9, Rowland Street, Kolkata.
11th December, 2015
The morning sun has not yet announced its arrival. Among the dim light of the table lamp standing in one corner and the awkward silence, i watch Rohini crying. Tears roll down her eyes.
“She could not accept my one wish. Its the only thing i asked for..” Her sobbing become prolonged as she continues. “I so wanted her beside Dave”.
I, David Joseph Bose can’t give her an explanation to the indefinite punishment she is getting from her widowed mother who can’t accept me as her Christian son-in-law. Maybe my family would have done the same but being orphan helps you sometimes!
“She will accept us. Give her sometime.”
“No she will never. I know her better than you. We had to flee Dave, without letting her know ” She is right. She knows her mother better. Rohini Ashfaq has fallen in love with a struggling writer by passion and an office clerk by proffession, who is finding means to keep his wife happy. When a daughter claims of knowing her mother better, what can I do? Giving arguable justifications won’t help the mother accepting the repeated calls of her daughter for the last one year trying to put things back. Thrice we have tried to confront her face to face, but the only thing we received was the door being slapped upon us.
“Trust me. She will accept us. I promise you Ro’.” I try to console her with the every possible aspect of vocabulary from my dictionary.
“You? You are giving me promise? You, mister of all people..how will understand the pain of being away from a living mother?” Rohini has stabbed me and hit me on the right spot. “You carry on your writings. They suit you.” Pouring all her anger, she rises and walks away towards the attached balcony of our single room shelter.
While anger and stubbornness hit the deadly mother-daughter duo, guilt keep eating me. She is right again. I, of all people, know nothing. Maybe, nothing.
12A, Nizampur Bazar, Chittagong.
18th December, 2015
Bank job is a tough life. 8 hours of routine work for the past 23 years has made her will strong. Living alone from the young age of 31 after the death of her husband, Mrs Laila Ashfaq is proud of her deeds. She needed no one to raise her daughter. She needs none now.
Slowly and steadily, she approaches towards the letter box beside her big two storeyed house, old and shabby by nature and age. Just a year back, the house has seen a member being reduced. Decipriated by the shock, the house has become too worn-out to give support to the only living person here.
In the evening rags, Mrs Ashfaq takes out the papers presiding in the box. It has been a habit now. Documents are an usual dominance in her existing life. Two papers clearly signified the stamps of the Bank and one small white envelope with her name written in hand.
A letter? In these days, who could have send her a letter. The darkness of the dusk does not allow her to read it clearly but it clearly gives a hint of being delivered from a distant city. Is it Rohini? For a split second, she thinks of crushing it apart and feel like throwing it. But gradually, she controls her anger. Maintaing her usual pace, She enters the house, switches on the light, keeps her bag aside. Keeping the primary two documents in her safe, she draws her attention towards the more prior one. Carefully, she opens out the white sheet of paper. Yes, its a letter, from her daughter. Not a handwritten one though, it clearly indicates being printed out. Reluctantly, she puts on her glasses and looks over it.
‘Kemon acho maa?’ Assuming that your anger has not yet dipped down, i could not gather up the courage to face you or call you one more time just to be rejected again. Miles away from you, this seemed to be the only option to confess my never-told feelings. I left you at a phase, when situation demanded me to leave. Because there comes a time, when your heart pounces for the one prince you desire all your life to stay beside you. My heart pounced too. For the guy, who always respects my dreams, who always found peace in my smile. And believe me maa when you love someone, nothing seems a barrier.
Every second after my departure, i crave for you. From the drowsiness forcing me to sleep to the chirping of the morning birds waking me up, i miss you Maa. You were my universe, when i wanted for a small world. From the simplest of the desires to the toughest of the challenges, you prepared me. You gave me the strength to fight, you taught me the lessons to face the harsh world. And even in the sweet world of happiness, where dreams were turning to reality, i fall for the guy, who got trapped in our strict rules of conservation. I stepped into a world different from yours. An institution called marriage which turned a maiden to a bride, a girl to a lady who just like you learnt to fight. Yet, my tears long for your presence. Yet, my soul rests upon you. I am happy, Maa. But i would have been happier, if i had you beside me. Pleading you to forgive us will be a major demand, but at least dont forget us. Because, whatever be the distance, either between our stay, or our thoughts, nothing could weaken our connection.
Just for once, keep aside your anger and say, ‘Come back!’ and your little princess will be back on your arms, driving to the destiny of happiness, living and fighting together, like old days. I may fight and live without you! But not without your blessings, Maa.
You were my world. You still are..
For a couple of minutes, Mrs Ashfaq do not move. With shaky hands, removing the glass she wipes away the few drops of tears. Stepping aside she moves towards her phone. She still remembers her number. Days of staying away from her daughter has not faded her memory.
11, Rowland Street, Kolkata.
18th December, 2015
The cold breeze is tearing me apart as i drive my bike back home at the late hours of the night. Another rejection from another publisher on another day has made me more tired. Arguably neither the clerk post at office nor my innumerable attempts to influence the pubisher is going my way, thus failing to fulfil our appetites amidst the emotional crisis. ‘Long way to go’ i keep saying myself.
“Long day huh? Must be tired!” Rohini asks me as I park my vehicle. I look at her. She is smiling, a very very rare sight considering her state of mind.
“Yeah, a bit! You look happy?” I can not hide my curiousity.
And suddenly before i could expect anything, she rushes towards me and hugs me.
“You wouldn’t belive Dave.” She keep on saying with her usual sobs.”Maa called a few hours back. After all these days. She wants us back Dave.”
“Really? Thats great news Ro!” I expresse my surprise.
“Ya it is. I can not believe this!”
Neither could I. I, David Joseph never expected that my sudden thought of delivering a letter would make miracle happen. With the slightest hope, i gave my all behind that writing. Years of conversation with Ro about her mother had given me the strength to decorate the feelings and emotions. As I promised, a husband had to fix this for his beloved. And, in this secret society where phone calls were not making any effects, a writer had to introduce a letter. For a time being, a writer had to become a daughter. A writer had to structure a perfect proxy.
“I made the custard today. Your favourite” Rohini Ashfaq smiles as she regains her composure. “Freshen up. I will be back soon.”
And as Rohini makes her way back, she stops and turns again towards me only to ask a question.
“What about your writings Dave? Any luck today?”
I smile and keep silent. No need to answer this one i guess…