life, one should content with money one has.

Now after correlating with his earlier talk, she realized, Arunabh was not an ordinary young man, as she had earlier thought. At that moment for the first time in her life, she felt something for Arunabh. Later on, she understood that actually she started loving that talkative young man. Suddenly, she felt that she was becoming possessive about Arunabh. Then she took an unexpected and risky decision on her future; she would be his wife only or otherwise would remain unmarried for her entire life.

Next day, without telling his father, Rini went to Arunabh’s office to discuss the matter which was unexpected from a girl like Rini who happened to be a very shy girl. On seeing Rini in his office, he was surprised and felt little uncomfortable. He had already realized that he should not be that harsh with the old man. But seeing Rini, he thought he was going to get a return blast from her. Therefore, he told Rini, ‘I am sorry, I should have been little polite while talking to your father in conveying my feeling and decision. Would you join me in the cafeteria as the office may not be a good place to discuss personal matters?’ He was apparently very calm and composed in communicating with Rini

Rini was surprised to see his calmness. Rini followed him to the cafeteria and all along she was thinking how to start the discussion.

‘I know, your father must be upset the way I talked. But honestly, I was also very upset with both of our fathers, how they can think that I am a saleable product!’ With same calmness Arunabh told Rini justifying his outburst.

‘I understand your state of mind during the period when you had talked to my father. I understand he might be selfish and arrogant to offer the money to your father; but, will you try to understand the mental condition of a father of a marriageable girl, who does not want to lose a good boy? He can go up to any extent, good or bad; as his sole aim to rope a good boy for his daughter.’

Arunabh kept mum for a while then he started laughing loudly. Rini could not understand how to react to his laugh as she could not find any reason why he was laughing. Arunabh enjoyed her perplexed face and told calmly, ‘You must be thinking, why I am laughing. Have I gone mad? No, I have not gone mad, at least of now. I am laughing because, for the first in my life, a beautiful girl has certified me as a good boy; that too twice!’

However, his laugh could not make her smile. They kept mum for few minutes. Then Rini asked, ‘Can you forgive my father for that ‘one mistake he had committed’?’

Arunabh thought for a while and then asked, ‘After using so much harsh words to your father, I am already ashamed of own behaviour. He deserves an unconditional apology from me. I must have to apologize to him for my behaviour to an elderly person. So far marriage is concerned; I can consider it afresh, if those terms and conditions are removed permanently.’

After taking a pause he told again, ‘Further, I shall consider that, if and only if you dump your grumpy face and give me a beautiful smile.’

Rini understood, Arunabh was yet to throw her away from his heart permanently. She was little bit relaxed and without any thought a smile surfaced on her face. She asked, ‘Though I am not fully relaxed, I am trying to smile; can you consider now?’

‘Please show me your, left hand.’ Arunabh actually wanted to see her engagement ring. As expected, Rini was still wearing her engagement ring.

‘My ring is still in your hand and I am also still wearing your ring. So we have not broken our engagement so far. Do you want to break it now?’ Arunabh told his decision with a teasing voice. Rini could not stop her tears.

‘Hey, do not cry now. People may think I had done something wrong to you and I may be thrashed.’ He teased her again.

The shy girl did an unthinkable thing for the first time in her life; in full public view, she got up from her chair and hugged Arunabh. While hugging she whispered, ‘Promise me, you will never leave me till my death!’

Realizing that everyone in the cafeteria was looking at her, she became very nervous and went back to her seat. Her face was flushed.

For the next few minutes nobody talked. To ease the situation, Arunabh ordered two cups of coffee.

‘I do not take coffee!’ Rini, with a meek voice, told.

‘You have to take today, whether you like it or not. It is my first gift to you!’ Arunabh told. Having no alternative she agreed to take a cup of coffee, for the first time in her life.

After taking coffee, escorting out of his office Arunabh told Rini, ‘Tell your parent to be relaxed. You may be interested to know, why I have taken a U turn of my decision, subject to my conditions of course. However, right now, I am not telling you the reason. But I promise you, I shall tell you if we get marry in near future. Now go home in a relaxed mood and inform your parent about my U turn. Do not forget to convey my apology to your father for my harsh words.’

His decision, U turn in his words, did not make Arunabh’s father very happy. He was very much annoyed with his son. But Arunabh’s mother was happy to bring Rini as her daughter in law, despite of the hiccup in the process.

On the other hand, as soon as Rini broke the news that Arunabh had agreed to marry Rini with the condition that no financial transaction would take place, all the family members zoomed with happiness. Respect for Arunabh had only enhanced further in the eyes of the in laws.

Finally, marriage of Arunabh and Rini was solemnized on the designated date in presence of all the family members of both sides.

When Arunabh entered to their room, he saw Rini was sitting on the bed with full of rose petals. Fragrance of rose was so strong, even a man of stone might have been romantic. Arunabh was not a youth known for his romantic mood. But on that day, his mind also became somewhat romantic.

When Rini saw Arunabh closed the door and approached the bed, she got up from the bed and tried to touch the feet of Arunabh as per rituals prevailing in most parts of India. But Arunabh did not allow her to do that and moved quickly backward. Then he said, ‘You are an equal partner in my life. Your status is not lower than my status in any respect. Never try to touch my feet which only shows dignity of a wife is not at par with her husband. That is against my principle of looking husband and wife as equal in status.’

Rini understood he is a different type of man, albeit in a positive sense.

He put his hands on her arms and helped her to sit on the bed. He removed the veil from the face of Rini and told, ‘Do not keep a veil on your face in future. You are very beautiful. Your face is a visual delight for everyone around. Let all enjoy the brightness of your face. Let others to envy me for having an extremely beautiful wife!’

Rini did not understand how to react to his comment on her beauty. On seeing Rini mum, he started talking again. ‘On our meeting in the cafeteria, you appeared to be very bold; you hugged me and then kissed me.’

‘No, I did not kiss you!’Rini objected to his false comment.

‘I clearly remember, you kissed me on that day!’ Arunabh insisted.

‘No, I did not. I only whispered on your ear with the request not to leave me till my death.’ Rini did not want to budge a single inch of her ground as she was truthful.

‘That is unfair! You requested me not to leave you. But you keep your choice open ended. By the way, when you are going to leave me?’

‘At my death only!’ She was forthcoming with a strong statement; Arunabh realized from her tone. From his sitting position he hugged her and kissing on her forehead and told, ‘I also promise you, I shall not to leave you till my death.’

Arunabh saw Rini’s eyes became moist. ‘Are you unhappy leaving behind your family?’

‘Yes. But, I am extremely happy to be with you. I must confess to you, I did not fall in love with you on our first meeting. I started loving you from the day when you cancelled our marriage. I can do anything for you and for staying with you for whole of my life!’

Arunabh kissed her again; this time on her cheek.

‘Rini, as a youngster I was always fascinated by one photograph of Lord Shri Krishna with Mother Radha where the God was taking rest putting his head on her lap. Both of them were so engrossed to look each other’s’ eyes, it appears nothing in the world was more important for them during that period of time.’ Arunabh closing his eyes tried to imagine essence of that eternal love.

‘Would you like to take some rest on my lap?’ Rini asked Arunabh with a low voice.

‘Yes, of course, if you do not mind.’ Telling that without waiting for Rini’s reply prepared himself for resting on Rini’s lap.

He stretched his legs and placed his head on her lap. She looked very beautiful from below: Arunabh thought. With a natural instinct, she put her right hand on his hair and slowly started running her fingers through the thick black hair. He slowly removed her sari from her shoulders and looked at her eyes passionately. Both of them looked at each other for some time. She thought, she had to live with this man throughout her life. He has an ordinary face with an extra-ordinary heart. She loves the inner side of this man, who has a golden heart for which any lady could have sacrificed everything to possess him. She felt lucky to be his wife.

Arunabh thought in a complete different line. She is so beautiful- she had married him due to some compulsion only. Will their marriage be sustainable for a long time?

‘Are you really happy to be my wife?’ He asked.

‘Why do you ask this question? Do you have any doubt in your mind?’ She did not answer directly.

‘You are extremely beautiful! Contrary to that, I am an ordinary looking person. You could have got a more handsome person as your husband. I feel sorry for you on that account.’ He told these words with a tone of full of genuineness.

Rini did not say anything. A drop of tear fell on the face of Arunabh. Sudden drop of hot tear made Arunabh to get up from the lap of Rini. But Rini pushed her head down and wiped out her own tears and tears from Arunabh’s face.

‘Will you keep a request of mine? If you promise me that you are going to keep the request for your entire life, I shall think that will be the best gift you are giving to me on the first night of our married life!’ She told very quietly.

‘Tell me dear. I promise you, I shall try to keep your request for the rest of my life.’

‘From my heart, I tell you that, nobody has forced me to marry you. There was no compulsion to marry you except one, as I have told you earlier, I started loving you from the day when you refused to marry me. I love you as a person and as my husband. I never think anyone in the world would be more suitable for me as a husband than you. I want to die as your wife only. For me, you are the most handsome person in the world. I am for you, only for you. You can do anything with me, I shall not complain to anyone for any of your actions. I love you so much! I can sacrifice everything for your happiness!’ Arunabh had no problem in judging her honesty in those words.

‘Ok, I understand your feelings about me; but what is your request?’

‘Never ask me, whether I love you or not. Never ask me whether I am happy with you or not. Never ask me under what compulsion I agreed to marry you. Never tell me that you are an ordinary person. You are and you always will be special to me.’ She said with a choked voice.

‘You wanted me to keep one request, but you have given me a list of requests. But I promise you, I shall keep all of them.’ With a pause he again started, ‘I told you on that day, after our marriage I would tell you, why I had taken a U turn on my decision to marry you. Would you like to know the reason now?’

‘If you want to tell me, I shall like to hear it from your mouth. But I know why you have decided.’ She said politely.

‘Oh my darling, you can read my mind also. Then tell me why I took a U turn after meeting you. Remember, if you are wrong, I am going to punish you.’ Arunabh smiled.

‘There may be two reasons for that. First you have a golden heart to understand that if you refuse to marry me after our engagement, my family will have to face a humiliating situation. In the worst case, even I may not get a groom for the next few years or I may have to die as a spinster. Though I guess the second reason, I am not going to tell you.’

‘First reason what you have said is wrong. Second reason, you are not telling me. So you are going to be punished twice!’ He said with a mysterious smile.

‘I know that I am hundred percent correct in my answer. But still I am ready for any punishment you would like to give me!’ She said teasingly.

‘The only reason I took a U turn is, I love you from the day when I met you for the first time. Now you should be ready for your punishment. Are you ready?’ He got up from her lap and he pulled her near to his chest.

She did not utter anything expecting a strong hug or something more. But he did not do anything except patting on her cheek lovingly.

‘What is your expectation from our marriage? Only love from me or something else?’ Arunabh wanted to hear something from her, which might be exciting for both of them.

‘Every woman wants love from her husband at all the time. Then she wants to be a mother, every woman wants to carry a child of her husband in her womb; but for that she needs blessing from the God and elders and true love from her husband. To be a mother, a wife has to make sacrifice her shyness of a girl to her husband, the first male who is allowed to see and touch every part of her body after attaining her adolescence, by offering her soul, mind and a bare body without any cover. She has to sacrifice her chastity forever. I am no exception, I want to be the mother of your children and from today my body, mind and soul are for you only. I am going to sacrifice my shyness and allow your hands to touch every part of my body. I allow your eyes to see every part of my body. You are allowed to pierce my body and mind through your love and spirituality. You are allowed to be master of my body and mind. My thought will start from you and end with you.’ She stops here.

‘Do you want to say, I have a win-win situation all the way? As husband what role do you expect I should play?’ Arunabh asked playing his hands on her arms.

‘Every husband also wants to impregnate his wife to become a father. For that, he has also to make a supreme sacrifice, may be more than a wife who has to sacrifice only her shyness; but he has to make himself free from his ego. He has to come down to the level of his wife in the bed to make her a mother. Normally, a wife is less educated, less in age and experience, less in exposures to the outside world, less physically powerful and above all, always less in stature in almost all the societies of the world. The husband has to expose everything to his wife what she has to expose to her husband, both physically and mentally. He has to share everything he has, physically, mentally and emotionally. He has to take solace in the arms of his wife when he is rejected by the whole world due to his failure. Both husband and wife have another moral duty, if anyone is ill, other should not take any outsider’s help except of a medical person; he /she has to nurse his/ her spouse thoroughly. I am promising you, except doctor, I shall not allow any nurse to touch your body except for the para medical works. I shall also not allow anyone touch my body parts except for surgical or delivery work for my baby. My body is only for you and for my children, up to some extent. Your body and mind are the most revered temple for me, where I want to be the only priest. My every offering of my body and soul to you is going to be an offering to the God.’

Her explanation about the roles of husband and wife made him closer to his wife both physically and mentally. He pulled her to his arms and started pressing her back tenderly. He could hear her heart beat clearly. But he wanted to hear something more from his wife as hitherto he did not hear anything from a young lady. He loosened his grip and kissed her forehead and told, ‘I want to hear something more from you on love between husband and wife. Your talks make me closer to you. You know I am very talkative. But I have a feeling now that, I am always talking nonsense only having no depth in my talk.’

‘Do not say that, my love. I am telling you only my feeling as wife of a person who is superior to me in all respect. Not only I respect you, but also I love you. I am offering my body and mind to you with happiness like a woman delivers a baby with happiness forgetting the pain before the delivery. I want to be happy with you forgetting the pain of leaving my comfort zone. I was a happy as a daughter with my parent and as a sister to my brother. My whole world was revolving around them. Within a day everything has changed. Now for me, everything revolves around you. For everything, I shall be dependent on you. It applies to you also up to some extent. I am leaving everything behind me, including my surname and my identity. Till yesterday, I had filled up every form as daughter of so and so, but from today, I have to fill up any form as wife of Arunabh. By doing so, I am not becoming unhappy, rather I shall be proud that I am sharing everything with a person of the stature of Arunabh who is not an ordinary person in the society.’ Arunabh was surprised to hear those words from a lady who was known for her economy in words.

‘I heard that wife starts talking after one year, but you have started from day one.’ He laughed.

‘Are you teasing me? I am not going to say anything from now.’ She showed artificial anger.

‘You are the first girl whom I dare to tease. I hope you will not going to stop that also.’ Arunabh asked her with folded hands to tease further.

‘Ok, permission granted, my dear hubby.’ She retorted with a beautiful smile. Arunabh could not resist himself from kissing her on her cheek. His kissed flushed her face red. She looked more beautiful. He placed another kiss on her other cheek.

‘Do not love me so much! I may have a heart attack right now!’ She told coyly.

‘Yeah! If you die, I shall be arrested for murdering a newlywed wife!’ Rini put her hand on his mouth to stop him from saying further.

Instead of removing her hand from his mouth, he again kissed her, this time on her hand. She immediately removed her hand.

‘I am feeling thirsty. Do you?’ Telling this Arunabh got up from the bed and took a bottle of water and offered the water bottle to Rini. She was also feeling thirsty. She took the bottle and drank some water and then said, ‘I am sorry! It should be other way round. I should have offered water to you. I should know when you will be hungry and thirsty. I should also know when you want what!’

‘Yes, being my wife, you should know!’ With a heavy voice Arunabh told. Rini’s face became pale.

‘Hey darling, I am joking. Do not be upset. Both of us do not know each other very well. It is only our first day. Further, I do not believe that wife has all the responsibilities to satisfy her husband and husband has none. We have talked for a long time. You might be hungry also. Let us find out if we find something to eat.’ Arunabh got up from the bed to find out some light food for them.

This time Rini was also in his tow. But nothing was found in the room to eat. Arunabh told Rini, ‘Stay back in the room, I shall bring something from the kitchen.’

When, Arunabh left the room Rini went to the wash room as she was suppressing her feeling for a call of nature due to her shyness. When she was relieving herself, she heard a commotion in the kitchen. When she came out of her room, she realized that all the lights of house were on and a few pairs of eyes are making a thorough scrutiny of her whole body. She became nervous. However, Arunabh’s mother Madhuri, rescued her by saying, ‘Oh, my sweetheart! Go to your room. By the time you must have understood, what a fool you have married. You have to take care of him like a grown up child. He is still having a childlike quality!’

His sister in law (cousin’s wife, who came for the marriage) commented, ‘after doing so much hard work, Tintin (Arunabh’s pet name) must have been very hungry!’ When everyone looked at her, she said, ‘I am talking about the reception party.’ Everyone could understand what she actually meant.

Rini wanted to run from the corridor to her room, but her legs stuck to the place where she was standing. Again her mother in law came to her rescue and led her to the room, though she did not enter to her daughter in law’s room. By the time, Arunabh returned to the room triumphantly with some fruits and a packet of biscuits in his hand.

Closing the door, he smiled to his wife innocently and said, ‘Sorry, it took little time. Do you like to take biscuit first?’

Rini could not control her tears. She embraced Arunabh tightly and started weeping. Her tears mixed with vermilion made the white kurta of Arunabh reddish. He patted her back to comfort her, but that made her weeping more profuse. Arunabh led Rini to the bed but did not let her sit her on the bed. Instead he forced her to sit on his lap. However, that did not deter her from clinging to the neck of her husband. Every breath made her cling closer to the chest of her husband. Now instead of patting her, he also embraced her tightly. Slowly her weeping was substituted by heavy and short breathing. Arunabh removed her face from his chest and for the first time he pressed his lips on her lips.

How long they were in that position, they could not remember, but hunger got better of them again. The moment Arunabh reminded about biscuits, she released him from her arms, and so did Arunabh simultaneously.

After taking two biscuits and an apple each they gulped some water. Then Rini asked, ‘what happened in the kitchen?’

‘Nothing great! I was looking for some snacks in the fridge when I accidently dropped the container of the chicken curry which made a noise. As usual, Mom came there after hearing the sound. But, for the first time in my life, she did not scold me, what she usually does. The commotion attracted the rest of the family members and all of them looked at me as if I murdered somebody. I also did not care of their presence and took a packet of biscuits and those fruits and made my way to my room. While on the way to my room I heard my father was telling to Mom whether I shall gain some maturity or not in near future. What Mom told him in reply I could not hear but I heard my father as saying that he was much matured at the time of his marriage. Anyway, why you were crying?’

‘Ok, let me go to the kitchen first to clean up the mess you have created.’ When she was about to go, Arunabh caught her from behind and told, ‘Do not create another problem for me. They will think, I am sending you to the kitchen and they will kill me! On the very first day you will be a widow!’

Rini tried to get out of his clutches; but in vain. ‘Release me, you are hurting me. It is painful.’ Arunabh released her immediately.

Rini giggled and she showed her thumb and her tongue indicating that she be fooled him. This time, Arunabh pulled her and embraced her tightly and told, ‘This time I am not going to release you even if you cry for your release.’

‘Do not you like to hear, why I cried for so long?’ Arunabh realized, he had a bounden duty to know why his newlywed wife cried so intensely. He released her from his arms and sat on the bed.

Rini was standing before him in such a tantalizing way to tell him what happened half an hour ago, Arunabh could not but pull her to sit on her lap again. She was actually waiting for that. She again put her arms on Arunabh’s neck and told what happened.

‘Are you feeling sleepy?’ Arunabh asked Rini.

‘No. Are you feeling sleepy?’ Rini asked the same question.

‘I want to give equal share of everything of my life, property, comfort, sorrow, happiness; that means anything and everything of my life with you. I rested on your lap for some time, now I want to reciprocate. You put your head on my lap.’

Before she could say something, he pulled her head to his lap and started running his finger through her hair. She looked so beautiful from above; he thought. Her big eyes are like petals of a lotus; her lips are red and soft, her black curly hairs are very much seducing. When Rini closed her eyes, he looked at her beautiful eyebrows. Her colour, compared to him is quite fair and her skin is very smooth.

Despite of her best efforts she could not stop herself from sleeping and she did not know when she fell into deep sleep. Seeing her gone into fast sleep, instead of disturbing her, he ran his finger through her hair more passionately. Looking at her innocent face, he promised to himself, ‘I shall always love this girl and never ever hurt her physically, mentally and emotionally. I shall give her everything I have. I shall share my happiness and pain with her equally. I shall never hide anything from her. I shall never cheat her.’

While sleeping, it appeared her blouse tightened her bosom considerably which gave some discomfort in her breathing. He removed the button of her blouse to ease her breathing. The moment he unbuttoned her blouse she became comfortable in her breathing and her sleep. But that put Arunabh in discomfort. He could see some portion of her bosom. He could not stop himself from touching that part of her body. It was very soft. He wanted to press it further. But he desisted himself from doing so; he did not want to disturb his lovely wife in her sleep. At that time she looked like a fairy.

He felt a pain on his legs after half an hour or so. He silently put her head on a pillow and sat comfortably on her side. The more he looked at her, he became more and more close to her emotionally. He put his hand on her head and started patting. He lowered his head to kiss her; but he restrained himself from doing so, fearing her sleep would be disturbed. Her body fragrance made him wild; but again he did nothing which might have disturbed her sleep. Finally, he went to the bathroom and took a shower.

When he came out of the bathroom, dawn of a new day arrived silently. He looked at the clock. It was five minutes to five. Normally, his parent gets up at five in the morning. So he had no alternative but to make her awake before others in the family knock at the door.

‘Rini, Rini please get up’ He tried, but in vain. She was in fast sleep. He felt guilty for giving her trouble. He thought for a moment and decided not to disturb her again, no matter what others would think about them. But to his surprise, she got up and asked, ‘Did I sleep?’

‘Yes, for an hour or so you were sleeping. Now go to the washroom and take a bath so that we can join Morning Prayer with our family members.’ Arunabh told his wife.

She was about to cry again for sleeping. ‘Shobha Aunty, the lady who dropped me at your, oh sorry, my new home, told me categorically to give my everything to you on the very first day itself. But I did not submit my body and mind to you as I should have submitted as your wife. She said, I should submit my body to you for our future generation. The submission what she referred may be the basis of our happy married life. But what a fool I am, I did not submit my body and soul as I should have. All these happened because of my sleep. It is my fault.’

Though, Arunabh understood what she wanted to convey, he pretended not to understand and asked her, ‘How you are supposed to submit your body to me, I cannot understand. Would you explain?’

At first, she wanted explain; but on the very next moment she realized, Arunabh was teasing her. She kept mum. At this Arunabh told, ‘Do not be upset my darling! You have given me everything. You have already submitted me your soul, mind and body. You have not submitted a part of your body which you can submit to me at any time. Whole life is waiting for us for doing all those things. So far happy life is concerned, physical relation is an integral part of a married life. But that is not the only thing which is the foundation of a happy married life.’

She came forward to him and embraced him tightly. Arunabh also embraced her tightly. Forgetting that a new morning had already arrived, they were about to start a new chapter of their life but for the knock at the door, they had to abandon the idea for the time being. Abandoning her inhibition, she finally smacked a kiss on his cheek before running to the bath room for taking a bath.

While taking shower, she recapitulated all the events of their night. She felt, she became one of the happiest wives in the world despite of the fact that she could not offer her body fully to her husband on her first night with her husband. She thanked God for giving her the most romantic and honest man as her husband. She promised to God, she would follow her husband blindly wherever he goes without an iota of confusion and doubt.

Story No: 2. Roller-coaster Love Affair

(Situations may change drastically within a span of few years. Human relations are also changing over time. It happened to Manish’s family with few twists and turns. However, final U-turn of relation between Manish and his wife, Priya is the icing on the cake.)

Manish is an intelligent engineer, having an excellent job in IT sector located in Delhi. He married to Priya who happened to be his childhood love. Both the families of Manish and Priya are staying in the same locality of a suburb in Delhi. Priya is also modern working lady.

However after their marriage, they took a rented house near to the working place of Priya. In the process, Manish had to travel almost 20 KM daily for his duties.

One day during breakfast, Priya told Manish that she wanted to leave her job as soon as Manish would get his first promotion. She showed her optimism that after Manish’s promotion even with one salary of Manish, they would be able to manage their daily needs. Manish appreciated her wish.

Considering those issues like promotion of Manish and leaving of job by Priya, they decided to have a baby only after few more years; that is after attaining their financial stability and sufficient time for their child etc. In other words, they delayed their decision to have a baby because they were not mentally prepared to have a baby immediately after their marriage.

They were a happy couple till misfortune struck the couple like a thunderstorm on a day with clear sky.

On that fateful day, Manish had a near fatal accident in the early morning when his bike was hit from behind by a dumper while he was returning home from his night shift. He would have died in that accident on the spot itself had he not been picked up by a PCR van and admitted to the nearest hospital. Priya was also immediately informed by the police.

When Priya reached the hospital, Manish was undergoing an emergency operation. Within an hour, the families of both of them reached the hospital.

After fifteen days, when Manish was discharged from the hospital, he was no more the same Manish, who used to be. Lower portion of his body had been permanently paralyzed.

As usual, everybody near and dear to Manish and Priya thanked the God for saving his life. But—-

Everything has changed for Manish and Priya after that accident. Manish who was working in a private firm, had to resign from the job for his protracted disability after the accident. Fortunately, Manish and Priya were able to get a hefty compensation from the Government after a short but effective court case.

Good news for the couple was that on compensatory ground, Manish got a clerical job in the Municipality office, dumper of which made him disable for the life.

In a sense, there was not much difference of financial status of the couple after the accident. Rather, with getting hefty compensation and after getting a Government job, financial condition of the couple had improved in real terms. But both emotionally and physically everything had changed for the couple all the time to come; at least for the time being.

Now both of them want a baby. But how?

Arindam, a close friend of Manish saw Priya after three years. Actually they never met each other after the marriage reception of Manish-Priya. Arindam is Manish’s friend from their college days. Manish and Arindam got their job in the same company after passing out from the same engineering college. However three years ago, just after Manish’s marriage to Priya, Arindam was sent to Australia on an off-site assignment.

During the period when Arindam was in Australia, he got married to a girl from Kolkata. Due to some reasons, Manish could not attend his marriage for which Arindam showed his unhappiness to Manish. However, while still in Australia, when Arindam heard about the accident of Manish, he became extremely upset and therefore, on his return to India, he rushed to his friend’s house to meet him at the very first opportunity.

After few visits of Arindam to Manish’s place, both Arindam and Priya became closer. Initially, Arindam extended moral support to the couple as a true friend of Manish. But slowly Priya and Arindam felt that both of them wanted little more from each other than what a society normally does not permit.

Therefore, within next few months, Priya and Manish developed a relation which is more than a relation between a wife of a friend and his friend.

Priya knows her requirements. She needs the company of Arindam to meet her physical needs. For financial needs she is somewhat dependent on her husband Manish and for emotional support she needs both Manish and Arindam. She could have deserted Manish, had Arindam decided to divorce his wife. Arindam categorically told Priya that he was not going to divorce his wife Anamika and leave their only child for the sake of Priya. Even he told Priya that if she was not comfortable with the ongoing arrangement, he was ready to dump Priya.

Priya is an intelligent girl. She knows, if Arindam leaves her, probably, Manish would not allow another male to enter their home. Therefore, she wanted to continue her relation with Arindam with the existing terms and conditions.

Manish was also noticing the new development with help-less-ness and with lot of heart-burn. He gave a long thought on the unholy development of his wife and his close friend. Still he loves his wife as much as he used to love her few years ago. He was not willing to hurt his wife. He understood her necessity and compulsions. He took few days to take a decision. Then after passing few sleepless nights, he arrived at a decision.

One day, Manish called Arindam and Priya near to his bed where most of the time he had to pass for last two years. Both of them were little bit nervous for hearing something nasty from Manish.

As both came and sat near to him, Manish told, ‘I know, both of you have developed a relation which is perhaps not good for me and Anamika. However, I gave a long thought on the issue. Finally, with a heavy heart I realized, I have to come to the terms of the reality of life. I should not expect, Priya will live her whole life without any physical relation with anyone. It is most likely that I shall never recover to have any physical relation with Priya. Therefore, I decided to allow your relation to go ahead. Only my request to both of you, please keep the whole murky episode as a secret from our families. ‘

There was silence in the room for next few minutes. Both Priya and Arindam became ashamed of their acts behind Manish. They were more ashamed to know that Manish was aware of those illicit relations from the very beginning.

Manish again started. ‘Do not be ashamed of your acts. Particularly, Priya, I understand your compulsions. What you are doing today, may be, in your place every young lady would have done it.’

Priya became more ashamed to hear those words of wisdom from her husband.

After few minutes of silence, both got back to their wits. As requested by Manish, Priya and Arindam promised to keep the relation as a secret to them only.

However, they did not promise to severe the illicit relation between them.

When Arindam and Priya left the room, Manish wiped his tears from his eyes which were coming out of his eyes silently and steadily.

Whether you believe in miracle or not, miracles do happen in our life sometimes.

One day, Manish was lying in his bed with a vague look to the ceiling. He saw a large lizard was chasing a small lizard. Manish thought that the larger lizard was chasing the smaller one for snatching food from the smaller lizard or for some other reason. But his presumption proved wrong when he saw the larger one jumped upon the smaller one and remained on the smaller one for some time. He looked at the lizard-couple continuously till they separated from each other.

After the accident, after more than two years on lying on a bed, for the first time, he felt something, a kind of small spark on the lower part of the body.

Though Manish and Priya had no physical relation for the last two years, they were still good friends and Priya used to take care of Manish properly. Therefore, Manish confided Priya about his experience of that day. Priya also showed interest to know the whole story from Manish.

After hearing the story point by point, Priya saw a ray of hope in the unexpected turn of the event. On the very next day, Priya took Manish to the doctor who attended him last time almost a year ago and declared that there was no hope for Manish to stand on his own feet.

The doctor attentively heard what Priya and Manish told in minute details. He immediately prescribed some medicines and asked Manish to go for some tests.

A long medications and two more operations on the lower part of the body in the next few months made Manish almost normal to stand on his own feet.

One day, after recovery of Manish substantially, when Arindam came to meet Priya, she told Arindam, ‘Arindam, you helped Manish and me when we needed you most. We shall remain grateful to you for what you have done for us in the last two years. Now, I think we do not need your help any more. So in future whenever you visit us, please visit us as a mere friend only.’

Arindam got the message loud and clear. He left Manish house in a huff and he never returned.

Story No: 3. Cheaters

 

Anupama was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She was extremely beautiful and her friends are also from elite society of Guwahati. She was the daughter of a senior officer of Assam Government. During two years of our association in pre-university (11-12 class), I seldom saw her coming by a city bus. She used to be dropped and picked up by cars, both private and official, like other friends of her group. Any member of that group seldom interacted with us and whenever they used to interact with us, their body language used to say, ‘you people are not of our class. Therefore, you should be grateful to me, as I have spent my valuable time with a lesser mortal like you!’

Many of my lesser mortal friends used to ridicule them. But I never ridiculed them. I understand, friendship always can blossom amongst the similarly placed persons. I used to recall my group of friends in our village. Compared to ninety nine percent of the population of our area, we were richer and more educated. We used to make friendships within a group of offspring of relatively rich people of the society to which I belonged. I, as a son of a rich parent (of that area) used to exploit the sentiments (is it limited to sentiment only- a question I used to hear many a times in my life) poor girls of my age.

Therefore, I never ridiculed them; but I vowed to myself that I shall occupy better position than those elite group of our classmates.

However, I do not mind to admit that I was a fan of her, though, I never ever thought to make her my girlfriend. I put my feet on the ground very firmly always. I was fully aware that as a rustic boy from a remote village of Assam, I was not at all fit in the likable list of boys for Anupama.

In short, she never gave me any fodder to burn my desire for her in those two years. I have never blamed her for that. After growing up two daughters of my own, I come to know that for a girl grown up with a metropolitan background, cannot make friendship with a boy with rural background instantly. Therefore, Anupama had been a mere classmate of mine and certainly she was not a friend of mine during my college days.

Before I shed some of my rustic behaviours, we passed out our twelfth and she left our college. I heard that she had not done well in the last examination. After passing out of higher secondary, we had never met in our college or university days.

In a nutshell, my relation with her can be described in the following lines. She was a beautiful classmate of mine, with whom I did not have any friendship. But I had a crush on her due to her beauty, in general, and in particular I was mad for her beautiful thin red lips. Many a times, I used to fantasise to place a kiss on her thin red-rose coloured lips. But beyond that, I never fantasised.

So I used to recall her afterwards as a beautiful classmate with rosy thin lips on which I used to aspire to place a kiss in my day dreams. For my feeling for her, you have every reason to call me a perverse one and for that I do not mind at all.

One day I heard from a common friend that she lost her husband after prolonged illness. My friend gave her telephone number also. With all my bad habits, I have a good habit; I used to call any friend or acquaintance whenever he/ she is in trouble. I always offer any possible help from my side. But most of the cases, they thank me but never ask for any help. In all practical purposes, my offers for help become just a formality only.

Following that formality, I dared to telephone Anupama to convey my condolence. ‘Anupama, I am Kanak, your classmate in class 11-12. I heard the bad news of death of your husband from Mayur.’

‘Ok, I am fine. Thank you for your condolence. However, I had thousand classmates in colleges, I cannot recall you, by name or by face. Thanks once again for calling me.’ She hung the phone.

She gave me rude answer with her husky voice with an underlying rebuttal that ‘never mess with my personal matter whatever may be the situation’.

I felt something awkward. But luckily for me when I telephoned her none was present around me. This reminded me a joke I read long time ago in Readers Digest. As per the joke, in a military function, when a singer was singing, a soldier commented, ‘What a bad voice, who has allowed this lady to sing.’ On this an elderly person replied, ‘She is my daughter.’ The Willy soldier replied immediately, ‘Oh, sorry sir. She may have a beautiful voice. But lyricist must have spoiled the plot!’ The elderly man replied, ‘I am the lyricist. Do you know who am I? I am the new brigadier of your brigade.’ The soldier asked the boss saluting him, ‘Sir do you know who am I?’ The brigadier replied with arrogance, ‘How do you expect, I shall know your name?’ At this the young soldier said, ‘Thank you sir.’ Then he disappeared from the scene.

My case is also like the young soldier. As Anupama did not recognize me, I had nothing to be ashamed of. But whenever, I remember Anupama, I also remember the tone of Anupama in her reply to my condolence message few years back.

All of a sudden, I met her in a function organized by a local organisation for a dancing troupe coming from Assam. I could not have recognized her, had she not been introduced by the same common friend, Mayur who informed me about demise of her husband few years ago.

In that function when I met Anupama, I could not recognize her as she became very old and she was not attractive as I used to recall her. Probably that applies to me also; I am no more the lanky young boy of 1970/ 80’s. As on today, I am also an old bald man to whom a young lady will not see for the second time, if she does not happen to be my daughter/ niece / adopted daughter/ a lady whom I consider as my own daughter. For our first meeting after thirty odd years was nothing but a shocking one.

She was candid in her admission that she could not recollect me as her classmate. I was also candid in my admission that I clearly recall her as an extremely beautiful girl from a blue blood family, but I was never after her as a street Romeo in our two years of association as classmates.

After few chit chat we left the venue of the function with a promise to meet each other again in near future, knowing fully well that we shall never meet again.

But it is God’s wish we met again in a cocktail party of a very successful common friend of mine. As my wife went to Guwahati to meet her ailing mother, I had to attend that party alone; which I always prefer.

I have a bad habit of speaking lot of loose talks about myself. My wife always castigated me for those irrelevant and un-necessary talks. In the absence of my wife on that day, I was in full throttle in talking nonsense. One of my favourite topics is to tell many things about my ex-girlfriends. Though I never tell anything which may demean the stature of my girlfriends, but my self-admission of having a number of girlfriends before marriage puts me in the group of character-loose persons. I do not know, how many of friends like to continue their friendship with me after so many self-admissions. However, I always conclude my self-admission that I never have a married girlfriend and I have never tried to have any girlfriend after my marriage. But many of my Delhi based friends doubt about my claim of not having a girlfriend after my marriage. God knows why they doubted self-claims of mine on that issue!

During the party, I told all my friends about my adventures and mis-adventures with different ladies. Anupama did not react to any of those loose talks from my side during the whole period. She maintained a dignified silence all the time.

After dinner, when everyone was leaving, Anupama came to me and requested me if I could drop her at her residence. After four pegs of whiskey, I was in no mood to drive a long distance as her residence is at Gurugram, at least 25 KM from my residence. Without asking she clarified, ‘I came by hiring an Ola. But at night going alone is difficult. Actually, Arunabh (host of the cocktail party) told me that he would drop me.’

‘No, no, do not worry. It will be my pleasure to drop you.’ I told her without showing any apparent reservations from my side.

As I drove, sitting on the navigator’s seat she said, ‘Hope I need not have to guide you up to Gurugram.’

‘Not at all dear.’ By using the word ‘dear’ I realized of using a bad word for an ex-classmate.

‘I was listening to you while you are exposing yourself to others. All enjoyed your admissions. Though none of those present there was tulsi patta (to identify a person as holy as basal leaf), they always pretend to be tulsi patta. I know each of them, how they wanted to take advantage of my single status after death of my husband.’ She said with a sigh.

‘Yes I also know all of them for last so many years. They all are hypocrites.’ I commented.

‘All the ex-girlfriends about whom you said in the party, might be good wives of someone-else now!’ Whether she asked a question or commented as a wise lady, I could not understand.

‘I am happy about that. Otherwise, I would have suffered from a guilty feeling.’ I replied.

‘Do you still communicate with them?’

‘No. That would be bad for both the parties. I never tried to meet them after their marriages.’ I clarified my position.

‘After your marriage, have you ever cheated your wife?’ She asked me an extremely personal question.

I thought for a moment. ‘Do you want a formal answer or an honest answer?’ I asked her.

‘I want an honest answer.’ She demanded an honest answer from a dishonest person.

‘Yes. I have cheated her many times.’ I told her with a laugh.

‘I am happy to hear that. I am not going to be the first lady to instigate you to cheat your wife for the first time. Will you stay overnight with me.’ She smiled with weirdly.

In the morning while driving home, I was thinking, ‘Did her lips taste same before thirty five years when she was barely 16-17 years or better than now?’

 

Story No: 4. He is from another World

(The story is based on some real experience during my stay in a hilly state when I was also very young with two very young children. I twisted some of the facts to maintain privacy of the family and dignity of the young mother.)

‘I want to sit with you papa.’

‘No, I want to sit with you, papa.’

Both the children of a forty plus man were fighting to sit with their father. It is a common scene; normally could have been gone un-noticed. But I noticed the children because of their apparent complete non-similarity in their appearance. The girl is milky fair and the boy is almost dark. The boy is having Aryan cut and girl has the oriental cut. None of the parent also has Aryan cut. The boy must be an adopted one; my immediate reaction!

We had a long flight from New Delhi to Trivandrum via Cochin. As I was alone, I offered my seat to one of the children so that both can sit side by side of their father. But there was a problem in that case; his wife of the gentleman has to sit with me. With little hesitation, they took my offer, may be due to my elderly look, they might have thought I am as harmless as a toothless tiger. As I sat with the young lady, strong perfume from the young lady hit my nose.

Sitting with an unknown lady is normally very uncomfortable as one should be over cautious not to touch her body; otherwise she may think—. To make ourselves comfortable, I started our conversation with a low note, ‘My children, when they were very young like your kids, used to fight like that!’

‘Is it? I think they must had been better than these two!’ She, like any other mother of that age, commented with disgust.

‘Every mother of your age says that!’ I commented.

Abandoning her irritated mood, she smiled back to me. Her smile was indeed very beautiful! I did not want to pursue our talk beyond that as the flight attendant announced that flight would take off shortly. Like many, I also take the name of God when flight takes off and when it is landing. Normally, during that time I do not want to talk to anybody except my better half who has some air-borne phobia! I have to comfort her instead of praying to God. At least for me wife is only little less than the God!

After few rounds of general talk, I wanted to know why their son does not look like her; I intentionally did not ask why he does not look like them.

‘Actually, he is a carbon copy of his father!’ The young lady replied coolly.

For few minutes her answer kept me mum! But being from Indian Statistical Service and that too worked in NSSO, Field Operations Division (the largest data collection Government Agency in the world) for long eleven years as head of a large regional office, I could not leave the Question without a proper answer.

After taking lunch provided by the airliner, I again asked the question, this time more politely, ‘Please do not mind, your son even does not look like his father even!’

She giggled as if I had asked her a funny question. Then she answered, ‘I am saying that my son looks like his father, not like my husband!’

This time, she bowled me out!

Looking at my perplexed look, she told me, ‘Look, my son was not from my husband.’

Then my immediate thought was that he must be from her earlier husband. I did not want to poke any more question on the subject.

‘Your husband appears to love him very much!’ I wanted to finish the subject.

‘Yes, he loves my son more than our daughter. My son also loves him more than me. He idolise him!’

I wondered how a man can love son of the earlier husband! Most of the second husbands force their wives to leave behind the earlier children with their (wives) parents. Even many of them use to give that a pre-condition for remarriage with a widow or a divorcee. I saw many young boys and girls suffer due to that type of arrangements.

I looked at the man. He was engrossed in talking with the son. His daughter forcefully turned his face towards her to say something. He listened to her and said something and again turned to his son and re-started his discussion.

My respect for the young man grew slowly.

I did not want to discuss the issue any more instead I asked her, ‘Where your husband is working?’

‘He is a manager in a PSU and I am a housewife. However, I have a shop at a mall where I sometime sit. We have seven workers in that shop.’

I understood that the shop must be a big one and they are very rich in Indian standard. I put forward another simple question, ‘Are you going to Kerala for a vacation?’

‘Exactly not! But yes, we are also going to some places just as tourists. Otherwise, we are going to meet the grandparent of my son! After losing their only son, they become very lonely.’

My respect for the young husband grew further. Still he was busy in talking with his son!

I did not know how that long journey to Trivandrum became so short. I remembered the explanation of Einstein on Theory of Relativity in lighter vein, ‘If you talk with a beautiful girl for few hours, you will feel, you are sitting with her only for few minutes!’

When I was collecting my baggage, I had an opportunity to talk to her husband. ‘I am very happy to meet a really good person after a long time!’

‘Who has said I am a good man?’ With an infectious smile, he asked me.

‘What I gathered from your wife and what I have observed during the flight, I am sure, you are really a good man. I have never seen a person who can love a step son so much!’ I said. After uttering those words, I thought I should not have uttered those words. He might not have liked to hear that her wife had shared some of the private information with me.

But he was different. ‘He is not my step son. He is born out of an illicit relation of my wife. I was about to kill him (the person with whom wife had illicit relation) after knowing about the relation. But I realized, man has to do as per the wish of the Almighty. I called the fellow and told him to leave our place forever. He was frightened and left our town by taking a night super (Luxury bus) on the same night. Unfortunately, he expired on the way as the bus fell in a gorge. I felt very bad for him and for his family. I think I am guilty of separating two lovers following some social rules or orders. On that day, I promised to myself, the baby who was not born at that time, love him or her like my own child. Afterwards, when I came to know that he (lover of my wife) was the only son of an old parent, I met them at their residence and promised to them that I shall fulfil all his duties as their son. Therefore, I always visit their home once in every year along with my family. I send money for their subsistence as their own son. I am happy that they also treat me as their own son!’

I could not say anything till they left the airport.

I realized I came across a God in the ‘God’s Own Country (Kerala)’, who was actually not from the ‘God’s Own Country’ but from North East of India.

My only regret, I could not take their address or mobile numbers to interact with them in future. But next moment, I thought, none can interact with God, unless He wants. God comes to one’s place when He decides to come. He is visible to a person only when He wishes. I thought, I was blessed to see a living God in my life time what many of you will not be able to do in your life time!!!!!

Story No: 5. Someone Finally Understood

 

(What is a good action and what is a bad action? After observing the society, I lived in for years, meeting people from different backgrounds, I am able to make conclusion that, there is no good action or bad action in this world. An action is good or bad, depends upon the perspective (sometimes we can say it self-interest) of the person who is looking at the outcomes of any action. We can find thousands of examples in favour of my argument; but I am restricting myself in citing only one example in this story.

After overcoming a horrible personal tragedy, she attained the status of a demi-goddess in the eyes of the fellow people. In the process, she had to suffer a lot, physically and mentally, to maintain her demi-goddess status in the society. Finally, she was able to ventilate her emotion to a person from a different country. What happened next? Please read the story to know about the lady and her agony.)

 

I was attending a seminar on ‘terrorism and murder of humanity’ in a particular city of a particular country. I do not want to mention the name of the country or the city deliberately as the contention of the story is independent of country, city or any race.

Participants were asked to share experiences of facing terrorism of any form in their places by self or by relatives or by close friends or by their community. Since I hail from a place where terrorism had shown its ugly face in late eighties and early nineties of the twentieth century, I raised my hand immediately for sharing my experience.

‘Terrorism started in our region in late eighties. Unfortunately, very few families had been unscathed from this menace. Practically we may find a select group of people, who had not been effected by the brunt of the socio-political conflict engulfed the entire region. Taking advantage of the volatile situation, a group of disgruntled youths were misguided by local vested interest intelligentsia and also by few unfriendly neighbouring countries to take the path of terrorism.

The youths, who took up arms, they became blood thirsty day by day and killed many innocent persons across the region irrespective caste and creed.

One of my brother in laws who tried to mobilize people to stand up against the terrorist group was killed by the terrorists in broad day light. Ironically, a few days after the death of the poor fellow, a cousin of mine, who happens to be a terrorist, was also killed by security forces in an encounter.

That shows, from the same family one was killed by terrorists and another member of family was killed by security forces for being a terrorist. It was not clear, whether the slain terrorist had any link with killing of his cousin. That may be ugliest face of terrorism!’ I stopped there.

Many participants had shared their tragic experiences with terrorism. But one of the participants’ story made everybody in the room shell shocked and there was pin drop silence for few moments as none of the participants had the guts to break the silence.

After getting my wits back, I stood up from my chair and went up to the participant and hugged her with tears in my eyes.

Her story in a nutshell is like this:

She was a lecturer in a local college and husband was working as a doctor in a Government hospital and was also as a project officer for eradication of communicable diseases in a district. He was a very devoted doctor and he always followed the motto ‘service to mankind is service to God’.

One day, he met an eight-year girl whose parents were killed by a group of terrorists on some flimsy grounds. He brought the girl to his home despite of resistance from his friends and relatives. He wanted to adopt the girl as his own daughter. His wife also reluctantly agreed to her husband’s proposal. After fulfilling some formalities, they became the legal parents of the orphaned girl.

After that, the doctor along with his professional work, started a crusade against terrorism. This angered the terrorists and they warned him to desist from his efforts to make a strong public opinion against the terrorism. The group issued warning of dire consequences for not heeding to their warnings. But the doctor did not stop his crusade.

One morning, when he was going to drop his sons, one 10-year-old and the other one 12-year-old, at school, the doctor was abducted. Despite of presence of more than thousand parents and children, none came forward to stop the abduction bid, though incidentally, some of them were patients of the doctor. Even after the abduction, none of the parents came forward to give clue to the police in their efforts to rescue the doctor.

After three days, the wife got a call from the abductors asking her to come with one million (in terms of Indian currency) rupee to a secluded place. With great difficulty, she arranged the amount and handed over the amount to the emissary at the place selected by the group. She was given another address, where she was told that, her husband had been kept for last three days. She hurriedly went to the place.

At the assigned place, she saw a car without any driver or any other person in it. When she reached the car, she found three black big polythin packets were kept on the floor of the car. She saw a letter was attached to one of the bags. She opened the letter with trembling hands. In the letter, it was written, ‘Your husband was too heavy to carry in one piece. Sorry for the inconvenience.’

That ends her story of grief.

After, the end of the programme for that day, all the participants went to their respective hotels. After, taking a shower, I went for a walk in the adjacent park.

From a distance, I saw the lady was walking aimlessly. I approached her and greeted her which she returned with a polite smile. I wanted to know something more about the incident; beyond what she had told in the seminar.

I started my conversation with a cautious approach, as I did not want to hurt her sentiment by asking some questions which might again remind her those terrible days. After, a little conversation, she became friendly and asked me about my family etc.

Without asking, she told me that, her elder son was pursuing medical science and younger son was doing para medical at that time. The adopted daughter, who was indirectly responsible for her husband’s death, had been her only companion for last eight years. They complimented each other in their days of sorrows and after that.

‘Now your problem days are over, hopefully!’ I commented.

‘Yes and No’ She thoughtfully answered.

She narrated the present situation in her country after her personal tragedy occurred eight years back.

‘Gradually, the terrorism faded from our area and culminated with surrender of the leader of the terrorist group after three years. He publicly submitted an apology to all those families whose members were killed by the group. I also got an apology letter from the group leader for their inhumane acts. My adopted daughter also got a separate letter of apology.’ She paused for a minute. I did not want to disturb her any more.

She again started, ‘In the meantime, the Government took lot of steps to rehabilitate the victims of the terrorist attacks/ atrocities during that time. My two sons were sent to an advanced country for their studies at Government expenses. I became a much-respected lady amongst all, as my husband’s sacrifice led to a strong public opinion against the group, which completely alienated them from the mass public. Finally, the terrorist group had little option left, other than performing a surrendering drama.’ She again stopped.

‘ Now, everybody thinks, I became a demi goddess. I am invited for talk show as a wife of a devout crusader of peace. I am treated like an ideal mother and widow of a martyr of peace, but I am not a woman of flesh and blood. They think, I do not have any humanely desire- I am a doll made of earth or plastic, no personal feeling, a woman normally should have.’ She looked at the sky after finishing her story.

‘Everyone thinks I should live with the memory of my late husband. But I know, it is impossible for any lady to live only with the memory of her late husband. Every third day, I also feel the need of the company of a male on my bed.’ She told me looking at the lamp emitting deem light in the park.

I had noticed lot of anguish in her voice which was piercing my heart like a spear. I could not find any word to heal her anguish and pain.

I kept mum for a while so did she. After a long silence, she asked a pointed question to me, ‘Can I stay in your room for the night?’

I thought for a while. I understood exactly what she wanted by asking a simple question. I saw in the dim light of the park; a bright face is waiting for an answer.

‘I have no problem in inviting you for the night, if it makes you happy. But you should think twice before staying with me for the night. Afterwards, you should not repent by lowering your status from a demi-goddess to a mere mortal.’ I cautioned. I indirectly tried to dissuade her from taking a decision which might have many repercussion in her future life.

‘You are worried about me or yourself?’ She asked me with a faint smile. I saw lot of sadness in her voice.

‘Ok, Come and stay with me. Hope you will enjoy my company. My room number is 209 at the second floor. Probably we are staying in the same hotel.’

She gave me a broad smile for the first time.

I took a shower for the second time in that evening to become fresh before arrival of the visitor who was willing to stay for the night.

When I was drying my body by wrapping a towel as the only cloth on my body, I heard the soft sound of knocking on my door. As expected, she was standing at the door. Before I could invite her into my room, she gently pushed me away and entered to my room. She was wearing a red gown. For the first time, I realized, she was beautiful and maintain an extremely good figure at an age of forty plus.

‘Would you like to take a cup of tea?’ I asked her.

‘I can.’ She said softly.

I was about to dress before preparing a tea for her. But she had a different idea, ‘Do not put on formal dress now. You are looking extremely good with your towel.’

On her request, I did not put any more cloth on my half naked body. When I offered her a cup of tea she looked at me as a street beggar waiting for a meal. She touched my chest with her beautiful hands and said, ‘I have seen a bare chest of a male after eight long years.’

‘I shall try to make you happy tonight.’ Clasping her hand, I told her. She did not say anything.

After ten minutes, positioning myself on the bed appropriately, I asked her, ‘Spread your legs.’

She whispered, ‘I have been waiting to hear these three words for last eight years on every sunset!’

After three days, when she finally said a good bye to me at the airport, she appeared to be very happy. I did not see any sign of repentance on her face. She said a departing sentence, ‘We may not meet again in this life, but I shall cherish these three days and nights for the rest of my life. Who knows, I may have one more child who will be looking like you!’ She smiled again with a clear sign of happiness on her face.

I felt little bad for my wife.

Story No: 6. Long Wait

 

It was a pleasant surprise for me to see Arati after almost thirty years at a recent family function of a common friend. Even now she looks stunning.

‘You look so young, a desire may crop up in my mind to play another innings with you!’ As I started my flirting with her, both of us started laughing loudly.

‘Unless my husband does not kill you!’ She said to me pointing her finger at her husband.

‘Oh he will not mind. Even though he will not allow me to play another round with you, definitely he will spare my life. Am I right sir?’ Shaking my hand, I asked Arati’s husband.

‘Yaah. Your comments will reignite our love for each other for few more years hopefully.’ He retorted back.

‘You are very lucky to marry Arati. Arati was on the radar of many of us. But she did not give any lift to any of us. Therefore, we have to settle for someone else.’ With a broad smile I said.

‘Can you tell these things, had your wife been around?’ Arati commented.

‘My wife never minds for such loose talks coming out of my mouth. Particularly, after my age crossed the threshold of a half century, she used to say, I have already crossed the expiry date. According to her, I am now a toothless tiger or a venom less snake. I can only make sounds from mouth and behind.’ I made a fun of my own old age and its consequent effects.

‘Oh, so sorry. But I am yet to reach your stage now. Arati will definitely certify that.’ Arati’s husband boasted like any other North Indian male.

‘Oh, that is great! That may be the reason why Arati is still glowing!’ I have a habit to make others feel happy at my own cost.

‘Hey, don’t believe Hiranya. He is a dangerous man. He is like ‘Bagali Bhakat’ (stork who pretends like a saint to catch fish). I know he is still after ladies of all ages. So beware of him, he may snatch away any ones’ wife.’ Pradeep, a friend of mine, commented from behind to puncture my claim of being toothless tiger or venom less snake (impotent).

All of us laughed; but I saw some rage in the eyes of Arati’s husband for actually making fun of his boasting on his masculinity before his wife.

It was year 1985, when I last met Arati. On that day, she was with her mother, Purabi and brother Ashutosh to see off her father at airport. I was also leaving Guwahati by the same flight.

On that day she was wearing a red sari with a red blouse. She was stunning with her red dress which matched her skin colour. I could not take away my eyes from her, till I crossed the security of airport for boarding. The last sight of her is still vivid in my eyes.

Yes, I loved Arati. But I could not dare to tell her about my feeling about her. The reason was simple, I never thought I was any match for her. I was from a lower middle class family, staying in the hostel with a monthly expenditure limited to Rupees one hundred fifty only. On the other hand, she was from an upper middle class family who used to come to the college by car driven by a driver. So my love for Arati is nothing more or less than perfect 50% of any love affair.

However, when I saw her for the last time, I had some value addition in my social and financial status. At that time, I joined Government India as a Class I Central Service officer and all on a sudden my value in the marriage market soared. But probably it was too late.

She told me, ‘Hiranya, I am going to get married in the next month. He is an officer in Government of Assam. Will you be in Guwahati at that time?

‘No. I shall be in Delhi only.’ I completed my sentence somehow. I wanted to cry. But a man should not cry in public; we were taught by our parents from our childhood. Therefore, I did not cry before her.

Some of my friends decided to go to Arati’s residence situated at a posh colony of Chandmari to play holi with her when I was a final year student in my college. I was reluctant to go as I did not know how she would react when she would see me. But Ajay, a class mate of mine, son of a tea planter of Upper Assam insisted me to accompany him and some other friends, who were mostly from rich families of Assam.

As we reached their residence, we spread out in such a way that she would not be able to escape from us. I prayed to God, she should not come on my way.

But on that day God was not probably on my side. She was running towards me and said, ‘Hiranya, do not throw colour on me.’

My friends shouted at me, ‘Hiranya catch her, catch her.’

Both of us stood like statues for a few seconds and then she pushed me aside and ran to her friend’s residence.

On way back, everyone scolded me for my inaction at the appropriate time. Everyone blamed me for their failed raid to her residence.

Next day, when I met Arati she asked me, ‘Why did you not give me colour yesterday?’

‘I do not know exactly why I did not give you colour or did not catch you as everybody was shouting.’ With a meek smile I said.

‘Actually, I was expecting colour from you. But probably, you are not knowing how to tackle a beautiful girl!’ She giggled and broke my heart to pieces.

Though I was not from a rich family, my result had always been good enough to get a seat at any of the top universities of our time. So using bare minimum resources, I landed in Delhi to pursue my higher studies. After joining at Delhi University, I was seldom able to visit my home town or Guwahati due to heavy financial constraints though at that time, with student concession, train fare from Delhi to Guwahati in second class was mere Rs.62/-.

Despite of urge from heart to see once again Arati, I could not see her face in the next few years till I completed my Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in statistics from Delhi University.

While appearing an interview for a post of lecturer in a college, I met Arati in the side-line of the interview. She also came for the interview, however for a different subject. She was looking gorgeous on that day also. She talked to me for few minutes before commencement of the interview.

‘I am not going to be selected as my result is not as good as you people. But it is a fun to appear in an interview. Any way how long you will be at Guwahati?’ She was as bubbly as earlier.

‘Tomorrow, I have to go back to Delhi. I have my written examination for civil service from the next week.’ I told her.

‘All the best for the examination. Do not forget us, once you become a big man.’ After uttering the sentence, she giggled again.

Without her knowledge, she hurt my heart and gave an unbearable pain in my chest once again.

With happiness or without happiness, time goes on. I was extremely unhappy to lose Arati. After losing Arati, I concentrated in my office work and preferred to stay back in Delhi, instead of going back to Guwahati.

In due course of time I married a girl from Guwahati. After my marriage to my wife, she told me one day that she knew Arati from her childhood as three year senior to her. She told many good things about Arati oblivious to the fact that every time she speaks about Arati, she only hurt me.

However, once I was blessed with my children, love for Arati started decreasing over the years. Practically, she lost her prime position to my wife few years ago and she became a non-entity for me for last one decade or so.

But on seeing her in the party, all memories became green (fresh).

As her husband went to the wash room she asked me, ‘Why you did not play holi with me on that day?’

‘You asked me that question on the next day also. Now give me your honest answer to my question, did you want to play holi with me on that day?’

‘If I say, yes and honestly, I was waiting for you only, what will be your reaction?’ She put me another question.

‘In that case, you once again broke my heart today by saying that.’ I admitted to her.

‘I also cannot forgive you for that. You were too meek to propose me, is not it true?’ She charged me.

‘Perhaps you are correct.’ I again admitted my fault to her.

‘Because of your meekness, you spoiled not only your life, but also mine.’ Before I reacted, I saw her husband was coming towards us and therefore I did not comment on her pointed accusation.

When the couple left the party, Arati gave me her phone number to call her.

Next day when I telephoned her, she told me that she wanted to meet me alone. I gave my hotel address and room number and requested her to come in the evening for a dinner. I also told her politely to come along with her husband.

But in the evening, she came alone as her husband went to Bangkok with his friends for a week leaving her alone at home.

‘What about your children? You could have brought them along with you.’ I asked her as I was feeling little uncomfortable in welcoming her into my room.

‘My husband is an impotent donkey. We do not have any child. But I found, you are still a very meek person. Seeing me alone, you are worried, is not it?’ She said with an intriguing smile.

I gathered my composure and courage for the first time in my life in front of Arati. I finally invited her to my room and subsequently to my arms.

Arati stayed with me for the next three days, as long as I was in Guwahati.

After three days when I was approaching my residence at New Delhi, I had developed a strong guilty feeling for my wife; after all she has high regards for both of us, Arati and me.

Story No: 7. Friendship

 

(Who is a good person and who is a bad person? After observing the society, I lived in for years, meeting people from different backgrounds, I am able to make conclusion that, there is no good person or bad person in this world. A person is good or bad, depends upon the perspective (sometimes we can say it self-interest) of the person who is looking at him/ her. We can find thousands of examples in favour of my argument; but I am restricting myself in citing only few extreme cases. Take the extreme example, in the eyes of a prostitute, a customer who behaves with her properly and pays her properly, may be the best person in this world. Whereas, the same person is a character-loose person in the eyes of the society, in general and in the eyes of his wife, in particular.

One of my friends explained to me that a person is good, if he is good in the eyes of the majority of the people. I asked him, ‘which majority? Do you think majority appeasement policy is good? It is equally bad as minority appeasement policy.’ Further, many of the dictums of society of the past are rejected by the present generation. Then again, the question will arise, which generation is correct or good? Even in many times our opinions in groups are different from our individual opinion about a person in camera. Sometimes public perception about a person may be diametrically opposite to his/her actual character. Therefore, finally, I arrived at the decision, nobody is good and nobody is bad in this world. It all depends from which side of the prism you are looking at.

On this background, I have written this fictitious story about changing of relation between the widow and his friend in the eyes of neighbours and relatives.)

 

We, Amlandweep and I studied in Cotton College, Guwahati four decades ago as Pre-University (now Class XI and Class XII). We had never been very close friends. We have very less in common.

He was more intelligent than I. His subjects were different from mine. He was proud about his family lineage and was able tell a lie at the drop of a hat. Normally we met each other very less during the college days in Cotton College. However, we used to talk as friends whenever we met.

When both of us came to Delhi for our higher studies, we became little bit closer to each other because of the fact that a very limited number of Assamese students were able to get admission in the main campus of Delhi University. We were in Delhi University for four years together since 1981. During this period, he developed the bad habit of taking all types of liquor. May be due to that reason, in the subsequent examination, I was able to do better results compared to him. However, in the same year we were able to crack All India Service.

Time passed quickly. We both got married and posted at different places of India. Ten years back, again both of us were posted at New Delhi in different offices as Directors of Government of India.

When we met in our second innings, I came to know that he got married little bit late and he was childless for few years after his marriage. As a result of that his son was very young when I met him in Delhi.

In his college days, also, he used to drink, but after reaching University, he started drinking a lot. I do not know whether he became an alcoholic or not during that period, but in many occasions, I used to get pungent smell of country liquor from his mouth whenever we used to meet him at any function held in Delhi University.

However, I am told he was able to discard the drinking habit after his marriage to Sunayana. Sunayana is tough lady both in terms of physical ability as well as in mental ability. After his marriage to Sunayana, when I met him for the first time, he accused of her being tough and quarrelsome. But I found the lady was very polite but somewhat more expressive about her likings and dis-liking when I met her for the first time in Delhi; after 15 years of their marriage.

As already mentioned, only after few years of their marriage they were blessed with a son, the son was hardly five years when they were transferred to Delhi.

In the meantime, drinking took his toll. He was suffering from liver ailment when he was posted at Delhi. Rather, he opted for Delhi posting on medical ground.

As his condition deteriorated over the years and his body became nonresponsive to any medicine by 2003, doctors advised him for liver transplantation instead of further medication.

With frantic search, Sunayana was able to find a donor, a distant relative, who became ready to donate a portion of his liver. It was a costly operation for which apart from Government resources, Sunayana had to approach each and every relative to arrange money for the operation. She got very less financial assistance from the relatives of either party. Even no relative had come forward for any physical assistance on or before the day of operation. Just two days before the operation, the relative who was ready to part with his liver also demanded a hefty amount.

When finally, operation was conducted at Vellore, three thousand KM from Guwahati, Sunayana was standing alone before the operation theatre. She became penniless after the operation. Luckily for the couple, operation was successful and after three months of the operation, Amlandweep was able to join to his duties.

Even after transplant, his condition deteriorated after three years of his operation. The doctors advised him for another operation. The poor lady started searching another donor for his operation. Again, her frantic search yielded in finding a donor against a huge sum of money. Doctors had given a date for his second operation.

During these three years, I was giving physical and moral support to Amlandweep and Sunayana all along as residence of Amlandweep was very near to my earlier Government accommodation. To provide different types of physical help, I had to sit at Amlandweep’s house for hours together, even at odd hours. Sometimes, when Amlandweep had developed some serious medical problems, I used to sit whole night with his wife. In those days, in all practical purposes, Sunayana became a sister to me and I became an elder brother to her.

However, I must admit that I could not provide any financial help to the family as I was also reeling under heavy financial constraints due to bearing of educational expenses for my college going children.

One week before the date of operation, Amlandweep was asked to go to the hospital for necessary tests for the operation. It was a very exhaustive day for Amlandweep.

After a hectic day in office, when I was taking tea without even changing my clothes, on that fateful day, I got a telephone call from Sunayana. Her voice was trembling. ‘Dada, please come immediately. Amlan is not responding to any of my calls.’

When I reached their home both Sunayana and her son was weeping. I straightway went to his bedroom to see what happened to Amlandweep. I understood that he was no more. Even then I called a taxi and took him to the nearest hospital. At the hospital doctor declared, ‘Brought him dead’.

We left the dead body at the morgue of the hospital. Then reaching my home, I tried to contact as many as relatives of Amlandweep and Sunayana over telephone. I had to explain each and everyone how he died and what would be our next course of actions for his funeral. All the family members of his family showed interest how to cremate his body. When I asked the question, when they would be coming, everyone said they would ring back. However, none had rung back on that night. I also contacted officers of his office. Contrary to attitude of his relatives, the officers immediately rushed to his residence at the middle of the night.

We, Sunayana and I decided to cremate his body at Delhi itself as we were not expecting any helping hand from his family located in Assam. When I told about the decision, his brother told me to make necessary arrangement to send his body to his native place. Probably I lost my temper and I told him categorically, ‘If you are interested to take his body to your native village, you please come and take his body. I shall provide all necessary help. But do not expect that I shall run pillar to post to send your brother’s dead body to your village.’ They immediately backed out.

Here, I want to share a fact with you that during last three years, I did not see anyone from Amlan’s family to visit Amlan even when he was seriously ill.

Finally, Amlandweep was consigned to flames on the next day at Lodhi Road crematorium. Absence of any relative of Amlandweep was noticeable.

All other rituals were conducted in the next ten days where my whole family was involved. Though some of the relatives of both sides attended the rituals, none of the family members of Amlandweep or Sunayana took any active part on one pretext or the other as if, performing of rituals for peace of the soul of Amlandweep entirely lied with me and Sunayana.

The works related to family pension etc. were also looked after by some of our common friends. After settling all the financial issues relating to service matters, I reduce my visit to her home as I went back to my normal schedule of life. Further, I noticed, my wife started discouraging me for going to Sunayana’s home.

Though all of her relatives live in Guwahati, Assam, she decided to stay back in Delhi for the sake of her only son who wanted to study in Delhi. Both my wife and I used to visit her occasionally so long our houses were at the same locality.

After one year, we moved out of that locality to occupy a bigger accommodation a few KM away from my earlier accommodation. Number of visits to Sunayana’s home became rare after the change of our accommodation to the new place. After two and half years, she was forced to vacate her official accommodation and had to take an alternative accommodation on rent near to her earlier official accommodation.

One day, I thought, I should visit her to know about her wellbeing. When I told my wife about my desire to visit her rented house, she commented, ‘Ok, go once. But do not go regularly. I do not know what people will think about you and Sunayana if you visit her on regular basis.’

After hearing my wife’s precautionary advice, I postponed my visit to Sunayana’s home indefinitely. However, one day as I was to visit one of my friends’ home in the same locality, I visited Sunayana.

Seeing me she became very happy and emotional. She told me with a soaked voice, ‘Dada, how can you forget your poor sister! All other relatives have already abandoned me. You have been the only pillar of strength for so many years. If you also decided to abandon me, where shall I go when I need some help?’

‘No, my dear sister, after going to my new accommodation, I became very busy. I promise you, I shall come regularly in future.’

I sat for half an hour. During that half an hour she sobbed many times while sharing her loneliness in the last three years. I left her house with an assurance to her to meet her again. I was happy to realize that my relation with Sunayana was still very strong.

After visiting Sunayana’s home, I reached home after hardly 15 minutes. However, when I told my wife that I went to my Sunayana’s place, to my utter shock, my wife told, ‘I know that you are coming from Sunyana’s home. Mrs. Prajapati telephoned me few minutes ago.’

Mrs. Prajapati was a neighbour of Late Amlandweep and known to my wife for last ten years. Probably, she telephoned my wife for the first time in her life as my wife never mentioned that she had ever telephoned my wife. Incidentally, as far as I remember, that was her last call in the next five years before her husband retired from service and left Delhi for ever.

I have not visited Sunayana’s home since then; not because of fear of the society who may try to disrepute me; but fearing that ‘the so called civilized society’ may not ever allow Sunayana live peacefully for having a brotherly relation with me.

Who knows their anticipation may also be correct!!!!!!

Story No: 8. Who Fooled Whom

 

Bhadreshwar lost his father when he was hardly five years. His father was crushed by a speeding truck when he was carrying some firewood on a push-cart. In those days, getting compensation from rich truck owners was a herculean task. Bhadreshwar’s mother also did not get any substantial compensation from the truck owner as the police submitted their report favouring the driver of the truck. Court declared that the truck driver was not at fault in the accident and therefore, only a token compensation of few thousand rupees was awarded to Bhadreshwar’s mother. That small amount was also snatched away by her in laws.

After that incident, he along with his mother was brought by his maternal grandfather to their home as the financial condition of Bhadreshwar’s father was not good. Moreover, after death of his father, the rest of the family members of his father started mistreating his mother.

Though life of Bhadreshwar and his mother was not comfortable in their grandfather’s home, somehow they were happy. Unfortunately, their happiness also did not last long. When Bhadreshwar was ten, his mother died due to a sudden illness. Thus, Bhadreshwar became an orphan, dependent solely on maternal uncle’s sweet will.

Bhadreshwar became my classmate when we came to high school in 1970 after leaving our respective primary schools up to class III. Bhadreshwar was my classmate till I passed out my tenth examination and subsequently joined Cotton College. He also passed his tenth examination with a third Division and joined a local college. In due course of time, he faded away from my memory chip.

However, in a recent visit to my hometown, I accidentally met Bhadreshwar at the bus stand. He looked much older than his age, 50. He is a small time businessman now. He was not able to get a Government job (only for which a village boy use to vie in India). After few years of unsuccessful searching for a Government job, he opened a shop of readymade garments. Being a small town, his business has never flourished. However, he is able to manage his family with his meagre income. Now his elder son also joined a private job in Guwahati.

We talked for few minutes on our family matters. As we were going to depart, he asked me, ‘Are you keeping the secret with you?’

‘Yeah. Do not worry. I shall never divulge that to anyone.’ I assured him. He smiled to me on my assurance and then left the place.

When he left, I told to myself, ‘He told me about his secret, but I did not tell him my secret even today; even after three decades.’

Banalata was the wife of Bansi, maternal uncle of Bhadreshwar. She was married to Bansi when Bhadreshwar was eleven year old. At that time, Bansi was working in a town around five hundred KM away from his hometown. For the initial two years, Banalata was with Bansi in that town. In due course of time, they were blessed with a son. After birth of their child, Bansi kept his wife with his parent. Though Banalata did not like the new arrangement, she was forced to stay back with her in laws.

There was lot of fight between Banalata and Bansi, whenever Bansi used to visit home in the subsequent years. Rest of the time, she used to fight with her in laws. Bhadreswar was also not spared by Banalata.

Bhadreshwar’s staying with the family itself was an eyesore for Banalata. Feeding Bhadreshwar from her husband’s income was also a major issue for her.

But one day, everything has changed for Banalata.

On that day, when Bhadreshwar reached home from school, he found nobody was around. Then he remembered that there was a marriage ceremony of a distant relative in the next village. After changing his school uniform, he wore a dhoti and took some leftover food from the kitchen.

It was in the month of April and climate of Assam was extremely hot and humid. As he lied on the bed for taking a nap, he quickly went into a deep sleep.

Banalata, keeping her son with his grandparent, came back home to give fodder to the cattle. As she entered to the house, she saw Bhadreshwar was sleeping. On the very sight of Bhadreshwar sleeping, she became very angry. She approached him with an intention to hit him for doing nothing.

As she approached him, she realised Bhadreshwar was no more a kid. His presence and her husband’s long absence from her life can be used in her favour. She came to a decision what the society she belongs to, does not permit.

Banalata initiated the unholy relation with her nephew which was reciprocated by Bhadreshwar after overcoming initial hesitation from his side. Afterwards, Bhadreswar was looking for slightest opportunity to unite with her Aunt. Life became happier for Bhadreshwar and Banalata since then.

From that day, for the next few years, she and Bhadreshwar became equal partners of an unholy nexus. As time passed, he started disliking for his own uncle and particularly about his visit to the village. He became possessive about his aunt and his aunt also took full care for her new found love in Bhadreswer. I do not know whether the relation is still going on or not.

There is a saying, ‘Unless you tell someone your secret, you are feeling a pain in your stomach.’

Bhadreshwar was also feeling a pain in his stomach to divulge his secret to someone. But he had a fear; if his secret was out, he would be thrown out of his home.

There was a myth in the village, a studious and intelligent student does not know about silly real things of life, etc. In our class, I was the most studious student and therefore, all the classmates of mine thought I did not know anything about silly real things of life following the prevailing misconception. Therefore, Bhadreshwar thought he would tell me about his unholy nexus with his aunt.

One day he told me, ‘If you do not tell anyone, I shall share one secret with you.’

‘Ok, I shall not tell anyone.’ I assured him.

But he wants something more from me. He said, ‘If you tell my secret to anyone, your mother will die. I am telling you this from my own tragic experience. I broke my promise once and I lost my mother forever.’

He tried to frighten me before divulging his secret before me. As I promised in my mother’s name, he told everything about his unholy nexus with his aunt.

His description was with so minute detail, without seeing her aunt, probably I could have told someone pinpointing her black spot on her thigh which was always under her garments.

As promised, due to fear of losing my own mother, I never divulged about Bhadreshwar and his aunt’s darker side to anyone, even after I lost my mother few years ago.

Even after death of my mother why I have not divulged the secret about Bhadreshwar and his aunt? It is simple, because there was another top secret relating to me.

When I was in college, during one of my summer vacations, one day while I was passing through the village of Bhadreshwar, I visited his house without informing him. Incidentally on that day, except Banalata, none was present at their home.

That was the first time, I saw the lady about whom I heard from Bhadreshwar few years ago. When I met her on that day, she was wearing a red sari with sleeveless blouse which was matching to her fair colour. At that time, she might be around thirty five and looked very attractive with an awesome figure.

I asked her for a glass of water. While she was giving water, I intentionally touched her hand, I told her with a mischievous smile, ‘I am lucky to meet you Aunty. I heard many things about you from Bhadreshwar.’

It was quite evident from her facial expression that my statement shook her mentally. She stammered, ‘What he was saying about me?’

‘He always praises you. He always praises you for your kindness in looking after his welfare.’ I lied.

‘Oh, I thought he was saying something else!’ She heaved a sigh.

This time, as a young man of twenty, I tried my luck, ‘Yes aunty, he said something more about you; but he took my promise not to tell anyone; otherwise my mother will die. Therefore, I cannot tell anything to anybody about those silly talks; even to you also. Though I know everything in minute details about your relation with Bhadreswer ’

At my answer, her face became visibly red. I then made my second move, showing my intention very clear to her by saying, ‘Bhadreshwar was lying about you many times; no, sorry, I cannot say exactly that he was lying. He was miser in praising your beauty or he may be a fool to underestimate your beauty. He said you are beautiful. But I found that, you are extremely beautiful and extremely attractive to anybody around. I do not know, having a black spot on your thigh, how beautiful would be your legs and about your—-!’ I did not complete my sentence.

She smiled at me tantalizingly and invited me to her room. As I was following her to the bed room, she said, ‘Come and see my whole body from a close range and describe it in your beautiful language. Are you going to write a poem on me?’

Then whole world stopped for me. Next one hour was mine; probably God has given me that one hour just to fulfil the desire of a twenty year old youth in me.

That was the top secret, I did not divulge to anyone till today. Bhadreshwar thinks till today, I am keeping his secret with me. He is right in one sense, I have not divulged his secret to anyone except with his partner in his social crime.

Or I am the real fool to believe that, she has not told Bhadreshwar about that one hour of my stay in his home?

Story No: 9. The Compromise

(It is a story of two orphans; one was adopted by a rich family and other one was adopted by a poor lady teacher. The first one became a spoilt kid and the second one became a self-made man with a golden heart. They have to marry each other due to some pressing compulsions. Then the story unfolds! The story has romance and realization.)

 

She is the adopted daughter of a reputed and rich doctor. Her mother is a professional photographer with a good reputation. Both earned lot of money and accumulated lot of properties; both movable and immovable as professionals. They earned lot of respects also in the city over the years. They are counted among the limited elites of the society.

Since even after fifteen years of married life they were not blessed with any child they decided to adopt an orphan baby girl from the orphanage though many of their relatives advised them to adopt a baby from any of their close relatives. Thus, Anamika was picked up from austerity to richness by her adopted parent few years ago and made her own daughter.

In due course of time she blossomed into a lovely girl with modernity in her life style. However, she was not introduced the harsh reality of life and she was even at the age of twenty, treated with kid gloves by her parents.

As advised by the psychiatrist, she was told about her background by her adopted parent when she attained the age of fifteen or sixteen. For few days, she was very upset to know that she was an orphan or abandoned child from a poor family. But thanks to true love from her adopted parent, she forgot her past and went back to her lavish lifestyle without any remorse.

Being the only child, that too for a childless couple, she got almost everything, what a normal child only can aspire for. Wherever and whenever she puts her hand, that article belongs her. She was given so much freedom, she lost herself inside the whirlpool of selfishness and lavish lifestyle without any sense of responsibility. She does not value money and she became a money spending machine only. In the true sense, she used her parent as ATM, even without any daily limit of withdrawal. As a result of that she made a host of friends who became financially dependent on her for any lavish party or for any other needs.

She used to believe the sweet talks about her is real praise for her. But she never thought all her friends were only friends of prosperity; not a single friend she had who actually was likely to stand beside her when she might need any ones’ help. Fairy tale life style was going on for this girl up to the age of twenty.

Anamika fell in love with her classmate Pankaj who is also from a rich family. Pankaj was also an equally spoilt brat. However, there is a difference between their thinking about each other. Though, love of Anamika for Pankaj was pure and true, Pankaj never loved Anamika. He was interested to have physical intimacy with Anamika to fulfil his sexual desire which is not uncommon at that age for a boy from a rich family.

One day after college, when Pankaj requested her to go for a long drive to a nearby city, Anamika never thought what was in the mind of Pankaj. She agreed to go with the dream man of her life.

They stayed in a hotel for two hours on the way and Pankaj was able to persuade her to sleep with him. She thought physical relation is an indication of true love for each other. That was her first grave mistake in her life.

After fulfilling his desire, from the next day, Pankaj started avoiding her. A few days later, she came to know that Pankaj left India for his study in UK.

Anamika became pregnant due to that two hour stay at the hotel with Pankaj without any precaution on the part of Anamika. When her parent came to know about it, they immediately contacted parent of Pankaj. Both the parents were influential and both were wary about their prestige. Pankaj’s parent did not find any fault in Pankaj’s behaviour. However, they were able to come to a negotiation table, probably Pankaj’s father knowing fully well about value of the properties with Anamika’s parent and knowing well that she was the only heir of her parent’s properties.

After a long discussion between the two families, they finally concluded that they will immediately arrange marriage for their children.

A date for their marriage was fixed and Pankaj was told to return to Delhi two days before the date of marriage.

Accordingly, people were invited for the D-day.

Showing his true colour, at the last moment, Pankaj refused to come to Delhi for the marriage. In the morning of scheduled reception of their marriage, Pankaj’s father cancelled the marriage putting Anamika’s father to his knees for the first time in his successful life.

But for good people, God has always a Plan-B.

A few days back, accidently Anamika’s father met one young man, working as a lecturer in a college, in the chamber of his friend, who happened to be an oncologist. The young man of about twenty-eight was in dire needs of huge amount for treatment of his mother.

Anamika’s father telephoned his oncologist friend if he could provide the contact address of the young lecturer. Within half an hour his friend provided him the mobile number of the young man.

When he telephoned the young man to know whether he could arrange the required money or not, the young man, Vikash with a choked voice said, ‘No sir.’

‘But I can give the required money; obviously with some conditions.’ Anamika’s father told the boy.

‘Any condition sir. Can I meet you today itself? Every minute is important for me.’ He said.

‘For me also every minute is important. Can you meet me immediately?’

Within an hour both met at Anamika’s home. Within ten minutes, Anamika’s father agreed to bear all the cost of treatment of the mother of Vikash and Vikash agreed to marry pregnant Anamika. He also agreed to treat the child of Anamika as his own child. It was also agreed that marriage would be solemnized on that day evening as per the schedule of Anamika’s marriage with Pankaj. Vikash also agreed to stay in Anamika’s home as long as she wants.

After the deal was finalized, Anamika was told that marriage with Pankaj was cancelled as he was not coming for marriage. As a result of that unfortunate development, she had to marry another boy for the sake of family prestige. Initially, she refused but after lot of cajoling and scolding, she agreed to marry the boy with the condition that they would live like husband-wife in the eyes of society for some time; but otherwise live like strangers.

With that absurd condition Anamika married that unknown person, Vikash. The guests who do not know Pankaj and Vikash could not find out that the original marriage was cancelled. However, those who know either of them, raised their eyebrows but none questioned in the midst of the actions.

On the very first night, Anamika told her husband Vikash, ‘You have married me for money only. So never try to be my husband. My parent are old model and stereo type and that is why they agreed for our marriage to save their so-called respect in the society. I also agreed to the marriage to keep my parent’s head high in the society. Otherwise, I would not have agreed to this marriage.’

Vikash replied with a smile, ‘I know that. So long you want to be with me, you can. Otherwise, I shall hand over my signed divorce paper without putting any date. You can put the date at your convenience and you can make your exit from my life at any time.’

There was silence in the room for some time. Then Anamika break the silence, ‘Do you know, I am pregnant?’

‘I know.’ Vikash replied.

‘Oh, I see.’ Anamika understood, Vikash married her after taking a hefty amount. After a pause, she asked him with an arrogant smile in her face, ‘How much my parent has to pay for your generosity?’

‘At present ten lakhs. I shall take more money if needed.’ His answer made him a villain in the eyes of Anamika on her very first day of her married life.

Without saying anything, she gestured her husband to sleep on the sofa and she turned her back to him for her sleep on the king-sized bed alone.

Without uttering a single word, Vikash obeyed her dictum.

Anamika always thinks, Vikash is nothing but a money mongering leach who is with Anamika like a limpet for her properties only. But she could not understand why her parent love her husband and dissuade her from divorcing him. Some time she thinks, he is liked by her parent only because he saved their faces before more than one thousand guests who were invited for her marriage to be solemnized with Pankaj.

That happened two years back and she is living with Vikash as husband wife in the eyes of the society. Her son from Pankaj is already more than one year. Now she wants to get rid of Vikash. She was fed-up with the tag of a married woman. She wants freedom to mingle with other youths of her age to find someone whom she can love on a reciprocal basis. She imagined to find one life partner who would love her with or without her properties.

However, in all negativities of Vikash, she understood him as a caring person, caring father to her son and caring son in law for her parent. But that sometimes infuriated her more and his good behaviour made him more hated person for her.

One thing she likes about Vikash is that he never tries to behave like a husband to her and always maintain the distance they promised to each other on the very first night.

On that particular day when Anamika came from a party with her spoilt friends at half past eleven, she saw the light of her parent was on. She peeped into her room and saw Vikash was discussing with her parent something seriously. She wanted to know what was going on.

Vikash was telling, ‘Doctors have surrendered to the fate now. She will not survive more than two days. She wanted to see Anamika and Aroo for the first and last time. I love both my mother and Anamika. I do not want to hurt either one. Will Anamika agree to visit her? I do not want to force her to meet my mom. In an extreme case, I have to hire an actress to act as Anamika. But will it be morally good to cheat a dying lady who had sacrificed everything for my welfare?’

‘Anamika should go. Even not as her mother in law, but as a dying person, she has the right to meet someone whom she loves. I shall tell her to visit tomorrow morning.’ Her father told Vikash. Her mother also nodded.

He came out of the room and saw Anamika. He did not tell anything to her and left in a huff.

Anamika entered to her parent’s room. On seeing her, father told, ‘Probably, you have heard everything; your mother in law in the last stage. Tomorrow all of us are going to the hospital to meet her.’

‘Why should I meet her? I do not consider her as my mother in law. Even I do not consider Vikash as my husband.’

‘That is the tragedy my dear child. Still you are not matured enough to distinguish between a gem and a piece of glass. Vikash is a gem, you will never find another gem in your life like Vikash.’

‘Your gem is after your property only.’ She taunted.

‘You do not want to know about him despite of many attempts were made by your mother and me earlier. But today, you have to hear. Otherwise it will be too late for all of us. He is not after my property. He is a self-made man. He was also an orphan like you. He was not as lucky as you are, so far financial consideration. He was adopted by a poor lady school teacher; but made sure of his good education and having good culture. Now he is a lecturer in a college for his outstanding results despite of all odds against him. Her mother has been suffering from cancer for last few years. He needs money for her treatment. In a sense, he sold himself to me for few lakhs for the treatment of his adopted mother. He also agreed to marry you as he did not get love from a father and he did not want that your son also grow up like him without love and affection of a father. He tolerated all the humiliation meted to him by you for the sake of your son and for her adopted poor mother. Any way I am asking you a simple question. If you get Kahinoor (famous diamond) for Rs.20 Lakh, you will feel happy or not?’

Anamika found this question somewhat awkward at that stage, but she answered, ‘Anybody will be happy. Why you have asked this silly question at this juncture?’

‘You are wrong my child. Most of the people will doubt about the authenticity of the diamond. But when after verification of authenticity, if somebody do not realize how lucky he or she is, he or she is nothing but a stupid. If a stupid girl does not understand that, her parent should show her the light to understand that. Now hopefully you will understand what I am saying. Even if you cannot understand now, I shall rue my luck to select you as my child from among hundreds of orphaned children a few years back.’

Silence ruled the room for some time. Then Anamika dragged herself as a lifeless body from the room of her parent.

She did not change her party dress and dump her body on the bed like a sack of sand. She tried to sleep. But sleep eluded her.

Anamika could not sleep whole night. She felt how small she is compared with Vikash. Vikash is a jewel in his own right and she is nothing but a pebble of on a road side.

She looked at the sofa where Vikash was sleeping. Should she invite him to sleep with her as true husband? She went near to the sofa, she saw her husband for the first time as her own husband. Her accumulated hatred for her husband for last two years, vanished from her heart. She fell in love for the second time in her life, this time with her own husband. She wanted to touch his face. But something from inside obstructed her move.

In the morning she wore a traditional sari, put a bindi, vermilion on her forehead and put the mangal sutra given by Vikash on her marriage day (a dot and vermilion on forehead along with mangal sutra, a Hindu married lady use to put at any time as a mark of expectation for long and happy married life), before dressing her son properly without help of anybody for the first time in her life.

She was eagerly waiting in the drawing room to go to the hospital with her new lover and husband of two years, Vikash to meet her ailing mother in law for the first time as a traditional Indian wife.

Story No: 10. Cacophony of Love

(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. )

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 behind the bar. 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 a licence for a revolver, you have to apply for a licence 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 use to pick up single barrel gun of my father to kill some innocent hapless birds.

Unfortunately, I was able to kill few of them, luckily not many. 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.

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.

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 from a naughty boy to a soft and understanding matured young man. At the age of thirteen, I stopped fighting with my brother and sister. In school also, I started behaving like a matured man.

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. I started befriending with those boys who were at least three to four years senior to me in age and the best in their classes. 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 me their 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 a hostel at Guwahati by my parents for my higher studies while I was trying to cope up with the realty of a broken heart.

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 to her loss!

Story No: 11. Colours of Love

 

(It is another completely fictitious and tragic love 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.)

One of my friends, who migrated to a large city from a small town of Assam a few years back, was thrashed by the husband of a beautiful lady for allegedly staring at her from the window of his apartment. However, after few days the husband apologised for his behaviour when truth came out that my friend did not stare at his wife, but as a nature lover, he used to see the birds sitting behind the balcony of the beautiful lady and unfortunately, my friend has somewhat squint eyes.

Our common friend, Vkrant who migrated to Delhi after his selection to a coveted post in an MNC, he had taken a decision not see any lady or birds behind a lady in the city.

He took a flat Vasant Kunj, window of which was facing a park. So he was unlikely to see a lady on others balcony. Even if he by chance could see a lady in the park, distance between his window and the lady might not be less than 100 metres, a safe distance by any standard.

After one month, Vikrant noticed a beautiful lady of twenty something, used to sit in the winter sun and used to be always busy in painting. Her fresh but serious look attracted Vikrant and he forgot his promise to himself not to see a lady in the city. From his window he started to see the every movement of the lady. She used to paint something for few hours and then she used to leave the park before 12 Noon by a small elegant car.

Vikrant never dared to see the lady from a close distance. But God might have a different idea. One day when Vikrant was in a hurry for his office, he tried to cross the road, he was almost crushed by the car driven by the beautiful lady whom Vikrant was looking from his window for last three months without her knowledge.

First Anita was horrified to knock Vikrant down by her car. However, as soon as she came to know that he was not seriously injured, she became extremely angry for his callous approach to cross a busy road of Delhi.

‘Don’t you know how to cross a busy road? Someday you will die because of your own fault and put an innocent driver in trouble.’ She told him with full of anger in her voice.

‘First take him to a hospital for treatment, otherwise you will be in trouble, madam.’ An onlooker advised Anita.

Anita took the advice of the onlooker and took Vikrant to the hospital.

That small accident finally took a sweet turn to the young duo. In due course of time, Anita allowed Vikrant to travel deep inside her tragic compartments of her past life.

‘Do you know that I am a disabled widow?’ While loitering in the park, Anita asked Vikrant one day when Anita realized that Vikrant wanted to enter into her life.

‘No, I don’t know. But it should not interfere our friendship.’ Hiding his surprise, Vikrant commented.

Looking to the sky Anita said, ‘But sometimes it matters. You should know everything about me as a friend.’

Then she sat on a bench of the park and removed her artificial leg so far hidden under her pant. Then she started to unveil her past life to Vikrant.

Anita was a trained professional painter. She was a widow for three years and living alone in a rented house after the death of her husband three years ago.

Her husband Varun was an architect passed out from a reputed engineering college. Varun met Anita in a birthday party of a common acquaintance. Anita was born and brought up in Delhi whereas Varun was from a village of Uttar Pradesh. Varun’s parent are still staying in their village. For Varun and Anita, it was a love at first sight.

After two years of courtship, they tied the nuptial knot against the wishes of both the parents. Varun’s family opposed the marriage, as Anita was not from the same caste and Anita’s family did not like the relation as Varun, according to them was too rustic.

After her marriage to Varun, she became very happy with her husband Varun who was also equally happy. After one week of their marriage they went for their honeymoon to Singapore. They had a wonderful time in Singapore. They were in Singapore for a week and returned to Delhi by an evening flight and reached Delhi at around 11-30 PM.

After coming out of the airport it was half past twelve. From the airport to their residence at Vasantkunj was hardly five KM. They hired a prepaid taxi from the airport to their residence.

There is a crossing to enter Vasantkunj from the airport bisecting the Jaipur-Delhi Highway. Anita remembers, they were about to cross the highway. But before they could cross the highway, Anita heard a deafening sound and she fell unconscious.

Afterwards, she came to know that a truck jumping red-light crashed into the taxi in which Varun and Anita were travelling. The driver and Varun died on the spot. Anita was hospitalised by the police in a critical condition.

When she regained consciousness she found that she lost one leg below her knee. On the next moment she could recall that she was with Varun before hearing the deafening sound. She asked the doctor, ‘Where is Varun?’

‘He is in a different room. He is OK.’ Doctor lied.

‘I want to see him.’ Anita demanded.

After few minutes, doctor had to admit that Varun was brought dead to the hospital.

‘You were also brought to the hospital in a critical condition and you were unconscious for last three days.’ Doctor divulged the truth.

Anita was so shocked, she could not even cry for few minutes.

After seven days, Anita came back to her residence all alone, though her parent wanted to take her back to their home.

Vikrant did not know when he fell in love with Anita,. But he realized, after falling in love with Anita, his love for Anita would make his life tougher. He expected her parent would not allow the alliance because of her past married life. Moreover, she was a handicap in the eyes of others though she was at par with anyone with her artificial leg.

However, for Vikrant two surprises were waiting. First pleasant surprise was that, his parent did not object to the alliance; rather they supported their son for taking a bold step to marry a disabled widow. The second and horrible surprise was that, Anita’s family objected to the alliance because of rigid casteist mind-set of the family of Anita. They thought to marry away a girl from their community to a boy of different caste of Assamese community would hurt their self-prestige or family honour in the eyes of the family they belong to.

But due to firm and committed decision of Anita forced her parent to relent and agreed for the marriage.

It was not clear whether it was a case of attempted honour killing or a robbery case. It was only eight in the evening, three days before the marriage, three persons barged into the house of Anita and attacked her with sharp weapons. As Anita collapsed, they ransacked all the rooms and took possession of all the valuables before leaving the apartment. Anita was bleeding profusely but still could manage to call police by dialling 100.

Police reached the spot within ten minutes and took her to the hospital. On her way to the hospital, she could barely manage to inform the police that she might be a victim of honour killing, hatched by the members of her family.

Despite of serious injuries, with extra-ordinary mental strength, she was able to live another half an hour just to meet her beloved, Vikrant for the last time.

She opened her eyes using all her strength to see Vikrant for the last time. Vikrant was weeping embracing her mutilated body. She wanted to console and tell him that she would meet him in her next re-birth and would be his wife. But before she could console and tell Vikrant what she wanted to say, she breathed her last.

X

X

X

After police enquiry, police arrested two cousins of Anita along with a dreaded criminal for the pre-planned murder of Anita. They confessed of committing the crime without remorse. One of them reportedly said, 'I have no regret in killing Anita. How our family, being from--- caste will tolerate her impending marriage with a ….boy of Assam?’

Story No: 12. No More Wait

 

(It is completely fictitious tragic love story. Decision to say ‘Yes, I do’, the beautiful lady took long ten years. In the meantime whole world had changed for her. Finally she got what she was missing for the last ten years. What happened then?)

 

Almost all my batch mates attended this particular conference for 75th Round of NSSO to be conducted from first July, 2017 all over India. We are now in the twilight zone of our service career. Most of the juniors avoided us in their personal discussions. I may be one of the seniors, who knows most of the juniors. I seldom keep any distance with them and therefore, they are also somewhat friendly to me. However, I also avoid them in such type of gatherings after 7 PM. As a typical fatherly figure to most of the young officers, I also avoid drinking in front of them.

On that day also we five of our batch, started taking whiskey in one of my batch mate’s room. It went off smoothly till Bikash finished his third peg of whiskey. He started sobbing like a four year boy, who was denied a chocolate by his elder brother. We could not find any reason for his sobbing.

‘Why you are crying like a baby, you b—d?’ Ananta has a habit of scolding any one of us with or without any valid reason.

Even after getting a scolding Vikash was sobbing uncontrollably.

As a soft person, I patted his back and asked him why he was crying. After few minutes, he said, ‘When I saw Ambika today, I could not recognize her. She was an extremely beautiful lady few years back. But today she looks like an old lady, more than her age.’

‘Did you love her?’ Again Ananta thundered.

‘No. But her very old look reminded me of my own tragedy.’ He paused for a minute. None of us, even Ananta kept mum for few minutes.

Then slowly Vikash unfolded his story.

Avantika was one year senior to us. She was considered one of the most beautiful ladies from our service. As I was married nine days before I joined to my service, I did not have any opportunity to chase any beautiful lady of our service as my wife used to accompany me in all my tours relating to our probation. However, nobody can control eyes; my eyes were also able to see beautiful faces of our batch mates and those ladies who were either one year senior or junior to us. Therefore, beauty of Avantika could not escape from the roving eyes of any of my batch mates.

Vikash was one of the batch mates from our batch who was almost mad after that young lady.

After our postings at different offices, full engagements of our domestic duties stopped us from meeting each other for years together. Therefore, I did not know what happened to the one sided love affairs of Vikash with Avantika.

However, two decades ago, when we heard that while returning after attending a programme arranged by Training Division, CSO at Gwalior, Avantika died in a road accident, we were shocked. Her taxi was mowed down by a truck from behind. Surprisingly, except Avantika, the other occupants had miraculous escape in the accident. One of the survivors said that other occupants did not face any major injury even.

Whenever, there is a training course organised by training division of the Ministry, there is a chance to meet some of your batch mates, seniors and juniors after many years. The training programme organised at Gwalior for refresher course on agricultural statistics was also no exception. Altogether twenty participants from different batches joined the training course at Gwalior. Avantika and Vikash were also two participants of the training course.

When Vikash saw Avantika, he was little bit upset. Avantika was no more the exceptionally beautiful lady whom he used to love ten-eleven years ago. She has lost her beauty more quickly than her contemporaries.

After looking at Avantika from top to bottom, Vikash asked, ‘How are you?’

‘I am fine. How are you?’

‘I am also fine. Got married?’

‘No. Have you?’ Avantika did not want to prolong the discussion. But she asked Vikash a question just for formality only.

‘Yes. After one year of our probation.’ Vikash told with a sigh. He wanted say, ‘I married one year after your refusal’ instead of what he had uttered.

Avantika, remembered how curtly she refused the proposal of Vikash ten years ago despite of the fact that she also loved Vikash.

‘Why you are still unmarried? On the last time when I proposed you, you had told me that you were already engaged and within a month you were going to get married!’ Vikash expressed his surprise.

With a faint smile, she said, ‘I was lying. I was trying to make my parent happy.’ She remembered how her parents reacted when she told about Vikash to them. They blatantly said, if she would marry Vikash, they would sever all relations with her for the rest of their life. Being the only daughter, she did not want to hurt her parent. She decided to sacrifice her love for the happiness of her parent.

Unfortunately, her parent could not arrange a suitable boy for last ten years. Initially many youths were coming to see her. Now proposal for marriage has stopped coming to her. She resigned to her fate. Her parent sometimes blame her for her refusal to marry less educated boys or lowly paid boys. They never want to take the blame for their failure to find a suitable boy at par with Vikash.

When Avantika said to Vikash that she wanted to come to his room after dinner, he did not thought much and invited her with an open mind.

Exactly at eleven, Avantika knocked the door of Vikash. She embraced Vikash as soon as Vikash closed the door. With an impulse he also embraced Avantika tightly. Avantika was weeping.

After ventilating the initial spurt of emotion, both sat on the bed and Avantika disclosed her love for Vikash and the reaction of her parent when she expressed her willingness to marry him.

Finally she said, ‘You have taken a good decision to marry. I am sure your wife loves you very much. I do not want to come in between you and your wife. I just want to tell you my side of the story. So I am leaving now.’ She stood up to leave the room.

‘Are you not going to hear what happened to me after your refusal?’ Vikash asked Avantika with a tearful eyes.

Avantika sat on the bed again.

‘After your refusal, I thought to commit suicide. But somehow, I controlled myself. I did not join to the place where I was posted. Varun sent a letter to my father writing about my tragedy. My father immediately rushed to my old place and took me with him to our home. After lot of pep talks in the next few days, I became normal and joined to my duties at the new place of posting. After one year, I was told by my parent that my marriage was fixed with the daughter of my father’s closest friend. I know Ranjita, my wife from my childhood. She is a good girl. I did not object to their wish and I married her. She told afterwards that she knew about my affairs with you.’ After finishing his side of the story, Vikash started weeping like a small boy.

Seeing Vikash weeping, Avantika did not know how to react.

Avantika stood up and tried to console him by patting on his back. In the process, her bosom touched Vikash’s face. Patting by Avantika continued for some time till Vikash stopped weeping.

Looking to her wrist watch, she realized that it was late and wanted to go to her own room. But at that moment she found that her waist was locked by the arms of Vikash and her bosom was precariously placed on the face of Vikash. She tried to break open the lock on her waist without any real effort. Instead, she pulled his head nearer to her bosom further losing sense what for they were heading. Some time passed and they continued to stay in that position for few minutes till nature took over both of them.

As Vikash opened his eyes in the morning, he did not find Avantika. For a moment he thought it was a dream, but after looking at the unlocked door he realized, it was a reality. For a moment, he became very sorry for his wife.

‘Can I have a baby from you?’ She asked Vikash on the next day when she met him after eleven in his closed room.

‘Yes you can. But can you face the society, when they will ask you to declare the name of the father?’ Vikash raised a pertinent question to her.

‘I damn care for the people. What the society has given to me? I cared for the society and that is why I refused your offer. I cared for my parents. Being B caste, they thought if I marry you, their prestige would be lowered in the eyes of the society. But in the last ten years, I could not find a husband for me. Some of them demanded exorbitant dowry. Some of them were less educated than I by miles. All those scoundrels have one common qualification, they all are from our caste.’ She stopped there.

For next four days, she used to come to Vikash’s room after 11 PM and used to leave by 4 AM. Those were not only physical meetings but those meetings were meetings of souls and spirits. Both of them were happy.

In the early morning of the last day, Avantika told Vikash, ‘Finally I am able to taste the fruits of happiness of being a lady. Due to our togetherness, if I am going to be a mother, I shall be one of the happiest women on the earth. Even if I am not that lucky, I shall cherish the memories of these four nights and five days for the rest of my life. Thank you for giving me so much happiness for the last few days.’

She hugged Vikash for some time and left his room silently before whole world gets up for welcoming another day.

Vikash proposed to hire a taxi to the airport for both of them. But Avantika whispered, ‘Do not accompany me in public. You have a family. I do not have. But I do not want somebody informs your wife about our proximity. I love you from my heart. I do not want to be a reason for unhappiness of your married life.’

She hired a taxi along with two other lady officers. Vikash took another one and followed her taxi.

At one junction, due to red light, Vikash taxi had to wait extra two minutes when the taxi Avantika was travelling, sped away. After few minutes, to the utter horror of his life, Vikash found that the taxi hired by Avantika was mowed down by a heavily loaded truck. The backside of the taxi was completely smashed. The damage of the taxi was severe where Avantika was sitting. When he reached the spot, he saw Avantika was bleeding profusely from her nose.

Vikash lifted Avantika and shifted to his taxi and ordered the driver to take them to the nearest hospital. Vikash put Avantika’s head on his lap and said, ‘Do not worry. You will be alright.’

‘Vikash, I am not going to survive. Yet, I am very happy today. I am happy to leave the world with a satisfaction that I am dying on your lap. I am thankful to God for getting true love from you.’ She tried to smile with pain.

Before Vikash could say something, she closed her eyes. Vikash reached the hospital only to hear, ‘The patient was brought dead.’

*

*

*

There was pin drop silence in the room. Even Ananta did not dare to break the silence. Tears from Vikash’s eyes were flowing like river in a rainy season, but without any sound.

Story No: 13. True Love

 

(This is an uncommon fictitious love story which has nothing to do with reality. So if you find any resemblance with any character in the story, it is pure coincidence only. Hope you will like the story.)

Mrs. Arunima Choudhury, a widow of fifty five yelled to her son, ‘this time, before going to Delhi, you must tell me whether you are going to marry or not.’

Arunima had brought up her only child, Arindam single handedly after death of her husband in a scooter accident when Arindam was only two year old. She still recalls the day vividly when she lost her husband twenty five years ago. On that day, her husband, a school teacher in a local high school went to the market to bring vegetables as his sister was to come to their home on that evening. He was knocked down by a speeding truck from behind just in front of their home. He was declared brought dead on arrival at the local hospital.

Arunima was advised by many to remarry; but she did not marry again. She brought up her son with lot of difficulty, as anyone came forward to help her, came with a demand of high premium. She refused to bow down to any pressure. She realized, though there is no dearth of thugs in her society who wanted to help her with an expectation of physical favour, there are few good people are also around her at the time of her distress. One such person was Hrishikesh Barua, the school inspector, who helped Arunima to get a teacher’s job on compensatory ground. After getting the job, she could dictate her fate in her own terms.

Her efforts to make her son a good citizen of the country, did not go in vein and in due course of time, her son Arindam became a mechanical engineer and joined a leading automobile company as an Assistant Manager at Guwahati. After three years, he passed executive MBA course from a leading Management Institute of India. After four years of his joining into the service, he was promoted to the post of Deputy Manager and posted in Delhi.

Since last year, Arunima is looking for a suitable match for her only child. She got lot of good proposals, but Arindam has not shown any interest in his marriage. Therefore, she was not happy and yelled to her son from the kitchen while preparing breakfast for her son.

‘Ma, I love a girl. But I do not know, where she is now. I do not know, whether she is married or not. I do not know, where she lives right now.’ At the dining table Arindam told his mother.

Arindam’s confession about his love affairs gave his mother more trouble than a solution.

‘What is that answer? How can I find the girl, if you do not know anything about that girl?’ A perplexed Arunima asked her son.

‘I can give a clue about the girl. Can you remember, we attended Varun uncle’s niece’s marriage, ten years ago? At that time I was in the Engineering College. I saw that girl with a red coloured dress. I fell in love with the girl at the first sight. I know nothing about the girl. That’s all.’ He confided to his friendly mother.

Arunima is an old war horse. She had faced a lot of problems in her life. She knows her son very well; he is always truthful to his mother. She also understood very well, without that girl he would not be a happy man in his married life, though he might marry another girl of his mother’s choice.

When after a week Arindam was leaving for Delhi, Arunima told him, ‘I am going to find out the girl whom you love. I shall find out her marital status and if she is yet to be married, I shall meet her and her parent with a proposal to bring her as my daughter in law.’

Arindam knew, her mother never gives a false promise. He also felt a pain in his heart for giving his mother a real tough task.

Next day, Arunima talked to her classmate Varun Saikia, brother of Barnali Saikia, the marriage of whose daughter was the first and last meeting point of Arindam with the unknown girl. However, Varun could not recollect any girl with a red dress. He might be very busy on that day to notice any girl with a red dress; Arunima agreed.

But whenever, there is a will, there is a way. Varun told Arunima, ‘Probably, my sister is still keeping a copy of the video of her daughter’s marriage. I shall ask my sister about the video and inform you.’

As expected, from the video, Apoorva could be identified easily. She is the daughter of the doctor who was posted in their town, when the marriage of Barnali Saikia’s daughter was taken place. She was in class X at that time. However, her father was transferred to another town, just after that particular marriage. Again, Arunima faced a road block. There is no clue whereabouts of Apoorva and her family after their transfer to the other town.

Arunima was not disappointed with the information so far she had gathered about Apoorva. She contacted the doctor posted at the town where Apoorva’s father was transferred from her own town. The doctor presently posted at that town provided the required information about Apoorva’s family to Arunima.

With few attempts, the girl, Apoorva was tracked down in Guwahati by Arunima. Her father, Vikramjeet Barua has settled down at Guwahati, though his present place of posting is at North Lakhimpur, a district HQs, almost four hundred KM away from Guwahati. In the meantime, Apoorva has completed her masters in History from Guwahati University.

However, there was a bad news waiting for Arunima. Apoorva had already been married to a doctor three months’ ago.

Arunima did not dare to inform Arindam about Apoorva’s marriage as she was worried that her only child would be heart-broken at the news of Apoorva’s marriage.

Arunima had to hear another bad news about Apoorva just few months’ later after she could track down Apoorva. In a tragic car accident, Apoorva lost both her husband and her father. Though she and mother were also travelling by the same car which was driven by Ashotosh, Apoorva’s husband hit by a Night Super (bus), had a miraculous escape. At the same time both mother and daughter lost their husbands and became widow. Naturally, the entire family was devastated.

Arunima got the bad news from a common friend presently staying in Guwahati.

As time passed, Arunima forgot about Apoorva and she did not mention about Apoorva before Arindam though Arindam visited twice in between. Even when Arindam asked about the girl with red dress during one of his visits, Arunima snubbed him by saying, ‘I am not Sherlock Holmes. Forget about that girl and look for another one.’

But God has a different plan for each one of us.

One of Apoorva’s cousin, Hemen was Arindam’s classmate in his engineering college. One day when Arindam visited Hemen’s place at Guwahati, he took Arindam to his Aunt’s place. There he met Apoorva, a completely devastated young widow.

When he was introduced to Apoorva, Arindam realized, he got a new feeling, hitherto he never felt earlier. But next moment he recollected, he experienced the same felling at least eleven years ago. He asked himself, ‘Why, I am getting the same feeling when I met young girl eleven years ago?’

After taking tea, when Arindam left Apoorva’s place, he came to know about the family, about the tragic accident and the fall out of the tragic accident. However, he did not know that Apoorva was the girl with the red dress whom he saw eleven years ago in a marriage party.

After few more visits to Apoorva’s place, Arindam thought to tell Apoorva that he loves her. But he decided to tell about his emotion about Apoorva to his friend Hemen first.

‘You know, she is a widow. Even though publicly we all support widow marriage, no mother wants to marry a widow for her son. You better talk to your Mom first, before you propose to Apoorva. In the meantime let me talk to my Aunty also.’

Arindam knew, his mother, being a widow herself, would never oppose to his desire to marry Apoorva. Therefore one day, he proposed Apoorva.

She did not want to marry again in her life. At least she was thinking like that at that time. Therefore, she out rightly rejected his proposal on his face without following any diplomatic route.

Instead of being angry or dejected Arindam said, ‘I know it is difficult to say a yes to my proposal. It will be very difficult for you to forget Ashotosh, whom you loved very much. I propose you to marry me at an appropriate time when you will be mentally ready for your re-marriage. I shall wait for that appropriate time, because I love you.’

Apoorva did not say anything.

After two days, Arindam left for his hometown to discuss the matter with his mother. Arindam told about his new love affair to his mother frankly. Arunima did not take long time to understand, the red dressed girl has been found by her son; once again he fell in love with the same girl. She realized his love for Apoorva has been decided by a super natural power whom many of us call as God.

Arunima hugged his son and told, ‘I know everything about the poor girl, Apoorva. She is a nice girl; but unfortunate one. I found her as your red-dressed girl one year before. I know about her tragedy. I understand the pain of a young widow. That is why, I said earlier that I could not find her. I am sorry, my son. I should have told you earlier.’ After a pause she said, ‘I am with you my son. Apoorva also needs a husband who will always love her. I understand the loneliness of a widow in a long life.’ Her eyes became teary.

Wiping his mother’s tears, he promised, ‘Mom, I shall try my best to convince her to marry me.’

Arindam telephoned his friend Hemen and told him about his mother’s willingness to bring Apoorva as her daughter in law.

Hearing an unexpected happy news from his friend, Hemen went to his Aunty’s home and told about Arindam and his willingness to marry Apoorva with full blessings from his mother.

After a long time, Apoorva’s mother got a news that naturally brought a smile in her face. She agreed to the proposal without a second thought.

But for the second time, Apoorva rejected the proposal. She was not ready for a re-marriage, at least for now.

‘You cannot live whole life without a companion. I am sure under the present circumstances, you are not going to find another boy as good as Arindam. Above all you won’t find a family who will whole heartedly welcome a widow as their daughter in law. You think over the proposal, before you finally reject it.’ The mother advised her daughter.

Whole night, Apoorva could not sleep. Ashotosh’s face all along disturbed her. She thought, how she can marry another person, when memory of Ashotosh had been so vivid.

Next day evening, she went to a mall, just to get some freshness in her mind. She saw many couples are moving around the mall holding each other’s hand. She saw such couples earlier also; but she never felt so lonely amidst so many people in a mall earlier. As time passed in the mall, she felt lonelier on every passing second. She heaved a heavy sigh.

On that night, Apoorva saw a peculiar dream. In her dream, Ashotosh was coming near to her with open arms. The moment she wanted to touch him, he was dragged by a wind and he disappeared soon to the darkness. He was never seen again. She got up from the bed after the dream. She could not sleep for the rest of the night.

She thought about the proposal of Arindam again and again till dawn arrived; driving away the darkness from the earth. At that time she again fell to a morning sleep for some time. In her sleep (dream) again she saw Ashotosh with a smile in his face. But this time she saw Ashotosh’s face slowly transformed into Arindam’s face. She got up from the slumber to found that the whole world had been illuminated with bright light of the morning sun. She realized, outside light had a positive effect inside the heart of Apoorva also.

Apoorva finally understood the stark reality of life; it would be very difficult to live alone for the entire life. She knew there would thousands, who would be interested in her body but only a handful would be ready to marry her.

She decided to marry Arindam following the eternal advice of all the love gurus, ‘If you want to be happy in your married life; you marry the person who loves you, not the person whom you love.’

A wild smile went through her lips which are now ready for a French kiss with her new hubby, Arindam.

Story No: 14. The Real Friend

(First love is always memorable. But in most of the cases, the affair closes with a tragic end. In this story, it was finished before it could take off. The story was based on the real experience of a friend of mine. I do not know whether, this is a story of love or just an inspirational one. Both the parties were winner in their own perspectives. None was unhappy at the end, albeit for different reasons.)

I was from a small town with a decent background. I joined one of the most reputed colleges of Assam after my tenth examination. Many times, I told about me in different stories, therefore, I want to skip some of the things about me. However, some of the things I have to repeat for the readers to know about me; the readers who dare to read my stories.

In this story, I am a handsome boy with six feet height, muscular body and extremely fair colour. Now this might be a contradiction about me for the readers who are not first timers to tolerate all my nonsense written in many incorrigible books earlier. Anyway, you must have to agree, in a story anything can happen as per the wish of the writer. Writer has the prerogative to write anything to write and readers have the prerogative to throw his writings to the dustbin.

With this background, let me start describing about my good qualities. I was one of the best students, in terms of tenth result, of the science stream of the college. So naturally, I had the immunity to talk on any topic (not on non-vegetarian one) with any girl of my class. Most of the teachers were also approachable for me to discuss one or the other subjects. I enjoyed the unique status of mine in the class for the whole two years’ period as a student of pre-university. To my satisfaction and to my parent’s satisfaction, I did extremely well in the twelfth examination also.

But in the midst of all good things, I did a grave mistake. I fell in love with a girl of arts stream.

Falling in love may not be a grave mistake in the eyes many of you. But for me it was. Before unfolding the mystery of my first love affairs, let me describe the beauty of the girl who had stolen my heart.

In India, though racism does not exist par say, we always appreciate fair skin. Even our parents are also sometimes biased towards fairer son or daughter! However, the damsel who stole my heart was not as fair as I was. I was extremely fascinated by her eyes and her lips over and above her extremely beautiful physique. Her smile used to disturb me in my day dreaming in those days.

When I discussed the matter with my novice friends, they all encouraged me to propose her without wasting time.

Every day when I was preparing for going to attend my college, I used to promise to myself that I would propose her in my tiffin time. When I failed to propose her at the tiffin time, I used to promise to myself to propose her in the evening after my class. But time flew without fulfilling my promise to myself.

In the meantime, I had completed my first year without proposing her.

Irrespective of age and sex, cousins are the best friends, at least till they get married. During the summer vacation after my annual examination of class XI, my cousin came to our home for few days. She was ten year older than I, but extremely friendly to me as she did (does) not have a younger brother of her own. At that time, she was doing her Ph.D. in Sociology in Delhi University.

On the first evening of her visit, she asked me, ‘Hey my duffer younger brother, can you find a lover in the college or not so far? Or still you are like an incorrigible insect inside a book?’

‘ Didi (elder sister), I can say yes and no for the same question. It is 50% of love affair.’

‘What do you mean by that?’

‘ From my side, it is 100% yes and from other side it is 0% yes. Therefore, for both of us combined, it is exactly 50%.’

‘Has she rejected your proposal?’

‘No, Didi, I am yet to propose her.’ I told her with a smile with tons of shyness.

‘I was not expecting more than that, stupid. Why you are not proposing her so far?’

‘I promise to myself every day, but as soon as I approach her, my voice eludes me!’ I confessed.

She thought for a while and then asked for a pen and piece of paper. She scribbled something on the paper and handed over to me.

I could read what was written with little bit of difficulty. It was written in Hindi in a poetic verse as follows:

‘I love you so much;

I can leave this world for you!

But whenever I want to bare everything before you;

A small beautiful bird comes and eats my words!’’

She asked me to hand over the sheet to the girl whom I love, with the assurance that she would definitely respond to my proposal.

On the second day of opening of the college after summer vacation, I was able to hand over the sheet to my first love. She took the sheet, read it, smiled but did not say anything.

I was impatient to know her response. But she ignored me as if she had not received anything from me. Sometimes, she ignored my very existence even!

Even after two weeks, she did not respond to my piece of paper. For the first time, I got the pinch of rejection in the college from someone. My ego was badly hurt.

Going to the college with head high was becoming difficult for me. I had developed a feeling that, everyone knew about the incident of handing over a sheet to that damsel and she had rejected my proposal. I had a feeling that everyone laughs at me from behind. I was depressed thinking all those things silently.

In our college, attitude wise there were three categories of boys; science students: serious in nature and studious; arts students: not serious, take study casually and commerce students: in between in terms of sincerity and studiousness.

In our times, only rich and non-serious students were able to maintain motorcycles. A few of my commerce (students) friends were in that category.

One day when I was strolling on the street connecting my hostel and the college, thinking about the girl, three of my friends riding on two motor cycles told me to accompany them to a known secluded place. I did not mind to go with them, as despite of differences in our attitude towards life, we were good friends.

As we reached the secluded place, one of them handed over the piece of paper to me which I had given to the girl whom I used to love.

‘Take this piece of paper and tear it yourself.’ I was speechless.

Then another friend told me, ‘Hiranya, you are a good boy and from a good family. Do not spoil your life after this spoiled girl. She is not a good girl and good match for you. All of us had put our hands on every part of her body many times in the last few years. Even we did all dirty things with her sister also. They are from a very bad family and who indulge all types of criminal activities for money.’

My head started reeling. When they dropped me at my college hostel, I could not remember.

Whole night I could not sleep. I was thinking about her, my career, my family, my friends and my teachers. I was thinking, had the girl accepted my proposal and had my love affair blossomed, what would happen? What my friends would have thought about me? What my teachers would have thought about me? Was she a bad girl or a good girl by heart?

Finally, I realized she might not be good in the eyes of the society or in the eyes of my friends, but still she was carrying a heart of gold!

On the next day morning, I thanked her for her truthfulness about herself. After knowing her and her actions on my love letter, I developed an unknown respect for her.

In the coming days, we became good friends.

Even now, whenever I recall my college days, I remember her as a true friend of mine. I am thankful to her because instead of doing what she had done, she could have done many things which might have serious repercussions on my career and personal life. By rejecting my proposal, she actually helped me in many ways. I do not know, where she is now, but I always pray to God, she should be happy and she should be as truthful as she was in her college days.

I am also thankful to my friends who by demeaning themselves in the eyes of mine helped me by preventing me from entering into a hell.

Story No: 15. No Space

 

(There are some love affairs which cannot be defined as normal. Love of the protagonist for a classmate falls in an undefined category. He was in love with the lady for long thirty-five years even though he knew all along that she was not in love with him. Bubble burst took place when the lady candidly admitted that she did not know very existence of the protagonist even as a classmate.

He realized that his family is real and love for the lady was nothing but an illusion. He decided to go back to his wife)

‘Doctor, are you Ok?’ Helping me to sit on the nearest stool Anindita, the senior most Nurse asked me. ‘Will you be able to continue the operation, sir?’

‘Do not worry, I am alright. Little bit of loss of concentration due to some personal reasons made me dizzy.’ After saying that I stood up and as usual, like on any other day, I completed the open-heart surgery of the lady with ease. The team of doctors and para medical personnel congratulated me like on any other day.

After completing the formalities, I told Anindita, ‘Sister, please instruct the staff attending her to take special care, she is very fragile.’

She looked at me with a surprise look as that was the first time in last three years, I had instructed her to take special care to a particular patient. But she did not ask me why I took special interest for this particular patient.

After reaching my chamber, I started thinking about Madhurima, the fragile lady on whom I made a routine operation.

After returning to India from USA three years back, I joined this specialized hospital for heart patients at NOIDA as a heart surgeon. Being an Assamese, most of the Assamese patients prefer to be my patient. So when Madhurima’s husband Prakash Barua approached me for an open heart surgery of his wife Madhurima Barua, I did not find any unusual about that. I assured him of best of services from my side.

‘Doctor, believe me, I shall not survive even for a day, if something goes wrong with her!’

That was somewhat unusual from an Indian husband of sixty five. I have met many husbands who relish chickens while their wives are in operation theatres fighting for their lives. I am not saying every husband is like that. But openly saying that a person would not survive without his wife was somewhat unusual to me. Probably my face was too evident of being surprised. Therefore, he explained, ‘She is not only my wife of thirty-five years, she is my closest friend of last forty years. She is also mother of my two children.’

Placing my hand his shoulder, I consoled him, ‘I shall try my best. Rest is always in the hands of God. But I must say, I start envying you for loving your wife so much, because unfortunately, I could not love my wife so much. I am sure, your wife also loves you equally. I cannot guarantee about my wife’s love towards me.’

Then I laughed to myself. I did not want to tell him that only after my separation with my wife, Carolina, I left USA and joined this hospital.

He visited my chamber with his wife many times after our first meeting. His wife, Madhurima was a very thin lady with extreme pale colour. I could make out that she might be slim and fair coloured lady in her young age. Her voice was very weak and therefore she had to be assisted by her husband whenever she had to convey important issues relating to her ailment.

After the operation, I felt she would survive for another few years.

Born to a rural teacher’s family, when I joined to Cotton college in pre-university section (Class XI in modern times), I was a dumb boy of fourteen-fifteen. Academically, I was good but smartness-wise, I was a boy whom any young girl of urban background would not have liked to give her heart. But my heart was not in my control, like any other teen aged boy, I started loving a girl of Guwahati silently.

But I got a rude shock, when I came to know that the most intelligent boy of our class Naresh was also after the same girl. I was sure the girl would prefer Naresh ahead of me. On that day, I vowed to myself, I would do a better result in the final examination of class XII than Naresh.

To my satisfaction, the girl had rejected even Naresh’s proposal by saying that she had already been engaged to someone else.

The rejection of the girl devastated Naresh so much that not only he failed to do a good result in class XII but also he could never be able to establish as a stable person. I could not enjoy my better result than Naresh in the twelfth final examination, as Naresh had made for his downfall himself.

After passing out twelfth examination, I joined Guwahati Medical College as an undergraduate student. After completing my MBBS, I did my internship at AIIMS, New Delhi and then went on to Washington for my master degree. There I met Carolina, another medical student and we got married after two years of courtship. We had a married life of twenty-five years. We have two sons out of our wedlock.

Unfortunately, three years ago, difference cropped up between us due to utterance of name of a lady while I had a high temperature. According to my wife, instead of saying ‘I love you Caro’ I was uttering repeatedly, ‘I love you, ----‘.

The fight ended with our separation and we separated for last three years, though no official divorce is initiated by either side. I used to send money to my sons regularly which Carolina never objected nor encouraged.

Unfortunately, in all these years, I could not forget my first love, my ex classmate, the girl from Guwahati.

Nityananda Saikia was my classmate in my pre-university class at Cotton College, became a mechanical engineer, joined in ONGC and settled at Delhi. I met him twice after joining the Vedanta Hospital in NOIDA.

Initially all the friends of mine, including Nityananda, used to request me to visit their homes. But once they came to know that I was separated from my wife, they stopped inviting to their houses. I understand their problems, after all nobody wants to call a stag to ruin his family.

That is an irony of life, everybody wants to invite a divorcee woman, separated woman or a widow for a dinner with a promise to drop her after dinner; but nobody wants to invite the counterpart. This animal instinct of all men will never change.

Further, for my friends, I was no more the dumb son of a rural teacher; now I am highly sophisticated urbanised naughty at forty plus man (actually at fifty-five, I may be a dangerous man for a family man of equal age)!

But, before two days of operation of Mrs. Madhurima Barua, I got a phone call from Nityananda.

‘Hi, Hiranya, how are you?’

‘Oh good God, what a pleasant surprise! Nitya, how are you? Why do you remember after so many years?’ I asked knowing that he must have a work with me.

‘Just for enquiry about your wellbeing, I just telephoned you.’ I knew he lied.

‘So nice of you! Now a days, I am remembered by my friends only when there is a heart problem of someone known to him or her!’ I told him knowing fully well that he had also a patient about whom he would tell me after initial goody-goody talk.

‘Yes, I am also calling you for a patient only. But she is not a relative of mine. She is a classmate of both of us. She is Mrs. Madhurima Barua alias Miss Madhurima Choudhury, heartthrob of many of us when we were in pre-university at Cotton College. You might be attending her for last two months. But both of you could not recognize each other because you might not have met her for so many years.’ He paused for a moment.

I wondered, how that doll like beautiful girl who stole my heart some thirty-five years ago, could be so thin and fragile pale lady on that day.

‘What happened, Hiranya, why you are silent? Have you demanded lot of money from her husband for her operation?’ He asked me teasingly.

‘No, but I thought she is an old lady, at least ten year older than I.’ I did not tell what I was thinking about her.

After that Nityananda told something, but I could not hear what he was saying. As soon as he hung the telephone line, I went back to my Cotton College days, when I used to romanticize with Madhurima Choudhury, particularly about kissing on her thin lips, silently without telling anybody.

From the enthusiasm shown by Nityananda, I doubted even Nityananda was also in love with that beautiful young lady.

When I met Madhurima on her next visit to my chamber, she told me that Nityananda telephoned her to tell that I was her classmate in pre-university.

‘Since you were a classmate of mine, may I have a request for you?’ She whispered.

‘Sure, but can you remember me as your classmate?’ I asked her with a hope that she would say a yes to my inconsequential question.

‘To be honest, no; I cannot remember you as my classmate.’

Though her answer was like a slap on my face, I controlled myself and asked her, ‘It hardly matters now. Anyway, tell me your request.’

‘Personally, I do not want to live any longer. But I know, Prakash will not be able to live alone without me. We are made for each other from the day we met forty years ago. When I was young, probably I was beautiful. Many boys proposed me which I had to reject for his true love for me. But now probably none will love me. But even now, Prakash loves me as if I am that 25-year-old young lady.’ She was too tired to say something more.

After paused for a minute or two she whispered, ‘Try to save me for the sake of Prakash’

I comforted her by tapping on her shoulder.

When I opened her chest to operate, I went back to our past again and felt dizziness for a moment. That was the moment, when the senior most nurse, Anindita helped me to sit on a stool. But within a minute I behaved professionally and conducted her surgery sucessfully.

But again, I wanted to see her heart romantically. That was the heart which I wanted to conquer as a teen aged boy. But I failed measurably. Now I am repairing the heart physically to give another lease of life to her to make the man happy who stole her heart to give discomfort to all of us.

Then again I peeped into her heart romantically. I saw everywhere, there was a signboard written as ‘Sorry, no vacancy’.

After taking a cup of coffee, I started laughing to myself. I told to myself, ‘You loved a girl, who did not know very existence of you for entire her life! What a funny love story!’

I picked up the phone and called my separated wife for three years. It was an early morning for her and for me it was an early evening.

‘Hello!’

‘Hello, I am calling to you to say sorry for two things. One, I should not have left you in a hurry after a good fight on the issue of a non-existent love affairs with an elusive character. Two, I should not have uttered the name of Madhurima even when I was running a high temperature of 104 degree on that day. After forty years, I come to know that Madhurima, did not know even that I was her classmate! It was like loving Julia Roberts by a fan.’ Then I laughed to myself.

‘Again you laughed to yourself! Whenever you feel liking crying, you laugh to yourself. I know you want to cry now, but you are laughing at yourself as an old habit. By the way tell me, when you are coming back. I miss you darling!’ My wife said from the other side.

‘I am returning by the next available flight!’

‘Anyway, how do you come to know that she does not know you?’

When I told Carolina everything about Madhurima, she started laughing and commented, ‘Who knows I am also loved by some dumb classmate like you without my knowledge!’ She hung the phone.

Story No: 16. Cannot Be Separated

(Part-I)

(It is a small fictional story how Arun and his wife must have reacted before the plane they were travelling crashed into the ocean. If my story resembles with some reality it is pure coincidence only, nothing to do with any reality or any real person.)

Mr. Arun Barua along with his wife, Dipanwita were a very happy and cohesive couple of thirty years. Their love affairs however started ten years before their marriage. Arun was one year older than his wife. When Arun was in class VII, he saw for the first time Dipanwita in a school function organized in his school. At that time, she was in class VI and accompanied her parents to attend the function in his school. He fell in love with Dipanwita on the very first sight. However, Dipanwita was not aware of Arun’s love for her for next two years.

Due to a Government education policy, Dipanwita was promoted to class VIII from class VI and then both of them became class mates from the next year. After their matriculation, both of them joined same college for their higher secondary. Their love blossomed during this period. Slowly they became inseparable and after ten years of love affairs, they tied the knot thirty years back. Probably God has made them a perfect couple for next few decades.

Arun joined a multinational company after he passed out his masters in medicine and Dipanwita joined in a local college as a lecturer in political science.

They were living an ordinary life in the eyes of others. But their love for each other was envy for his friends and relatives. Even their children, once they grew up, used to tease them for their exceptional love for each other.

In due course of time, both his sons got married and settled down. Whenever their sons fought with their wives, invariably they mention about their parents. Sons used to phrase the common sentence, ‘My mother never, fought with Papa in last so many years. We are yet to complete three/four years of our marriage, but you are fighting tooth and nail with me all the time.’

Theirs wives’ views are also same, ‘Papa always respects the views of Mom. Have you ever love or respect me like Papa loves/ respects Mom?’

As both of their children have settled before Barua’s retirement, he had decided to visit few capital cities of Asia with his wife after retirement from his multinational Company.

After one month of his retirement, Barua took his wife to Sri Lanka for a week. Then in the next month they went to Bangkok for a week.

After resting two months at home they went to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia which boasts its magnificent modern skyline which is dominated by the 451m-tall Petronas Twin Towers, with Islamic motifs. The twin skyscrapers are made of glass-and-steel with a public skybridge and observation deck. The city is also famous for British colonial-era landmarks such as the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. Arun and his wife took time to enjoy their visit in these places.

Barua couple enjoyed their stay at Kuala Lumpur more than the earlier foreign visits due to its natural beauty along with modernity. The Malaysian culture is a mixture of modernity with glimpses of the past which both of them enjoyed. Originally, they were to stay at Kuala Lumpur for a week only. However, they decided to postpone their next visit to Beijing for another week.

They re-booked a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing after fifteen days stay in this beautiful capital city of Malaysia.

Flight was on time at 9 PM and it started with Malaysian flavour. It was a seven-hour scheduled journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The beautiful airhostesses were at their best of their costumes and best of their hospitality. Once the aircraft gained the cruising speed and the height of 40, 000 feet above sea level, delicious food was served to the passengers.

‘Will you taste some wine?’ Arun asked his wife.

‘Why?’ With a twinkle in her eyes she asked.

‘For a romantic journey!’ He quipped.

‘Oh, thanks. I am going to sleep now. Do not disturb me after dinner.’ She knew he would disturb her. Without touching her body, he would not be able to sleep. He used to carry a dress of her in all his tours during his service time so that he could sleep taking her body fragrance. She also always liked his touches on every part of her body. Rather, she was vying for those intimate touches from her husband.

After taking their meal, they tried to have a nap. As usual Arun put one hand on Dipanwita’s lap. They were about to sleep.

As already stated it was a seven-hour scheduled journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and few thousand KM journey was through the sea line.

The Captain announced, ‘All the passengers are requested to go to their seats and fasten their belts. Please do not use toilets. We are expecting some turbulence for few minutes.’

After one minute the Captain announced, ‘We are expecting unusual turbulence on our scheduled route. Therefore, we are diverting our route to avoid the turbulence.’

Once you are on board of an International flight, you hardly bother the route of the flight. It is up to the pilots and the navigators from the ground which route the flight is taking. Almost all the passengers almost ignored the announcement of the Captain of the flight. But—

Arun Barua used to travel by air more than thousand times around the world before this journey. But he found the jerking of the plane that time was different from earlier ones. But he did not want to tell about the abnormal jerking to Dipanwita thinking she might be frightened.

The jerking increased to an intolerable limit within next few minutes. Even airhostesses and other cabin crews took their seats meant for landing position to avoid injuries due to heavy jerking of the air craft.

After two to three minutes, the Captain announced again, ‘We are midst of a violent turbulence. Let us pray to God for not facing any serious trouble.’

There was pin drop silent amongst the passengers inside the aircraft. But there was deafening sound of jerking inside the air craft. Arun saw face of his wife became as pale as a dinner dish.

The voice of captain again came, ‘We are facing serious trouble. We have already lost control with the radar of the base. We are trying to be afloat in the same direction of the turbulence to avoid damage of the aircraft. Pray to God.’

After one minute the voice of captain heard, ‘Another bad news. One engine stopped working. Pray to God.’

There was panic all-around. Some of the passengers started crying. A lady was heard saying to her husband, ‘It is all your fault. We could have taken another flight. You always go for the cheapest flight. Now you go to hell!’

In another situation, in another place people probably would have laughed at her statement. But at that moment none had the mood to listen even.

Small children were crying and their mothers embraced them to console; but at the end they were also crying. A sportsman was seen crying at his top voice. Some elderly persons tried to be calm. Arun looked at the Malaysian celebrity sitting at the executive class. He was crying like an ordinary person. Arun recalled, before he took the flight there was a pandemonium at the airport to see him by his fans.

There was chaos everywhere. One of the overhead luggage opened. The items were gone one place to another place hitting few passengers. Some of the passengers were bleeding due to those articles freely moving around inside the aircraft. Nobody had time to see the bleeding faces of the co-passengers.

The Captain announced, ‘Now, except God none can save us. All the engines stopped working. Pray to God.’

That was his last announcement.

Dipanwita was horrified with the jerking of the plane and at the last announcement made by the pilot. She saw her impending death in few minutes away. She grabbed the hands of her husband and for few seconds she was speechless. After grabbing the hands of her husband, she was able to discard her fear for death. She remembered in a fraction of second, she had always prayed to God, she wanted to die in the arms of her husband Arun with full sense. She thought, ‘God has heard my prayer.’

She felt the warmth of her husband. She realized she had few minutes or few seconds to live in this world. But best part of it was that she would live with her husband till her last moment.

Her husband was still in a state of shock. She smiled at him and told at the top of her voice as the commotion in the plane was too much. ‘Arun I am happy. God heard our prayer for the last forty years. He invited us to his place together. Are you not thankful to him?’

Arun saw to his wife. To his utter surprise, he saw no panic in her face; rather he saw peace in her beautiful face. Her calmness made Arun also bold enough to face the eventuality. But still he was not as calm as his wife.

Again, his wife told him, ‘Can you remember when we were riding on a roller coaster at Appu Ghar in Delhi just after our marriage and I was fearful, you comforted me by saying, ‘I am with you, darling. Why you are worried?’ Then when you patted on my hand my fear was vanished from my mind. On that day, I promised to myself, I shall not fear for anything so long you would be with me. See today, I am not fearful even for my death. I have few more seconds with you. I do not know, whether there is a rebirth or not. But if it is, I want to be your wife only in the next birth also. I love you more than anybody, even more than our own children!’

By the time, Arun also got back his wits. Embracing his wife, he said, ‘Yes darling, we may have only few seconds in this life. I also pray, you should be my wife in my next life as well. Now, I can discard my fear for death as well. We need not have to worry for our children also, they are already well settled. We should pray together to God for the last time for us and for wellbeing of our children.’

They embraced each other tightly. Arun tried to kiss his wife on her lips. Probably, he could not fulfil his last wish.

Finally, the inevitable happened!!!!!! The Plane crashed into the mighty Ocean!!! Probably none survived!!!! Probably some survived!!!!

 

(Part-II)

(How Arun and his wife were struggling to live on a small island, without water and vegetation, after they had survived when the plane they were travelling met an accident and crashed into the ocean?)

 

Arun woke up to see that he was sleeping on the sand of an unknown beach embracing his wife Dipanwita. He immediately recalled that their plane from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing crashed into the Ocean with more than two hundred fifty persons on board. He looked at his wife and he found that though his wife was unconscious, her heart beat had not abandoned her so far. He shook his wife vigorously for two to three minutes. She also got up as if she had got up from a good sleep only.

First both of them laughed and then cried embracing each other. Due to strong sunlight, their clothes were already dried up. Both of them felt thirsty. But they could not see any sign of water. Arun told his wife, ‘If God has saved us from the air crash, he will save us also by providing water and food.’

Within an hour, they discovered that they were washed to a small beach of a small island with a small hilltop of few metre height from the sea level, almost without any vegetation.

As they moved forward, Dipanwita saw a dead body of a passenger. With a slim hope of his survival they shook him. But their effort did not give any result. As Arun was shaking the dead body he observed there was something in his pocket. He found two large chocolates and a small bottle of water in his pocket. As he was taking those, Dipanwita told her husband, ‘Is it right to steal food from a dead body?’

Arun laughed and told, ‘To live we have to find few more dead bodies and find some more eatables.”

Dipanwita could not find any words to answer. To her surprise, Arun removed the jacket of the dead body as well. Before his wife asked him, he said, ‘At night it may be very cold and we have to move to the highest point of the land mass, otherwise we may be washed away at night by high tide of the ocean.’

As he moved on the beach, Arun heard a feeble sound of a baby from a place hidden by a sand dune. They saw a baby girl of only three to four months was crying near a lady, might be her mother, might be already dead. Their fear was correct, the lady was dead; but her baby was alive. On checking Arun found a feeding bottle in her mother’s jacket. He removed the jacked and told his wife to check the jacket and he put entire water bottle in the feeding bottle to feed the baby the water the recovered from the dead body they came across earlier. He also asked her to take the golden chain with a beautiful locket for identification of the child, in case they would be rescued.

They found few more dead bodies with very few food articles. The food they found were not enough for even a day for two persons and the baby.

Probably God had a different idea for them. The last dead body they found was of the pilot or of the co-pilot who had a jack knife.

Finding the jack knife, Arun became very happy. At least with the knife he would be able to make something to catch some fish, if necessary.

As sun went down, both of them moved to the hill top for the night as decided by Arun. As they reached the hill top, there was a pleasant surprise waiting for them.

Arun found a small but deep water body inside a rock; apparently, it was rain water which was not evaporated due to its narrow opening. Both of them congratulated each other as if they won a gold medal in an Olympic game.

As dusk descended, Dipanwita fed the baby chocolate mix water and made her sleep on her lap. After taking their meal of half chocolate each and few bottles of water collected from the natural small reservoir in the rock, they tried to have a nap. They tried to cover their bodies as much as possibly by the clothes taken from the dead bodies as cold winds started to blow.

It was a full moon night. Therefore, even after dusk they were able to see far off places without any difficulty.

Like other normal days, Arun embraced his wife Dipanwita keeping the baby between their chests and tried for a sleep.

But before they went to sleep, they realized the sea was coming to them ferociously as the night progressed. Some of the waves were as close as only five to ten feet away. Dipanwita praised her husband for his far-sight in taking the decision to stay at the top of the hill.

Despite of tiredness, due to fear of washing away by giant waves, they could not fall asleep even after midnight.

The waves started receding as the moon went down in the horizon in the late night. Then only Barua couple could sleep for some time.

They became hungry; but did not want to finish the food they had. They wanted to rationalize the small quantity of food they collected from dead bodies, for a longer period. Arun told his wife to stay back on the hill top along with the baby girl. He covered the small water body with a jacket to reduce evaporation.

As he explored the small island he did not find any difficulty to come for a conclusion that, if they have to stay at the island for more than three days, they would die of hunger and thirst.

As he moved along the beach he discovered that all the dead bodies were washed away by the high tide of last night. There was no sign of the dead bodies in that morning.

As he was to return to the hill top, he saw a large fish trying to be back to sea which was probably brought by tides to the shore. The fish was about three feet long and once it would be even in shallow water, Arun would not be able to hold. He immediately blocked its path and slashed at the neck of the fish repeatedly by his jack knife. After few odd strikes, due to heavy bleeding the fish stopped his efforts to reach water.

After half an hour, Arun was back to the hill top with the fish. To see the fish Dipanwita had a mixed reaction. It was a food item no doubt, but how they would be able to consume it raw. By the dusk, both of them had to eat a portion of the fish as raw fish, as they had to spare the chocolate for the baby.

Both of them developed stomach (upset) problem due to consumption of unusual food. Both of them started vomiting and having loose motion. They were facing dehydration problem. Water source had also started dwindling fast.

They were hoping they would be rescued before they were dead. They encouraged each other by saying, ‘If God has saved us from the air crash, and they will be saved also by the Almighty in time.’

Health of Dipanwita was fast deteroiting. With strong will power, Arun was able to digest some of the raw fish. Then he told his wife to take some chocolates instead of raw fish. He divided the rest of the chocolates into two parts; one for his wife and second part for the baby girl.

They were still hoping that someone would come to rescue them.

But there was no sign of any rescue team.

Despite of all those unfriendly situation and hostile climate on the small island, Arun’s love for Dipanwita did not diminish. Same is the case for Dipanwita. So, romance with a difference continued for them. They tried their best to give moral support to each other. On the second morning Arun asked, ‘Darling can you remember, how we bunked our classes to see Blue Lagoon?’

‘Yes, but unfortunately, there is no blue lagoon here. Moreover, we are not that young!’ With a sigh Dipanwita replied.

‘But we are matured enough to handle the situation more efficiently. We can use every little opportunity in our favour. I am sure, some rescue team will save us before we die.’ Arun tried to boost up flagging moral of his wife.

‘Are you sure?’

‘Yes, I am hundred percent sure.’ Arun replied with apparent confidence in his voice, though he was not sure about his own statement.

‘I love you so much. But I want to die before you. Promise me one thing, even after my death you will try to live till rescue teams arrive and also try to save the baby girl.’ Dipanwita said.

‘I also want same promise from you, darling.’ Arun reciprocated.

They embraced each other lovingly.

But things did not happen as the couple wished. No help came on the next day also. The water in the hole on the rock almost finished on the third day morning despite of their rationing.

All three became weaker and weaker. Sounds from their mouths became so feeble, it became almost inaudible by noon.

Arun wanted to explore the island to find some alternative water source. But he walked two steps and sat for some rest. Looking back to his wife he saw she lied on the rock near to the child. After few minutes, he realized his wife lied on the rock without any movement for last few minutes. He came back to his wife and tried to shake her up. But he could not do so, because he was also too weak to do so.

Gathering all his strength, Arun wanted to embrace Dipanwita for the last time to say good bye to his life partner of four decades. But his strength of his body betrayed his wish for the last time. Within few minutes, he also probably breathed his last. Two motionless bodies lied on the rock.

It appeared, only the three-month-old baby girl was able to survive for the time being in the hostile terrain. But how long a baby could survive in the island without water and food as there was none to look after the baby. Was God smiling on the baby girl? Was she a miracle baby?

Part-III

(It is the third part of a small fictional story about a couple, Arun and his wife who were struggling to live on a small island, without water and vegetation, after they had survived a plane accident. They were, along with a three-month-old baby girl, rescued by a rescue team in serious conditions. Then what happened?)

A rescue helicopter with two occupants, Wing commander, Dr. Morgan and his associate co-pilot Rammana decided to go back to their naval base after a futile day in search of any survivor of the ill-fated Malaysian airliner. As they were turning their helicopter a flash of reflected ray caught notice of Dr. Morgan. He lowered the helicopter to focus on the article from where the reflection of light came.

As they lowered the helicopter, they can see through the telescope two motionless adults and one very small baby with some sign of life.

They sent the message to their base for reinforcement and alerted the medical team to be ready to attend some survivors.

As Dr. Morgan reached the child and the motionless bodies, to his surprise he saw all the three were still alive; but the elders particularly the lady was in a critical condition.

Preliminary medical help was provided to them immediately.

After getting a dose of saline, Arun woke up to see that he was lying on a bed of a helicopter. With a feeble voice, he asked, ‘Where is my wife and the baby?

‘They are also with us and they are alright. Please keep quite.’ Dr. Morgan told Arun Barua.

After an hour, all three were admitted into the base hospital of the Navy. Among the three, baby was in the best condition, Arun was relatively better than his wife. Actually, his wife Dipanwita was still in extremely critical condition. Doctors attending were sure about survival of Arun and the baby, but not sure about Dipanwita.

In the next few hours, Arun gained full consciousness and was declared out of danger. On the other hand, Dipanwita was yet to gain consciousness.

All the survivors were flown to Kuala Lumpur by special flight with all modern medical facilities. Straightway they were hospitalized in the best Government hospital of Kula Lumpur.

The baby was identified by the locket, actually which had helped the rescue team to find their location. Father of the baby along with her grandparents reached the hospital to take care of the child. They all thanked God and Barua family for keeping their child alive till the rescue team arrived at the island. All of them prayed for recovery of Dipanwita.

But Dipanwita did not respond to any of the treatment given to her. By the time Arun recovered substantially and he requested doctors to allow him to meet his wife, which doctors reluctantly gave.

He saw his wife lying on the bed like a dead body. Tears were rolling out of his eyes. A few drops of tears fell on the face of Dipanwita.

Miracle do happen in our lives sometimes. Few drops of hot tear did miracle for Dipanwita. She showed some feeble movements in her body for the first time after her rescue. Doctors attending Dipanwita became elated to see those seemingly unimportant movements.

In the next few days she showed lot of improvement. In the meantime, all the close family members of Arun Barua, including his sons and daughters-in-law reached Kuala Lumpur.

Physically, Dipanwita was improving but her mental alertness did not improve considerably. Arun was all along sitting with her, without proper sleeping and food. Arun’s sons were worried about health of their father. One day with moist eyes Arun’s elder son, Pratap said to his father, ‘Papa, you are also not hundred percent fit now. Why do not you take some much needed rest? If something happens to you, do you think mother will also survive? We are taking care of her. You should take care of yourself only, so that healthy mother finds her husband as healthy as earlier.’

Though he nodded to his son’s advice, he was reluctant to take his advice. However, in the next five days, health of Dipanwita improved a lot and doctors attending her, declared her out of danger.

As the family wanted to rejoice her recovery, they faced an unexpected reversal. Dipanwita could not recognise any of the family member, including her life partner of forty odd years and not able to talk. Initially, Arun tried to help her in recalling her memories by reminding her some memorable moments of their life. But doctors told him not force her think much and wait for natural and slow progress.

On 23rd day, she murmured something when Arun was alone. When Arun told the visiting doctor about that, but he did not believe it. The next day she said something which also not properly audible and again Arun told the doctor. The doctor smiled; but did not say anything. From 25th day, she started to scream and told Arun something irrelevant whenever he was alone with her. When he reported to head of the team of doctors attending her, she referred him to a psychologist. Initially, Arun thought he was sent to the doctor to discuss about his wife’s impending psychological problem, but subsequently he realized, that he was testing his mental condition only. All doctors whom he talked about uttering words by his wife, were in the opinion that Arun was so exhausted in attending his wife, he lost his mental balance (influence of hallucination).

When on the next day, his wife uttered something Arun told his wife, ‘Why do not utter any word when someone else is also present? Doctors are thinking that I am going to be a mad man soon.’

With a clear voice, she told Arun, ‘I rely on you only.’ Then she again closed her eyes. Arun was in a great dilemma, whether he should tell others about her coming to sense or not. Luckily for him, on that evening, she uttered a single word in presence of their son.

For the next two days, she spoke many words; most of them did not carry any meaning. Finally, on the 37th day she started talking meaningfully when their daughter in law told her that, how much pain Arun was taking for her. She coolly advised her to take care of Arun.

When Dipanwita got her full sense, Arun asked, ‘Darling can you remember, what happened after you lost consciousness in the island?’

‘Nothing except your worrying face.’ With a smile Dipanwita replied.

‘Thanks to God and the rescuers and doctors with their paramedical staff; we all three of us survived!’ Arun told his wife with folded hands pointing above.

‘But people are saying that I am alive because of you!’ Dipanwita said coyly.

‘Are you sure? I do not think so.’ Arun told his wife.

‘But I am sure. I am alive because of your love.’ Dipanwita replied with lot of confidence in her voice. ‘Has anyone else survived the crash?’ Dipanwita asked.

‘Yes, the sportsman who was sitting ahead of us and the husband, who was told by his wife to go to hell.’ Arun replied with a sigh. ‘Probably our part of the aircraft was least damaged during the impact of water and the aircraft.’ Arun commented with a deep thought.

‘I love you so much sweetheart. Again, I am praying to God, I should die in your arms only.’ Dipanwita said.

‘I also pray the same, darling.’ Arun reciprocated.

The love saga goes on for ever at different parts of the world with different actors!!!!

Story No: 17. Silent Winner

(It is a quick love story. The story came to my mind when I saw two young ladies were occupying a four-seater chair keeping their belongings in between them. Probably, they did not know each other and that is why, they were not talking to each other. From their dress, I guessed, one must be from a hi-fi society and the other one from a conservative Indian society. I liked both of them.)

Every person from middle class to upper class in any urban places of the world has the experience of waiting outside the airport to receive someone near and dear.

Mr. Bhabesh Chakraborty has acquired this experience for last sixty odd years. He came for the first time to the airport to receive his father when his father came from Mumbai after an official visit. At that time air travel in India was a luxury and the airport was also small and there was no seat to sit outside the airport. Therefore, Bhabesh had to sit on the grass outside the airport for few hours as he reached the airport by DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) bus much before the arrival of the flight. Though it would have been a boring affair for a modern boy, despite having a smart phone now, it was enjoyable time for Bhabesh looking at the passengers and peeping the taking off and landing of the aircrafts over the wall of the runway boundary. In those days, there were not many layers of security covers around the airport like today.

In the last sixty years, he saw many changes in the world. Changes of the airport were also drastic over six decades. Now the Delhi airport is a world class airport with all modern facilities and layers of security covers with modern gadgets. Now, there are good number of seats available for the waiting people outside the arrival terminal.

At the personal front, he has visited the airport for his own travel, then again, to drop and to receive his only son, he visited this airport hundred times. In the last few years, he has to come to this airport many times to see off and receive the family of his son, who have been staying at USA for last thirty years. They have already acquired US citizenship.

But this time, it is a special visit to the airport for him. He was not well and therefore initially he was not to come to the airport to receive the person who is coming today. His wife did not join him to the airport as she was busy with lot of works for welcoming the guest, the most love one person in the world for her.

After getting down from the Chauffer driven car, Bhabesh Chakraborty walked into the waiting area. All seats were occupied. However, he found in a corner, on one of the four seater chair, only two young girls were seating, keeping their purses on the vacant seats in between them. With his experience, he understood the girls did not know each other.

As he approached to the chair, one girl immediately removed her purse and invited him to sit near her. The other girl ignored his presence.

After sitting, Bahbesh thanked the girl and asked, ‘Are you waiting to receive someone?’ Asking the question, he thought why he had asked this foolish question, everyone knows, all the persons waiting in the airport were waiting to receive someone near and dear to them.

But the girl was very polite and answered, ‘Yes, uncle. But I do not know the person properly whom I am going to receive; as I saw him when both of us were kids few years ago, when they visited our home.’

‘That is very interesting!’ Bhabesh Chakraborty understood the girl was not only polite but also not adverse in talking with a very old person, which is very uncommon among the new generation.

‘Yes uncle; it looks something weird, is not it?’

‘Yes. But then why you have come?’

‘Due to family politics!’ Without elaborating, she smiled beautifully.

Bhabesh Chakraborty liked the girl. He with a grin asked her, ‘Yes my child, you cannot run away from the family politics, even if you want. May I know what it is?’

‘I do not know whether I should tell you or not. But sometimes telling something to a stranger is better than to talk to a known person. If someone ventilates to a stranger, ventilation will be there but no further effect on life.’ She smiled innocently.

Bhabesh Chakraborty surprised to realize, why he was attracted to the young girl sitting beside him!

The talkative girl again started, ‘Am I boring you, uncle? Otherwise also you would have been bored so long the person for whom you are waiting does not come.’ She took a pause and then said, ‘My father sent me to receive his friend’s son. My family wants, I should win his heart. He has many proposals in his hand. Frankly speaking, I am probably not a good marriage material. I am already 25 and still neither I could love someone, nor did someone try to win over me.’ She giggled for the first time.

Bhabesh looked at the girl. She is beautiful and apparently from a good family and well educated, but extremely vocal and simple.

‘What are you doing right now?’

‘I am a doctor, doing masters in medicine. But my friends say, I should have done my masters in HR being very talkative.’ Bhabesh thought his idea was correct, she is a very intelligent girl with a very simple lifestyle and frank in nature.

‘Why your father wants that you should marry the boy who is coming today?’

‘May be, he is the son of my father’s friend. Moreover, he is well established in his profession, a civil lawyer in USA. He is only 28. I heard he is very handsome also. But my fear is that; being not very smart, why he will like me as his bride.’

The old man for the first time felt a tremor. The girl whom he was talking might be daughter of Srinivasan, his son’s friend. His son wants this girl should be his daughter in law which was opposed by his wife, because she remembers her as a dark coloured girl. In India people are not racists but always prefer fair skinned girl as daughter in law.

‘We have talked a lot, may I know your name, my child?’ Bhabesh wanted to know, whether she is Srinivason’s daughter or not.

‘Oh, I am sorry, I have not told my name so far. My name is Ragini. I am half North Indian and half South Indian. My father is Srinivason and mother is Amita Malhotra. Both are working in Lady Harding Medical College. They had a love marriage. But I am yet to get my man.’ She giggled again.

The other girl, Ambika, extremely beautiful, sitting at the other end of the chair, initially did not take any interest what the other girl and the old man were discussing. But when the ever-talkative girl started saying about a boy who was coming from USA, her ear straitened to hear what they were discussing. When the ever-talkative girl introduced herself to the old man, she realized she was sharing the chair with her most formidable rival.

Ambika is the daughter of Preeti Aggarwal who is a close friend of Sarmishtha Chakraborty, mother of Anupam, the boy who is coming from USA to select his bride. There are n number of contenders; but Preeti told her daughter that she should be wary of Ragini, daughter of Srinivason who is a close friend of Arun Chakraborty, father of Anupam. Sharmistha already told Preeti that her husband Arun wants Ragini as his daughter in law. Further, she told as Anupam’s grandfather was not well, she should send her daughter to receive Anupam at the airport. However, Ambika understood similar message had been passed on to Srinivason by Anupam’s father. Therefore, the very presence of Ragini at the airport gave an irritation to Ambika.

Ambika thought, had this old fellow not sit in between her and Ragini, Ambika would have pulled Ragini by her hair by the time and thrown her out of the waiting area.

A phone ring disturbed Ambika’s thought. There was a ring on the mobile of the old fellow. He picked up the phone, ‘Chottu, oh my sweetheart, you have landed. How long you will take to come out? I am her to receive you, dear.’

From the other side, something was told on which the old man replied, ‘Do not worry, till your marriage, I shall not die.’

After a gap, he said, ‘No your grandma has not come. She is preparing some sweets for you.’

Again, the old man said, ‘No, no I am not alone here. A young physician is with me. Do not worry for my health.’ Then he hung the phone.

The old fellow with a smile told Ragini, ‘I am referring about you to the grandson. He is always worried about my health.’

‘When your grandson will know, you are lying he will scold you.’ With a sweet smile Ragini warned the old fellow.

‘Let us see what happens?’ With a mysterious smile the old man replied.

He was torn between the wishes of his father and mother so far choice of the bride is concerned. He does not want to make unhappy both of his parent. If he marries Ambika, father may not like his decision and he goes for Ragini, mother will not be happy. Finally, he told his parent before his departure, ‘I am not going to choose my bride myself. I shall give this duty to my grandfather who is loved and respected by both of you. Will it be alright?’

Sharmishtha always treated her father in law as her own father. She lost her father when she was in the school only. After death of her father, they were in dire state. Somehow, she was able to complete her graduation. While she was looking for a job, she met her father’s classmate Bhabesh Chakraborty in marriage ceremony. When he came to know about demise of Sharmishtha’s father, he became very sorry. After few months, he proposed Sharmishtha’s hand to his son who was about to leave for USA to join an American Company. Bhabesh did not take a single rupee as dowry which he could have taken from any other rich families who were vying for Arun. From the day of her marriage to Arun, she treated her father in law as her own father. Bhabesh Chakraborty also never distinguish between his son, Arun and daughter in law, Sharmishtha for any matter.

Therefore, both Sharmishtha and Arun had to agree to the proposal of Anupam, as both have unquestionable faith in Bhabesh Chakraborty’s ability to judge any person. After all, all of them love their only child/ grandchild more than themselves and all of them want, Anupam should be happy in his married life.

As Anupam emerged at the exit gate, the old man waived his hand. On reaching near to his grandfather, pushing his cart aside, he embraced his grandfather. Then he noticed a beautiful girl, with little dark complexion, was looking at both of them. As eyes of both met, both felt something had happened which both of them never experienced. Ragini thought for a moment, ‘What happened to me? I was not here to receive this young man. I was waiting for the son of my father’s friend. But why I am unable to remove my eyes from this young man?’

Similar thought was going on in the mind of Anupam. ‘I was supposed to be received by two ladies, Ragini and Ambika. But who is this young lady accompanying my grandpa?’ At that moment, he was more interested to know about this lady instead of meeting Ragini and Ambika.

As he was looking at Ragini, Ambika extended her hand to Anupam for a hand shake and said, ‘I am Ambika. You must be Anupam. I am here to receive you.’

‘Oh, thank you, so nice of you. Hope you have already met my grandpa!’ Pointing to his grandfather, Anupam told to Ambika.

At this the old fellow quipped, ‘Oh, what a surprise, Ambika is also here! I thought only Ragini is with me.’ Then the old man introduced Ragini to his grandson.

Ambika realized, she had already lost her first round to Ragini. She became angry on her parent and parent of Anupam for not updating the information about coming of the old fellow to the airport to receive his grandson. She told herself, ‘I shall teach a lesson to the parent of Anupam for hiding the important information from her and passing the information to Ragini once I marry Anupam.’ However, she did not show any anger in her face. Instead she touched the feet of the old man as if she was asking for his blessings.

But in a fact of the matter, none of the parents knew about the latest development that the old man decided to come to the airport despite of his poor health.

‘We three of us are having one car each. But our guest is only one, now he has to take a decision in which car he will go.’ The old man posed a question to his grandson.

‘I have no problem in travelling with anyone of you. But it will be better if, all of us come in a car and the other two cars follow us. But in that case one has to sit with the driver. Of course, I can sit with the driver without problem.’ Anupam said.

Ambika did not want to lose this opportunity to flaunt her opulence to Anupam. She said, ‘All can come in my car. Hope everyone will be comfortable in my new car. My father has given this Audi on my last birth day only.’

‘Oh, that is fine! Then let us go by Ambika’s car.’ The old man said with a glee.

‘Sorry uncle, I cannot come with you. I shall follow you on my own car. I am the driver of my car.’ Saying this, Ragini smiled innocently.

‘In that case, we all can go by Ragini’s car and other cars can follow.’ Anupam suggested.

‘Oh, you have a self-driven car. By the way, what car do you have?’ Ambika found a chance to humiliate Ragini in front of Anupam.

‘It is a Maruti Alto 800. My father has abandoned this car after buying a new Santro. I took this car for my use.’ She proudly said.

‘How can you take all of us in that small car? Better follow my car. I am taking Anupam and Grandfather.’ Ambika wanted to demolish Ragini with her money power.

But Ragini thought otherwise. ‘That is an excellent suggestion. I shall follow you.’ Ambika was surprised to see the meek submission of Ragini to her opulence.

However, Anupam had another idea. ‘Grandpa, you go with Ambika. I shall go with Ragini, because I am already fed-up with big cars and high speed. I want to travel in a small compact car with less speed.’

The grandfather nodded with the proposal of his grandson. He prayed to Almighty, his grandchild’s selection should not be limited to the car only.

Ambika was seething in anger. But somehow, she controlled her anger for the second time and sat with the old person in her car. She did not want to talk with the old man at all. Whenever, the old man asked something to her, she answered with a mere ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Both the large cars were following a small car driven by the young lady, with a typical simple outfit. The lady was driving at low speed and talking to the young American with ease.

‘Do you remember me? We met at our home few years ago, when we were in school.’

‘Yes, now I can recall you, a girl with lot of oil on her head.’ He teased her.

‘You avoided another word to describe me; a dark girl.’ She smiled. Her smile was so contagious that Anupam could not stop his laugh.

‘Ambika, must be angry on you. You should have gone in her car.’ This time Ragini poked him.

‘Are you not happy in driving me home?’ Anupam wanted know her mind.

Ragini did not say anything for a long time. Then she said, ‘Are you interested to appoint me your permanent driver?’

‘If I say yes, what will be your reply?’

‘Have you sent my appointment letter indicating when to join along with other terms and conditions?’ Ragini coyly asked.

Anupam patted Ragini’s shoulder and told, ‘I have already signed your appointment letter, much before you had given your driving test. You can intimate your terms and conditions before reporting for your duties. From my side, I do not have any T&C.’

As they reached home, Ambika rushed to Ragini’s car to help Anupam out of the car. Anupam’s grandmother also came out to the courtyard to receive him.

Smacking a kiss on her grandson’s cheek, the old lady said to him, ‘You are becoming thinner and thinner, every time you visit your grandma. Your useless parents are not taking proper care of my sweetheart. This time you can go only with a wife who will take care of you.’

‘Do not worry, grandma. This time even if I do not go with a wife, I shall definitely take a driver with me.’

The old lady could not understand what her grandson was saying; but the grandfather and two young ladies understood what Anupam was saying.

Story No: 18. Absurd Way to Select

 

(It is a bizarre story of finding a suitable groom for an heir of a large business empire by her family, particularly by her grandmother. It is also a story far from reality.)

 

His name is Arunabh Choudhury, age 25. He is the only child of a school teacher from a nondescript village of India. His parent did not go for a second child as they thought, with the salary of a teacher, they would not be in a position to give proper education if they would go for more than one child. Fortunately for them, his results were good throughout his academic career and mostly he studied with negligible fees.

After his post-graduation in financial management from a reputed management institute, he was looking for a decent job and accordingly he had applied to many MNCs located in many cities all over India. He got few interview calls also. He had appeared some of them; but without much luck. Some companies had offered job; but salary was not up to the mark. Finally, when he was shortlisted for this job, he was happy considering the fact that though so far job was not offered, at least they gave his return air fare from Delhi for the interview. He understood, at least this company was serious about him.

Another surprise was also waiting for him at the airport. His seat had been upgraded to executive class as the ticket was booked by the company who might be a regular client of the airlines.

The allotted seat for Arunabh was beside a lady of around seventy. Arunabh realised the lady was not in the best of her health.

The airhostesses were busy in providing some or other assistances to the old lady. The lady with fragile voice asked, ‘Are you a doctor?’

‘No madam. But I can help you as a non-medical person if you require any assistance.’

The lady smiled; but she did not comment. Once the flight was in the mid-air, the old lady told Arunabh to hold a few ice cubes wrapped by a towel on her head. Arunabh did it without any sign of discomfort, though sitting from his seat, it was somewhat dis-comfortable for him.

After sometime, the old lady asked him, ‘Are you working somewhere?’

‘No madam, I am going for an interview only.’

‘Your parent must be very rich. Booking an executive class accommodation in a flight is not a matter of joke.’ The lady commented.

‘No madam, I am not from a very affluent family. My father a school teacher and my mother is a housewife. I am a financial management post graduate shortlisted for an Indian MNC. They have provided me a to-and-fro economy ticket which has been upgraded by the airlines.’ Arunabh explained his economic status vis-a-vis his travelling by executive class.

The old lady did not say anything; but impressed with the truthfulness on the part of the boy. Unfortunately, her condition deteriorated after landing of the plane.

Once they landed at the airport, the old lady with a feeble voice requested Arunabh to accompany her to her residence. Arunabh thought for a while. His interview was slated at 12-30 PM and at that time, it was 10 AM. It will be very tight for him, but he agreed to drop her at her residence.

The old lady’s residence was at Defence Colony and he was to appear for his interview at Gurgaon. He was taking a calculated risk.

Thanks to relatively less traffic in Delhi on that day, when they reached the Defence Colony it was 11-15 AM. He thanked God, he had another one hour fifteen minutes to reach his place of interview. But God had a harsh plan for him for that day.

As he reached the flat, he saw that old lady opened her flat with her keys. He helped the old lady to be in her room.

‘Is there anybody to look after you madam?’ Arunabh asked the old lady.

She gestured that nobody was there to attend her. In the meantime, her condition clearly indicated that she needed some help.

He thought for a while and decided to inform the HR division of the company who was holding the interview to give some time to reach the venue of the interview. He tried to contact the competent authority, the HR manager of the office. However, he was denied of his attempt by the receptionist of the HR manager. But he decided to help the old lady before he proceeded to the interview.

After taking some tea and snacks, provided by Arunabh she felt little better. Arunabh asked for her permission to leave, ‘Can I leave now, madam? I am giving you my mobile number, for any emergency, do not hesitate to call me.’

The old lady nodded.

When Arunabh reached the office of the MNC, it was already half past three. The receptionist told Arunabh, ‘Sir is very angry on you. Even then he will take your interview. At least you are lucky on that account.’ Saying this she talked to her boss on her intercom. Then she said to Arunabh to go to the chamber of her boss.

As Arunabh was entering to the chamber, he saw three persons including the chairman (he guessed) were looking at him.

He was gestured to take his seat and then the chairman asked, ‘You are late for the interview, how we can expect that you will be on time when you will be selected for the job?’

‘It was an emergency. My co-passenger needed immediate some medical assistance!’ Arunabh told without trying to elaborate.

‘Is the passenger your relative?

‘No sir. She is an old lady. As she was not well, I had to drop her at her residence.’

‘Where is her residence?’

‘Defence colony.’

‘Your flight landed at 10 AM. Even after dropping her, you should have come by 12-30 PM.’ the Chairman was not convinced. Then Arunabh elaborated what happened after reaching the residence of the lady.

After hearing his explanation, the Chairman asked him, ‘Ok, Take a hypothetical situation: you are supposed to attend a meeting at 10 AM and you find somebody in serious condition on the way to the venue of the meeting. You know if you do not attend the meeting in time, you are going to lose a contract. What will be your reaction?’

‘It will be same sir. I can recover loss in due course of time. But if due to my fault, someone loses his/her life, neither can I make him/her alive again nor I can forgive myself throughout my life.’ Arunabh was candid in his answer.

‘From whom you learnt all these impractical advices?’ With an irritation in his voice, the Chairman asked Arunabh.

‘My father taught these things sir. I can sacrifice any job to keep advices of my father. He taught me, always help others, God will take care of you. God will always come to your rescue, if you help someone who needs. He also use to advise me not to help any bad person.’ His voice was full of pride while mentioning about the advices of his father.

‘How do you distinguish a good person from a bad person who seeks your help?’

‘ You close your eyes. Hear your inner voice, you will know who is good and who is bad- my father tells me.’ Arunabh was confident that his father can never be wrong.

‘In my opinion, you are not fit for the job we have advertised. But still, my friends will ask you some questions on financial management.’ With clear cut sign of disgust, the Chairman said.

The other members of the interview board asked few tough questions on financial management. To their pleasant surprise, with ease, Arunabh could answer those questions correctly. After completion of question answer session, the chairman asked Arunabh to sit outside the room for some time.

The Chairman picked up his mobile and told, ‘Mom, probably you won. Probably, I lost the bet. But I shall be extremely happy to lose the bet finally.’

A few months back, at the dining table of Vimal Aggarwal, a business tycoon, Sarala Aggarwal, mother of Vimal Aggarwal, told to all sitting for dinner, ‘For Swati, I want an intelligent but more humane boy.’

‘Mom you want two boys for your sweetheart; if boy is very intelligent, he will be selfish and if the boy is more humane, he will be a dumb one. So, you have to settle for an in-between boy.’ Vimal said to his mother. They were looking for a groom for Vimal’s only child Swati who is going to be only heir of Aggarwal business empire.

‘I am giving you three months to find out one suitable groom for Swati. If you fail, I shall take three months to find out one by myself.’ Sarala Aggarwal declared.

‘OK Mom, I bet one lakh on this. If anyone of us will be able to get one suitable boy with your specifications, I shall lose and if both of us fail to get one, I shall win the bet.’ With a mysterious smile Vimal Aggarwal told his mother.

‘Done.’ Sarala agreed to the proposal of his son.

Following all conventional means, Vimal Aggarwal searched for an intelligent boy with a heart of gold for his daughter. If he found an intelligent boy, he came out to be a selfish one or a crooked one or vice versa. On expiry of three months’ deadline, he surrendered to his mother.

Sarala Aggarwal summoned his son to her room and explained her unconventional plan to find out a boy with extraordinary brain with a golden heart.

As per the plan, Vimal Aggarwal will collect a list of first three toppers from ten top B school of India for last three years and then short list by eliminating the married ones, females and those are above thirty. Within next one week, Vimal was able to short list 25 out of 90 toppers.

To test their hearts, Sarala Aggarwal had another plan. She would travel along with the candidate by the airlines which is owned by her family. On the way, she would feign illness and would ask for help from the candidate.

Sarala Aggarwal also almost lost the hope to get an intelligent boy with a golden heart when first twenty boys refused to drop her at her residence and only one was ready to drop her at home.

As Arunabh was waiting for the result of his interview, his mobile rang. The old lady telephoned Arunabh, ‘Sorry my son, I have to give you trouble again. Can you come as early as possible? I am feeling very bad again.’ Then she disconnected.

Without losing time, he told the receptionist, ‘madam, please tell your boss, I have to rush to the residence of the old lady who is still not well.’ Without waiting for result, without waiting for permission, Arunabh left the waiting room and took an auto rickshaw to go to Defence Colony. After one-and-a-half-hour auto ride when he reached Defence Colony, darkness had already descended.

The whole building where the flat of the old lady was located was illuminated with lights and gate was garlanded with beautiful flowers. Before proceeding to the flat, he asked the guard, whether there was any function in the building. The guard answered affirmatively. However, when he wanted to enter to the compound, the guard objected to his entry.

Arunabh told the guard, ‘It is urgent. The old lady residing in the first floor flat is seriously ill. She called me for some help.’

The guard retorted, ‘Sir in this building none is ill. The flat you are referring, is occupied by the mother of our master. She is 100% fine and waiting for someone important to visit her.’

Having no alternative, he telephoned the old lady. The phone was not picked up by anyone despite of ringing. Arunabh became worried. He pleaded with the guard to let him go inside. When guard was adamant in not allowing him to go inside, he told the guard, ‘Ok, do not allow me to go inside, but you go and see if everything is alright or not? I am guarding your gate for the time being.’

But Arunabh did not have to guard the gate, because the old lady appeared before them. The guard saluted her. Arunabh was perplexed for a minute. Then he told the lady, ‘Good to see you madam in good condition. Now I have to rush to the airport to take my flight at 9 PM.’

‘You need not have to rush to the airport my son. Come inside and stay with us for the night and take your flight to your home tomorrow.’ The lady invited Arunabh inside the building.

‘Thank you, madam. But I have to go home today because my ticket is non-refundable and probably I failed in the interview also.’ With a smile Arunabh told.

‘So, you failed the interview because of me.’ The old lady told with a sigh.

‘No madam, do not think that way. I am happy to see you hale and hearty. If God wishes, one day I shall get a good job.’ Calmness in his voice surprised the old lady.

The old lady understood, the boy standing before him might not be the most intelligent boy in the world, but surely with the intelligence he has, he might be best boy (in terms of humane face) in the world. She became hundred percent sure, they would not be able to find a better boy for Swati than this young man with a golden heart!

Story No: 19. Love Blossomed During an Interview

 

(Interviews and jobs are two sides of the same coin. Many intelligent candidates fail to impress the interview boards due to interview phobia. Contrary to that, many candidates are able to project themselves in such a way that the interview boards think they are better than those candidates, who in reality are less capable. Therefore, some good candidates fail in an interview and relatively bad candidate cross the hurdle with ease. I as a candidate, liked to appear interview for fun. Sometimes I was successful and sometimes I fail to impress the interview boards to select me.

Later on after joining to Indian Statistical Service, I had to be Chairman or member of many selection boards for selecting Investigators, Drivers and other group D staff for Government of India. However, my real exposure to conduct interview came when I joined Staff Selection Commission, Government of India. My three year tenure gave me ample scope to conduct interviews for all Group C posts to be filled in for Government of India.

But this book is not based on those interviews. This book is based on the philosophy of day to day interviews we have to face in our lives, though I started the book with a real interview for a managerial post where our protagonist Arunuday appeared. On that day he not only able to grab the coveted job but also he got his life partner.

But for whom the interview was conducted? Was it a fair interview? Why a deserving candidate did not get the job? Why a candidate was happy after failing in the interview? Why a failed candidate got her job afterwards? To know all these, you have to read this short story on, ‘Interview.’)

Arunudoy has a habit of reaching anywhere before the stipulated time which is uncommon to Indian context. Therefore, on the day of interview for the managerial post in an Indian MNC he reached the designated place well in advance. When he reached the office even the main entrance of the office was also not opened. Having no alternative, parking his vehicle, which was gifted by his father on his 27th birthday, he looked for a tea or coffee shop. Within 100 metres he got one and while ordering for a cup of tea, he scanned the area. The area appears to be in a better location compared to the office where he was working at that time. While Arunudoy was taking tea, another person ordered for a cup of tea. He appeared to be another candidate for the interview. He asked Arunudoy, whether he was also a candidate for the interview.

When both of them finished tea, they saw that the main gate has been opened and therefore both entered to the office. Within next ten minutes a few more candidates entered to the lobby where they were provided some chairs to sit. An attendant came to the room and handed over one page form to each candidate to fill up. A few blank forms were kept on a table for the candidates who were likely to come afterwards. The form was a simple one, so it took hardly five minutes to fill up. After filling up the form, Arunudoy started scanning the faces of other candidates.

A beautiful lady caught his attention. She was about 25 having extremely smooth skin with two beautiful large eyes. For few moments Arunudoy forgot why he was sitting there. For few moments, he thought of leaving the job for the beauty. However, within few seconds he thought she would be a competitor till the interview is over and then he can try his luck. He thought, being so beautiful would she be still single. As a very good student of chemistry he knows, except few rare cases all bonds are subject to be broken. As a corollary to that, even if she had been already in a ‘bond’, that can be broken through some chemical agents or by electronic bombardment.

When he looked to other girls he found, all were ordinary looking except one. This girl was looking nervous and sad. Why she was so sad? Arunudoy thought for a while.

He again concentrated to the beautiful lady. She was sitting opposite to him. He scanned her from her face to her feet. The girl was not only having a beautiful face, but also she had smooth and cared feet with beautiful nails (only part uncovered). Her black suite made a killing effect on him. Arunudoy thought, was he in love with that girl. But he knew his own character; he might forget the girl once interview would be over.

The girl stood up from the seat and straight came forward to Arunudoy. All of a sudden, Arunudoy’s heartbeat started thumping, why she was coming to him? Was she going to admonish him for staring at her?

‘Do you remember me? We appeared for an interview earlier also.’ The girl asked Arunudoy. Within a flash, he recalled that two years ago for another job, both had appeared for an interview. Though Arunudoy was selected, he did not join as the company was not ready to give a jump of forty percent which Arunudoy had demanded.

‘Yeah, that is why I was looking at you. But beautiful girls refuse to recognize people! That is why——‘Arunudoy told her.

‘Oh! Thank you for saying me beautiful. I came to know that you were selected for the post and you did not join. Then the post was offered to me and I joined. Still I am in that office.’ Arunudoy surprised to learn that this girl had been tracking him. Knowing that the girl was tracking him, he became very happy. But why he could not recognize her before she introduced herself. She was so beautiful; how could he forget her?

Then he recalled the interview two years ago. He was accompanied by Arundhiti, who was his classmate and married to his best friend Pranjal. She is very talkative and she did not give him enough freedom to look at any girl on that day. That may be the reason why he missed this beautiful girl on that day. He rued his luck and became somewhat angry on Arundhiti.

Arunudoy then changed his seat to adjacent to her seat. Her body fragrance started disturbing him. He understood, he was going to do a damn in his interview.

An officer from the organisation came and announced, ‘All are welcome to the interview. All will be interviewed in the first half and few will be shortlisted for the second interview. Those who will be shortlisted will be informed at 1 PM itself. However, the shortlisted candidates will be interviewed after 4 PM only. Result of the second interview will be intimated within a month. Any question?’ He paused for a moment. ‘OK then, all the best for the interview.’

Arunudoy was the third to be interviewed. The beautiful lady (girl?), Deepa was fifth to be interviewed. After her interview, both left the lobby and went to a nearby coffee house.

‘So you are enjoying your present post?’ Arunudoy started a conversation after positioning himself on a sofa.

‘Had I been comfortable with them, I would not have applied for this job.’ She lied (you will know the truth why she was appearing for the interview).

‘You are right! I am otherwise happy there; but I am coming here for a change of designation. I am already fed up with the designation of ‘senior executive’ for last two and half years. I want a change. But I think I shall not be selected by this MNC.’

‘Why do you think so?’Deepa asked.

‘They had not asked me any question on my academics nor on my experience etc. They asked me how I reached the office from home. Then they asked me what I had taken in my breakfast. Probably they have a candidate in their minds and this interview might be eyewash only!’ Arunudoy commented.

‘But they have asked me many questions on the subjects! Deepa told.

‘Forget about the interview! Have you got married or engaged?’ Arunudoy was surprised at his own question.

‘No. Why you have asked this question?’

‘You see, I am coming for an interview and it appears, I am going to fail in the interview. Therefore, since it would be bad day for me, why I do not make it a worse day by getting a rebuttal from a beautiful girl.’ Arunudoy with a smile replied.

‘I think appearing in interview is a hobby for you. Even if you are selected, you may not be joining. Now you want to appear for another interview. Will you join if you are selected?’ Deepa took a jibe on him.

‘Will you offer a job if I appear in the interview?’

‘I cannot say now. I have to decide after the interview only.’ Deepa smiled.

‘That is fair enough. Ask me any question.’ Deepa did not ask any question immediately. She told about herself. She belongs to a middle class family having a brother studied in an engineering college. Her father is a Government officer posted in New Delhi. Her parents were looking for an alliance (at that time). So far nothing was materialized. She wanted to know if Arunudoy was serious about her, she could talk to her parents.

‘You have told everything about you, you have not asked me anything about me. What type of interview is this? ’ Arunudoy asked her.

‘I came to know everything about you when you refused to join my company and later on I had joined.’ Deepa told.

They were so engrossed in their talk that they did not see to their watches. When Deepa got a call from a friend she saw the watch and it was already half past one. Both of them virtually ran to the lobby to know the names of shortlisted candidates.

To his utter surprise, Arunudoy was shortlisted for the second interview. Deepa was not short listed. Deepa commented, ‘You may pass both the interviews and I may fail both.’

‘Yeah! First one result is out. For the second one, result will be out by one month!’ He laughed.

Before Deepa departed, they exchanged their mobile numbers and promised to be in touch.

At four, he noticed only two candidates were shortlisted. The pale nervous lady was shortlisted along with Arunudoy.

At around five, both of them were called to the interview room. The same question was put to both of them, ‘What are the liabilities and assets owned by your family? What is your expectation from our company?

First, the question was answered by the pale and nervous lady. ‘My widowed mother and a sister are dependent on me. I shall give everything to the company and expect that I shall get my dues from the company in lieu of my hard work. In financial terms, as I am earning 10 lakh per annum from the present company, I want a hike of forty percent of the present package.’

‘I have no financial liability for my family. However, expectation from your company is almost similar to that of her. But may be one difference, she wants the hike for a better life for her family. I want the hike so that at the end of each month, I do not need to ask for a non-refundable loan from my mom, though I know she will be unhappy if I stop asking for a non-refundable loan from her. But I fear even if my salary is doubled, I may even then ask for a loan from my mom.’ He paused for a moment and then said, ‘I do not know, whether I can do that or not, I want to suggest something!’ Arunudoy asked permission to the interview board.

The Chairman told, ‘OK. Go ahead with your suggestion.’

‘I think she is more deserving than I for the post.’ For few seconds, there was pin drop silence in the room. All the eyes set on his face. He again broke the silence, ‘I know, I am a very hard working person. But if I go by necessity of the job, she needs it more than I need it!’ He stopped there.

‘You have a very large heart, I must admit. In today’s world it is not expected! I must compliment you for that!’ Then he said, ‘Ok, the interview is over. You will be informed your result within a month.’

The pale and nervous girl thanked Arunudoy for his generosity. ‘Whether, I am selected or not, I shall remember you as a good man, rest of my life.’ As departing sentence the girl told Arunudoy.

‘How was the interview?’ Opening the door Arunuday’s mother Subhalakshmi asked him. He told about his interview in detail. He finally told how he suggested the interview board to select the other candidate.

Giving a cup of tea, Subhalakshmi told her son, ‘I am always proud of you. If the girl gets that job, that will be a great help for her family. Anything else you want to say?’

Arunuday wanted to tell about the meeting with Deepa. But should he tell it now? Is it the right time to discuss about a girl whom he met for the first time, in a sense? He thought.

A mother can read the minds of her child. ‘You want to tell something else. Tell me about that also. I shall like to hear that my son.’

He told about Deepa, about her family and his liking for the girl. ‘Do not worry mom, I am not in love with the girl. I only like the girl. She appears to be a good girl who, according to her own statement, loves me for last two years and followed me without my knowledge.’ He finished with a consolatory statement.

‘It is very interesting! She saw you for the first time in an interview and fell in love with you and she never met you till today! All these seem to be very filmi (like a motion picture/ film). It is too difficult to believe.’ Subhalakshmi exclaimed.

‘I agree with you mom. Like you, even my head is not willing to believe her. But, I do not know why I want to believe that girl. My heart says she is telling the truth.’ Arunuday told.

On that night, at the dining table there was a long discussion among all the three members of the family and decided to go ahead with preliminary proposal for Deepa. Mr. Garg, father of Arunuday agreed to meet the family and told his son that he will gather information about the girl and her family through his reliable sources.

At 11-30 PM, Arunuday rang Deepa. To his surprise Deepa picked up the phone on the very first ring.

‘Are you expecting my call?’

‘Yes, I told my parents about you. My parents want to contact your father soon as per your family’s convenience. They (my parents) are very happy, but I am extremely worried.’ Deepa told him with lot of excitement.

‘Why you are worried?’

‘If they (your parents) reject me, my parents will be unhappy!’

‘So you worried about your parents only. You do not have any feeling about me! Is not it?’

Arunuday knew the answer from the other end before Deepa answered.

‘When a girl, crossing the lobby and asked another candidate whether he remembers or not, why she does it everyone can guess. If a girl becomes happy even when she fails but another candidate passes, the passed candidate should know why she is happy. I understand, you are the only fool who could not read the mind of that girl. Unfortunately, I loved that fool for last two years and collecting all information about him. I have appeared today’s interview only to meet him, not for a change of job!’

‘That means, I got the job before I was interviewed.’ They talked up to 2-30 AM and decided to meet again on the next day after office hours.

Next day, when he met Deepa, he confessed that he did not notice her due to the overwhelming presence of his friend Arundhiti.

At this Deepa said, ‘Do you know, initially I thought she is your wife. Then I thought, you would not have given so much importance in public had she been your wife.’

‘That means if you will be my wife, you will not expect any importance in public from my side. I shall remember your statement in my life. But why you noticed me?’

‘Will you believe if I confess the truth?’

‘Tell me. It is my prerogative to believe or not to believe!’

‘For me, it was love at first sight.’ Deepa told coyly.

‘For me also, love at first sight; but only after two years. Yesterday when I saw you, I felt something exceptional trickled inside me! I do not know whether, that is love or something else; but I was very much attracted towards you after looking at your eyes.’ Arunuday admitted. ‘So when you are going to be my wife?’

‘Are you sure, you are going to marry me? If your parents reject me what you will do?’

‘I do not know. But I know my parents; they always want me to be happy.’

While taking coffee they talked and talked and finished their talk only when they were requested by the manager of the coffee shop to leave the place.

‘Can I hold your hand?’ While moving towards the car Arunuday asked Deepa.

‘You can hold; but before that you have to promise me that you will not leave me alone till I die.’ Deepa told thoughtfully.

Arunuday holding her hand promised, ‘I shall not leave you till I die. I want to die in your arms.’

‘Dying in the arms of her husband is a dream of every wife. I am no exception. So dying in your arms will be my privilege.’ Deepa stressed her view point.

At this Arunuday pulled Deepa towards him and embracing her tightly told, ‘I love you.’

Deepa did not object him for a kiss.

Mr. Garg through all his confidential sources gathered information about Deepa and her family. To his pleasant surprise, he found the girl was truthful whatever she said about her and her family.

The family of Arunuday invited Deepa’s family for a dinner. There was lot of anxiety on the part of Deepa’s mother. She knew Deepa loves Arunuday for last two years without knowledge of Arunuday. Now, according to Deepa, Arunuday also loves Deepa. Considering the wide social and financial gaps if his parents reject the proposal, she will be devastated. She confided all these thoughts with her husband. Deepa’s father was also wary of these facts. With all these thoughts the family of Deepa reached Arunuday’s house by 8 in the evening.

Mr. Vinay Garg, Arunuday’s father welcomed Deepa’s family. After tea was served by Mrs Garg, Arunuday called Deepa to his room and Mrs Garg took Mrs. Srivastava to another room.

Then Mr. Garg started, ‘Arunuday likes your daughter and we have no problem in his liking. Rather we are happy that he is ready to marry someone he likes or loves. So when do you want marriage should be solemnized?’

‘Whenever you want, we are ready at any time you suggest. However, being our only daughter, we want to invite all our relatives well in advance so that they can attend.’ As a father of the bride, he had actually no choice.

‘Ok, consult your Pandit (clergy) and let us know a suitable date.’ Mr. Garg was open for a date.

With a hesitation Mr. Srivastava asked, ‘Please do not take otherwise, if you or Arunuday wants any specific gift before or after the marriage, kindly let us know. We shall try our best to fulfil the wish.’

With a smile Mr. Garg said, ‘Aru has a brand new car given by his mother on his last birth day, so you need not have to give another car. All our rooms are already stuffed with furniture, so you need not have to give any furniture. Aru has a big room with a king-sized bed. The poor fellow has to sleep on that bed alone. Therefore, he wants a wife to share his bed. So, I shall be extremely happy if you send your daughter with her personal belongings so that she can share his bed and life with our only son.’

Mr. Srivastava’s voice was too choked with emotion to say something. At this Mr. Garg said again, ‘We have only one child. We want, he should be happy with his wife. Material things have no practical value for me or for my wife. We shall have sufficient money even after my retirement to look after ourselves. Your daughter hopefully will be happy with my son. I want she should be a life partner for him in his good days and in his bad days as well. So far I am concerned, she will be only a daughter for me with whom I am going to fight on silly matters which I missed in all my life. I cannot guaranty about my wife, as you know, promising on behalf of wife is a very tricky matter!’

Their discussion was interrupted by the entry of Deepa and Arunuday to the room. ‘Dad, do you like Deepa?’Arunuday asked his father without mincing indirect words.

‘Which Deepa, to be wife of yours or to be my daughter? Deepa, you have to teach your friend how to ask question to your father!’

Deepa touched Mr. Garg’s feet and Mr. Garg gave his blessing to his to be daughter in law. Garg told Deepa to sit beside him and said, ‘I shall not interfere in your life after your marriage to my son. But remember one thing, if you find any difficulty, so long I am alive, come to me for advice or help with or without permission of this duffer. Even at this age, he is fully dependant on his mother for his daily matters. His mother use to scold him for not keeping his clothes properly till now. But real culprit to spoil him is also his mother only. Now he is a spoilt brat who cannot take care of himself. Therefore, after marriage, you have to take care of him. So far you have seen him from a distance only, he may not be the same person of your dream. You may have to adjust your dream with reality. That is the period your calmness may have to play a role.’

Deepa could not find any words to respond Mr. Garg. But Arunuday had, ‘Dad, it is unfair. You are informing all my negative points. You have not asked her father, what her negative points are.’

After taking dinner at 9-30 they discussed about the reception. Mr. Garg told, ‘If you like to a have a joint reception, I have no problem. In that case, cost of reception will be divided equally.’

Mr. Srivastava thought, arguing with Garg may backfire, so he kept mum.

While returning home Mr. Shrivastava told to his daughter, ‘This is the toughest interview I have ever faced in my life. Thanks God, hopefully I passed the interview mostly keeping my mouth shut. We have cleared the first barrier. Now, Deepa you have to be make yourself to be the perfect daughter in law of that family. Whatever comes in your life, do not leave the hands of Arunuday and follow him blindly. He must be a gem like his father.’

Deepa did not say anything, but promised to herself, she will follow the advices of both the fathers. She realized she got another father in her life.

Just after one week, Arunuday got the offer letter for the job. He was surprised to see that the benefits offered along with forty percent jump in the net salary have been exceeding his expectation. The last clause had stamped him further. He was allowed to leave the earlier office at his convenience and if the company wanted to impose some fines for immediate resignation, the entire amount would be borne by the present company.

Before resigning from the erstwhile company, he went to meet the HR manager whom he had to report.

When he met the HR manager, the manager asked, ‘Are you joining today?’

‘No. I am not joining today. I could not understand some of the clauses in the offer letter.’ Arunuday told.

‘Is it? Which clause disturbs you? You have to work outside India?’ The Manager asked.

‘No, I have no problem going or working anywhere in the world. However, I may not be comfortable working in a developing country for a long time.’ He has always been truthful to air his views.

‘Do not worry; the foreign country means in your case is USA. Any other points you want to discuss? Kindly join us as soon as possible.’ He requested.

‘When I have to go to USA as my parents are arranging my marriage in the next month?’

‘No problem, you may undertake your journey after your marriage. Where your wife is working? Do you want her to accompany you to USA?’

‘Yes, I do not want to leave her alone here. But I think it will not be possible for her to go along with me!’ Arunuday commented.

‘We shall try, if you can communicate her details.’

‘Actually she is working as a senior Executive in – MNC. In fact, for the post for which I have been offered appointment, she also appeared, but she was not shortlisted. Her name is Deepa, Deepa Shrivastava.’ Arunuday told.

As advised by his father, Arunuday joined the new posting after one week. Three days after his joining Deepa was also offered a job by his new office in the same capacity.

Because of sudden change of job and for his expected outside posting, their marriage had to be solemnized in a one month time which was much before the original date. Once the new date was finalized, basically they had only two weeks’ time for preparation of the marriage.

Within a short time getting hall for any function is the most difficult task. Once hall is finalized only then one can do the other formalities including printing of invitation letters. Distribution of invitation letter itself is a herculean task. Mr. Srivastava had a sinking feeling thinking all the problems

However, as usual cool, Mr. Garg assured Mr. Shrivastava not to worry on that account. As promised Mr. Garg was able to manage a banquet hall in a five star hotel at a reasonable rate.

Many of the relatives from Deepa’s side complained for receiving invitation late. Somehow all the close relatives were able to attend the reception. Due to short notice many could not attend the reception for which Deepa’s father became little bit disappointed.

On the other hand, Mr. Garg was not upset about those small formalities or complaints as he knows that actual well-wishers do not make tantrum for late invitation etc.

However, the biggest causality of advancement of the marriage was honeymoon for the newlywed couple. They have to divest with the idea of honeymoon as they had to leave India for their new job in the USA within a short time after their marriage.

Finally exactly after fifteen days of their marriage, Arunuday and Deepa left for their new assignment in USA.

After flying for twenty hours, both Arunuday and Deepa joined their new posting at USA.

One day, few days after their joining, while taking lunch one senior officer, Mr. Sharma asked Arunuday, ‘Are you Mr. Arunuday Garg? I am Dr. Arun Sharma.’

‘Yes Sir. I know you sir. Glad to meet you, Sir.’

‘I am also glad to meet you. You are one of the blue eyed boys of our Chairman, Sahni Sir. He instructed our local chief, Karmakar Sir before your arrival that you should be treated well.’ Sharma commented.

‘But why, I have not done anything extra ordinary for the company nor am I the most brilliant new comer to the company! Rather, even on the day of interview, I suggested to appoint the other candidate for this post, because she needed the job more than I need.’ Arunuday smelt something rotten about his appointment.

‘You do not know why you have been selected for this post? Even your wife has been appointed who was not even short listed!’ After saying those sentences, Mr.Sharma realized he had crossed the limits which may not good for him. ‘Do not misunderstand me, I meant to say that you were the most deserving candidate on that day. Further, I want to say that our company has a policy to accommodate spouses in the company itself as far as possible.’

His explanation did not go well for Arunuday.

On that night he discussed the matter with Deepa.

‘I was also surprised when I got my appointment letter. I heard that for me also this company paid the amount for early release. Why we are so preferred?’ Deepa also smelt something rotten in their appointment.

A few days later when his friend Joshua visited their home, the veil of mystery of their appointments was lifted.

He told, ‘I do not want to undermine your calibre. But, the other girl who was shortlisted but not selected on technical ground, I know why she was not selected. She had lot of liabilities for her family. No company wants a person who has lot of family responsibilities. On the other hand, they saw assets in you. You are the only son of a top bureaucrat of Government of India, whose help may be necessary at any time for the company. Your appointment may help in expansion their base in India and other south Asian countries. It may be a conjecture, as nowhere it might be written. Only your positives in the technical fields are written for your selection to the post. There might not be even a simple mention of your father’s designation etc. in your dossier. But it is an unwritten rule in the corporate world to appoint sons and daughters of top bureaucrats and politicians. Even we agree to your appointment as a genuine one, at least none can agree the appointment of Deepa was a genuine one.’

There was a complete silence in the room. Joshua broke the silence, ‘You were selected long before you have appeared for the interview. Any way who cares for an interview now a days!’

After Joshua left, Arunuday asked his wife, ‘Should we resign our posts and go back to India?’

‘No two wrongs can make one correct thing. Instead of doing that, probably we have to work harder than others to prove our worthiness in the eyes of our colleagues. Among us, I am more vulnerable for critics. So I must work even harder than you to prove myself. Further, I know your father; he would not have told anyone to favour you in the interview.’

‘I know my father last so many years; he would be the last man to ask for a favour from any quarter. But the problem is like keeping gold ornaments in a bank locker. You may not use those in your life time; but it gives you a feeling of security. Likewise companies favour the top politicians and top bureaucrats which give them a feeling of security that it will be possible for them to approach the powerful persons whenever they may need their help. Even though, my father never uses his clout behind me, the other party who fails of their own, thinks that my father uses his clout. Further, a company may think he (my father) will be a great help to the company for the sake of financial security of his only child.’

Remembering the advices of her father and father in law, Deepa embracing her husband told, ‘Forget what Joshua told to us. We shall work harder than those other officers who think they were selected for their merits and we were selected for our contacts.’

Arunudoy’s mind became as peaceful as a sea after a typhoon. He embraced his wife tightly and promised himself to prove his worth in the eyes of his colleagues.

After two years of hard works by the couple, they were able to establish themselves as selected by the company for their merits not on the basis of contacts.

On the family front also, they were blessed with a cute daughter!!!!!!!!!!

Story No: 20. Quick Thinker

 

(How much time we have to spend on ‘waiting’ in our life? Some organization through a study found that around one third of your ‘productive time’ is lost for waiting. If you think it is an overestimation, being a statistician from India, I think it is an underestimation, at least for us living in India. Before I argue whether the estimate was an underestimation or overestimation, let me define two main types of waiting time. First is not directly time consuming and second one consumes time and can be measured with more or less precisely.

First type of waiting time is of long duration and it goes along with other activities without or with very little impact on daily activities. Example for this type of waiting is ‘waiting for Board result’ or ‘waiting for growing up children’ or with negative notion, ‘waiting for appropriate opportunity for taking a revenge on someone’. These ‘waiting time’ may be of in hours/ days/ months/ years/ even for one life time. Normally, however, these ‘waiting time’ exceeds more than a month.

The second type of ‘waiting time’ starts from a nano-second to hours; beyond hours one cannot wait for a particular service or for a particular person or to see a particular animal etc. The estimate of ‘waiting time’ is actually based on second category of ‘waiting time’.

In this story, based on ‘waiting time’ how the life of a person has been changed over time, is described.

Amit, the protagonist has to wait all the time for better future in economic life, better future in love life and so on. Whether he achieved what he wanted to achieve by waiting patiently? Or he achieved only partially? Or he achieved nothing at all and all his ‘waiting time’ has gone as cheer wastage of time only? Or he achieved far better life due to waiting for someone he loved?

It is not a typical love story between two young individuals nor does a triangular love story when one sacrifices his own emotions for his friend. It is about a love story which was twisted as per convenience.)

 

According to the mythological epic Mahabharata, the longest wait to give birth her sons was for Gandahri, wife of Dhritarashtra and the mother of hundred sons including the ambitious prince of that time, Duryodhan. She conceived much before his brother in law, Pandu’s wife Kunti. During those days, caesarean was not known to the consulting doctors of the King, therefore she had to wait for a natural delivery. Finally, to her utter disgust, she gave birth a lump of lifeless flesh. However, once the lump of flesh was divided into one hundred one pieces and kept in hundred one earthen vessels on the advice of Saint Veda Vyas, after few days of incubation, Duryodhan was born breaking the earthen vessel. The other ninety-nine brothers and a sister followed him in due course of time. To the jubilations of everyone, Gandhari was blessed with hundred sons and a daughter. Unfortunately for the Kauravas, after waiting for thirteen years in the wild, Pandava killed (actually all the brothers were killed by Bhim, the second Pandava) in the epic battle of Mahabharata. Here, waiting time had been epitomised beautifully by the writer, Veda Vyas. In modern time also, waiting is an important factor of our life which is also extremely time consuming.

Amit was also waiting in mother’s womb more than the expected time to come out. In India, two types of hospitals having two types of philosophies; in Government hospital caesarean is avoided as far as possible and in private hospital caesarean is encouraged for different reasons. Amit’s family was from a rural area of Assam and in Assam hospitalisation for delivery is still not very high as per the available statistics. The family of Amit also thought that he would also be born in their home like his elder brother and sister. But Amit was a man who likes to wait for the appropriate time; he was carrying that perception even before his birth. He took his own time from coming out from the cosy womb of his mother. When his father thought the baby took little more time to come out, having no alternative, took his wife to the district Civil Hospital.

But before any interventions from the doctors, Amit decided to come out from the comfort zone. He took his own time to pass his first stool to the discomfort of everyone accompanying his mother to the hospital. Only thing he did in time after his birth was crying at the top of his voice. His teeth came late, he started walking late and talking also took time compared to other children.

He was forced to go to school before time; but his understanding to any subject took time except mathematics. Normally, for any child it is other way round. He was intelligent; but he did not use signs (in his mother tongue one has to use signs for shorter version of vowels) in his writing and therefore he used to commit lot of spelling mistakes. Contrary to the most of his peers, he was able to solve mathematical problems in his fingertips.

He did not like girls when his most of the friends were after girls to solve their problems as if those are problems of their own and heaven would fall, if those were not solved within minutes. No, he was not homosexual either. But once he crosses twenty, the situations changed dramatically and his urge for company of girls eclipsed the desire for girls for most of his friends.

In one sentence he can be described as a ‘waiting person’ for appropriate time and whenever he decides to be in the midst of action, he does it with full force to the discomfort of foes and friends alike.

On his twenty first birth day, he fell in love with Priyanka, sister of Anil, one of the closest friends of Amit. Though he saw Priyanka for many years, he realized on that day he loves Priyanka at the time of cake cutting when she insisted that she would take the first bite of the birth day cake. He decided to propose her one day. When he would propose her, he could not decide immediately. Therefore, he postponed his decision to propose her at an appropriate time.

For next five years, he has been waiting for the appropriate time to express his love for Priyanka.

Priyanka, five year junior to Amit in age has another suitor, Pankaj who happens to be a good friend of both Amit and Anil. But as usual, like in any triangular love affairs, Pankaj did not tell about his liking for Priyanka to Amit and Anil and Amit also did not tell his liking for Priyanka to Pankaj and Anil. However, from body language, both Amit and Pankaj suspected each other on their pursuit to win over the lady love.

Though Priyanka also knew about liking of two friends towards her, she had pretended to be unaware of their feelings for last five years as per the impression of Amit.

Waiting to receive someone at the airport or at the railway station or at the bus stand may be extremely tedious; though at times, it may also be most inspiring and lovely. It depends upon, whom you are going to receive and with whom you are going to the airport/ railway station/ bus stand.

Imagine a situation; you are going to receive your boss who is coming for an inspection at your office. You are going to receive him along with the most beautiful lady of your office. What is your expectation? Flight should be late at least by five hours and that information should be known to you only after you reach the airport. Best thing can happen, if the information of flight cancellation be announced after six hours of waiting at the airport with that beautiful lady.

Imagine another situation: you along with your semi bald headed fat boss are going to receive the beautiful daughter of your boss who is coming for a vacation in your city for the first time. What is your expectation? Flight should not be late even for a minute and even if flight is late, the information should be known to you before you leave your office for the airport.

But in most of the cases, it happens just opposite to your expectations. Flight lands on time when you are with a beautiful lady to receive your uncanny boss and flight is bound to be late when you are waiting with your boss to receive his gorgeous daughter. But that is life; you cannot help it.

Amit came well before time to receive Priyanka at Indira Gandhi International Airport as requested by her brother Anil. On his arrival at the airport he came to know that the flight had been delayed by two hours. While loitering outside the airport, he saw Pankaj was also roaming around restlessly. Though, both of them were always in contact, today none of them told each other that they were coming to receive Priyanka at the airport. Now both of them faced an awkward situation.

Amit first broke the ice, ‘Anil told me at the morning today to receive Priyanka at the airport. I could not tell you as I was somewhat busy in a new project; otherwise both of us could come together.’ In fact, Anil told Amit two days back to receive his sister.

Pankaj replied with the same apologetic tone, ‘Yaah, that would have been better! But I was not aware that Pankaj has requested you to receive her. Actually, I was requested by Pryanka to receive her at the airport. She also requested me not to bother you un-necessarily.’

Reply of Pankaj hit the very core of Amit. ‘Does it mean, Priyanka has a preference of Pankaj over Amit?’ Amit thought. However, within few seconds, Amit recovered from the unexpected answer from Pankaj and asked, ‘How do you plan to take her to place of her staying?’ Amit knew that Pankaj does not have a car and he has.

‘I thought to hire a cab!’ Pankaj knew, here Amit had an upper hand; Amit had a Honda City. Financially, Amit is sounder because of three reasons; better family background, better results compared to Pankaj in all the examinations he appeared as a student and consequently he is having a better pay package. Due to these reasons, Amit has been preferred by her family for Priyanka. That was the reason Anil telephoned Amit, not Pankaj to receive Priyanka at the airport. However, after receiving the call from Priyanka, Pankaj had little doubt that, Priyanka had more inclination towards him.

‘Do not worry, I have brought my car. We all three will go together and have dinner and then drop her at the hostel.’ Amit told with a tinge of boast.

Priyanka was coming for her higher studies in Delhi University. She was always in contact with Pankaj which was a secret not divulged to Amit or to Anil or to both of them. But on that day, Pankaj wanted to divulge everything to Amit, though Pankaj was not hundred percent sure that Priyanka loves him.

‘I want to say something to you today.’ Pankaj wanted to divulge everything to Amit knowing fully well that Amit had also soft corner for Priyanka. But Amit interrupted him by saying, ‘We have enough time to talk; before that we should have coffee. While taking coffee, we can have a long conversation.’

After sitting at a corner, Amit asked Pankaj to tell what he wanted to tell him.

With little bit hesitation, Pankaj started talking. ‘I know I may hurt you by telling that I love Priyanka.’

‘Do not worry, I am not hurt. I knew it, perhaps the way you know, I also know it from your body language. But I have never discussed the matter with anybody. However, I have a feeling, Anil and his family are more interested to arrange the marriage of their sister/ daughter with me than my interest to marry her. As you might be aware, I always keep many alternatives for fulfilling my necessities on any fronts. Anyway, I am not sure, whether she has already told you that she loves you or not.’ Amit told Pankaj with usual calmness.

‘No. I am still not sure. But she had been in my contact for last three years. Occasionally, she showed so much interest in me, I feel she loves me as much as I love her.’ He wanted to see the reaction of Amit. To his surprise, he saw Amit was busy in relishing coffee without any sign of taking interest in his talk. Pankaj became upset for no seeing any strong reaction from his rival. He felt that he might be indulging only in a shadow boxing with Amit for winning Priyanka.

Amit was very much upset to hear from Pankaj that Priyanka had inclination for Pankaj. But Amit is a big fish from an unending sea, not like Pankaj whose domain was limited. Therefore, Amit showed no apparent displeasure to Pankaj and gulped the humiliation of losing a battle of love to an ordinary person, as if nothing had happened. Was he planning to take revenge on Pankaj and Priyanka?

‘Waiting for someone at the airport is really tedious, unless you have a companion with whom you always like to talk.’ With a pause Amit said again, ‘Today as you are with me, we can pass our time with ease.’

Pankaj tried to evaluate the truthfulness of Amit’s statement. Pankaj started a feeling of suffocation. He wanted to tell his relation with Priyanka in detail and Amit was reluctant to hear his side of the story. An unbearable silence descended between them. Time was passing very slowly.

‘We can have another cup of coffee to pass our time. What you say?’ Finally Amit broke the silence again.

While they were taking second cup of coffee, Amit saw a colleague in the restaurant. On seeing Amit, she waived her hand and greeted him, ‘Hi Amit, you are here!’

Amit stood up from his chair and he walked to her. She immediately hugged Amit and said, ‘I am here to receive my Mom, coming from Mumbai. What about you?’

‘I am coming with my friend. His girlfriend is coming from Guwahati. Flight was originally late by an hour, now it is announced, it is two hour late.’ Amit told to her introducing Pankaj. Pankaj shook his hand with Amit’s colleague, Ria.

‘That is good for me at least! We can pass our time in a good way, because now both the flights are expected to reach at the same time.’ Ria giggled and again hugged Amit. Then she almost dragged Amit out of the restaurant. Pankaj realized the colleague must be much closed to Amit, even if they might not be lovers. Now Pankaj realized why Amit was not taking any interest in his story involving Priyanka. Somehow, he had been relieved also to know that Amit was not seriously involved with Priyanka, as he thought earlier.

While accompanying Ria, Amit was thinking, if Priyanka had been in love with Pankaj, why he should be after her or waiting for her to open up his heart to her. He knew a number of beautiful girls had been after him and Ria was the front runner among them. Ria was more beautiful than Priyanka; but he loved Priyanka all along till few minutes ago.

‘But now, I have to change my stance. Ria is good looking and she is from a very good family. My parents and her parents may not be adverse to our marriage due to equal social status. So why not Ria instead of Priyanka!’ He thought.

After thinking on that line, he abandoned the idea of taking revenge on Pankaj and Priyanka.

Ria was clinging to Amit holding his hand like a little girl. Amit did not try to avoid her like on other days. Ria also noticed the change in Amit’s behaviour and became very happy. Her sixth sense told her, Amit lost a battle of love to his friend and he was vulnerable at that time. ‘Attack him with a machine gun with bullets of your love. Give a healing touch on his broken heart. Your win is assured!’ Her inner sense advised her.

So, the waiting time of five years for Priyanka was over! Sometimes, substitute is better than the original. In case of Amit also, he got a better substitute in Ria in all respect.

However anyone can raise the following question: Was it a wastage of time for Amit for being after Priyanka for so long without letting her to know explicitly that he loved her?

I cannot say. Only time will be able to tell all of us whether ‘waiting’ for proposing Priyanka and taking a decision not to propose her, was good for Amit or not.

Amit met Ria’s parents already two times in family get-together organised by the company where both of them were working for last three years. The parents of Ria always showed more than usual warmness towards him whenever they met. Though Ria had invited Amit several times to her home, she had not visited her home due to his special liking for Priyanka.

Flight from Mumbai arrived five minutes before the flight from Guawhati. After half an hour, Ria’s mother emerged through the glass door of the arrival terminal. After customary hugging, Ria told her mother that Amit was also with her. Her mother thought he accompanied Ria to receive her. Ria however, corrected her mother that he was with his friend who had come to receive his girlfriend. Though it was cheer coincidence of their meeting, Ria’s mother thought, ‘If God wishes, it may be a good beginning!’ She did not know that a good beginning had already been on the cards.

Amit proposed to have a cup of coffee before leaving the airport which Ria’s mother quickly accepted. Amit told Pankaj that he would be in the restaurant and requested him to come to the restaurant along with Priyanka.

Ria’s mother, Mrs. Sood asked Amit an awkward question to the discomfort of Ria and Amit, ‘How long you will be visiting the airport along with your friend to receive his girlfriend?’

For few seconds Amit could not react. Then he replied in an interesting tone, ‘I shall not have any problem to receive my girlfriend’s mom also. But in that case, girlfriend has to request for coming to the airport along with her. Even before that, I must have a girlfriend. As on today, unfortunately, I do not have any girlfriend.’

Mrs. Sood smiled and told, ‘You do not have a girl friend or you do not want to have one?’

‘Earlier boys have to propose. Now in a gender sensitive society, every girl has the right to propose. But so far none has proposed explicitly to be my girlfriend. On the other hand, I do not have the courage to propose to any girl to be my girlfriend. Therefore, I do not have a girlfriend. But now, probably I do not need any girlfriend. My parents are pressing me for my marriage. So I need a girl to be my wife, not a girlfriend.’ He explained his position.

‘Should I find a girl for you?’ Mrs. Sood asked Amit.

‘No Mom, do not do that; your choices are very bad! Moreover, Amit’s parents must have chosen someone for him.’ Ria interrupted who was silent for a long time.

‘No, so far they have not done that. They told me to find one. I am waiting for someone to propose. But she may not be willing to propose me!’ He hinted explicitly that he was not adverse to marry Ria if she and her family were interested

‘Then why do not you propose him right now? Maximum, he will reject you!’ Mrs. Sood whispered at Ria’s ear.

At her mother’s eagerness to finish the job at that time itself gave Ria a blushing in her face which Amit could notice clearly.

Ria kept mum despite her mother’s encouragement. Mrs. Sood became little bit impatient. She thought; that was the most appropriate time for the proposal.

‘Would you mind if I ask you something?’ Mrs. Sood asked Amit with a little bit of hesitation in his voice.

‘You are like my own mom, why you are hesitating to ask me something? I am sure whatever you will ask, that will only good for me.’ Amit assured her.

‘But Mom, do not ask him something which would be embarrassing for all of us.’ Ria cautioned her mother.

‘No, she can ask me anything. I assure you Aunt, I shall not be embarrassed whatever you ask me. However, to be fair enough to Ria, I must have to confess here, whenever my mother wants to tell something to my friends, I used to be worried. So Ria’s worry is also justified.’ He defended Ria as well.

‘Ok, you have assured me that is why, I am asking you. Do you find anything wrong with our daughter to be your wife?’A straight question from Mrs. Sood floored both Amit and Ria.

Instead of answering her question he asked Mrs. Sood, ‘Have you ever asked the same question to Ria?’

‘No, but as a mother I can read her eyes and her mind. She loves you and she will be the happiest one if you marry her.’

There was total silence for a minute or two. Then Amit said, ‘I want to talk to Ria alone for a few minutes before I tell you my answer.’

Leaving Mrs. Sood in the restaurant, both of them went out. Amit told Ria, ‘Till an hour ago if your mother would have asked me the same question, I would have said, I cannot marry you, because I love someone else. I was waiting for last five years to tell another lady those three dreaded words. But situation has changed dramatically.’ He stopped there.

‘An hour ago you came to know that she loves your friend, am I right?’ Ria asked him.

‘Yes.’

‘But that hardly matters for me. Instead, I am thankful to God, He heard my prayer.’ Ria’s answered floored Amit.

‘Then, should I say ‘yes’ to your mother’s proposal?’ Amit still wanted to hear a comprehensive answer from Ria.

‘Yes, Baby.’ Telling those two words, Ria hugged Amit once again and uttered the three dreaded words, ‘I love you.’

As Ria and Amit entered to the restaurant, they saw Mrs. Sood closing her eyes was praying. Ria touched her mother’s shoulder and said teasingly, ‘Mom, he refused to marry me.’

Mrs. Sood was about to have a heart attack. Seeing her depressed look Amit said, ‘If I address you Mom from now onwards, would you mind?’

Mrs. Sood realized Ria made a bad joke and reacted with a smile, ‘Oh, God, this girl would have killed me today!’

During all these actions and conversations, Amit forgot one thing, where was Priyanka. They had already passed almost one hour in the restaurant; but Pankaj had not come with Priyanka. Amit thought, Pankaj might have taken Priyanka without telling her that Amit also came to receive her. On the next moment he thought, Pankaj would never do that for two reasons: one he would like to make her see Amit with another gorgeous girl in an extremely friendly manner and two, to avail a free ride for which Pankaj was infamous for. Now, Amit became worried for some unknown fear.

‘Ria how will you go home?’ Amit asked.

‘I am with my vintage car. Do not worry for us, please take your friend and his girlfriend to their destination.’ Her eyes twinkled with a naughty smile.

Though Amit understood why Ria had given more stress on the word ‘his girlfriend’ he was no mood to react.

After exchanging ‘good bye’ with Amit, Ria and her mother left the airport with an extremely happy note.

After their departure, Amit went to the arrival gate to meet Pankaj. As soon as Pankaj saw Amit he came running to him and told what Amit did not want to hear. Pryanka was not seen coming out with other passengers coming from the flight from Guwahati. Keeping himself calm Amit asked, ‘Have you called her on her mobile?’

‘It is switched off.’ He answered with a fumbling voice.

‘Have you confirmed that she was actually travelled by that flight? Let me talk with Anil.’ Amit remained calm.

When Amit telephoned, Anil and other family members panicked.

Anil dropped Priyanka at the airport and luckily for them (at that time they felt like that) Anil met his another friend Ankur who was also flying by the same flight.

When Ankur was contacted he told them that Priyanka was beside him on the aircraft; once flight landed at the airport she went to the washroom saying Ankur can go, as to receive her Amit and Pankaj were coming to the airport.

Had Pankaj seen Ankur coming out of the airport? Surprisingly answer was a ‘no’. Having no alternative, both of them first approached the Airport Authority and then filed a missing report at the police station attached to the Airport.

The police first suspected it was a case of eloping with someone whom she loves. They scanned all the CCTV and nothing suspicious came to their notice. Therefore, they were about to come to a conclusion that their conjecture was a reality. However, when they came to know from all the possible sources, she did not have a boyfriend except having some soft corner for Pankaj, they had to drop the idea of eloping with any boyfriend of her.

Then, the police worked on the second conjecture, she had been abducted by some known persons. The main suspects were Pankaj, Ankur and Amit.

Amit and Ankur could provide reliable alibi in their defence; Ria and Mrs. Sood for Amit and Ankur’s wife who came to the airport to receive her husband became the reliable alibi for Ankur. The statement of not meeting Ankur, his wife and staying away from Amit for more than an hour made Pankaj the main suspect. He was taken into the custody by the police. The poor fellow had to face all sorts of humiliation in the hands of police. However, after scanning phone records, questioning all his friends, nothing incriminating evidence was found against Pankaj. Finally police let Pankaj to go away and dropped the second theory of kidnapping by known persons.

The police started working on the third conjecture, Pryanka after coming out of the airport did not find Amit and Pankaj at the gate. She might be loitering and at that time some anti-socials abducted her. But here few questions disturbed the investigating officials: why she did not telephone to Amit or Pankaj or to her family. The second question was, why Pankaj could not see her nor could she see Pankaj at the door. Did she take a different door? Did she take a cab to her destination seeing none had come to receive her? Where is her mobile phone? Her mobile phone could not be recovered but last location of her mobile phone was traced within the airport.

Even after one year, police could not solve the case and closed the case as an unsolved case.

‘Are you going to extend your maternity leave for another few months?’

‘No, Mom says she will take care of Priya.’ Ria is willing to join the office as early as possible. She is feeling bore keeping herself inside four walls of her house with Priya, her daughter.

‘I think, you should extend your leave. At least you can wait to see her first walk!’ Amit wants Ria should be with Priya till she starts walking.

‘Wait for some more time, is your habit, not mine.’ Ria is in no mood to extend her leave.

‘Why you are so angry darling? You know very well, I also take quick decision when necessary, otherwise, you would not have a chance to fight with me!’ Amit answers with a broad smile.

‘Had you taken a quick decision to propose Priyanka, it may so happen, she would have been here. God knows where that poor girl is right now!’ Ria remembers the missing rival lover.

‘It hurts me whenever I recall the incident of her missing, after all she was the sister of my best friend. Aunty could not recover from that shock. All faults lies with that rascal, Pankaj who could not keep a proper eye on the arrival gate on that day.’

After a pause he comments to himself, ‘I may also be blamed, I took a quick decision on that day to wipe out her from my heart immediately once I came to know that she might have an inclination towards Pankaj. I did not want to be a ‘Devdas’ (proverbial Romeo who spoiled his life by taking liquor all the time due to a failed love affair). I immediately changed my heart to the willing girl, Ria and married her within six months of Priyanka disappearance.’

Whenever he thinks about Priyanka, he silently thanks Ria for giving so much love in last two years despite of knowing that she was not his first love. He is also thankful to Ria’s family for offering Ria’s hand to him at that time when he was about to be broken into pieces.

But above all he thanks God for not allowing him to commit a crime, because he also thought to abduct Priyanka to give a lesson to Pankaj and Priyanka. It is the Almighty who sent Ria to the restaurant as His representative at that time to pull him out from all sorts of negative thoughts.

On the other hand, the poor fellow, Pankaj is still waiting for Priyanka to come back. Will he wait for his whole life? What will be his waiting time for Priyanka??????????’

Story No: 21. Story of Womanhood

 

(The story is based on a true story shared by my wife before start of our first night (due to an underlying fear). She told about a case of a distant relative whose marriage was annulled by court of law or otherwise due to problem in penetration on her first day though both of them were known to each other for a pretty long time. I met the lady after our marriage. She was a beautiful lady, at least 20 year older than us. When I met that lady she was a lecturer of a college. Hope she is still alive with good health.

I came across similar two cases in last thirty years where their husbands abandoned them following legal process or otherwise. Out these two, one became a mother of a son once she got married to another man. In my story, I combined this character with the first one.

In a male dominated society, we blame a lady if she has some defects in her body to satisfy her husband. Normally the husband is quick enough to condemn the lady without going into detail or before taking all sorts of remedial medical recourses. But if a lady wants to take similar action, the society including her own parents try to convince her to sacrifice her desire.

In my story I want to covey only one thing, a husband or a wife, before condemning the spouse for any physical shortcoming, he/ she should consult specialists before coming to a final conclusion. Due to advancement of medical sciences, most of the physical disorders can be treated and with some patience they can live a happy and longer life. Further, pointing a physical defect is as traumatic for a female as that for a male. Therefore, one should avoid such mud slugging, at least in public. )

 

Why her parents gave her name Manorama, I do not know. Manorama means extremely beautiful. But this Manorama was not even moderately beautiful. Her left eye was relatively much smaller than the right eye. However, in two criterions she was much above an average girl; one was her height and the other one was her intelligence. From class I to class X, she was the first girl in her class. So naturally she was the most liked girl among the teachers. I also had an excellent relation with her due to her intelligence and extremely likable behaviour. Moreover, her elder brother was my classmate. She was three year junior to me.

Her father and my father were classmates in their college days and therefore both the families were always in touch in good days and in troubled days as well. When we were young, we used to play together. But as we grew we stopped playing together. But visit to her house had not reduced till I went to college. However, our meeting became limited as my friend studied in a college situated at Tezpur, our District Head Quarters and I went to Guwahati. However, Manorama came to Cotton College after her matriculation where I was studying my graduation. His parents gave me her responsibility as a reliable family member.

As she was a nice girl, I did not have any problem from her during her stay at Guwahati for one year. However, I left Guwahati and went to Delhi after my graduation and our contact had been almost broken. She continued her studies in Cotton College next three years.

After her graduation, she was married to an engineer who was also from a known family of many decades. But just after six months their marriage was annulled on the instance of her husband. In his petition, he claimed that she was not a girl. Whatever might be the reason, she did not contest.

After that tragic incidence, she again joined her studies and went on to get a Ph. D in education and joined a college as a lecturer. All these information were passed on to me by my mother who kept a track of the events as a typical Indian lady who are more concerned about others’ daughters than their own.

 

A few years back, I met Manorama in a bus while both of us were going to our home town. Still she was slim compared to my bulky body. I could recognise her immediately, but she took few seconds to recognise me. Once she recognised me she exchanged her seat and sat with me for next six hours.

‘I heard that now you are posted in Guwahati?’ She asked with some excitement.

‘Yes, I have been at Guwahati since 1989. You are also in Guwahati, is not it?’ I asked her with equal enthusiasm.

‘Exactly not at Guwahati, I am working in Mirza College. But I am staying at Jalukbari.’ She told me the specific places. Mirza and Jalukbari both are in the periphery of Guwahati.

‘You have two children, how old they are now?’

‘Son is eight and daughter is five. Daughter is in class one and son is in class III.’ I told.

I found her a changed lady in terms of her out look to the society and to a male counterpart. As I knew her unfortunate marriage ordeal, I intentionally did not want to talk about that. But she was not adverse in talking about that six months’ married life.

‘Many people talk many things about me and my marriage. Most of the people blame me. Some talk about my behaviour towards my husband and his parents. Some claim that I am not even a woman. I do not know how they came to that conclusion!’ She paused for a moment.

‘When your marriage and subsequent annulment had taken place, I was in Delhi. I was shocked and became very unhappy to hear all those development. I cannot believe one thing; your behaviour was not good to your in laws and towards your husband.’ I defended her.

‘Yes, those who knew me from my childhood would never believe that I could ever misbehave with any elderly couple. Further Jatin’s ( her ex husband) parents were known to me for so many years.’ She again paused for few minutes.

Bus was moving at high speed. I could not muster the courage to know her view point.

‘Do you know, my father died of heart attack after annulment of my marriage?’She asked me.

‘Yes, my mother told me that unfortunate incident.’ I tried to make her understand I was kept myself well informed about her.

‘Oh, you are tracking me!’With a smile she said. I did not answer.

‘Why do you not get married again?’ I asked her.

‘It is difficult to get a suitable match for a spinster. It is much more difficult for a divorcee. So far I am concerned, people doubt about my sex even. How I shall again get a match?’ She sighed.

I kept mum for a long time. I wanted to know about her own assessment on being a complete woman. Had she ever felt any sex drive? Had she a regular menstruation cycle and so on? But I dared not to ask those personal questions.

The bus stopped at Orang, a small town famous for Rasgulla (a sweet mostly prepared by Bengali people). During that time we talked about her college and our common friends whom I could not meet for a long time.

As bus started moving she made an interesting comment, ‘We are together for last two hours, but you have not asked a particular question which every male has asked me within half an hour if I allow someone to talk with more than half an hour!’

“What was the question?’

‘Have you consulted a doctor? If yes what was his/her comments? I am fed up with those questions.’ It appeared she was somewhat annoyed with herself.

‘I did not ask that question because it is too personal and it may hurt your sentiment!’ I clarified my position.

She looked at me as if I did a mistake. Then she said, ‘For the first time I met a male who does not want to hurt my sentiment!’ I could not understand whether she really appreciated me or she made a fun of my statement. Silence ruled for few minutes.

After few minutes I realized she was dozing and after another few minutes her head rested on my shoulder. Then I felt her softness. She was exactly of my wife’s age; but she maintained her body much better way than my wife: I thought. I started enjoying her soft pushing on my chest and other parts of my body due her sleep and jerking of the bus.

On her request I visited her for a cup of tea. Actually, I had not visited their home for a pretty long time as her brother, my friend Arun was posted at Dhekiajuli, a small town coming between Tezpur and Guwahati. Therefore, Aunty while welcoming me, complained, ‘I thought you have forgotten the road leading to our home!’

‘No, Aunty, after death of my father and shifting of my mother to my brother’s place, I seldom visit home.’ I wanted to explain my position.

‘Who is looking after your properties?’

‘Now a days, one of my cousins from maternal side is staying in our house. He is staying with his wife and their small children. The first child is going to school, second one is a toddler’ I gave her details of my cousin without asking.

In the mean time, Manorama appeared. Before any welcome gestures, she started her apology, ‘I want to tender my unconditional apology for my rude behaviour on that day after taking tea at Orang!’

‘I understood your agony in answering those unsolicited questions. Perhaps you might have thought, I knew everything on that account, I pretended to be goody-goody to you! Therefore your trash remark was justified. But believe me, I am not aware of any facts on that account and I did not ask those questions to avoid hurting you.’ I tried to explain her.

‘I realized afterwards what you are explaining now. I believe what you have said on that day. That is why I am apologizing to you.’ Her voice was choked with emotion.

‘Can we change the topic now?’ I tried to make a lighter atmosphere. She also smiled and request to carry on my talk with Aunty and went to kitchen for preparing tea.

After tea, Aunty had left me with Manorama to talk freely. After few tit bits, Manoroma again came to the same topic, what I did not ask her.

‘I want to share something which I am not sharing even with my brother. I am sharing with you because I found you different from others. You care not to hurt the sentiment of a lady whose sentiments have already been in the auction market.’ She paused for a moment and started again, ‘I went to a lady gynaecologist to discuss whether I am a woman or not. After a thorough check up, she told me that I am a perfect woman; only I may need a small operation to make the opening little wider.’ While telling me about her very personal matters she was looking outside through the window avoiding any eye contact with me.

After two to three minutes silence, I asked, ‘Have you done the operation?’

‘No, I did not go for it. I did not find any reason to go for it. If I find any reason to do that, I shall definitely go for it.’ Her answer was an angry expression mixed with sadness.

‘Your ex-husband instead of going to court, he should have gone to a doctor!’ My voice was also soaked with sympathy for the young lady who was looking to the dark sky through the window.

‘He was not fool. He was in love with another girl. Due to family pressure he married me. But with two unsuccessful attempts with me he went to court for annulment of our marriage. I could not defend my case as I was also not sure whether I am a woman or not.’ She started weeping.

For few seconds I became motionless, but after few seconds I stood from my chair and went near to her. Patting on her back I said, ‘Please do not cry. Please!’

‘Let me cry. For the first time I am crying before a male. I always hate to cry before a man, but today I feel to cry to wash out my sorrow stocked inside my heart. Give me your support to cry me out!’ Telling those sentences she embraced me and cried little loudly. After crying for few minutes she stopped crying and loosened her grip.

‘I am sorry. I do not know what you are thinking about me.’ In an apologetic voice she told.

‘It’s alright. I am happy to be the first person to flush out some of your sorrow and emotions!’ Letting her going out of my arms I told her.

After her emotional burst, we sat for another half an hour. When I told her that I am leaving for Guwahati next to next day, she invited for dinner on the next day. I could not refuse her invitation!

When I reached her home it was drizzling. As soon as I reached their home, Aunty welcomed me and said, ‘Today the weather is not good. How you have come today?’

‘My cousin has dropped me by his scooter. I am carrying an umbrella. If rain does not subside, I have to take a rickshaw from the town!’ She knew that I did not have any vehicle there.

‘Arun told me that he would come today and he would be able to drop you at your residence by his vehicle. That is why Manorama invited you for dinner. Otherwise she could have invited you for the lunch. At the last minute, he had to change his programme due to fever of his younger son.’ Aunty was apologetic.

Manorama emerged to the drawing room at that time and scolded her mother, ‘Before giving a cup of tea, you are talking how he will go after dinner.’ Then she again vanished to bring a cup of tea.

‘Do not worry for me Aunty, I have a habit of walking.’ I assured Aunty.

After dinner the weather turned to worst. It was raining cats and dogs.

Finally Manorama with great difficulty told my cousin that I would not be coming due to heavy rain and I would stay back at Aunty’s home. Practically staying at my cousin’s place or at Manorama’s home had no difference for me.

By 11 O’Clock my bed was arranged at drawing room. Manorama gave a bottle of water and told me if I need something, I should call her, as her room was next to the drawing room.

Normally, I do not have a good sleep at a new place. So I was just lying on the bed for next one hour or so.

In the darkness I saw someone approaching my bed. I was about to ask who was there; but before I could utter a word a soft hand stopped me from uttering any word.

I realized on that night, whatever I heard about lack of feminine nature of Manorama was totally wrong. She was a total woman with all the qualities of a perfect woman. She had the seducing power, she was soft and her private part was not explored at all. Therefore, it was little bit tighter and penetration was difficult initially. She felt pain but she encouraged me to continue and I found easier after few minutes of our love making.

While seeing off at the gate on the next morning she asked me, ‘Do you have any doubt that I am a woman?’

‘No. At least I do not have an iota of doubt on that account. You are a perfect lovely woman! Should I thank the bad weather for the lovely night!’ I said with a meaningful smile.

‘Not exactly! I would not have allowed you to go on a different pretext if weather would have been good. I am waiting for the whole day for a favourable night; though I was little bit apprehensive about the final result.’ She said with a twinkle in her eyes.

‘You told me you had not gone for an operation so far!’ I wanted to know the truth.

‘I told you half of the consultation with the doctor. She told me if I shall be ready mentally well in advance for the mating, use some lubricant and if my partner is sensitive about my problem, I do not need a surgical operation. I found a sensible person in you, I was thinking whole day for the night and I also used some lubricants many times praying God to bless me this time!’ She unfolded everything.

‘Thanks for your faith in me! I do not know whether, you are fully satisfied or not. However, I am sorry to inflict some injury in the process!’ I told with genuine concern. ‘Use some antiseptic on your injury!’

‘Do not worry, injury will be healed soon. You have given me all happiness I was aspiring for! I am not sure, I have given you pleasure or not!’ She said coyly.

‘You have given me maximum pleasure one woman can give to a man. I look forward some more intimate moments!’ I told.

‘Then come again to my residence at Guwahati. Everyone thinks I am incapable of doing those things. Therefore, your visits to my residence will be beyond doubts!’ She invited me with an open heart.

‘Sure darling, I would like to meet you again and again.’ I left the place with a good memory.

Originally she was to go back to Guwahati after two days. But she decided to go back to Guwahati on the same day I was to return. She wanted to accompany me to Guwahati so that she could spend some quality time with me.

But God has a different plan for us. I could not accompany Manorama as I had go to eldest maternal uncle’s place as he had a mild heart attack. I met Manorama at the bus stand and promised her to meet her at Guwahati on my arrival.

She said, ‘I want to have a steady relation with you without disturbing your family. Will you be able to spare some time for me?’ Her eyes were moist.

I promised her to keep a steady relation with her. As the bus moved, I saw her face was glowing with the expectation for a steady relation with me.

Whole day I was busy with doctor and nurse for the treatment of my uncle. When next day doctor declared my uncle was out of danger, I left for Guwahati by an evening bus.

While crossing a railway line before Balipara, my co-passenger told me, ‘This is the place where yesterday morning the ghastly accident took place between a bus and a train.’

I saw the mingled body of a bus near the railway line. When I was crossing the ill-fated bus, I could see the name of the bus. My whole body started trembling. It was the bus by which Manorama and I were to travel. I did not travel by this bus due to my uncle’s illness; but Manorama travelled. With a trembling voice I asked my co-passenger, ‘Is there any casualty?’

‘Yes, ten died on the spot and rest were injured.’ He told me as if nothing serious had happened.

‘I was to travel by this bus yesterday. But one of my relatives (I am referring about Manorama) travelled by this bus.’ I murmured.

Then I immediately telephoned my friend Arun to ask about Manorama. My worst fear came true. She was one of the victims of the accident. I could not stop my tears. She was all along unhappy for last one decade; but she wanted to start another chapter of happiness. But God had a different idea. I reached Guwahati at around 10 PM without taking even a cup of tea. After reaching Guwahati I told my wife that I had taken my dinner on the way.

When I told my wife about the accident she said, ‘Thank God, you did not travel by that bus. Sorry for that unfortunate lady who could not be happy in her life. She was rather relieved of the pains of not being proper woman (she also knew the rumour that she was not a complete woman). God gives peace to her!’

I was about to tell my wife, ‘Manorama was a complete woman in all respect.’ But I did not say anything. I recalled the only night with her. How beautiful that night was!!!!!

Story No: 22. Never Understood

 

(Every time I see a couple on the street, in a party, in a meeting, at a mall, I want to know the age difference between husband and wife. If I observe huge age difference, I always want to know indirectly, is there any problem between them. In most of the cases, I fail to elicit any information on that account as nobody wants to tell about their private life. However in some cases, I was able to have some idea about the problem in mismatching the physical requirements. In this book, I want to peep into this problem.

In Parineeta I tried to depict the agony of a young girl who had to marry a man double of her age. Her problem was manifested as she could not tell the person whom he loves, till her death. Her sacrifice for her sons were also not appreciated, rather ridiculed and condemned by her own sons. She had to surrender her body to her husband against her will and then she had to submit her body to a heartless animal for money and physical needs.

My ‘Parineeta’ is not based on any real characters living or dead. Association of my name to Parineeta is just to make the story more realistic. I am no way fit into the character as such. Therefore, if any reader finds some similarity in character of Parineeta, it is pure coincidence only.

The life of Parineeta is full of un-contended life of a young girl who grew up to face all nonsense of life and one day she died without any ripple in the minds of those for whom she lived with agony of selling her body and soul whom she never loved.)

 

I met this girl in 1981 as a student of my college. She was not extremely beautiful but she was one of the loveliest girls I used to interact regularly during my college days. She was three years junior to me and would have been a perfect match for me. But unfortunately, I was involved with another girl who happened to be her roommate of the hostel. When I left for Delhi for pursuing my higher studies, I did not have iota of doubt that young girl had to leave her studies midway to marry middle aged person who happened to be a colleague of her father. When during my holiday visit to my hometown, I was informed by a common acquaintance about her marriage, I was shocked, lest to say.

About sixteen years back, when I met Parineeta in a departmental store, she looked like a typical middle aged lady though at that time she was hardly 35 or so. Probably I could not have recognized her, had she not approached me. ‘Hi, Hiranyada, how are you?’

‘Oh my God, what’s a pleasant surprise? How are you, Parineeta? Where is your family?’

She introduced an old bald headed person as her husband and two teenagers as her sons. She introduced me to her husband as her senior in college. From facial expression of her husband, it was very clear that he was not happy to meet me. Her husband told with clear tone of displeasure, ‘Every day, I have to meet some seniors or friends of my wife, since last one year after my transfer to Guwahati.’

Though I understood his displeasure, ignoring his dis-satisfactory tone I told him with a smile, ‘Yes that is quite possible! There were some two thousand boys and girls in our college. So number of acquaintances of your wife would be not less than five hundred and at least two hundred of them are in Guwahati. Therefore in 365 days you have to meet 200 of her friends; 200/365 is tending to one. So far I am concerned, I seldom forget any beautiful lady whom I meet somewhere some day since I attained adulthood. So being a beautiful lady, she also had not gone away from my memory. Further, I was a secretary of the college and by virtue of that most of the students of that time know me. However, your wife was closed to me not because she was beautiful; but she was the roommate of my ex-girlfriend.’

The elderly fellow became very happy to hear that his wife was my girlfriend’s roommate and his face became free of cloud of doubt. This time discarding the tone of displeasure, he said, ‘Where are you staying now? We are at our newly constructed house at Beltola.’

Then he took my address and phone number of office (during those days the mobile network in Assam was in an infant stage and only selected few had residential phone connection). He also gave his residential address, office address and official and residential phone numbers.

After one week Parineeta’s husband visited my office, located in the same locality (Beltola) and forcefully took me to their residence. While serving tea Parineeta told, ‘In last fifteen years, this the first time he invited a person who was known to me before my marriage, except of course my close relatives.’

‘He probably identified me as venom less snake as my girlfriend was your roommate!’ At my answer, she smiled beautifully. I noticed her smile was as beautiful as used to be in the college.

In the next few months her husband visited my office many times and took to his residence to have tea. Parineeta also made some phone calls to me during office hours. During conversations with Parineeta I came to know, how suspicious her husband was. In the meantime I took a mobile phone and residential phone as well, though I did not share my numbers with them.

After one year of our formal introduction, the husband of Parineeta retired. After his retirement, his visit to my office increased to my discomfort level due to obvious reason. However, I did not show any displeasure on those visits, as he used to take to their residence quite often to have a cup of tea. My regular visits gave Parineeta an open window to ventilate her frustration. I also started to like her accompany and started some loose talking. Though I am not sure, whenever I visit their residence, she appears to be at her best attire and looked better and better in my eyes on every visit of mine.

‘If he is so suspicious about your classmates and college friends, what made me out of his suspect list?’ One day I asked her when she telephoned me.

With her trademark giggle she said, ‘First of all, I was roommate of Ajita, your one of the many girlfriends! The second reason may be your matured look!’

‘First of all, let me clarify, I did not have many girl friends as you have claimed; after all you can count the names of all my girlfriends on your fingertips, at least those who were my friend’s up to my graduation level. You can also certify my good character, as I never tried to woo you! However, for using the word mature instead of old hag, I am thankful to you!’ I always like to make fun of myself before the ladies.

‘Only a lady can certify who is old and who is not! Do not try to infringe that territory.’ Another round of giggle was heard.

‘Ok, I shall try to take a certificate from you one day.’ I told her in a lighter vein. There was pin drop silence on the other side. I thought, I should not have said like that. ‘Sorry, probably I hurt your modesty! I should not have crossed the limit!’

‘No, no, that is alright! In no way, you have hurt my sentiment or modesty. I have already opened up many things to you. I shall not mind if I open rest of the things to you which are still under the cover. I am only thinking, am I that lucky to provide a certificate to you!’

It was an open invitation to me by a lady who is not my wife or a girl friend at any time. Then only I understood why an old husband is suspicious about his young wife. I changed the topic immediately.

In another day, she rang me to tell that she was not well. Showing extra ordinary interest, I also asked her, ‘What happens? Have you taken medicine?’

‘I am suffering from severe headache. It may be a problem of migraine!’ With a painful voice she replied.

‘Have you taken medicine?’ I repeated the same question.

‘Medicine will not help. After few hours it will go. Do not worry my dear friend!’ She said.

‘Why should I not? Can I be any help to you? Where is your husband?’ I asked her with some degree of artificial anxiety.

She did not give any answer for some time, then she said, ‘You can, but I cannot request you to help me out right now. Who can help me out; he is not young enough to help me out!’

I could not answer to such an indulging question immediately. ‘Are you serious what you are saying?’ After few seconds I asked.

‘Any doubt? I am serious. I am not asking you to help me out today itself. Will you help me out some day when you are free and I am alone?’ She pleaded.

‘Hopefully, yes. I shall always be happy to make you happier. Anyway, are you feeling better now?’

‘Yes, far better! I know my medicine! You have given me the fragrance of the medicine! That is enough for today! Come one day for delivering the actual medicine!’ She hung the phone after saying that.

Am I doing the right thing or not? I have my own family and she has her own. She has problem in her family due to wide age difference between husband and wife, precisely 20 odd years. I have no problem today, but tomorrow I shall invite lot of problems if I involve seriously with Parineeta. So far I did not take Parineeta seriously; mostly I talk with her to get something spicy. But that day’s conversation took a serious turn.

‘I know, if I put my feet in quick sand once, I shall not be able to come out of that. This illicit relation will spoil my family, her family. Am I not betraying her husband who for the first time in his life believes someone who was known to his wife for more than twenty odd years?’ All these questions engulfed my mind.

Most of you will agree, sometimes some problems are solved without any effort from your side. In my case also, I got a marching order from Guwahati after my serious conversation with Parineeta on that day. It was a bolt from the blue due to some other reasons. But I was relieved to be out the muddy field where I did not want to venture any more.

When I informed Parineeta about my transfer, she started weeping and cursing her own luck. After composing herself after a minute or so she invited to their house for a lunch on a working day. Though I was very busy in packing my belongings to shift from Guwahati to Delhi, I could not avoid visiting their residence as Parineeta’s husband also insisted a visit before my departure to Delhi.

On the designated day, Parineeta’s husband came to my office and took me to their residence at around 12-30 PM. I could see the sad look in the eyes of Parineeta while she was welcoming me at her door. ‘Can you not change the order?’ she asked with pleading voice.

‘That is not in my hand. I have to hand over my charge as soon as possible! I shall have to miss your tea and tasty snacks.’ I told her with a helpless tone.

‘Yes, both of us will miss your company. You are the only person who is known to Parineeta for years and became a friend of mine also.’ He told me with a genuine voice.

Parineeta’s husband excused himself for few minutes to take his bath after taking a cup of tea with me.

The sons of Parineeta went to their college during that time and taking advantage of absence of her husband, she embraced me tightly and said, ‘Why God is so rude to me! I saw some glimpse of happiness and before I get taste of that it was snatched away from me!’ Before I could say something she started kissing on my lips and face like a mad woman. I must admit, I liked the taste her lips and I did not try to break away from her. I did not know how long we were in that position till I heard the sound of unlocking the door of the bath room. I pushed her away from me and sat on the nearest sofa.

She also hurriedly went to the kitchen.

After taking lunch I left their home with a mixed feeling. In one way, I was relieved from drowning at the pool of tantalizing quick sand of an illicit relation. On the other hand, I felt dejected at the nipping at the bud of a blooming relation.

After saying her a final good bye over phone I took my train to Delhi. Since then I could not meet her again though I had visited Guwahati many times due to an unknown fear. Initially we used to talk on phone and over the time frequency of calls reduced. A time had come when I lost her contact completely.

Anoop is one of my closest friends who are able to maintain his body and mind young to our envy. He is now holding good post where money flows like flood water. He is only my close friend who prowls after ladies like a black panther. He could not be noticed till the victim realises that there is no escape route. His choice of prey ranges from young to old, ugly to beautiful, poor to rich; in one word, anyone.

During one of my visits to Guwahati recently, he invited me to his home for dinner. On that day he was alone and therefore we went back to our college days literally. He was praising my capacity to woo girls and for maintaining good relation with the ladies. In return, I said, ‘I was able to woo many ladies for a cup coffee or tea, but among us, only you have the capacity to visit bed rooms of many girls during our college days and I heard still you are able to keep that powers intact.’

With a laugh he said, ‘You are a romantic man. Your love was always divine and my love for girls is always limited to their bodies. You love girls emotionally or intellectually or religiously where visiting bed room is not essential. Contrary to that, for me visiting to the bed room is the integral part of my love towards any woman. My only aim to woo a girl is to use her physically. I am a materialistic man. I am governed by physical desire and you are always governed by soul and empathy. But irony is that, having so many differences in our mind-sets, still we are close friends.’

I did not have any point to disagree to his statement and therefore I concentrated in my glass of scotch.

But suddenly he started weeping and said, ‘Do you know today I am very sad? One of my girlfriends died today at Apollo Hospital Madras (Chennai). You may also know that lady. She was three year junior to us in college and married to an old fellow before she completed her studies.’ He gulped whole glass of scotch in one go.

My heart started beating with an accelerated speed. I asked, ‘who is she, hopefully she is not Parineeta?

‘Yes, she is Parineeta. Last few years we had lot of steamy sessions. I spent lot of money on her sons after death of her husband. I sent both the sons to the Engineering colleges of Chennai. Her family pension was not enough for capitation fees etc. for her sons’

‘What happened to her?’I tried my voice as normal as possible.

‘It is a case of severe depression. You might be aware that she was married to an old fellow. How long an old fellow can control his young wife? Ten years back when I met her in a get-together for the ex-students for three years (1981-83) of our college, immediately I understood, she would be an easy prey for me. We had some fun time for about two years without her husband’s knowledge. But one day we were caught red handed. Then lot of tension brewed between them and finally the husband died of heart attack after a month or so. Then we became free to mingle. I wanted to get rid of her sons also. Therefore, with my own initiative, I sent both of them to Chennai for their engineering courses, spending more than Rs.5 lakh. Though, the sons came to know why I was spending so much on them, they pretended to not knowing anything. Now a days, children are extremely selfish. They did not mind to live lavishly on my money knowing fully, why I was spending on them. Finally once they passed out from the colleges and got jobs, they started criticising their mother and started pointing fingers on her character. A year back one of them told his mother that he did not care for sentiment of a prostitute. From that day onwards, her health started deteriorating. Last one year, she had to take lot of medicines for one or other ailments. For taking lot of medicines, she became a prey of depression. To have a good medical check-up I sent her to Apollo hospital, Chennai. I do not know, how her last has come; but the attendant telephoned me today morning that she had expired.’ He closed his eyes, probably he was crying. For the first time, I saw a predator crying for a prey.

‘Did you love her from your heart?’ I asked.

‘No, I did not love her, neither had she loved me; but I have sympathy for her. My sympathy is like sympathy or liking for a good employee of the employer. She served me well against my payment. Now a days, getting good service after paying sufficiently is also rare. I have many ladies in my payroll; but she was the best among them. She was very clear about our relation. She told blatantly, she is going to give her body for physical needs and for money. She told in unambiguous terms that her heart was with someone else for last three decades and that would remain there.’ He sighed.

My eyes also became moist thinking her mental agony for so many years, her sacrifice for her ungrateful sons and unreciprocated love for someone, probably whom I do not know. However, I thanked God for not being the cause of her husband’s death few years’ back. For Parineeta’s sons also, I could not have done anything as Anoop had done, simply because, I did not have any spare money after meeting the needs of my family. Now for death of Parineeta also, nobody can blame me nor can I blame myself! Therefore, I was relieved of any guilty feeling.

After returning from Guwahati when I joined to my duties, I saw a private letter in my name along with a number of official letters. After disposing the official letters, I opened the personal letter. The letter was written in Assamese with very good hand writing. The letter is translated below for my readers:

Dear, no! My dearest Hiranyada,

When the letter will reach you, I shall not be in this world. What I am going to tell you today, it was kept in my heart for more than thirty years. I had always been introduced as the roommate of Hiranya Borah’s girlfriend when I was in college. Nobody had ever asked me whether I was happy with that introduction or not. I always wondered why it was no other way round. Why she could not be introduced as she was the roommate of Hiranya Borah’s girlfriend. I was always envious of that girl. Then when you left for Delhi for your masters, I was happy thinking that she would lose contact with you. My wish was fulfilled up to that extent. But God was not kind to me! My marriage was solemnized with a man more than 20 years old against my will. I cried a lot but nobody listened to me. I could not muster the courage to tell my parents that I love someone else as I did not know what would be your reaction if I would have said my parents that I love you and my parents asked you about your opinion.

Personally I have nothing against my old husband once I was married to him. But you can understand how traumatic it could be for a girl of 18 sleeping with a person whom she used to address as uncle before her marriage. I felt it was a big let-down on the part my parents. I became a mother of two sons before my 21st birth day as my husband was in a hurry to have children as his retirement was looming large before him. As we grew older, his libido was waning and my libido was peaking. The mismatch was becoming more and more visible. He started suspecting me. He stopped allowing me to meet any male other than my close relatives. He stopped allowing me to go to my mother’s place, suspecting I might develop relation with someone more energetic and young compared to him. But believe me, I had no intention to cheat him.

Almost after twenty years when I met you on that super mall I saw a ray of hope to rekindle my untold love story. I thanked God for that meeting. It is your eloquence that prevailed over my ever suspecting husband. He, for the first time in 20 years of our marriage, did not suspect someone who was younger than him and known to me before our marriage. Then what happened you know very well; I do not want to repeat those things once again.

After you left me forever, I was completely devastated internally; but overtly I was composed and calm. Then I met Anoopda in a get-together of our college friends. I need a man for my physical requirements and Anoopda is notorious for his hunting ability. We complimented each other nicely for our physical needs. For the first two years, everything was under the wrap but one evening we were caught by the old man. We fought tooth and nail for a month or so. The old man could not tolerate my infidelity and he died of heart attack. I felt sorry for him.

After his death, I faced tremendous financial constraints as we did not have any savings for education of our sons. The family pension was also not much. Anoopda was a great help in those days. He helped me financially to send my sons for higher studies to Chennai. They were aware how and from where money was arranged for their college expenditure. But once they completed their courses, they ignored me like a used torch cell which damages the torch if those are kept inside the torch once they are exhausted. The younger son, one day accused me as a prostitute. I lost all interest to live longer. Anoopda had always been kind to me, he sent me to Apollo for my treatment, but I want to die as soon as possible.

Before my death I just want to bare my heart to you. Now I have no reservation to tell you that from my teen till today, you were the master of my heart. I wanted all the time to surrender my body to the master of my heart. But God has never allowed that. First He gave a old fellow as my husband and then I had to submit my body to Anoopda for my physical and financial needs. When my son accused me as a prostitute, I realized he was right. At that time I thought to contact you, but I did not want to disturb you. Now I am going away from you forever praying to God in the next life you become my husband to whom I can surrender my body and soul. Good bye darling, I love you.

Yours and yours only, most unfortunate, Parineeta

Whether you like or not, life goes on with or without company of someone you love. After death of Parineeta my life had not changed much, as she was never been a part of my life. Her appearance to my life was like a comet which appeared in my life for few months and disappeared. Again after a long cycle she appeared for a moment and again disappeared.

I did not know when she was alive that she was in love with me for more than three decades. I was unaware of the fact that she surrendered her heart to me when she was in college till I received her first and final letter. I thought her attraction towards me was only a physical one due to his husband’s physical incapability to satisfy her needs. I always thanked God for his divine interference in pulling out me from a possible disaster. When I heard about her death from my ever green friend Anoop, I thought she needed me for just fulfilment of her physical needs and as soon as she got Anoop as my substitute, she forgot me. After reading her letter, I felt bad for judging her in bad light. In fact, I put myself in the same category of her ungrateful sons.

Sometimes, when her memory disturbs me, I try to analyze her tragic life on purely academic interest. Who are to be blamed for her tragic and un-contended life? In my opinion, her parents, particularly her father was the main culprit in spoiling her life by arranging her marriage at a tender age to a person who was double her age. The second culprit was her husband, how he could propose for a girl who was half of his age? But, I find timid nature of Parineeta was also to be blamed for her sorrow up to some extent. If she was in love with me for more than three decades, why she did not tell me? At least she could have informed me before her marriage. At least I had the guts to tell her parents not to spoil her life. Though I was never in love with her, probably had there any option to marry her, I would not have sufficient reasons to reject her proposal. I have no problem in admitting that her giggles and her beauty spots on her cheeks always attracted me. My attraction for those was not diminished even when we met after a gap of twenty odd years. Who knows, had she shown some courage, she would have been my wife till today! But all these are now, ifs and if nots.

My life is going on as usual with some occasional memory of those enticing talks with her and her departing moist eyes when I saw her for the last time sixteen years ago.

Anoop is now busy with two other ladies forgetting about Parineeta completely. One day, when I asked about Parineeta, he told, ‘ I am not like you who gives importance to heart over body. I keep relation with a lady so long I am attracted to her body. In the case of Parineeta, she is nonexistent for me now! I had relation with her, you did not have. Then why you are remembering her. Forget about her. Everyday thousands of ladies like Parineeta die. Who cares!’ I was disgusted to hear those words; but I did not react because I know how Anoop looks at a lady.

Her two ungrateful sons are also busy with their girlfriends forgetting sacrifice of their mother who sold her body and soul for their better future.

Life goes on as usual for all, in absence of Parineeta!!!!!!

Story No: 23. The Stupid

(When friendship is developed between a boy and a girl, there is a likelihood, one of them falls in love with the other. But due to fear of losing a friend he/she prefers to keep mum. In the process he / she suffers whole life. Can you blame the other party for not reading the other’s mind properly?)

The announcer announced, ‘Flight No—will be late by an hour’ to sprinkle salt on my already wounded mental state of mind due to heavy traffic jam on the way to the airport. But you can do nothing in such a situation. So reluctantly I went to the nearest coffee stall to have a strong black coffee to reduce my bitterness expecting bitterness could be reduced only a bitter coffee. I ordered for large Americano. The cashier looked at me surprisingly; but did not say anything. Probably he saw bitterness on my face!

Sipping to my Americano I looked around. A lady with traditional Assamese dress caught my attention. She might be five to ten years older than my age; I thought. As she also looked around our eyes met and then unexpected thing happened! She came forward to me and said, ‘Hey you! The old rascal, Hiranya!’

Through her voice I could recognize she is my ex-classmate Amrita Saikia, one of the most elegant girl of our college. Moreover, she had been my closest friend for four years in the college whom I was meeting after 30 long years.

With equal warmth I said, ‘Hey, my sweet heart; the eternal beauty!’

She hugged me and said, ‘Why you do not dye your hair? You look very old!’

‘I am helping my beautiful classmates and colleagues to feel happy by looking themselves much younger compared to me!’ I did not say she also looked much older.

‘ The same buttery tongue! Anuradha (another ex- classmate) told me age did not hurt your spirit to buttress any lady’s ego!’

‘Thank you darling! Anyway, are coming to Guwahati by the same flight? Are you alone or your boxer hubby is also with you?’ I asked her with same warmth.

‘Yes we, that includes your boxer friend Naveen, are going with you in the same flight!’ She said with a smile.

Naveen was two-year senior to me and was a reasonably good sportsman of our time. Though in our college, two-year senior students were big brothers for the juniors, Naveen was friendly to many of the juniors due to his sports background. He allowed me to address him by name.

A few minutes later Naveen coming out from washroom, joined us. He is no more that strong Naveen once we used to know him. ‘Diabetes took my toll!’ Before asking him about his ill health, he told me.

‘You did not have any bad habits like us! How diabetes caught you up!’ I asked him knowing that he was actually a teetotaller.

‘After forty, I stopped my gruelling exercise that I used to accustomed with. Going to office and sitting idle had created all sorts of problem.’ He sighed.

Then in lighter vein he said, ‘Why you are still hale and hearty I know; you are still running after beautiful ladies. Is not it?’

I did not comment on his jibe.

Now I realized why Amrita also looked so old. I felt sorry for the couple, once very closed to me.

‘What will you take? Black coffee without sugar?’ He nodded.

‘And what about you, dear?’ I asked Amrita.

‘Mocha with cream!’ She smiled like a girl of twenty.

After bringing two glasses of coffee, we sat beside a round table.

‘You still talk in the same way like Gao Burha (village Headman), no change!’ Naveen told with a faint smile.

‘Many people say like that! My family members always snubbed for my rustic behaviour and talks. But I could not change myself over the years!’ I said without any remorse.

‘That is why many people like you! Even Amrita also likes you very much! Even sometimes I feel she loves you!’ Naveen said with a twinkle in his eyes.

‘You, Ba—d; you suspect your wife also!’ Then both of us started laughing.

‘Why you had not proposed me? I heard you proposed many girls!’ Amrita also teased me.

‘You too! Spare me my Mom!’ I pleaded with folded hands.

Time passed quickly and boarding announcement was made. After exchanging my seat with a passenger, we all three sat together.

Amrita and I were good friends even though we had wide gaps between our social backgrounds. She was a daughter of a senior Government official having large house in the middle of the city. On the other hand, I was from a modest background of a teachers’ family. Despite of that she was friendly with me, for that I am always grateful to her. I always used to feel comfortable with Amrita as a friend. Even after Naveen and she became lovers, my relation with Amrita remained same for four years of college life. Many of my friends used to refer her as my sister and I also never mind for such references!

But once I shifted to Delhi for my higher studies, I could meet Amrita only two times before her marriage to Naveen. I could not attend her marriage due to my final examination of master degree. She showed lot of disappointment over the issue. After few months of her marriage, they were out of my rather as they shifted from Guwahti to another town without sending her postal address to me. However, I could able to make contact with her ten years ago when I was able to get her telephone number from a common friend who works with Naveen.

Though initially I wanted to keep contact with her by calling her frequently, I had to curtail my calls as I felt she did not want frequent calls from me due to some reasons. She also refused to give Naveen’s number.

‘I heard, you are developing an affair with Sangeeta!’ Amrita asked me or rather she commented on my affair with Sangeeta who was two-year junior to me.

‘Not exactly! But yes, there is some relation between us! Frankly speaking, I do not know whether I love her or not. But definitely she loves me!’ I said thoughtfully.

‘You, foolish boy! You do not know whether you love or not, but you claim she loves you!’ She was angry. I could not find out why she was angry.

‘She told me she loves me; but I told her that I have to take few more days to take my decision. Where is the question of my foolishness?’ I was also angry; but I did not show my anger.

This time she also toned down her voice and said, ‘Then it is Ok. But I, as a well-wisher, can tell you that she will not be good match for you!’

‘Why do you think so?’ I asked her with little bit of irritation.

‘I am also not sure. But I tell you, she will not be good choice for you!’ Uttering these words, she left in a huff.

I was little bit surprised why she was angry.

However, my love affair with Sangeeta did not take off due to some external factors.

After one month, Amrita told me that Naveen had proposed him. My reaction was very positive, ‘He is a nice boy. You should accept his proposal. He will make you happy in your life.’

‘Do you think so?’ She asked me vaguely.

‘Yes, I am hundred percent sure, he will keep you happy.’ Without any further discussion she left for the day.

On my advice or due her own attraction to him Amrita accepted Naveen. After three to four years of courtship they married. As I mentioned earlier I could not attend their marriage due to my final examination for my masters.

After her marriage, she wrote a two-line letter, ‘After pushing me to deep water, you even could not come to see me whether I was floating or drowning on the marriage day!’

I answered her immediately apologizing for not attending her marriage due to my examination. She did not answer my letter.

After three months of their marriage, they shifted to Duliajan, the oldest oil field of India. Due to own problems and pre-occupation, I could not meet the couple in the last thirty years though later on we were in contact through telephone calls. That is why I could not recognize her by her face but could recognize her voice.

Anyone may ask a logical question, if she was in my contact, why I did not know that Naveen was suffering from diabetes or could not see her photograph in FB or somewhere through some common friends?

I did know anything about them because she was not in FB and she always avoid long conversation.

In response to the first telephone call she said without any ambiguity that she would never entertain any personal questions particularly about their married life. She thundered on the very first day over telephone, ‘Do not ask any question on my personal life as you ceased to be my best friend the day you advised me to accept Naveen’s proposal.’

Therefore, on her family front she used to say only, ‘I am fine. Naveen is fine and my daughters are also fine. What about you?’

But as a good friend she used to listen about my family matters attentively; sometimes posing some relevant questions also.

As the flight descended, they told me that a car would be waiting for them to take them directly to Duliajan. Naveen asked me whether they should drop me at Guwahati on their way to Duliajan. I told them as I was on an official tour, a car would be coming to pick me up.

After an overdue get-together, she said good bye to me giving another bear hug. Naveen also gave me a bear hug before getting into the car.

As expected, a car took me to the hotel where I had to stay for next three nights.

The next day, in the afternoon I telephoned Amrita to renew our friendship once again.

But from the other side Amrita told, ‘I pray to you Hiranya, never telephone me again! Whole life I am trying to forget our four years of friendship as a bad dream! Again meeting with you at the airport reopened the wound I am carrying for years. I found you as foolish as you were thirty years ago. I cannot expect anything from you.’ Then she hung the phone.

Story No: 24. Finally I Got My Real Diwali Gift

(This story is about a real girl who used to love a friend of mine who was able to reunite with my friend as her husband after death of his first wife. With some initial hiccups, she was able to win the hearts of her step children and they became a happy family now. However, Madhuri’s character is a fictitious character, far from reality. The reason for their initial break-up was not known to me. Therefore, I have to introduce the character of Madhuri. In fact, she (present wife of my friend) was the only daughter of a teacher. I have made some comments on the scrap dealer in the statement of Madhuri just to spice up the story. I do not have any intention to demean the profession of scrap dealing business. They are giving a yeoman service to the society through their business which I always respect. )

Diwali, the festival of light is celebrated all over India with different intensity and different forms. In east of India, it is celebrated along with Kali Puja (The black Mother Goddess-the destroyer of the evils). In the north of India, it is celebrated along with Lakshi Puja (the Goddess of prosperity). In the extreme south of India, it is celebrated in a mute manner. In North India, this is one of the liveliest festival with lighting and lot of fireworks.

The story I am going to tell you is thirty-two years old. It was about two gifts that I got from two sisters on Diwali day when I was doing my M. Phil course in Delhi University.

During that period, I developed friendship with a local boy of Delhi, Pikul alias Devender Arora. In due course of time, I started going their home during the evening when I used to be free. Slowly, I developed a close bonding with the entire family. His mother loved me as her own child and I was very happy to have a family in a city two thousand KM away from my village. I shall remain grateful to that family for their love and affection for me. Today, both Uncle and Aunty had left this world, but they are still in my heart at the same pedestal of my own parent.

On that particular Diwali, Aunty invited me for the dinner and I reached their home much before time. Reaching Pikul’s home before time had two main reasons; obvious reason of reaching early was my love for sweets prepared by Aunty and second reason was to meet Arul, the lovely girl of Pikul’s neighbourhood.

Pratibha alias Arul, daughter of a scrap dealer resides three doors away from Pikul’s residence. I met Arul for the first time one year earlier at Pikul’s place. She used to come to Pikul’s place quite often as she was very close to Pikul’s younger sister being of the same age of Priyanka. For Pikul, Arul was as good as Pikul’s own sister. She was introduced to me by my Aunty as a girl who was very good in cooking and household chores despite of reasonably good in academics. Aunty had introduced me to her as a brilliant student of Delhi University. We developed immediate liking for each other from the very first day of our meeting.

As time progressed, our relation turned into friendship and was in the right direction of a love affair.

Just before Diwali, I wanted to know from her whether she had the same feeling what I was having for her.

‘I shall discuss on this particular topic on another day. By the way, what is the plan after completion of your study?’ With a mysterious smile, she asked me.

‘I have cleared my written examination of M.Phil and there is a good chance that I shall clear my UPSC examination as well. If everything goes in the right direction, I may be able to settle down by the next year.’ I told my expectations.

‘No, I want to know whether you will settle down at Delhi or you want to go back to Assam.’ She asked me with a serious tone.

‘I want to settle in Delhi. But I cannot be sure!’ I answered after a deep thought.

‘It is fine, I am going to talk on the topic again after some days.’ Saying the sentence, she left in a hurry.

‘Probably, I started loving her so much that it will be difficult for me to live without her!’ I told to myself with a sigh.

After few days when we met, she started the same topic.

‘I understand your problem, being a student or as an unemployed youth, you are not sure where finally you are going to settle down. My Mom also told me, how you can decide where you will settle, before you get a decent job as per your educational attainment. But do not worry, I am sure, you will be able to get a good job and will be able to adjust yourself comfortably anywhere you are posted.’ With another mystic smile she comforted me.

Before we could talk further on the issue, Pikul came in between us and she hurriedly told, ‘Today I am little bit busy. I shall come to meet you again soon to discuss about your future plan.’ Without waiting for any reaction from my side she went out of the room like a bullet out of a pistol.

Pikul had got an idea about our budding relation; but he acted in such a way that he had no idea about our relation.

On the Diwali day, I came to Pikul’s place to discuss about my plan for future with Arul and if possible, I wanted to propose her.

When I reached Pikul’s place I saw Arul was already there. But to my dismay, Madhuri, Arul’s elder sister was also with Arul. Madhuri was of my age and I seldom talk to her. Madhuri was not as beautiful as Arul. I wished both of them with typical way to convey best wishes for Diwali.

After few minutes, Madhuri proposed me to go out to the market along with Arul and Priyanka till dinner time. Her proposal practically ruined both the purposes of my early visit to Pikul’s place. However, Pikul came to my rescue, ‘Arey, let Hiranya take some sweets and snacks before going to the market. He is still a student, not a person with money to feed three heavily built hungry girls like you.’

That ensued a heavy fight between him and his sister for calling her heavily built. Aunty had to intervene and fight ended with a decision that Priyanka would not go to the market with her brother. I tried to be a broker for peace, but in vain and finally it was decided all the three girls would accompany me to the market. I was not unhappy at the final outcome!

The market was illuminated with different lights with different intensity and colours. After few minutes, I realized Madhuri wanted to be nearer to me and tried her best to keep Arul away. I thought she must be instructed by her parent to be a wall between Arul and me. I was little bit upset with the latest development.

But next moment, I was about to laugh on myself. But controlling my laugh, I asked Madhuri in a different line, ‘So you also like my company like your sister! Tell me one thing, why you are not allowing Arul to come near to me?’

On my straight question, she felt little bit awkwardness. But on that day perhaps, she was not in a mood to back down. She retorted, ‘Let her enjoy her company with her friend, Priyanka. We are of same age, so we should allow them to enjoy their way and we should enjoy our time in our own way.’

Her answer actually posed me a new question, what she had meant by saying we should enjoy our time in our own way.

As we were talking, we became little bit slow, we lost Arul and Priyanka in the crowd. As I showed little concern about losing Arul and Priyanka in the crowd, Madhuri caught my hand and whispered, ‘They are not kids and they are in a known place. They actually give us a chance to talk freely!’

Her talks and catching my hand tightly gave me another dimension of the evening! I also pressed her hand slowly which she reciprocated strongly.

‘My parents are looking for a boy for my marriage. But I told them categorically that I shall marry with a boy of my own choice!’ She said.

‘That is a very strong statement you have made to your conservative parents. But have you selected a boy of your own choice?’ I asked her.

‘Yes, I have. I shall tell him today that I cannot live in this world without him.’ Before she could say something more or I could react to her strong confession, Arul and Priyanka re-appeared before us.

Arul proposed for taking gol-gappa (water fed small sweet and sour snacks made of brown flour) which other two girls readily agreed.

After taking gol-gappa, we moved together and I could not talk much with either of the sisters.

Priyanka knew about relation between Arul and me. So she wanted to give me a chance! She told Madhuri to accompany her to a shop to purchase something her mother has told her to bring. As they moved to the shop, Arul and me, slipped away from the place.

‘I am notorious for my mingling with many girls of my age. Many of my friends and seniors are unhappy and envious about this! But to be honest I have never loved any girl so far!’ I paused for moment to see the reaction on the face of Arul.

‘I know, but will you be the same person even after marriage?’ She asked with a very low voice.

‘With whom? I want to mean, with whom I am going to marry?’ I asked her.

‘How do I know whom you are going to marry?’ She showed some artificial anger.

‘You should know, whom I want to marry!’ I said her with a teasing voice.

‘Are you really serious about our relation?’ She asked me with all seriousness.

‘Yes I do. I love you and want to marry once I am settled.’ I do not know how I had uttered those deadly words.

‘I also love you. I want to be your wife for my entire life!’ By saying those sentences she caught my hand and told again, ‘Promise me, you will not love anyone other than me!’

‘I promise.’ I said with conviction.

Before we talk further, Priyanka and Mudhuri surfaced before us and we have to behave as normal as possible. By the time it was 9 PM and we returned to Pikul’s home.

Aunty was waiting for us. Dinner was served to us along with some other guests. Priyanka, Arul and Madhuri helped Aunty in the kitchen. Madhuri was taking special care in serving and attending me during the whole dinner time.

As soon as I finished my dinner, a phone call came from Arul’s mother to send Arul home for some urgent work. As Arul was going home saying good bye to all of us, I offered to accompany her to her home.

When we reached her home, Arul’s mother was standing on the door. She invited me to come inside her home.

She talked for sometimes and left the drawing room leaving Arul and me alone. As nobody was around I caught Arul’s hand pulled her towards me. She did not object to my advances and she embraced me lightly. I embraced her tightly for a minute or two and finally I kissed her on her lips. When we heard sound of footsteps of her mother coming towards the room, we separated ourselves and sat at two chairs separated by another chair.

We talked for few minutes and as I wanted to leave, Arul’s mother said, ‘Beta (my dear son), please do come to our home on regular basis thinking it is your own home!’

‘Definitely Aunty, I shall love to come to meet you!’ I said.

I touched her feet and then left for Pikul’s home. On the way, I was feeling extremely happy to get the positive answer from Arul. Kissing on her lips was a bonus for me as a Diwali gift.

The moment I reached Pikul’s home, Priyanka teased me, ‘I thought you will stay overnight at Arul’s home!’

Next moment Priyanka did a surprising move. She pulled me to a corner and said, ‘Clean your lips before anyone notices that your lips are coloured with Arul’s lipsticks.’

Immediately I wiped out my lips and said loudly, ‘Thanks my dear sister for reminding me of my examination dates. I am leaving now!’ I tried to change the storyline. But I wondered if Arul’s mother also noticed my lips were coloured by her daughter’s lipsticks! If it was so, she also approved our relation on that day!

As I was to coming out of Pikul’s home after saying good night to everyone present, Madhuri told me from behind, ‘I am also coming with you, drop me at my home.’

It was already eleven. Streets were empty. Though there were only three houses in between the house of Pikul and Madhuri, we had to cover about 100 feet in the congested lane of a Delhi colony. She grabbed my hand as soon as we came out of the house of Pikul. Before I finally could say good bye to Madhuri, she placed few kisses all over my face including few on my lips.

The second gift on the Diwali night was uncalled for!

But as a youth of 22, I enjoyed both the Diwali gifts!

I used to love Arul from my heart. She also loved me. She was never aggressive in her approach towards me. I used to enjoy her company. I wanted to marry her to make her my life partner for the rest of my life.

But the main hurdle in our marriage was attitude of Madhuri towards me. My problem started due to aggressive nature of Madhuri. She started coming to my hostel room without any invitation from me and with one pretext or another, she used to press all sensitive parts of her body on me. On the slightest opportunity, she used to touch my sensitive organs with a meaningful smile on her face. I tried to avoid her for any further physical intimacy. But one day, I succumbed to her aggressiveness. After committing a grave mistake, I felt sorry for Arul. On seeing me remorseful, she started laughing like a vamp putting her dress on. Then she revealed something which I never thought even an elder sister can think of!

She told me, ‘I know that you love Arul, not me. She gets everything what she wants because of her beauty and soft nature. This time, I want to teach her a lesson. Though both of us are daughters of a scrap dealer, she used to get everything brand new and I used to get scrap only. This time she will also get a scrap only. I snatched the brand-new thing from her and she has to be satisfied with a scrap. She missed what she was aspiring for years. You can now marry her. My marriage has already been fixed to a scrap dealer. He will hopefully not mind to have a scrap in me! Oh! One thing I have to tell you; before Priyanka noticed Arul’s lipstick on your lips, I noticed. At that time, I promised to myself that I would take the real thing from you before she could take!’

She left my room triumphantly and I sat on my bed like a soldier of a vanquished army.

A few days after the most disgusted physical relation with Madhuri, I got my result of UPSC examination and I got a posting in Nagaland, a remote state of India, almost two and a half thousand KM from Delhi.

I did not tell any of the sisters that I was leaving Delhi to join my first place of posting. Though I felt extremely sorry for Arul, I had decided to leave both the sisters forever and never come back to Delhi.

After two years, I married a girl from Assam and started living with her happily forgetting about the very existence of Arul and Madhuri.

But God must have some other ideas!

One day before our tenth anniversary, my wife died in a road accident leaving behind two children beside me. My heaven crashed on me.

After few months of demise of my wife, Government decided to transfer me to Delhi. Leaving behind my nine-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter with my in laws, I joined new place of posting at New Delhi.

After settled down at Delhi, one day I went to Pikul’s home. Unexpectedly, I met Arul also at Pikul’s home. I became little bit nervous and did not know how to start a conversation with the lady whom I ditched fifteen years ago.

She understood my guilt feeling and nervousness and told me with a faint smile, ‘My sister told me everything about her mischievous act. I knew that you are a victim of her conspiracy to take revenge on me. It is not your fault. She ditched not only both of us, but also another innocent man whom she married and now she has been staying with him happily for the last fifteen years. I also could have taken revenge on her by telling her story with you to her husband, but I restrained myself and left to God to decide our fates.’ She heaved a deep sigh.

‘Have you married someone?’ I asked her meekly.

‘No, I have not and I shall not marry anyone in future also. I am now working with a NGO and very happy with my work. Tell me about you and your family.’ She asked me with a smile.

I told her how I felt on that day when I fell victim of Madhuri’s seductive prowess and decided to leave Delhi without telling both the sisters. Then I told her about my married life and death of my wife few months ago.

‘Where are your children now?’ She asked.

‘They are with my in laws. My mother is also no more. It will be difficult for me alone to manage both office and children in Delhi!’ I said with a sad voice.

‘But children like parents’ company. That is essential for their all-round development. Why don’t you marry again?’ She asked.

‘I fear to marry again, if my new wife does not love my children and torture them physically and mentally. In that case my marriage will be counterproductive.’ I tried to explain my position.

‘You need not have to marry a new wife again! You have to take home your first wife only who is living alone for the last fifteen years waiting for her husband to come back to her with open arms once again. Long back her husband decided to live with another lady, but his first wife is still waiting for him. She is waiting to get a nod from him to come back to his life and hopefully this time she will be able to live with him till her death.’ Her tears were coming while uttering those words slowly and almost soundlessly. I did not find any difficulty, by referring first wife, whom Arul was actually referring!

Before I reacted to her statements, she assured me, ‘Your children are my children also; only they were born from another womb!’

As I took her in my arms, she started weeping like a small girl of five.

Story No: 25. Lovely Abductor

(It is another small fictional story on abduction of an officer who was abducted by mistake. He was released on intervention of a friend, who happened to be a top leader of the underground outfit who engineered his abduction.)

As the driver negotiated the curve of the road, Kanak noticed few people brandishing sophisticated weapons covering their faces gestured the driver to stop the jeep. The jeep was at a very low speed, so driver had no problem in stopping the car. The driver was asked something in a local dialect by the leader of the group. Kanak could not understand what was transpired between them. The driver put off the head light of the jeep and told Kanak, ‘Sir, they are from an underground organization (he said the name). They are going to abduct you.’

Kanak was about to faint. He immediately recalled how his classmate and a close friend, Pradip Hazarika was killed by the same organization after abducting him from coal field while he was on an official tour for discharging his official duty. In that particular case, he was killed only because the organization where Pradip was working as an executive, did not give the money in time to the underground organization what had been demanded in lieu of his release. Kanak started sweating in the cold evening of December at a freezing temperature of 2-3 degrees.

Kanak was shifted to another vehicle and driver was allowed to go after handing over a demand letter of a hefty amount in lieu of release of Kanak.

They drove Kanak for an hour to reach a secluded place away from National High way. Then he was ordered to follow the leader on foot. Another four gunmen who were following Kanak were singing some songs in full throttle which were not understood by Kanak. But from their hi-pitched sound, Kanak understood that the area was a safe haven for the underground outfit.

While walking, Kanak was wondering, why he had been abducted. He was not representing any private firm nor any ‘Ratna (jewel) PSU (Public Sector Units)’. He is a Central Government officer who was entrusted to open one office in that state for collection of socio -economic data. As none is interested to go to that state, Kanak was forced to go to that state as he hails from the neighbouring state. Having no alternative, he went to join to the state along with his pregnant wife and his one and a half year daughter.

After another two hours on foot, the team of gunmen and Kanak reached a camp. The camp looked like a military camp. Kanak realized, he was put in a camp or jail from where he would not be able to go back to his family without support and consent of the abductors.

************

Lisa was a very beautiful girl of his college when Kanak was a student of Delhi University. His meeting with Lisa was dramatic.

One day, when Kanak and his friend Dinesh were waiting for DTC bus at Mall Road bus stand, Lisa was also waiting for a city bus. Dinesh was very loud in his talking and used to talk all nonsense in Assamese at public places knowing that local people would not understand Assamese. Further, during those days, there were very few Assamese people used to live in Delhi. Therefore, speaking confidential matters and using filthy words in public places were not totally forbidden by Kanak and his friends. When Dinesh was saying some forbidden words loudly, Kanak told him to keep mum as he doubted, the young lady in front of them might be from North Eastern part of India (at that time there were seven states including Assam were part of that region).

Dinesh, looking at the girl, commented, ‘Hey do not worry. She may not be from our region. Every girl having smaller hips need not to be an Assamese girl (normally a girl from Delhi has larger hips and boobs compared to a girl from north eastern region)!’

But unfortunately for Kanak and Dinesh, Lisa knew Assamese very well and charged Dinesh in pure Assamese, ‘You stupid guys, are you coming here to study or to see anatomy of girls?’

Kanak was a studious boy and he became very nervous on the sudden turn of the events. But Dinesh was a seasoned campaigner against such unwelcome statements from girls. He retorted, ‘My father sent me to study here so that I may get a beautiful girl as a wife. But I have changed the sequence of priorities; now I am looking for a girl and after finding a suitable girl, I shall study.’

The young girl became furious and scolded both of them. Kanak kept mum. But Dinesh enjoyed her anger and laughed at her. Luckily for Kanak, bus arrived soon and he left the scene in a huff.

After few days, Kanak met Lisa again when he went to girls’ hostel to meet his friend. Before his friend introduced Lisa, Lisa taunted him, ‘I know he is a very good boy looking for girls’ anatomy at public places.’

Kanak apologized for his friend’s behaviour on that day. Lisa also did not take a long time to understand that Kanak was a serious student and not like Dinesh.

In the next few months, they became good friends. Kanak came to know her as a very strong person and having very strong views against Indian administration. Initially, Kanak argued with her. However later on she stopped discussing those issues, instead he used to talk with her on non-political issues only.

But one day, Lisa vanished from the hostel. Kanak’s friend told him, she might have joined some underground organisation who was at logger heads with Government of India.

***********

As Kanak was provided with some snacks and tea, he saw a lady in army fatigue was discussing something intensely with Jacob, the leader of the team who had abducted Kanak. The lady was saying, ‘Jacob, you have picked up a wrong man.’

‘How it can be! He was picked from the right place at the right time.’ Jacob was trying to convince the lady, apparently senior to Jacob in the hierarchy of the underground organization.

‘He is not Kamal Borah, SDM. I know the person whom you have picked up; he is Kanak Barua, a statistician by profession. Go and confirm.’ The lady ordered him.

‘ So, you are not Mr. Kamal Borah, SDM of ---. You are a statistician counting cows and buffaloes on the roadside and then give an estimate which no one believes!’ Saying that Jacob started laughing.

On any other day, Kanak would have retorted back. But he did not say anything to avoid any reprisal from Jacob. He replied, ‘No, I am not Kamal Borah, I am Kanak Barua. Leave me, I have a pregnant wife and a little daughter; she is only one and half year old. If I die, they will also die out of starvation.’ Kanak pleaded to Jacob.

With limited knowledge of statistics and office administration, Jacob knew, statisticians are the least powerful officer of the administration. He had an idea that even senior officer of statistics had no practical value in the eyes of administration and it was most unlikely that Government would loosen any string for releasing a statistician from the abductors. He thought, even if this poor fellow is killed, they might not get adequate publicity. On the other hand, his poor pregnant wife and his little daughter would lose their bread winner. He knew that the family of this poor fellow might be on the street as he would not leave any other amount except the meagre savings from his few years’ salary!

Then Jacob asked, ‘Do you drink?’

‘No.’ Kanak replied.

‘That is good. With your salary, if you develop this habit, your children have to beg on the street.’ He laughed again.

Kanak wanted to cry. He always boasted as an upright and honest officer. But he understood, he was nothing but a ‘forced honest officer’ in the eyes of the society and might be in the eyes of his friends and his own family members as well.

The lady came to his room. ‘Kanak, can you recognize me?’

Kanak saw a rugged lady in front of him. He could not recognize her immediately; but with a quick intense look, Kanak was able to recognize her. She was Lisa, once a very beautiful girl and a very close friend of him. She hugged him and assured him, ‘Do not worry. Jacob will drop you at your home tomorrow morning.’

Lisa and Kanak talked for a long time before she said a good bye at the early in the morning.

As a true underground leader, she warned Kanak, ‘Kanak, you are let off only because you are an honest officer and a friend of mine. But be sure, you will not tell anyone what happened after your abduction. As your driver already knew about your abduction, he is also warned well in time by my cadre not to divulge about your abduction. He has already forgotten what happened today, you will also hopefully forget everything. I know you love your family very much!’

Before Kanak could promise, she left the room.

In the morning, as promised by Lisa, Kanak was dropped at his residence.

Statisticians are the most harmless and toothless creation of the Almighty. He made these professionals for public ridicules, to be humiliated by other professionals and administration on the slightest pretext. Even un-educated and less educated people use to make fun of statisticians. Therefore, some of the statisticians try to change the work profile on one pretext or on the other. Most tragic part of the statisticians is that, they were better students in college than their masters in office or in the societies.

But every cloud has a silver lining. At least on that day, Kanak realized, statistics profession is also not that bad; at least you and your job is nobody’s envy.

Kanak realized, his powerless and moneyless profession saves his life, at least for that windy freezing night.

I did not tell anybody what happened on that night. Even I did not tell my wife about my abduction, normally with whom I shared everything.

After, one year, I was transferred from that state and accordingly, I joined my duties at New Delhi. My life in Delhi went on smoothly and I almost forgot that windy freezing night in the hilly state of North Eastern part of our country.

But one day, a small news item caught my attention, which says,

‘Lisa William, a self-styled major general of—-organisation surrendered at the Eastern Command of Army HQs, located at Shillong. She cited the reason for her surrender as her disillusion with the ideology of the outfit.’

When she was in Guwahati jail, Kanak went to meet her; after all he is alive today because of Lisa only.

On seeing Kanak, Lisa became very happy. After talking half an hour, stipulated time given by the Jail Authority, Lisa gave the most important departing statement of her life, ‘Had I heard to the inner voice of my heart and agreed to your proposal of marrying you, I would have been a good wife to you and could have led a happier life with you rest of my life!!!!!

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

5. Akhadya

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

13. Soulmates

14. My grumpy Face

15. Love and Worries

16. Discussion of own Birth: A Taboo

17. Interview

18. Indecent Love Affairs

19. My Fair Lady

20. Waiting time

21. Two Stories

22. My Mother: Dashami Borah

23. Parineeta

24. Manorama

25. Unwanted

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

39. Messiah

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

51. Replacement

52. Pebbles on My Way Home

53. My First Bengali Book

54. Murder Mystery

55. Niharika

56. Swapping

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

74. Abducted

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

81. Perverse

82. He Got Back His Wife

83. Beautiful Faces

84. Elder Sister

85. Good Morning

86. Prey

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

93. Contrasts

94. Three Directors

95. An Unusual Love Affair

96. Birth Day

97. Do not Tell Anyone

98. Anupama

99. Late By Ten Years

100. Murder in a Foreign City

101. Strange Life

102. I love You Darling

103. Falsehood

104. Lady in the Park

105. Do Anything, I Shall comment

106. Professionalism

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

117. Wings

 

 

 

Connect with him

Email: [email protected]

Friend him on Facebook: [email protected]


Twenty Five Love Stories

All these stories are already published in different names on this platform. It is a compilation of the edited versions of twenty five stories published over the years as independent books. Now readers need not have to download many times for reading my books on love affairs separately; instead of that, with one go they can read 25 love stories by downloading only this book. This will help them to keep 25 stories at one place. With this intention I have compiled this story book on clean and wholesome love affairs. Most of the stories are based on mere imagination unless otherwise specifically mentioned at the top of the story. Therefore, if any similarity or resemblance of any character in any of the stories is observed with any living or dead person, it is purely a coincidence only. The description of the society described in these stories may be also far from reality. Every story is preceded by a small note for those readers who are very specific about types of stories they want to read.

  • ISBN: 9781370318384
  • Author: Hiranya Borah
  • Published: 2017-09-09 12:45:19
  • Words: 69840
Twenty Five Love Stories Twenty Five Love Stories