Bas Bol Do !! 777

The tempo stopped with a shriek in front of the building.

Neel got down with his new purchase of furniture and another household. It was a hectic day. Shifting to a new city and a new house is always tiring. But at the age of 30 bubbling with life, new opportunities and big dreams, a new city is just another horizon.

“Take care of boxes please”, he instructed the packers and movers guys.

Neel was a software engineer working with a renowned company. With a muscular built of 5.9” and a smiling face and a deep gaze, he can easily be termed as handsome.

The building had 3 flats on each floor. One was occupied. Rest two were vacant, out of which Neel is shifting into one.

His flat was more like a bachelor’s pad. His one BHK was an extension of his personality, warm, efficient and no fuss.

Minimalistic yet efficient furniture adorns the living space. The big window was a gateway to the balcony too.

His favourite part was the balcony, facing the road and the garden and adjacent to the next flat’s balcony!!

He had grown up in Government colony with a lot of greenery, so just to revive those memories he chooses to keep few plants and a small seating arrangement to utilise during his work from home days. This neat arrangement was unlike any bachelor’s pad but then he was different.

His days were usual, early morning gym, office and back to home. Sometimes he used to hang around with friends or call them over to his flat, but usually, it used to be him alone in his balcony, with a long chat with his mom.

Neel’s mom, his best friend!!

He shared everything with her. Just like other moms, his mom was also worried about his food well being and yes marriage!! A topic which he very cleverly diverted every time.

It was a Saturday evening and Neel was talking to his mother when he first saw her.

A slender figure overlooking the railing of the balcony. Long mane hid her face but he was still intrigued. His chat was over and she was also gone!

The next day Neel took a look at the nameplate of the adjacent flat.

SUBODH CHATTERJEE

“Hmm …Bongs…”

Why do I need to look at the nameplate? A thought just passed and Neel shrugged it.

Few Days passed and Neel saw an old couple coming out once a while but not her.

It was again a Saturday evening and after few work related calls, Neel made a cup of coffee and sat down to work. It was a bit late, approx. 11:40.

The same figure was there. Long open mane and a beautiful face. Although it was dimly lit but he could still make out the sharp features. There was something but, what?

He stared at her for quite long, and as if the gaze touched her she turned towards him and smiled.

“Hi” Neel smiled back

“You shifted here?” She asked

“Yes, just a month back.”

“Hmmm…nice set up you have.”

“Thank you.”

Just a few seconds of chat and she went inside.

Since then, Neel used to look forward to seeing her in the balcony, but again a fortnight went by.

It was early morning and Neel thought to take work from home option. It was too good a weather to go to the office.

He was talking to his mother when he saw her again. First time in daylight. Wearing an off-white dress with open hair and no makeup, he skipped a heartbeat.

He smiled at her and said a hurried goodbye to mom.

“Hi” Neel waived.

“Hi”

“You seem to be very busy? Didn’t see you since so many days.”, said Neel

“You waited for me?” She asked smilingly.

There was something about the face, eyes or maybe the smile, or the unexpected question, Neel was dumbfounded.

“No! I mean, I saw your parents coming in and out but not you, so just asked. You Work somewhere?”

“Hmmm, I come out occasionally.”

“Hmmm, I am Neel and you?”

“Neel..” she said thoughtfully gazing him.

“I am Alankrita”

“Alankrita… exotic kind of name, a bit long too. Isn’t it?”

She smiled tucking a long strand of hair behind her ears. ”My Baba calls me aalo”

“Aaloo !!” Neel laughed amusingly.

“Not Aalooo, its Aalo..”

“Bhalo, Bhalo”, Neel said amid his laughter.

“Oh, so you understand Bangla?” She asked with a broad smile

“No, just this and the universal Bangla phrase.”

“…..???” There was an expression of question on her face.

“Ami tumake bhalo bashi. Thanks to Amitabh Bachchan’s song.”

She had a hearty laughter, ”I hope you know the meaning too.”

He smiled, and his heart skipped a beat again!!

Days passed. Neel saw Alankrita occasionally. She generally used to come out for few seconds in late evenings, to get fresh air.

They used to have chit-chat. Generally lasting few minute but there was something that was binding Neel with Aalo.

Her thoughts were different and so was the take on life too. She was mystic and beautiful. Her eyes were deep but there was something, Neel was not able to see, or wanted to see up and close.

One evening, Neel was talking to his mom. It was regarding his marriage which was now getting a constant point of tug between them and as usual Neel decided to end the conversation but this time his tone was harsh and rude too.

He just sat on his chair, passing his fingers through hairs in exasperation and turned his face to the adjacent balcony.

Aalo was standing there, facing him.

“Hi, Long time.”

“Whom you were talking to, so rudely?” she asked.

“Oh that!  My mom. She is just after my life for getting married. Why don’t parents give us some space?”

“You should immediately say sorry to her.”

She said in a stern voice.

“What?? Ok, I know I did wrong but I will say tomorrow.” He said with a smile.

“How have you been? It seems you never have an argument with uncle aunty. Do you?” Neel said, trying to divert the topic.

“Mine is a different story, but you say sorry, now!” she insisted.

“Okay” His arrogance was gone and he dialled his mom’s number.

“Sorry, Ma!” They had a chat and Neel put the phone down.

Aalo was still waiting.

He turned to face her.

“Happy??”

“Yes,” She said.” Never wait for tomorrow to express emotions. Say it now. You love, you hate, you need, everything is in now. Tomorrow sometimes never comes. Bas bol do, just say it”

There was something magical in that moment. Something beautiful, intriguing.

There were a couple of minutes of silence. A silence which was stretching through the horizon. Not a single noise, but only an necho of silence.

“Can you come for a coffee with me tomorrow?”

Aalo took a long gaze at Neel,“Ask baba.”

Before turning to go she stopped, ”Neel,you are genuine at heart. Just live for the moment. Don’t plan much.”

Before Neel could ask the relevance of statement, she was gone.

Next day was Sunday. Neel took a whole day to decide and finally decided to knock the adjacent door, and ask for permission from Mr Subodh Chattrejee to take his Aalo for a coffee.

He knocked the door.

An elegant lady opened the door.

He said that he wanted to see Mr Chatterjee.

Inside of house had an artistic décor. He sat waiting to see a glimpse of Aalo.

Mr Chatterjee came, ”Yes?”

“Hi sir, I recently shifted to the flat next door.” With this Neel gave his introduction about his job and family.

“I saw you a couple of times in balcony and I used to have a chat with your daughter too. I was thinking to ask for permission for coffee with Aalo, I mean Alankrita. Can I take her out.”

Mr Chatterjee was perplexed and a bit annoyed too” Is this some kind of joke.”

“Why Sir. I am  a decent boy.”

“Aalo is dead long back.”

There was a silence. But a noisy silence. A noise so loud that it was deafening for Neel.

He could not utter a word. After few minutes, he narrated his whole story and described aalo, which matched to the picture on the wall.

Alankrita’s picture with a garland.

“It was the first time I had an argument with my daughter. She wanted to marry someone whom I didn’t approve off. She left home in anger. Later, I decided to call her and she I guess was feeling sorry and she messaged me that she is coming back. She was riding her scooter when someone banged her from behind. She died on the spot. I could not say sorry to her.”Mr Chatterjee explained, once Neel was a bit normal.

“She was sorry too, sir. She also wanted to say sorry to you. I guess that’s why she chose me.”

Neel, and Mr Chatterjee shared something beyond explanation. Both regret of not saying something on time.

Neel still sits on the balcony, waiting to see her again someday. To look into the eyes and just say it!

 

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“I Fear a Relapse”, Says Deepika Padukone. 1357

The trailer of the most awaited Padmavati movie was released making us wait on a tiptoe for the movie to be released soon which is actually on December 1st, 2017 (See the trailer here). While on-screen Rani Padmini fights for her honor, the actress who plays the role, Deepika Padukone is fighting altogether a different battle in her real life.

While shooting for the Happy New Year movie, Deepika was fighting her inner battle of depression. Although she did not realize it then. Her mother who came to visit felt there was something wrong and requested Anna Chandy, a psychiatrist from Bengaluru to talk to her daughter. Though Deepika ignored it for a period of time, she finally recognized her problem and took steps to cure it. However, in a recent event, while talking about the Jauhar scene of Rani Padmini in the movie Padmavati, she revealed that she lives in a constant fear of a relapse of depression. She said “ I don’t think, I am completely over it. There is always a fear of relapse as that phase when it happened is the worst experience in my life”.

Since her opening up about her condition in public, there are numerous articles written about depression and there are plenty of suggestion available for someone who is looking for help. But, the truth is a lot many of the population who are suffering from depression do not know that they have it and they need help. Most of them try to think it is nothing but stress, fatigue and they are over-worked.

Like Deepika said in one of her interviews earlier while talking about her feelings during the time, being sad and being depressed are two different things. When someone is sad, they look sad, but when someone is depressed, most of the times they hide it. They try to behave normally while the feeling of emptiness keeps nagging at them. You do not have to be poor or have to lose something in life to be depressed. Sometimes the feeling of depression has no reason.

How to recognize the signs?

When someone is depressed, you may notice certain changes in them. Such as,

  • Less interested in daily activities
  • Loss of appetite and weight changes (can lose or gain)
  • being angry and irritable most of the times
  • less energised
  • self-loathing
  • reckless behaviors
  • Change in sleeping patterns

These are some of the changes we notice in a depressed person, not for few days but on a regular basis. If you spot these in someone or if you are facing it yourself, get help. There is no age or gender who are affected by depression.

Recognizing and understanding the symptoms of depression is the first step to finding a solution. Once you know, meet a good psychiatrist and get help. There is no shame in finding help to cure a mental illness. We meet our doctors for physical illness. In the same way, sometimes our mind also need that extra help too.

Do not, I repeat do not ever be afraid to ask for help!!! Because you might be surprised that there are so many good people around you who really care and want to help you.

Marriage – the funniest ironical institution in India 221

Many people would not be able to figure out the mistake in the following figure. Well, there is no grammatical mistake, there is no printing error or any other fault in it. If you still haven’t figured it out, I have an answer for you, I would like you to face the ironical reality of the modern world or the 21st century where the thoughts and ideologies of Paleolithic age still prevails.

Women have always been considered as a pillar of the society, we have given her various names, we worship her, pamper her and consider her to be the live giver; there is nothing wrong in it. However, it blows my mind to see such kind of ideas still prevail in the society. I personally feel that a woman gets a chance to change her life, the first time she is born, the second time her life changes when she gets married and the third time she changes her life when she gives birth to a new life. But, amidst all this ebb and flow of life cycle, why is there a question that she needs to answer every time. Why is there a need to prove that she can equally love her parent and in-laws? Well, if you feel that I am proclaiming something different, then you must have a look at the picture here.

I find arrange marriages to be the funniest institution in India. Irrespective of the fact that I am a party to it, I still believe that it has some funny traditions and beliefs flowing in it. I would like to highlight a few-

  • The first thing that we say in India is, “Shaadi hamesha barabari ke khaandaan mein honi chahiye (One should get married in a family who is equal in status with the other),” Well, if that is true, why this equivalence is only restricted to money, why no one questions on thoughts, beliefs, ideas, vision etc. Yes, money is important to run a family, but imagine a situation where you have a big house, a big car etc. but both husband and wife are never on the same page. Is that the mantra for a happy married life? At least I don’t feel so.
  • Another popular phrase which we commonly here during the marriage is that “Shaadi to parivaaro ka mail hai ( Marriage is not between two people, it is the bonding of two families,” if that is so, why a girl has to put her in-laws first and ignore her parents. If that’s not the truth, I would again request you to run through the picture above. Why can’t both the families co-exist. Although, things are changing, the ground reality is different.
  • One of the common things I have heard is, “ Ladki ko sasural ke hisab se adjust karna chahiye (girl must learn to compromise and live as per her in-laws and husband),” there is nothing wrong in it and I too believe in it, but what if we tweaked this scenario, like both the parties can make slight adjustments so that everyone is happy and the guy or the husband doesn’t have to take sides.

What I have written is not new or neither revolutionary, I have actually started to find our society to be hilarious. We are never in a phase to create an equal world, rather we always pester on the fact that one has to be above, I think this hierarchical ideology is still haunting us since the time of Britishers. I don’t know how much change will come in the times to come, but, even if one person transforms after reading this, I will feel content.