Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Love Lost

It was a golden letter day when the fair lady with a magnificent gesture came to shake hand to tender her gratitude for an editing of her management exam project. She did her master in English from Presidency College in Calcutta. Yet she was too compliant to express her so called degree. She was so polite to learn anything and everything that the gentleman possessed. She was magnetized with a baritone sound to hear from the caller. It was Mrs. Meghna Choudhuri who in everyone’s surprise came too closer to Mr. Sumanta Mukherjee.

The day began in the Library of The Statesman, the English daily newspaper situated in the heart of the city. The couple was engaged in finding out some old articles and news. Sumanta turned around at Meghna to coddle her.

I started liking your quest for erudition.
Is it so?
I swear, believe me. Look at the photo of the black Goddess. (Hanging on the wall of the library)
She smiled blank.

Meghna’s father was an ex-military lived in Barrackpore. He and his only son had the habit of consuming whiskey regularly and she was equally accustomed to the smells of wine into their family all the time.  Hence his liking for a son-in-law obviously ended in a man of similar habit. She had a little option to reject her dad’s choice. She hardly found any interest in iron and steel dealt by her man in Bihar. It was an imperfect blend of opposite characters.  She was defiled with a girl child that she never loved. The life she led in far flung area under the plateau cut off from the city life was disgusting. She had only friend in her Mom. She planned to come out of the prison to lead a free urban life. She signed up a job of interpreter in the city of Calcutta. There she encountered with Sumata.

The turbulent river Hooghly roared with her waves. Bay of Bengal was not far from it. Meghna concealed herself behind the curtain of the hotel balcony at the first floor to have a glimpse down at Sumanta who reposed under the tree on the river bank. It was drizzling around puffed with gentle breeze. Sumanta was careless in closely glaring at the fountain pen she presented him as a mark of reverence. 

Sumanta hanged around the hotel cafe waiting for her to join him. It was monsoon. The cloud drew closure to the turbulent river. The sun has taken leave to replace it by the dancing rain in amity with the whirlwind. Meghna sat with a coffee cup and started to sing a Tagore song with her husking but melodious modulation. All utterance suddenly paused at the cafe and those eyes fell on Meghna. The waiter praised, ‘lovely’.

A few days after she was in deep trouble owing to water logging of the streets of Calcutta approaching to Howrah station for her night journey to home in Bihar plateau.  She sought Sumanta’s help. He took her to Howrah by a hired car in time on the evening. She bids him adieu to meet her family by the next morning.                                  

Sumanta had a nice family. A beautiful wife with a kid. He suppressed the affair with his better-half because of his much fondness for them. He felt guilty for his affinity for other woman. Yet he was unable to reject any call of Meghna for her assistance as she lived alone in a flat in north Calcutta. But he never entered her domain except one occasion to meet her kid and mother.

Hallo Mr. Mukherjee! Are you in holiday suit? asked Meghna at Barasat bus stand.
Yes, sweetheart, to take you to another remote corner of the world today. Will you be tied in with me?
As you wish, Sir.

Sitting inside the hired car Meghna lamented, ‘are we not doing wrong in enhancing this relation?’
May be, yes. OK, let’s go back?
No, not at all. Let’s do some wrongs, OK?
Sumanta indulged in indecency and gripped her hand in passion.

Look beyond the water, Bangladesh is on the other part of this river Ecchamoti. Have you ever been there, Meghna?
No. But there is my ancestral home.
Me too.
Is it so? Means we’re both of that part of Bengal. What a similarity!

Over the lunch table, Meghna was annoyed with the quality of food served by the hotel.
Will you cook yourself and serve it to me?
Yes, I shall be pleased to do it, but you find out our own home far from this world of unkindness and vengeance, Meghna became sentimental.

In one morning Sumanta received a phone call from the husband of Meghna.
Mr. Mukherjee?
Chaudhuri here. Meghna told me about you. You wrote an excellent piece of paper on health science. I’ve seen it.
Thank you very much. Please come and join the national seminar on Health For All in Howrah tomorrow.
No Sir. I shall be out of the town tomorrow. Don't mind please.

Sometimes Sumanta wondered to listen praises for her husband from Meghna. “He loves me too much on bed. He lifts me on his lap and kisses me like a mad.”
“He was a gold medalist in his engineering degree”, added Meghna.  

“Mr. Mukherjee thanks a lot. For you only I stood first in the management exam”, she was delighted to inform Sumanta. 
“Then change of your job is on the card. Will you venture for that?
Yes, of course, stressed Meghna.

Meghna became pregnant. But she refused to keep it. She clamored for abortion. The murder of a new born was dancing on her eyes. She forced Sumanta to remain with her side and he had to sign on the medical papers as her husband. She was aborted at the Lake Nursing Home but her bleeding was not yet stopped and she was yet to regain her sense. Doctor summoned the husband-on-paper. With a gentle touch of Sumanta, Meghna regained her half sense and vomited over him. With the evening past, she regained her complete sense and was released with the advice to take full rest in home.

Sumanta left for home after handing her over to the maid at her flat with the query in mind, “why she did so without knowledge of her husband and against the wishes of Sumanta?”

From the next day, Meghna never called to Sumanta and never said him hallo. Perhaps she realized of her meaningless life she was leading. She wanted to keep both the ends of life intact but failed. Thus Meghna lost from the canvas of Sumanta for ever. 

 Sekhar Roy