A weekend trek to Tonglu in Darjeeling District

May 31, 2015

We planned a trek to Mulkarkha Lake in one of the extended weekends. Unfortunately, on the day of departure, we got to know that rain had come down in buckets there. A quick change of decision, and we zeroed in on Tonglu, in the same old Darjeeling district.

Boarded Padatik from Sealdah, and off we set. We reached NJP at about 10.30 AM. It took us another half an hour from there to Darjeeling More. We took shared cab from there to Sukhia Pokhri, which took us around 3 hours to reach. We enjoyed a tea break at Dudhiya staring at the firing range. After satisfying our hunger for some steaming momos at Sukhia, we took another shared cab to Dhotrey, and reached there at about 5 PM.

After leaving our rucksacks in a home-stay, we went to the viewpoint to catch the setting sun and got welcomed by the magnificent Kanchenjunga. We had supper at 7.30 PM and retired to bed by 9 PM. We slept to the humming tune of strong wind blowing outside.

The alarm woke us up at 5.20 AM, and we headed to the viewpoint once again. The sunrise was not that spectacular, but the Sleeping Buddha lay in front of us without a speck of cloud blocking any part! By 6.30 we came back in front of the home-stay. Clicking photos of the local dogs (including a Dalmatian), we waited for breakfast. Momos, again – steaming and scrumptious, with the dale chutney.

At about 8 AM, we started our trek for Tonglu. The trail from Dhotrey to Tonglu is surrounded by huge trees. Rhododendron and Magnolia adorned the entire track in an exquisite way. We could see around 4-5 kinds of birds, and butterflies. The feast for the eyes, however, were two red pandas running on high branches of a tree.

We reached Tonglu at around 1 PM. The little place has a small water body, where two ducks were playing away to glory. After we left our luggage at the lodge, we climbed up the hummock there and let our worries and frustrations of mundane life being blown away by the chilly winds. On our right was the Kanchenjunga. On our left was Tumling, playing hide-and-seek, as the clouds kept passing by. The most melodious sound was that of the whooshing strong and chilly breeze that eventually brought forth the clouds, which brushed our faces with nippiness. We took a break for lunch and a siesta. For lunch we had delicious steaming hot rice, daal, aloo bhaja, and omelette.

We went back to the hummock in the evening, and sat till dusk. Back in our lodge, we had our favourite Bengali snack – jhaal muri. Thanks to Souvo (Chowdhury) Da for carrying muri (puffed rice), onions, tomatoes, and lemons all the way from Calcutta. Putting together all the ingredients in candle light was fun. As our eyes watered from cutting the onions, our lips continuously had a smile with excitement. After the snack was ready to be savoured, it started raining. We went out to have a look, and that was so brilliant a sight for us. It was lightening far towards the Kanchenjunga, brightening up the whole place for fractions of a second. We stood there awestruck for some time, before we were hit by the cold wind, and came back to our room to gorge on the jhaal muri, at 10000 feet. Unfortunately, just after half an hour when we decided to gulp some Old Monk, Daju came and said that dinner was ready to be served. Once again, steaming food was served on the table. It was khichdi this time, along with aloo bhaja, and omelette again.

Back to our room after dinner, we kept looking outside the window to see the lightening. Soon enough as we sat with our glasses again, did we realise that it was also hailing along with rain. We opened the window to find an irregular hailstone that was about 2.5 cm in diameter. It was just a weekend trip and so much to experience. What more could we have asked for?

The next day, after having noodles and roti and aloo subzi, and some amazing tangy tamarind pickle, we started descending from Tonglu to Maneybhanjan, from Meghma and Chitrey. The descent took us around 4 hours. In between we stopped at Chitrey for the special coffee by the famous barista there. I am not a coffee or tea person at all. Yet, I was found sipping a refreshing cup of coffee, and chomping on some butterfly biscuits (gets the name due to the shape that resembles a butterfly), as the wintry clouds buffed my face off. We got a shared cab again to reach from Manebhanjan to Sukhia Pokhri and then to NJP. As we were coming down by car, we saw broken branches and trees at intervals, which let us know the intensity of the rain last night. Overall, the weather was very pleasant, which we did not expect before going. The torrential rain that poured through was due to some air depression, and not expected at the time.

Clothes needed: There was not much of a temperature dip, but the constant chilly winds actually made us shiver a bit. A sweater and a jacket each did fine for us.

Dhotrey to Tonglu: 7 Km

Route: Darjeeling more – Sukhia – Maneybhanjan – Dhotrey – Tonglu.

Tonglu Darjeeling

                                 Tonglu

For more photos click: https://www.facebook.com/prankster.tania/media_set?set=a.10153401198411057.1073741836.566276056&type=1


Write Drunk. Edit Sober.

July 11, 2014
Write drunk.  Edit sober.

Write drunk. Edit sober.


Difference between Knowledge and Wisdom

July 10, 2014
Knowledge is knowing  tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


Summer tips – Beat the heat, Calcuttans!

April 29, 2014

Just April end, yet with the level of mercury already touching

washing face summer in kolkata

Caption: Beat the hit with these summer tips.
Photo courtesy: Web

42°C Calcuttans are going berserk. Here are some summer tips to combat with the scorching heat of the season. Read on for the summer outdoor preparations and know how to stay cool in summer.

glass of water

Drink water! There is no substitute for this. Photo courtesy: Web

                                                                               

 

Drink lots of water and fluids: Some people drink water like a camel, while some others like me feel bloated with too much of water. Problem arises with people of the second category. Even
if you feel bloated with too much of water, you got to drink it. What I do is, have little amount of water at short intervals. Instead of water, you can also choose fruit juices. Glucose will restore the energy that you lose in the form of sweat in the     sizzling summer heat. However, you must avoid colas and other aerated drinks. Do I need to tell, why?

 

Mind your diet: While some people drool at the thought of junk food, those should be a strict no-no during summers. The oil in the junk food will cause digestive disorders, and generate more body heat, which is of course undesirable. Avoid red meat, especially pork and beef. You may have mutton once in two weeks, but stop being a voracious eater. A light diet with less oil is the best food that you can intake as you try hard to beat the heat. Include a lot of fruits in your diet.

 

 

red apple green apple

Thrive on fruits in summer.
Photo courtesy: Jishnu Nandy

    Have juicy fruits: I love fruits, and if you love them too, summer is a
time   that you should rejoice. Mangoes, watermelons, cucumbers,

Fruit salad

Enjoy your fruit salad in summer.
Photo courtesy: Web

pineapples, sweet lemon, grapefruit, jelly seeds of
palmyra palm are some of the delicious fruits to enjoy      in summer in Calcutta (Kolkata). You can eat
them individually, or you can also make fruit salad
and have it with a pinch of chaat masala. You could
also add some beaten yogurt as a topping.
 

Wear summer-friendly clothes: If you are wondering what to wear in summer, cotton and linen are the ultimate words here. These are natural fibres, and they allow air circulation. At least for summers keep aside your tight fitting clothes. Wear loose clothes of pastel shades; floral prints and neon streaks are in fashion too.

Avoid skin problems: Any summer tips article is incomplete without talking about skin problems. Remember the Nycil ads on television? Prickly heat is just one of the many skin problems. During summers, skin problem can vary from rashes, pimples, acnes, bacterial infections, and fungal infections.

Use your sunscreen lotions to shun away the UV rays. Photo courtesy: Web

Use your sunscreen lotions to shun away the UV rays.
Photo courtesy: Web

Doctors suggest that one should use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or
above, at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun. In fact, it is
advisable to carry a sunscreen when you go out and apply it every 2-4
hours, to shun away the UV rays.
Back home, after a shower, use prickly heat powder if you have these red         itchy heat rashes. As you go out in the sun, do not forget to carry your
umbrella.

 

ice cubes in summer

Ice can be the best rescue for many skin problems in summer.

 

Use ice cubes on the tanned skin. Ice helps to reduce skin inflammation and sun burns. You could also try some home remedies. Looking up on the internet will help you find some good home remedies for your skin problems in summer.

 

 

 

 

Finger art umbrella

Caption: Do not forget your umbrella.
Photo courtesy: Web

Schedule your work according to the sun: This one may
seem lame to many. Different work profiles may need different
people to stay in the sun for long hours. Yet, here are a few things      that you might take up for protection against the sun. Carry a
bottle of water. Drink a few gulps of water every 30-45 minutes
when you are out in the burning sun. You can also use the water         to splash on your face and neck for some relief.
Besides, umbrella, hat, and sunglasses, carry some wet
tissue
 to clean off your face once in a while. Try buying these
tissues with aloe content; it gives an instant cooling effect. Take a       bath when you return home.

 

Sunglasses, shades, goggles

Wear your sunglasses when you are out in the sun.
Photo courtesy: Amal Biswas

 

 

 

 

 

Baby taking bath

Take a good bath twice a day and stay cool!
Photo courtesy: Web

 

 

 

Stay cool in summer by taking a bath twice a day: In the sweltering heat of the summer months try to take a shower twice a day. However, you can also take a bath even 3-5 times a day. Each time you take a bath, dry yourself well and apply a generous amount of powder on your body.

 

 

 

 

 

           

Body cooling spots

Know your body quick cooling spots

               

 

                Know your body’s cooling spots: Haven’t heard of it before?
Well, body cooling spots are those points where, if you apply
cooling agents like water or ice pack, will release heat from your
body faster than other body parts. Face, neck, wrist, inner
elbow, back of your knee, and the inner ankle
areas are
your body’s quick cooling points. If you want to beat the heat
instantly use ice packs or simply water on your quick cooling
spots.

 

 

Ladakh, Leh

At Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir. Away from the scorching heat of Kolkata. Photo courtesy: Amal Biswas

Take a summer vacation: Find a
gateway to a hill station. For people
dwelling in the 
hot plains of the Indian subcontinent an escape to a hill station is bliss. Darjeeling, Shillong, and Sikkim are closer options for Calcuttans (Kolkatans). If you can manage to get some more time off your work or studies, and have a little more budget, you could also book tickets for Ladakh, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarkhand or even Delhi. You can also pack your bags for the southern destinations like Munnar, Kodaikanal, Ooty, Coorg, or a little towards east – Mahabaleswar. Of course, you could get your passport stamped again for trips abroad too. This is the coolest way to be in summers.


A daughter’s marriage – a mother’s dream

April 12, 2014

 

2011

She banged the door of her bedroom loudly. Her mother’s voice became faint as the door closed behind Anamika.

Her mother’s voice still went on outside the door, ‘I cannot go on cooking for you throughout my life. Nor will I be alive forever. How long do you think you can sit at home without getting married and be responsible?’

‘I am not ready to invite problems by getting married,’ Anamika yelled back.

‘What problems? Did I not get married?’

‘Yes, and so, you know what sort of problems crop up post marriage. Still, why do you want me to get married?’ Anamika opened the door.

‘Problems will always be there – if or even if you don’t get married. Does that mean you will never marry.’

‘Well, honestly… maa, I don’t wish to. I know that I have to… some day… but there is still time. I’m just 25! None of my friends are married.’

‘Why? Isn’t Pritha married? Isn’t Roshnni married? Pritha even has a kid!’

‘YES! They are married, and it is they, who keep telling me that they have made a mistake by marrying, that too so soon.’

‘So when do you intend to get married, if ‘now’ is too soon?’

 

2012

‘So when do you intend to get married, if ‘now’ is too soon?’, Anamika’s mother asked gently.    maa

‘Anamika dear, today or tomorrow you have to marry. So why wait? You are 26 now. I don’t keep well. If something happens to me your dad will be alone and cannot arrange things. You know your dad, don’t you? He has always been meek, and too simple, and nervous about most things…’

‘Maa, I don’t want to leave you and dad, and go. I love this house of ours. I cannot stay somewhere else. Why is it so necessary to get married? Why can’t I stay with you here forever?’

‘Because no one lives forever… Look at my health. My sugar level is so high. My feet are swelling up again; I need to see Doctor Batin…’

Maa was right. She was really sick. A diabetic patient for 17 years, she found it difficult to even walk, as she aged. She used to gasp for air even if she walked for 5 minutes. ‘Why don’t you see another doctor than Batin? I don’t like him as a doctor…’

‘I will see. First, you get married. I remain worried for you. This tension shoots up my blood sugar level. I will not live forever; nor will your dad. What will you do alone once we are gone?’

‘How do you know that even if I get married, my husband and in-laws will keep me happy after you and dad are gone?’ Anamika got tears in her eyes now.

Anamika’s mother put an arm around her as they lay on the bed. ‘Why will they not keep you happy? And even if they don’t you will learn to survive in such environment; but your dad and I will know that we have done our duty as parents.’ Anamika saw tears in her mother’s eyes too. She hugged her and cried.

 

2013

February. Finally, Anamika agreed. Marriage talks were finalized. Anamika’s mother wanted her to get married by the end of 2013.

‘I will get married in 2014, in January.’

‘Why delay so much? Why not in June or July?’

‘Calcutta is so hot and humid. I want to marry in winter, maa’.

‘You might get married in November, 2013.’

‘2013 is unlucky, maa! And if you can wait till November 2013, can you not wait till January 2014? Will it be too late?’

So was decided. 26th January, 2014. A red-letterd day!

‘No one will ever forget the date’, Anamika’s mother rejoiced.

March, 2013 on, Anamika’s mother started buying things for her “only daughter’s” marriage. She booked a banquet hall; bought beautiful sarees; things that were needed for the actual ritual. Simultaneously, she also went to people’s house to invite them.

Anamika told her mother to get some rest. She thought her mother was exerting too much on her body. ‘Maa, there’s a lot of time left. Why are you stressing yourself so much? Get some rest. There’s plenty of time.’

‘If I fall sick in between… then things will get delayed. So, let me complete things as long as I can. I do not keep well most of the times. Your dad cannot manage so much.’

Anamika was always depended on her mother. It was her mother who always took care of her and whatever she needed. Anamika never had to worry about anything. All she knew was that, she has her mother back home. While Anamika decided to enjoy her last spinster year by partying with friends, and going on trips, her mother continued with all the shopping and arrangement for the marriage.

Anamika went shopping with her mother for just three days. First, in August, 2013, she went to buy her saree that she would be wearing on her wedding day. Second, she went to the tailor with her mother. That was in November, 2013.

 

2014

Third was on 9th January, 2014. Everything else was bought. She just went to buy a veil with her mother. That was the last time Anamika went out with her mother. On 14th January, 2014, Anamika’s mother complained of chest pain, and was rushed to the hospital.

Due to the negligence of the doctor and the hospital authority, Anamika’s mother did not live to see her daughter’s marriage. She did not live to her daughter in the attire of a bride. She did not live to perform the rituals that mothers do on their daughter’s wedding day.

26th January, 2014. Anamika’s wedding was put on hold. The same date was when Anamika performed her mother’s last rites. Yes, it surpassed the scenes of Bollywood movies too!

Anamika got married on a different date as the priest fixed later. Now, when she looks back she feels, had she agreed to get married in November, 2013, her mother might have lived to see it. She realised how selfish she had been. She realised what pain and loads of unfulfilled dreams her mother left the mortal world with. She realised the cause of her mother’s sorrow was ‘Anamika’ herself. She realised that she is nothing but a part of her mother. She realised the sacrifices her mother made for her, and the entire family. She realised that it was not 2013 that was unlucky; it is 2014 that proved to be unlucky. She realised that the two months she wanted was too much to ask for from her mother, which she paid with her life. She realised everything. Only, the realisations came too late; terribly late… when nothing Anamika did could bring her mother back.


“Barfi!” – A simple yet strong plot – a delight to watch

September 17, 2012

Released on: 14th September, 2012

Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz, Priyanka Chopra, Ashish Vidyarthi, Rupa Ganguly, Saurabh Shukla, Akash Khurana

Director: Anurag Basu

Bonus: Outstanding Cinematography

My Rating: 4.8 stars of 5

Barfi Review

Barfi – A sweet film

Barfi Poster

Barfi – Ranbir Kapoor

I write reviews for sheer joy. I do not write a review for all films that I watch, but I decide prior to watching the film, that I will be writing one on it. I knew I had to write on ‘Barfi!’, but while still on seat watching the movie I knew writing a review for Barfi would be the tough! It is a movie to be felt with heart and I do not think I can do justice with this piece; still I just gave it a shot.

Barfi is a human being. Like all of us, he is a human being. He loves fooling around; he loves having fun; he loves being mischievous. He falls in love; loses his love and his life moves on until one day he breathes his last. The only difference between Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor) and us is that, he cannot hear or speak. Thus, unlike us, Barfi cannot hear the birds sing, the thunders roar, or anyone speak, nor can he utter a single word apart from his name – Murphy, which he eventually pronounces as Barfi! So be it – Barfi!

While the film is narrated and runs in flashback, the song by Mohit Chauhan,

“Barfi jo amma ji ki kokh mein tha soya
Amma ne Murphy ka radio mangaya
Marphy munna jaisa lalla, Amma ka tha sapna
Munna jab haule haule, duniya mein aaya
Baba ne Ceylon wala station lagaya

Radio on hua
Amma off hui
Toota har sapna
Munna mute hi aansu bahaayee…
Munna jhunjhuna sun bhi na paaye…

Barfi grows up to be a handsome and charming young boy. Dwelling in Darjeeling, Barfi cycles through the hilly tracks the whole day, and just helps his father at the end of the day with the daily chores at home. Finding happiness in the small things of life is what brings a smile on Barfi’s face. Barfi crosses the hurdles of his physical weakness and goes on to enjoy life to the fullest. Truly, Barfi is the talk of the town even though he himself cannot speak.

As natural as can be, Barfi falls in love with a girl at first sight, one day. The Calcuttan girl comes to Darjeeling for some days, when Barfi falls for her and proposes to her right away. An unique style of proposing – Barfi offers his heart along with a flower on a saucer and ‘says’ that he can neither speak nor hear but he is the possessor of a gigantically magnificent heart! Although impressed and amused by Barfi, Shruti (Ileana D’Cruz) tells him that she is already engaged.  Promptly enough, Barfi offers the ‘same heart with the flower’ to her friend who was with her! ‘That’ is precisely Barfi! Of course, Barfi understands the situation and just requests to be friends. Shruti agrees.  They make good friends, but how long can anyone resist Barfi? Shruti falls in love but she does not have the courage to stay back in Darjeeling with Barfi for the rest of her life. She goes back to marry her college sweetheart and lead a posh life in Calcutta. When Barfi learns that she cannot be his and is going back, he chases the toy train on his cycle to get a last glimpse of her. Barfi overcomes the heartbreak in some time.

Next, comes back Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra) from the sanctuary. Suffering from autism, Jhilmil has his own way to view the world. Wonderfully depicted by a glass ball given to her by her grandpa, through which everything seems topsy-turvy. With the heart of a child Jhilmil found a friend in Barfi, apart from her daju and maasi, and amazed him with her simplicity and her blindfold faith in him.

As ironic as life can be, Barfi again gets to meet Shruti. Yes, another triangular-love-story. What will hold you back to your seat is what will Barfi do? Who will he love and be with for the rest of his life? Although the choice between an autistic girl and a beautiful lady like Shruti is obvious, yet the entire journey is different, because Barfi is different!

Remarkable cinematography takes the movie to a different height altogether. When Barfi comes to face the fact that Shruti cannot be his, suddenly everything goes wrong. His umbrella gets struck and won’t open and he gets drenched in heavy rain. His chain of his cycle falls of the chain stay. Later, when Barfi goes to see Shruti for the last time, he bumps with a post and his cycle gets dismantled, with a wheel rolling down to some distance and then slowly coming to a stop. It is a ‘stop’ that depicts the life of Barfi at that very point of time.

Location played another important aspect for the film. Shot in scenic beauty of Darjeeling – the queen of hills, and Calcutta, the director Anurag Basu got a huge chance to uphold the beauty and culture of the two places. Starting from the heritage of the hill station – toy train to the chhou naach (a form of folk dance) of the villages of Bengal, Basu had prepared a marvellous dish to be offered on the platter of the audience.

Transitions were stunning too. Just referring to two incidents here:

One is where Barfi keeps throwing one of her shoes in the air in front of Jhilmil’s window to attract her attention, since he cannot call put her by name. As Barfi does it and Jhilmil slowly walks towards the window, the motion of the shoe slows down, and as Jhilmil peeps down, a young Barfi is seen and so is a young Jhilmil! Soon after, they are shown in the present age.

The other one is when the sign board changes from the ad of Murphy Radio to Avon Cycle, when Barfi’s life also takes a new turn!

Ranbir Kapoor has already proved himself as an actor. Apart from him too Basu has intelligently cast the other actors. Veteran actrors like, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D’Cruz, Ashish Vidyarthi, Rupa Ganguly, Saurabh Shukla, Akash Khurana, have done a stunning job. Everyone acted almost flawlessly, to say the least. Priyanka Chopra was quite good as the autistic child, Jhilmil, yet there was scope to do better. For instance, while she waits with Barfi and mischievously they puncture the tyres of a car, Barfi runs off from the site. Jhilmil runs too, but this ‘running’ scene could have been better acted by Piggy Chops.

Just one thing was not really convincing enough! How did Barfi, Shruti, Jhilmil grow older than the inspector who was at least about double the age than the three of them faster? Why did he not age with time like the other three did? Else, Barfi is a near-perfect movie; a MUST watch!

 

Barfi is not only a sweet movie; it is also one from where one can learn how to love, truly and unconditionally!


‘What must have happened to her?’

June 11, 2012

 

The guy wondered.

 

As Anamika boarded the metro from Park Street, the guy noticed her like most other days. Anamika knows the guy by face like quite a few others in the compartment. She gets up in the same compartment everyday, and strives to stand just by the gates to avoid the crowd. Sometimes, Anamika gets that place to stand, and sometimes not. Metro has become too crowded these days.

 

Anamika also knows the guy by face. She does not know where he gets up from or gets down at from. Just that the guy also gets in the same compartment. Back-brushed hair, and clean shaven, he always carries a navy blue file everyday. That is all Anamika knows of him. An ID card swings down his neck, but Anamika never attempted looking at it. She was not the sort to eye guys, unlike her peers.

 

The guy, however, knew where Anamika worked and perhaps her name too! The source was of course Anamika’s ID card! ‘A cute young girl, should not be over 28, working in a good company… what must have happened to her?’ the guy thought as his eyes fell on Anamika today.

 

Anamika did not have a pleasant day at office today. She made quite a few errors and was smeared by her team lead. Since childhood, Anamika hates listening to reprimands.  Yet, she kept mum. She rarely replied back; and the chances of her replying back reach zero when the fault was her own. She could not concentrate on work today. She was perturbed. Not only today, she has been in a troubled state since quite some months now.

 

Hardly did Anamika speak with anyone in office today. ‘What’s up with Anamika, today? Hasn’t she done her breakfast right,’ joked Ishaan. Prachi felt something was wrong but did not feel it right to enquire anything. She knew that Anamika preferred keeping her problems to herself.

 

Boarding the train today, Anamika silently found her place near the door. She did not even look up today. Head down, she kept her eyes down too. Nor did she notice the guy standing just in front of him.

 

‘Next station is Maidaan. The platform is on the left hand side’, announced the recorded voice. As the doors closed and the train accelerated, Anamika leaned her head by the walls of the compartment. Slowly, she closed her eyes.

 

The guy noticed her face is red today. ‘Tiredness’, the guy concluded at first.

 

It was a turmoil going on in Anamika’s head. Perhaps that is the reason why she rested her head against the compartment wall today. Things were getting too much for her.

 

‘Please could you meet me today, Arup?’ she had messaged Arup the previous day.

‘No, I am not in a mood.’

She had requested him a few more times. Arup remained with his ‘no’.

‘Okay, you do not have to meet, but could I call you? Would you talk to me?’

‘No. I said I’m not in a mood’, pat came the reply.  

 

It has been two months since they had a good time together. Anamika and Arup. Things were going good. Carefree and happy-go-lucky as a couple, they were the favorites of all their friends. Alas…

 

Nothing lasts forever. Anamika remembered the first Sidney-Sheldon-novel she had read. The name of the book seemed so apt. The good phase came to a hault! Suddenly! For no faults of their own really. Within a span of just about two months Anamika and Arup were at a distance of light-years. Tears ran down her cheeks with her eyes still closed and head leaned against the wall of the compartment.

 

‘You can go to hell, and I would not care a dime!’ In six years, it was the first time Anamika spoke like this with Arup.

‘You may leave if you want to. No one has stopped you,’ Arup replied back curtly.

 

As the text message flashed on Anamika’s mobile screen, her eyes welled up last night. After about an hour of sitting against her bed and weeping bitterly, Anamika thought, ‘Is he equally upset? Is he feeling the same pain? Does he not love her anymore?’ Alas, there was not a way to know!

 

As she kept thinking about last night, another drop of tear rolled down her cheeks and landed on the guy’s black formal shoe. The guy looked at his left shoe and looked at Anamika again. The girl still had her eyes closed. The guy kept gazing at her face. ‘What must have happened to her?’ the same thought rattled in his mind again. He suddenly noticed a blue handkerchief tightly clutched in Anamika’s right hand, but strangely enough she did not make any effort to wipe off her tears with it.

 

Anamika did not remember she had a handkerchief in her right hand. She did not remember it was a public place and many might have been staring at her. All she remembered were the first time she found solace in Arup’s arms; the smile which he gave back to her; the wonderful weekends she spent hand in hand with Arup.

 

‘I found my love in you’, Arup used to tell her.

 ‘Things change. Or maybe I could not live up to his expectations…’ Anamika thought as she sniffled her nose on the sleeves of her shirt. ‘Next station is Jatin Das Park. The platform is on the right hand side.’ She heard it. She had missed the previous three announcements.

 

‘…yes it is a tough time, but could he not try and give her back the same solace back?’ Another tear drop left the guy, still thinking, ‘What must have happened to her? What gave her those oceans of tears? What made her eyes pink and puffed?’

 

Everything is going haywire. Anamika did not know what could make things smoother between Arup and her. The more she thought if at all things would get better the more her lacrimal glands secreted tears.

 

‘What must have happened to her?’ Metro in Kolkata, Jatin Das Park, Kalighat, Park Street, Maidan

 

‘Station Kalighat’. Anamika headed towards the opposite gate as the guy kept looking at her. She stepped out as the gates slided apart. She walked off tardily, taking along the answer with her of ‘what must have happened to her?’

 

The guy never knew what had happened to her. The guy never knew what Anamika was going through. He never knew it was like the world turning its back on Anamika when Arup did not care for her. He never knew Anamika has not smiled since the past two months. The guy never knew how much Anamika feared losing Arup; how much Anamika dreaded even imagining a life without Arup; how much Anamika loved Arup.

 

The guy never saw Anamika again. He still wonders, ‘What must have happened to her?’

 


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