Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Other Side Of The Coin

“Heads, we get married; tails,we break up”- she muttered to herself as she resorted to the silvery round object to take the decision for her. She waited a moment, had a look on the dripping blood through the tube, smiled feebly and flipped the coin up in the air.


Sunlight pierced her eyes while she tried to open it softly. A hazy table with two glucose bottles and few medicines on it; as she immediately turned her head towards her right.. Rimli closed her eyes again and felt better. She is too weak to keep her eyes open. Faintly she could understand her mother’s voice talking to somebody unknown. "Oh God!! Is Ma crying? What are they talking about? How long I was senseless? When I came to hospital? Which Hospital is it?” All the questions which flocked together in her mind stampeded as her mother’s whimpering -sound came closer and that unknown heavy male voice said- “Control yourself Mrs. Mitra. Rimli would begetting back her senses anytime and trust me it’s very very early stage of ‘Leukaemia’and look at her age; she is young. I bet she can fight off.”…… Mother’s tears-unruly!!


“Leukaemia?? Did he really pronounce ‘Leukaemia’or do we have nightmares even when we are senseless??” - As if she at this moment is having no other crunch than this word- ‘Leukaemia’ which suddenly smacked her whole world into obsolete morsels. “Have I really got my senses back?”- Rimli tried to open her eyes again to get the proof. Mother standing in front of her. “Hey how r you feeling now?”- Mrs. Mitra managed to utter.“Absolutely fine, Maa!”- Rimli with a grin. Mother smiled back and a long mother-daughter conversation followed. “The visiting hour is over; I have to go now dear. Will meet in the afternoon. Want me to get anything for you?”-Mrs.Mitra pulled her purse and hurried towards the corridor. “Just my phone, some books and my purse, Maa”- Rimli tried to wave her hand steadily to her mother.


Tunir- a guy whom Rimli knows since she was 20. They were college besties- an extension of each other by now. It’s been 9 long years to this symbiotic relationship and when they pull in to the fact that loving and knowing each other couldn’t be more, the decision of ‘tying knot’ was axiomatic. It’s just one month left to ‘The Day’.  It’s just one month left for them to get married and it’s one whole day of combat which Rimli faced with herself in this one day in hospital-“ to get married or not to?” Life seems so futile without Tunir. How would she manage without “the name” which has blended thoroughly with each drop of her blood? Instantly she votes for the marriage and almost immediately in the next moment her perplexed eyes chance upon the channel on her hand through which she is receiving blood into her body. She realized she is left with no alternative when that each drop of her ‘baneful’ blood would abjure ‘the name’ from her life slowly and she changes her mind saying to herself-“I can’t do this to him. I can’t finish his life by marrying him.”And the battle continues between No-i-can’t-live-without-him and No-i-can’t-leave-him-alone-and-go.


“Thank you, Maa. It seems ages I have not used my cell phone.” She promptly checked the missed call list.7 new missed calls but none from Tunir. “Huh, busy man” she sighed. It’s been a week she is not hearing from Tunir .He’s busy with his new project. “Ok bye Maa, see you soon tomorrow.”Both waved hand to each other and Rimli lied down, again bewildered. Astraddle, she decided to toss.


It’s head. All the three times. Anxious and baffled face is all blush-and-smile now.Relieved, Rimli leaned over the pillow on the tilted bed and complacently checked her mobile phone. An e-mail on gtalk caught her eyes. She runs through.“Hii, what’s up Rim?? Sorry, was tied up in work last few weeks. Fever ok now?? Rim, it’s been a month I wanted to tell you something and you know more that it’s no-go to keep back from you. I know you will be feeling horrible of me but then as you know I have none to bank upon but you and I knew no better way to convey than to mail you...Rim, I think I have fallen for Esha.... I know it’s obtuse just a month before marriage but ...” 


Remaining text- blurred..!! 


 She is sitting inert, immobile- coiled up in one corner of the bed putting her head on her knees. The white-face gazing vacantly on “Ashok Stambh” of the coin as if there is no end to it.


But “Head” it was....!!

Photo Courtsey: Author


Winter Wins!

“Yes you heard it right, I hate winters, I said”. My instant answer to my friends when asked about my season-preference. To answer those gaping-faces my list of reasons will invariably start with- i) Sokal-bela-ghum-theke-otha(waking up in the morning) and folks, this ‘morning’ thing can vary between 6.30AM to 11AM; I mean whatever the time may be, I have difficulty to get out of bed. ii) To muster the courage to get into the washroom for bath and if it’s‘shampoo-day’ my diastolic will surely range between 100 to 120. iii) My perpetual migraine/sinus flogging me every now and then……. And the list goes on.

But when sat to write about something and making people count on my dislikes only; well, that would be injustice and ‘Gandi Baat’ as Shahid Kapoor would say.And when pondered on the fact, actually in an eye-blink my zero-power-bulb-face changed to 200W-power-bulb when plenty of things gushed out of my mind and queued in front of my eyes. Few of them are:-

  •    Dhowa-otha-shokal (smoky morning)-

    Being acompulsive ‘can’t-eat-it-hot’ person, this is the only part of a year, I wouldlook forward to anything “dhowa-otha”. Starting from the foggy morning and its glee of haziness all around to “dhowa-otha-cha-coffee-bhat”(hot tea, coffee, rice) or whatever it is, it’s such a pleasure to eyes in these chilled days…

  • Bichhanay pahar (Hilarious Hill)- 

    Winter means a mounded structure in one side of your bed which would be neatly covered with your bed cover and I call it ‘Bichhanay pahar’- right from my childhood till date. All the Lep, kombol (quilts and blankets) get a place on the bed itself and forms a‘hill’ like structure. Isn’t it the same scene in yours’? My favourite pastime in my childhood used to use this ‘hill’ as a slip and slide. I used to go to the top of the heap and slide away from there and no reproving would stop me doing it iteratively.

  •   Hathe khori- 

     I spell it- S R E E M O Y E E…pheww!! So big aname I used to think, I still think and I am sure will be thinking in all thecoming winters. It’s my easy and mirthful substitute of tattoo which can onlybe done in winters—writing your name with your nail on your dry skin!! Thosewho do it, know the bliss and those who have not, what are you waiting for?

  •  Olfaction-

Winter to me is about assorted smells all around. Notungur (molasses) or Nolen gur totop the list, Robbar er-mawton(Sunday’s mutton),peas kochuri,  fulkopir-torkari(cauliflower) would closely follow. Those who are convinced by now that I am an obsessive gastronomist (though I am), there is no reason to do so as I am equally charmed with the smell of other things too; like i) the smell of‘Pears’ soap in almost every house in this season. Very typical of Bengali household, I suppose. If they are mall- goers, its ‘Pears’ and if they are like my father (local bazaar goer) then it would be ‘Chasme glycerin’; and however irked I get to get into the bathroom these days, it won’t stop me to play with the almost-finished-brown-oval-thing which gives me a ‘golden vision’ whatever I see through it. And I love it. ii) Gyada-ful-er-gondho (marigold’s smell)iii) Another one which I miss now in winters is Amma’s (paternal grandmother) smell when she used to stand in the sun after bath. The atypical smell which is a mixture of sun, water and the Keo-Karpin oil she used to put before bath. Awesomeness.

  • Chhat-Dupur, Khola chul aar Horek Ful (Roof-cheer,damp hair and tinted flower)-  

    Chhat is phenomenal in winter atleast for Bengalis. How I love the chat-scenes all day-long in any random Dec-Jan days!! Pink, Red, Yellow, Blue, Purple-name any colour and you get it there, bordering the rectangular area. We call it season of flowers. Marigold, Dalia, Rose of different colours- you will definitely get them in Bengali chhat in their Sheetkaal (Winter). A lazy afternoon, a warm-hearted sun, a straw-mat spread in the middle of this flower-bordered chhat and you let your hair down and sit in midst with a book in your hand when cold, gentle breeze flurrying your hair and the chirping sparrow cutting the silence oftenly- how about that? Lonely yet content? Tranquility which is euphoric? Well, in my word- Divineness.

  •  Mela-r mela (Fair of fairs)-

    Colours, dust,bubbles, bhepu, candy floss, crowd, Rabindra-sangeet, the buzz- so very known!! Trade fair, Lexpo, Expo, Handicraft fair and many more. Whether you have something to buy or not, missing any of these is no less a crime.Then, comes the winter-Durga Puja, Bengali’s life support system; publicly known as ‘Book Fair’. “Ashchhe bochhor abar hobe” (will be happening again in next year) is the only affirmative that aids us to survive through all the five seasons to reach winter again.

Did I say I hate winters?? Did I? Click the ‘Ignore’ button then. Winter wins!!

Photo Courtsey: Author