Flew Away

He was never so content; never had he been more pleased or satisfied. He felt he was flying; a sense of freedom engulfed him completely. He could literally see that the fireworks were lighting up the already beautiful night sky decorated only for his moment of overweening pride and sheer ecstasy with millions and millions of starts. He could see that the other people on the road were looking at him in awe, more like to give him an ovation for his admirable feat. A radiant and captivating smile covered his entire soul and body. His body was getting covered in sweat and blood. It was like his coronation was being conducted with sweat and blood; after all he was an ordinary citizen.

 

Meet Arijit Singha, an IT professional from the land of the great Subhas Chandra Bose, I mean from Kolkata. The biggest irony of his life was perhaps his name, Arijit means someone who has won over all his enemies and Singha means lion. He was as timid as a mouse. An introvert to the core, he found it very difficult to socialize with the normal folks. No matter Albert Einstein or Warren Buffet was born or Dexter Morgan or Sheldon Cooper was ever created, he would have still won the award for the biggest introvert in the world. His world meant his bag, his headphone and his small collection of songs. He only had a very small number of friends who hardly cared for him. That he stammered when in trouble or under pressure, which was more often than not, did not help his cause either. How he completed his Masters and grabbed a job at one of the biggest IT firms in India was a mystery which even the great Sherlock Holmes, his most favorite fictional character known for his aloofness from human beings and society, would have never been able to solve.

The moment he was out from his coop, his headphones were immediately put on. It was like his armor from his small arsenal to fight against, rather survive, in this cruel and unjust world. His parents were always quite demanding and they could never be happy with him. No matter how hard he tried to satisfy them, he always fell well short of the margin. At one time, he just gave up and accepted the fact that if he could not satisfy his own parents, he would never be able to keep anyone happy. And the seeds of detachment were sown.

Well it was very easy for anyone to understand that he could never say no to anything. So, be it in school, college or at office, he was always exploited. Be it with pressure or puppy eyes, all used to get their things done with him. Well, pressure and squeal always used to work better. His friends and teachers, well, were still somewhat compassionate, but his manager, the torchbearer of the rarest kind of douche, found soon that the only way of communicating with him was yelling at the top of his voice. He genuinely felt pleasure in repeatedly doing so.

‘Miracle’ is the word, the word you need to describe the fact that he did have Arijita in his life. Well she was his girlfriend, a person who was truly in love with him and her only expectation from him was that he kept her forever as his life partner. She saw the hidden gem in him and wanted to help him in all the ways possible. But ‘help’ is something that he had hardly got in his life and he became someone who could never be helped. He always used to think that she would leave her someday being angry or dissatisfied with him. He was irritated and unhappy with his existence. He wanted to somehow wipe him off from the face of this earth but the fear of hurting his parents and Arijita did not allow him to master the courage for doing so. He used to vent his frustrations screaming silently in his bed, muffled with the pillow tightly pulled over his mouth. Earlier he did use to complain to God but as time went by he just acknowledged the fact that his mundane existence would be his only constant companion.

Cut to the day of his glory.

 

He was really sick for the last couple of days but could never ask his manager for leave; irrespective of the fact that he had shitload of sick leaves left. He was continuously working for the last 10 days without any leave and his health had finally given in. To make things worse for him, he was working to complete the deliverables of the eye-candy of his manager. His part was already done and his manager made sure Arijit did the work of his sweetheart. Result, the work was completed but there was a minute mistake which could have been easily rectified by anyone. But his manager chose the path of punishing him by giving him more work after giving him an earful.

His health and workload did not allow him to look at his watch or his mobile. So, when he saw that he was already late, he thought about calling and informing his parents. But even his trusted mobile betrayed him; it was dead and he had forgotten the charger at home. With everybody already left for the day, he could not ask for a charger. He got more scared about getting abused at home after already enjoying a great day at office.

The bus he took was driving rash to say the least. He felt like an accident was imminent and was scared what would he answer at home, in case he was hospitalized or at office, in case he missed office the next day. But, at that very instant, another thought made him somewhat happy. What if he gets the chance to die in the resulting accident? It was his chance to get rid from this world. He felt sorry for Arijita but made his peace with the fact that she would definitely find someone better than him. Suddenly, he felt excited; a chill ran down his spines. But like all his wishes, this was also not fulfilled. When the other passengers in the bus showered some expletives to the driver, he changed his gear from accident to safety, almost immediately.

The conductor had to vent his anger for the expletives on someone and he unknowingly found the perfect person. He had already asked for fare from him, at least thrice, but he could not hear to his voice. The reprimand from his manager, his inability to say no in doing others work, his sick body, the short and sudden kick of leaving this world and its premature sad ending, the fear of getting scolded at home and of course his loud music helped his cause. A cocktail of emotions and helplessness blocked his already tired and injured mind and soul. It was the turn of the conductor to plunge in. When he was about to get down, he asked the conductor to take his fare. The conductor gave him a taste of classy profanity and he was somewhat thrown out of the bus. For a moment, he stood in the road, numb and silent.

He was not sure what to do. He knew that another round of howling was waiting for him once he reached home. He felt ashamed of the fact that a conductor, who was not even half as educated as he was, got away, making a mockery of him. He did not know what to do; the feeling of such sinking low was nothing new for him but the limit of his endurance was already crossed. He slowly started walking thinking about all these.

Finally, his moment of fame came. He was jubilant, elated. How long did he wait for such a moment? He finally felt that his life was meaningful.

He thanked his overcrowded mind and the headphone as he was not able to hear the repeated and loud horns of the speeding truck which hit him head on.

It was at that moment that he flew away.

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The Special Gift

She unlocked the door and it was all dark. She tried to switch on the lights but alas! The power was off. She got a tad frightened as none of the other houses in the neighborhood had any power failure. There was an eerie, uncanny feel in the air; it was like it was unknown to her, in her own house. She could feel some heavy breathes near him yet she could hardly see anyone or anything in the pitch black. The dead mobile did not help her cause either. It was like it had made a pact with the devil who had tricked the power failure. She slowly made her way to the cupboard where the candle and the matchbox was kept. She took them out and tried to light fire. As she lit the fire a shrill and scared scream left her voice. She became numb, motionless as she could see a dark silhouette very close to her. Before she could regain her senses and scream for help, someone had already gagged her from behind and held her tightly.

She was scared, very scared. Her heart started to pound briskly in excitement and fear. She was not able to anticipate what was in store for her. She felt that she had somewhat angered the devil. But there was something else going on in her mind.

The tight holding was more like an embrace, slightly forceful but passionate. It turned her on as she always had this wild fantasy. She knew the touch and the odor of the perfume, her favorite Versace Eros. She knew who it was and was so relieved.

“Happy Anniversary My Love”, he whispered in her ears. “Our 25th year together.”

 

He had made plans for long as he wanted to present her with a special gift for their 25th. Things were slightly disturbing between them with his business hitting a real low and creditors paying him a visit every single day. He told her that he would be away on a trip in order to boost some finance for his business and would return very late that night. Her broken heart was dealt a real heavy blow with his planning, well apparent planning. She could not catch his bluff. So after he paid a visit that morning to their solicitor discussing their insurance policies, he started preparing for their anniversary. He wanted to make sure that the 25th anniversary remains as a memorable one and no matter how much trouble or pressure they were under, they would enjoy that day to the fullest.

He had covered the entire house with balloons, frills and dim light. There were candles ready to be lit on their dinner table. A nice romantic tune was adding to the mood. He had cooked her most favorite dishes. But before eating he wanted to give her some unbiased love, some real pleasure. He knew about her cravings and knew what he needed to do.

The decoration of their bed was simply impeccable. There were rose petals scattered all over the bed sheet, two heart shapes were created with some other flowers. Bunch of expensive orchids were placed on the four corners of the bed. A dim blue light made the environment all the more romantic, rather seductive. A special fragrance was sprayed which just added to the mood.

A piece of black satin cloth, some ropes and some novelty items were neatly placed by the side of it. She knew what was in offer for her and a chill ran through her body in sheer excitement.

 

He carried her to the bed. With the cloth he covered her eyes, real tight. Thereafter, he tied her limbs tightly with the rope to the poles of the bed. Slowly but steadily he took away all her clothes, one by one. She was so turned on by all these and did not want him to stop. He softly ran his fingers over her belly and kissed it. She was eager for more. There was a slight pause, maybe he wanted to tempt her. The wait was irresistible for her, her whole body shivering in anticipation of what was to follow. He got down from the bed and went to bring something.

As he entered the kitchen to bring out the knife, the words of his solicitor ringed in his ears.

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Look at the Sky

I look at the sky, restless and angry;

Scaring all with lightning and thunder.

Muffling by voice as I scream in agony,

Broken, depressed and lifeless monotony.

 

I look at the sky, dark and gloomy;

As the famine heart waits for a drop.

So that I can hide my hopeless tears,

Drench to wash away all my fears.

 

I look at the sky, bright and shiny;

The morning sun brings a new ray of hope.

How I wish things will become right!

As I survive another day to fight.

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Take my Flowers

It was 40 degree centigrade outside; a warm breeze was sucking out the life of every person out in the sun. Unless very important, the Government had issued public announcements, that none should go out between 12 to 4PM and should definitely carry water. Even the most hardened and tough adults preferred to stay inside, at home or workplace. But there are people who need to venture out in the sun, rain and storm; every day, 365 days a year. They earn very little but get the scolding, sarcasms of people a lot. They’re the day earners, the beggars.

The road was deserted to say the least. It was like the weather has ordered a curfew. No person, animal could be seen no matter how far you may look. Buses, cars were also quite few. And in the midst of all these was a feeble cry piercing the dead silence.

“Take my flowers, fresh flowers.”

She was a small sweet girl who carried an oversized sack with her. It was difficult to walk in that searing heat, how she was able to carry a sack double her size was unknown and painful to think for the few people outside. She was new to the place and did not even know where to sell her flowers. Actually her father used to sell flowers but he was ill and her mother was looking after him. Hence, the kid who would supposedly study and stay home in such harsh weather conditions had to venture out to earn food for her family. This story when she told to a fellow buyer made his eyes slightly wet. Of course, there were brutes who thought that her father was a drunkard and forced her out to sell flowers as it would grow sympathy in the minds of people. To them, that would be good for business.

Where is humanity these days, may be only God knows.

The girl was a smart one; no matter how hard or aching was it for her, she always had a smile on her face. As she was not able to find many buyers in the road, she went to the every home nearby to sell her flowers. If she was able to sell all her flowers, she would be able to buy medicines and food for her family. She was thrown into the battle for survival pretty early in her life. She was all set and cheerful, not itchy or grumpy at all.

Her behavior was so polite and gentle that all the houses she visited bought some or lot of flowers from her. She was very happy. After every 5-6 houses she sold, she would count the coins she had and think how much more she needed to earn to buy medicines and food. As the sack got lighter, her pain of carrying also lessened. But she could realize that she was well away from her target. She did not get discouraged or dejected and went on to sell with more confidence, happiness and zeal.

Two hours later, her zeal and passion was hit hard by tiredness and thirst for water. She was still selling flowers but desperately needed some rest in a cool shade and some water. She had added the coins for the umpteenth time and was sure that she would be able to take more money home than what she thought initially. But her happiness was overshadowed by her weary legs. There was a tap outside a house and her eyes were lit up. But the moment she reached near it, she found that it had dried up long time back. She sat down at the steps just beside that house. The house was in a somewhat deserted place; it was not an abandoned place but there were not many houses nearby it.

An old lady used to stay in that house alone. She was always a kind woman and was quite wealthy too. When she saw that the girl was sitting outside, panting for breath and needed some food and water, she called her in. The kid was afraid to get in her house as she did not know her and also given the location of the house. But in absence of food and water and some rest, she would not be able to move one bit. So, even after a lot of apprehension, she did go inside.

The old lady had a granddaughter almost of her age. But they all stayed abroad. So, the feeling of pity for that girl was so genuine. She gave her some water to drink which she finished in the blink of an eye along with some food. She ate the food so gladly that the old lady felt even sorrier for her. There was gratitude etched all over that little innocent face. She asked her about her family, her ailing father and there were teardrops blocking the old vision. She thought about her granddaughter and the pain became more unbearable for her.

She decided to buy all her left flowers. She was a very pious lady and spent most of her time in worshipping Gods. She needed lot of flowers to decorate the idols and photos. She went inside to bring the money and thought to give her a bit more money. The kid was so happy that all her flowers would be sold and with the food and water, she was energized again. She opened her sack to take out something from inside it. She told in her mind that it was the best time.

The blood stained iron rod in those little hands was ready to greet its newest victim.
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Hunger and Love -5

The day had finally come. It was his time to go back to India.

Initially, when he came to Southampton, he was counting his days to go back to India. But with the last five months being an absolute treat in the company of some of his senior colleagues from office and also the multiple to and fro-s between Southampton and Lille, he did start to like the place. He felt sad to leave the city which had definitely accepted him with open arms. The warmth of the city, no matter the average temperature hovering between -5 to 5 degrees centigrade, had touched his heart a long time back. He wanted to carry sweet memories with him. But then, how could Abhishek not mess up his last day? He locked the main door keeping the keys inside. After some frantic calling and some more hiccups, his cab started moving towards Heathrow at about 5PM. He breathed a sigh of relief and sighs of despair.

He also had no idea about the next time he gets to see his love, in person.

Pooja knew how careless he was and was always on the phone. Without the video calling features and her guidance, he would have surely missed his flight just to complete his packing. She always wanted to come to Southampton to help him packing but he always denied. Deep inside though, he wanted her to come as he was undoubtedly the worst living packer in this universe. Pooja said she might give him a surprise to which he readily said no. He was really worried about her coming to Southampton or Heathrow, about how she would get back and such foolish stuffs and requested her not to do so. He was still worried, just being him.

He reached Heathrow well within time and handed over the luggage for check-in. He did not have anything at all to eat, the entire day. It was not that he was busy or something, just that he had to go out and buy some food, killed his hunger; a huge triumph of his laziness over his hunger. So he sat down munching a piece of cold bread covering shredded chicken, otherwise known as sandwich to civilized people. He was still worried about Pooja giving him a last-minute surprise. Suddenly, a four lettered precious and cultured word escaped his mouth and he saw Pooja coming towards him with all smiles and carrying two huge suit-cases.

“Shit”, that was all he said as his mouth was gaping wide. He could not believe his eyes.

Pooja was her typical self, not an iota of fatigue, after the journey, bubbling with an unknown source of energy. Those kohl-draped eyes, that open tuft of hair; for the umpteenth time killed him. That smile of hers can even melt the cruelest and heaviest of rocks, so what was Abhi’s heart! The shit-faced Abhi quickly turned into a smiling and romantic chap.

They hugged.

How long do you feel can two people hug? I mean, how long does the true essence, the feelings, the warmth, the yearning of a hug remain? It’s just a moment, a blissful instant.

In that one instant Abhishek felt that all his worries regarding the flight and all had been cured, all his sadness about leaving the city was long gone, all his insecurities about the journey and passengers were taken care, all his reservations about the safety of his luggage were no more.

All his dilemma whether Pooja should or not come was answered.

All his longing to see her was gone; all his pain about leaving his beloved was no more. He thanked God.

The ever-so-shy Abhishek who otherwise would not have wanted to hug in such a busy place wanted to be in her embrace forever. It was like time had stood still for him, it was like nothing and nobody else mattered to him anymore. He was lost somewhere between trance and reality. He knew that his time in London would be up very soon and clutched at the straws of time he was spending with her, the sheer passion flowing through his veins, the unbridled joy and excitement of being in her warm embrace, the priceless feel to hold her hands.

With his most favorite Bengali romantic number going on in the background, the mood got elevated to a whole new level. Then he uttered those 4 precious and cultured letters.

“Shit”.

There were 5 missed calls from Pooja and although he heard his phone ringing, he was too numb to receive it. He was basically living the moment when Pooja came to stay with him, 7 months back. How he wanted the moments to come true but reality is always harsh.

He called her.

After withstanding the barrage of questions from Pooja who was too worried and concerned with him not picking her phone, he finally got a chance to speak. He spoke all about what he felt in those few moments, as much as can be described in words. When he finally ended, the ever so blabbering Pooja was silent. For a moment he thought that the line was disconnected and went on screaming hello, hello. Well, all he could hear was someone crying and desperately trying to hide it.

They discussed that entire day, the excitement of meeting again, the joy of being together, the long list of surprises each had planned for the other, the surreal feeling of being in each other’s cuddle, the hugs and kisses, the PDA-s and selfies taken, the journey back home and so many other things. They wished to continue forever but the watch in his hand told him that he needed to move. They disconnected the line with multiple kisses and words of concern, requests to take good individual care, with the hope of meeting again.

A dejected yet smiling Abhishek moved towards the entry gate.

Here is the link to my 4th installment for the same: Hunger and Love -4

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My City

Naah, nothing has changed, at all. It all feels the same.

I was away for almost a year, the perks of working in IT. Onsite, money, booze, freedom- it throws at you so many alluring and lickerish offers that you end up taking them. Basically, we feel like it is the heaven that we had so long dreamt of or craved for. But 2 months down the line when you have to cook your own food, wash your own clothes, clean your room and utensils, stay alone at house, drown yourself in sorrows and subsequently in booze, you can feel that you have been brutally screwed but can’t even scream. The hardest part is staying away from your loved ones. Once the reality check hits you hard, the once happy mind longs for the touch of the near ones and the foreign currency licking tongue looks for some home cooked food. For someone like me, the ultimate frog in the well variety, it does get cruelly demanding and strenuous.

But now I am back; I had thought that the city would have changed a lot. It was still warm, well if not with her open arms but at least the temperature. The people were still busy and in a hurry, as if the world is going to be destroyed tonight. The horn of the cars and buses, the cacophony rather, was a huge difference to what I found abroad; people hardly used it. Initially, I felt a tad disgusted but then I remembered that this is where I grew up, with what I grew up. This is, in one way, is my identity. How can you take away our identity and feel like complete person!!!!!

As my cab took me further towards my house, I kept looking at the shops and the malls and the metro works. Again they all looked the same, well at least from the outside. I felt like the metro works have not progressed one bit than what I had seen a year back. Of course they have, but it still felt like the city which I had left back. The traffic is still the same or may be it has grown up meaning more cars and bikes. Add to that the number of traffic signals and the speed limit boards. Thank God I don’t even know to ride cycles.

Finally about an hour later I was back in my locality; those know faces, the streets and alleys, the shops and food joints, the pond and the field. The old smell, the old smiles, the memories, so many of them. Suddenly, the bird found its nest, the tree finally made contact with the roots. An unknown happiness, an unseen satisfaction engulfed me completely. So much so, that I forgot one of my luggage inside the cab. The driver was kind enough to run and hand it over to me. That’s true Bengali for you!!!!!

I did not inform my family about my return. It was all part of a grand surprise that me and my wife planned for them. For a moment or so, my mother and sister could not believe who their eyes were seeing, could not believe what their ears were listening to. They went numb and blinked their eyes several times. Finally, after a lot of checks and my affirmed declaration that it was me only, they were certain about me. The shock and disbelief in their eyes, the unbridled joy on their faces, that tight hug from my sister and that special motherly love; those are the things you live for. Suddenly, at 10pm at night, our house became a madcap. We totally forgot that we stay in a locality along with many other houses and not a single house in a deserted, God forsaken land. We were somewhere out of the world.

This is what heaven feels like, I silently said in my mind.

Heaven is where you spend your best times, where you’re always welcomed, where you can stay with your loved ones, where you feel complete, where you can be just yourself.

Thank you Kolkata; my city, my love.

 

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Our Love

The sun may suddenly lose all its light,

The superpowers may stop to fight,

The snow may no longer remain white,

My heart will beat eternally only for you.

 

The birds someday may forget to fly,

The course of the Nile may become dry,

The peeling onion may not make us cry,

We will together make our dreams true.

 

The smile of Monalisa may vanish,

The beauty of Aphrodite may diminish,

The moon may get rid of its blemish,

Our love is pure as the morning dew.

 

The diamond may never shine again,

The common mass will rise within pain,

The effort of the failed won’t go in vain,

Our essence of love will always remain new.

 

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