Friday, April 28, 2006

The Ingenue ....

After a three and half minutes walk down the waterlogged way Itri and Salil approach to the corner block drug shop of the township. Waiting at the shop bay Itri watches passer bys, cycle riders, young gentlemen on speeding bikes, rickshaws strolling with blowing horns now and then impacting suburban picturesque features but not stills, very much moving unlike Itri. The salesman has glanced at her once or twice but with Itri’s motionless and expressionless look he had been discouraged to start any conversation, which shopkeepers usually raise out of curiosity mostly with girls like Itri who are quite out of the way of this small town-ship. She has hurriedly put on her old Levis which is a bit large than her waist size, she has covered this misfit with a loose baggy t- shirt which her college friends gifted 2 yrs back on her birthday. It is much large not that for Itri is slim, it is xxl size. She never understood what amount of absence of conceptions in measurements had taken to make such a decision of buying a XXL size for her. It still brings a smile on the stupidity of them and as she smiles it makes the shopkeeper to stare at her amazed by the sudden change of her face and recovering back within a moment. She catches up all the hustling bustling noise of the tinsel town centre , what the RJ is babbling , whether there’s the popular number going on the air yet she is concentrated if there is any sound of even of a pin dropping from the antechamber of the shop , although she is absolutely sure that there’s no possibility of any either. She has heard only once though not any scream of pain or panic but sighs with gasping of breaths, which gave impressions of tremendous sufferings, intolerable pain. She never had any idea that sighs can be of such torture to the listener revealing all the agony of the patient, as Salil was then. She had been waiting for him besides his bed in the air-conditioned room, watching him recover his senses slowly after the operation that was four years back just monsoons as it is now. She was 17 then. Salil turned 51 this July. She had forgot to wish him though she called him up on that day only to inform that she will be late as she had gone for lunch with friends at Pesto to have Italian. He said that it was alright and asked the probable time of her return, she had answered him and ended the call being very sure there was nothing else to inform him. Only the next they she called to say him “belated happy Birthday papa”. She curses herself for such a mistake for always being the non-intentional blunderer. This was the first time she has missed it. Is she becoming more self- consumed with friends and peers and her own life matters? Is that all matters to her. That’s what will people would make out of it. Won’t they? Misconceptions always surround her; People and misconceptions. She can remain solemn within people but not with misconceptions. It’s always her own people she is for; her life has been for, her life process guided by sublime jurisdictions of rights and wrongs of her own people. And it’s only her own people who have failed to her sentimental expectations. Their expectations were never imposed on her but in an unintentional fashion they always seemed to be very obviously taken for granted. She has gone in rebellious ways for some occasions but her efforts never gave her great satisfaction of self-contentment, rather it had made her morose. There were always contradictions of decisions and desires. Her parents wanted her to take singing lessons, she was not keen for it neither too rebellious just to turn down their wish but the fact that she was disgusted with her perverted music teacher , is still listed in her secret chamber. Her parents think that it was just her stubborn attitude to act against their wish made her take a stand of not taking singing lessons. She never missed her mother’s birthday as her father did. She had made hand painted cards for her birthday, New Year but not for her father’s birthday anytime in the past although there is no definite reason for not doing so it just never happened and her father never expressed any disappointment. She is a blunderer; she thinks of herself. She was never able to express herself the way she wanted. She was a blunder. She hurt her grandfather; whom all the grandchildren called ‘dada’ only she was the one who stick ked to “dadaji’. Instead of the awe oriented with the address that Itri always had for him it gave a wrong idea that their relation was uneasy and formal unlike the others. She never expressed her amazement for his intellect, never told that she always fancied his talent in solving puzzles and mathematical problems. Mathematics which used to be her favorite subject but she never raised the topic of teaching her mathematics to ‘dadaji’. He thought she was adamant. She dwelt with the idea he will never judge things logically when it came to practical life not his mathematics. Like she has argued long hours with him that there is no harm if his daughter-in-laws worked outside; if he would change his iron solid rigidities about some rituals. But it was never anything like the sweet and light-hearted arguments of a grandfather and grand-daughter. His relationships with the children were just usual as Esha her cousin had with him. Esha the favorite of all, a darling who called out ‘dada’ and sprang to his neck and ‘dada’ reciprocated to her affectionately. She wanted to be with him like this but she just couldn’t be hypocrite and something inside her has always resisted to act normally or may be what seemed to her pretentious. She could never make out why she had so many contradictions with his way of thinking. She was a mere child 8- 11 years old. Yes she acted rudely at occasions but she never really wanted and neither she was able to restrict herself to raise a argument like “ ‘dada’ its not fair how you insult Dida for her faults in cooking” and ‘Dida’ also always tried to remain silent and made her stop. But carried away even she herself could not resist her exuberant attitude and each time it made the relation bitter and distant far from approaching towards a normal sweet grandfather-granddaughter relationship. But she really never wanted it to be that way and even so it went all wrong always. ‘Dada’ had always faith in his other grandchildren Esha off-course Esha’s elder brother Nitin and everybody else and Itri became more and more cold outside, and regretted in total secrecy of her heart about the way things went. She did not attend ‘Dada’ s’ funeral her mother went alone.
Questions were raised in silent eyes “ Is this little granddaughter of the family so feelingless to be unhindered by this great loss” and she wept alone far away in their home unseen by everybody who never knew what was it to bear this pain when she was having her board exams just a month away. She wept on her fresher’s day at college when some seniors had gone extreme with their tyrant humiliations, she had felt laughter with the ways they wanted to make her cry but to suppress the laughter she broke down. She does not remember but someone brought a discussion about her grandfather her ‘dada’ it was some rediculas pun but it reminded her how ‘dada’ gave examples that all his grand children where good in studies and she must carry over the tradition and that day which was very memorable moment of her life , when she was part of one of the most famous college in the nation ; he was not there. She regrets it now again; it was again a misconception of the fellow students that she broke down to the humiliations. A deep gasp and nothing else she has to say about it.


Blogger Sagar Neel De said...

Everything except this short story is great. This needs a lot of improvement.

Very very very short sentences. Eto comma ar eto frequently - reader'r rhythm bhenge jacche. Make few paragraphs. Boddo jammed up lagche.

But the theme is marvelous. Absolutely fabulous.

Arekbar lekha'r chesta kor. Bhalo kore. e.g. belated happy birthday papa ta ektu elaborate kor. How she overlooked papa in the "pursuit for happ_Y_ness". Your vocab is marvalous kintu "non-intentional" word ta keno use korli.

This idea has teh capability to get published. So do it. Best of Luck.

1:13 AM  
Blogger bhromor said...

thanks sagar ! well may be over rated it ! I never wrote it with the idea of publishing , just scribbled through a night that was all ! but I will try to parapharse this !

6:09 AM  
Blogger icon.archit said...

11:51 PM  

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