Bas Bol Do !! 727

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 want to spend some real time with you Ma but……!! 5671

A week passes by like a blink.

Being successful has its own Pro and cons. Success brings its own share of hiccups. You have to work hard to maintain it which takes a lot of your time! But who is complaining when you become a CEO at the age of 39.

Kabir Mehra, the young dynamic entrepreneur who took the market by storm and is climbing the success ladder from a middle-class background to a multi-crore turnover IT company.

Kabir Mehra’s journey might be taken as a fairy tale but it is his sheer grit determination and hard work which has taken him to this heights. He has always gone on record saying that his hard work and his parent’s blessings and determination is the reason of his success.

But right now he is in a bit of hurry. Coming out of his cabin and asking the assistant to take care for rest of the day, he hurriedly gets down the stairs.

Driver brings the car and he asks him to stay and take an off for a weekend. Getting into the car, taking out his blazer and loosening knot of the tie, he takes a deep breath, how he waits for the weekend to be just Kabir…not Kabir Mehra!!

A smile plays on his face and he passed his fingers through the thick mane of his. Putting in some music he puts the car into the gear as he has the weekend for him and her! Only two of them, like old times! He takes a deep breath of longingness.

Mumbai to Lonavala… is a wonderful drive and the feeling of meeting someone you love and crave to be together makes the drive enjoyable. After 2 hours he turned his car in the portico of her house. A lovely row-house with a beautifully done up garden where she was sitting reading her news paper. Her long beautiful hair was flowing in wind and she was dressed in her usual favorite white Chikankari dress.

Oh, how he missed her!!

He parked the car and looked around but she was still engrossed in her paper. He went and put his arms around her! Startled she looked back. The eyes met and she gave a wry smile.

“Oh come on! Not again!”Said Kabir

“Ok..let it be I know I should have come last week but I was busy.  And why are you sitting out wearing this summer dress ? The weather is changing, you will catch cold. Come let’s go in side. I will make a coffee for us.”

” You had eaten something. I baked a cake!” She said.

” Cake!! Wow..u remember to make a cake for me. Thank you”, elated he kissed her forehead.

“I will make nice coffee to go with the cake,” Kabir said enthusiastically.

“You sit. I will make. Guest don’t work in my home.” She said as she got up to the kitchen counter.

“Don’t say like that. I love you and you know that. Listen to your heart.” Kabir said holding her hand.

He made her sit near the kitchen counter chair where they generally sit and enjoy long conversation while cooking together. Today, she is a bit upset I guess.

He shrugged the thought and made two mugs of coffee just the way she likes. Hot and strong!

“So how is life?” Sipping his mug he asked

“You tell. People like you are busy in life with new things!” She said

He smiled looking into her eyes.  “Hmm I am busy with work but sometimes I feel I lost my self in the struggle of life and I wish to go back and be a child again.” Kabir said looking at her but she was lost in another world.

She is really upset with me, this time. “Let’s go out for dinner,” Kabir suggested.

” I am not going with you anywhere. I barely know you.” She said.

Kabir smiled and went on to his knees. ” Miss my name is Kabir and I came all the way from Mumbai to spend some time with you. Will you come for a dinner with me tonight.”

She was a bit confused yet there was something in Kabir’s eyes which touched her and she said yes.

They got ready and went out for dinner. Spent the evening talking about everything in the world. It was an evening well spent. The morning was beautiful. Kabir woke up to find himself sleeping next to her. The feeling was so satisfying and it felt as if the time should stop for some moments and he could enjoy the solitude with her.

He has to return today.

He got up and as the bell rang and the morning helper came. “Good morning Bhaiya, when you came.” the helper asked.

“Yesterday. Today I will be going back. Important meetings are there.”

She woke up and came out of a room. Kabir was sitting near kitchen counter.

“Kabir!!! When you came. You didn’t even inform?? “She came and hugged him tightly with moist eyes.

Kabir hugged her, even more, closer and could barely say” Good morning Ma”….

“Good morning my sonny boy. You at least tell me prior that you are coming.I can be ready. I was planning to bake a cake. And I would have cooked something nice.” Kabir was looking at her intimidated with her love in every word spoken.

“Ma today I am in hurry. Will come next weekend. Or you come with me NAA, please” he insisted.

“Kabir this is our house. With your childhood and your dad’s memory, I am more comfortable here. But why you come for this short time. Come at least for a day. You are busy but spend a night with me too,” she said in a loving complain.

Kabir looked at her and went to embrace her tightly “Next time Ma. I too want to spend some real time with you and sleep in your lap.”

The clock was ticking and Kabir wanted to prolong the hug before Mrs. Mehra again gets into her world created by deadly Alzheimer’s.

He said,”There is no such thing as periods pain & it is all just a myth.” 467

The Internet and social media are full of opinionated people and many think it’s their right to speak whatever nonsense they think and can express it on an open platform where thousands of viewers and readers visit. I like reading articles on news, current happenings and pretty much anything that may interest me. But what I also like is to read the comments. Here is one place where you can come across different mentality and some times it can even strike you hard at the reality of how twisted people minds are.

On one such article which was about how to help the periods pain and what women can do to reduce it, I thought of checking it out. As I normally feel these cramps every month and found very hard initially but after medication the pains reduced. So after reading the article, as always I casually checked the comments section.

There was this one comment from a guy that threw me off. He said, “Guys, do not believe all this shit, there is no such thing as periods pain and it is all just a myth”. I understand that such people comments are to be ignored but what made him say so?

Are men really that ignorant about what a woman goes through or is it simply they do not care? It’s just beyond my understanding. The first thought that came to my mind is probably this guy has never grown with a woman around him like his mother, sister, close friends.

It’s not just this random guy who threw such an absurd opinion on periods pain, but there are a lot of men as well as women who believe it to be. In the beginning of my marriage, I use to have a lot of pains and I am married into a family where my mother-in-law and sister-in-law are fortunate enough of never having much pain. When I started to have terrible menstrual cramps, my husband was sympathetic and tried to help me as much as possible by sharing my work. Before I could blink, I was tagged as a dramatist and lazy who exaggerates the menstrual pain to make my husband work.

Since then, I tried many times explaining to my in-laws that it is a different case with me and I am not as fortunate as them. Though they stopped their verbal abuse, I am not sure if they really understood.

Women think that menstrual cramps/periods pain is a common thing and they should not talk about it. Trust me. Ladies! Explain and educate your children and people around you about how it makes you suffer.

Yes! There are various ways that can help reduce the pain like medications, exercise, etc it still is harder for many. Some women body do not respond to medications. Some experience the periods pain to such as extent that they even feel like vomiting and the pain is much like having a heart attack sometimes.

Let’s not forget here other than the physical pain it causes, there are few pains that are caused mentally. Like feelings of anxiety, depression, irritability etc.

People, please note menstrual (periods) pain is as real as it can be and there are plenty of women who go through hell every month. I agree you cannot do anything about it. What you can do instead is at least be sympathetic and compassionate without accusing her of lying and by giving her a hand if needed.