The crispness of panjabi kurta was long lost. Sweat is an uninvited friend in this perennial humidity of Calcutta. The chaos was getting on his nerves. Still he managed a bleak smile to those unknown guests lost on their way to the Buffet room.
Standing at his own wedding Sudeep felt as a total stranger. Everything happened so fast. His travel consultancy business was just holding grip when the news of his mother's throat cancer shook him.
He couldn't muster courage to confront her when his mother asked him to marry her best friend's daughter.
He always believed there will be plenty of time to fall in love after he made something out of himself. Love cheated him.
He lighted a cigarette standing on the balcony.
Someone was kind enough to turn the table fan towards her.
Sitting at centre of the hall under the critical eyes of hundreds she silently cursed every drop of sweat that made her twitch.
She never thought that the day she dreamt about all these years will turn out to be such a nightmare. She longed to get out of this heavy Benarasi sari.
As other upper middle class daughters Anindita was convent educated. But still in her family, politics and freedom was something women were never trusted with.
She never dreamt of falling in love. It was all very filmy. All she wanted was to get out of that monotonous past of hers to a liberal present.
She never really had any conversations with Sudeep but he seemed decent. But how could she really know? She trusted her parents. But he is a complete stranger.
She looked around. Where is he?
'So, are u comfortable here?' Sudeep asked, unsure if he should open his kurta in presence of a woman or not.
'Yes' Anindita replied trying to keep the fear hidden in her voice.
How she wished she got a bigger suitcase from home to hide herself inside it.
'So how was your dinner?'
'Nice....and yours?' she asked
'Yes, nice too...I mean good'
'I will be leaving for Delhi tomorrow evening...just for 2 days....work....will u be fine?'
In midst of this chaos, this office tour came as a welcome relief to him. He so desperately wanted to get away and rethink this whole situation.
She nodded. She was not really sure what was she supposed to do. She recalled how her mother packed her father's luggage before every such trip.
Maybe she could go to her home for 2 days. She felt a bit relieved.
Suddenly the double bed felt so cramped. They tried to stick to the edge of the bed making sure not to touch each other. The silence was broken by the whining of the ceiling fan and the soft rustle of her sari.
'So are u comfortable here?' he asked.
He looked so innocent when he is asleep, she thought.
She sat silently and watched a thin smile play on his lips along the rhyme of his dreams.
He was curled up in the corner of his bed as if guarding his secrets of the night from the cruel sunlight.
He felt a soft nudge on his shoulder. But somehow it seemed to go along with his dream.
Then he heard his name but the voice was different.
'Its 9 already, your mother asked me to wake u up’, she said.
'Oh...yes...soorry...hmm...hi...I mean good morning'
She was combing her wet hair and he realised he never really looked at her till now.
The tiny little drops of water shaken out of hair by the brutal pull of her comb formed a glittering aura around her shining in sunlight.
The pain in her face when a knotted hair got pulled and her struggle to hide it.
The soft fresh smell of turmeric from yesterday was still there and she justified it.
She is beautiful.
Sealdah Railway Station has been an epitome of confusion for every Calcuttan. Nobody gets there direction right for the first time.
In midst of the flowing crowd of Office returning people it was hard to find the platform for Rajdhani.
Anindita secretly regretted her decision to come to the station to drop Sudeep. But she was getting tired of the constant pampering she had to deal with morning onwards at that house.
Sudeep's cousin was too busy figuring out the coach number. Sudeep slowed down to catch up with her.
He saw the horror in her eyes and smiled.
Sudeep held her hand. But as soon as he did, he regretted not asking her permission.
Then he slowly felt the grip of her fingers around her palm. He could feel the flow of her blood. He could feel the throb of her heartbeat.
They walked towards the train. The crowd has slowly thinned. But he forgot to lose his grip.
The train was about to leave. He suddenly regretted all the hassle for the trip. 2 days felt years. And he had so many new feelings to be felt.
The signal turned green. He loosened his grip, but her fingers kept holding his hand for a moment too long. A hesitation.
Her engagement ring left an impression on his palm. He wished it stayed for 2 more days.
He walked, and then ran. But climbed on the pedestal when he could not keep up with the speed of the train.
A last look into her eyes. She had so much to say, he wanted to listen, he promised to listen. But all her eyes could say was,
A drop of tear!
"Train roll on, on down the line
Won't you please take me far away
Now, I feel the wind blow outside my door
I leave my woman at home
Tuesday's gone with the wind
My baby's gone with the wind"
-Tuesday's Gone,Lynyrd Skynyrd
P.S: Wanted it to be shorter....but couldnt make it ny more short....hope its readable!!!