Escape

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This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 10; the tenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

The rain had stopped just a while ago but the little droplets were trickling down the glass of the window each making their own path to the window sill. Roma looked out of the window, she could see the crimson sun setting amidst the tall coconut trees. In the ground nearby little boys in half pants and bare bodies were kicking around the football in mud and slush. They were completely drenched in mud yet they were laughing, shouting and shoving each other merrily. Roma turned away from the window and looked around the room, in one corner was the ‘bed’ of quilts,blankets and pillows which was rolled up neatly, beside it was the harmonium, tanpura and the mat rolled up, set vertically against the wall, beside it was a trunk with a huge padlock which contained the “valuables”. On the other corner was a kerosene stove and a few pots, pans and just beside the ‘bathroom’s’ tin door was a big iron bucket with a blue handle-broken plastic mug floating in it. On the wall beside window was the small mirror and an old calendar with Ma Kali’s picture decorated with a dried, dusty hibiscus garland. Roma glanced at the clock “its time, they’ll be here, let me get ready” she thought.

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Dearest Ma,

I know this will hurt you a lot but I am left with no other option. I have to go as he is waiting for me in a taxi at the bus stand. I have thought a lot about the proposal but still couldn’t accept father’s chosen man. Ma I am leaving the ‘home’ where I spent my entire childhood to start ‘my own’ family. I am not taking any jewelery or the Benarosi you had selected for me, just taking a small chain and abundant courage which I inherited from you. I think that’s the biggest gift Ma from you.
I know I am leaving loads of insults for you, this disaster of girl eloping on the eve of marriage. But it’s not the age of playing with dolls Ma, this is life, real family. Ma you had said once that’s its hard to recognize people it’s the heart that is important not the money. Number of rich, handsome boys have tried to seduce me with their money and fame but I knew ultimately they would dump me. He is not so good-looking and has lots of shortcomings. He doesn’t have rich or famous lineage but has the courage to speak truth.
Ma I am leaving for good and will not return ever.

Your most loving daughter
Roma

Its been so long but Roma still remembers each and every word of the letter she had kept on her cot before leaving. She had left dressed as maid servant to avoid detection of her father and uncles. Anirban and his friend were waiting in the taxi at the bus stand as promised. They had gone to Kalighat directly and got married with the blessings from Maa Kali. Then they had fled to another city where Anirban’s friend had arranged a place of stay for them.Life was a picking up its rhythm in those first days. Anirban used go in search of some work and Roma would try to set-up her new ‘home’. She would lovingly sweep the floor, get water from the community hand-pump and cook. It was same Roma who actually had never entered the kitchen or done any housework in her ‘mother’s home’ because they had maids and servants to do everything. Her job was to just open her mouth sometimes even that was not required Ma would do that. Now Roma was doing everything for love. Anirban too was very nice he used to eat with a smile whatever palatable or otherwise was put by Roma on his plate. On weekends they would go to parks and gardens around the city just as they used to do before marriage. In short life was a bliss.

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“What you just got that silly necklace from your home and nothing else” uttered Anirban in frustration.
“But I never knew you were interested in jewelery, money etc” Roma was still shocked at Anirban’s enquiry of her jewelery.
“No I was not but I never contemplated the situation would turn so bad and thought you were very pragmatic … life can’t be led just on ideals, love etc. It needs food, shelter and clothing” Anirban seemingly disgusted.

Things started getting haywire when Anirban lost his day job and failed to get another job. He would do some petty jobs and bring home whatever he could but most of the times it was not enough. Roma started giving tuitions and music lessons to children in the locality and somehow they were able to make ends meet.

Roma was helped by didis of nari niketan to learn stitching and start working in the garments section of the co-operative. Meanwhile Anirban started drinking and stopped looking for any permanent job and would lie at home whole day idling or drinking. Roma tried very hard to stop Anirban from drinking by refusing him any money but he would not listen. Anirban would do some petty work and finance his drinking. If she denied him food, he would arrange his food outside somehow but would not stop drinking. He would sleep outside when Roma denied him entry to their home. Though he never created any ruckus or hit Roma in his drunken state but would not stop drinking either.

Roma watched helplessly as Anirban wasted himself away. She contemplated suicide many times but couldn’t do it ultimately as she was not that courageous to kill herself. Hence she surrendered herself to fate and continued her life by giving tuitions in morning, working for the co-operative in the afternoon and giving music lessons in the evening and kept hoping that one day things will change for better.

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PS: This is my tribute to a famous Bengali song called “Roma” by Anjan Dutta. In fact Bengali friends would have noticed that the letter is nothing but an English translation of the song. After listening to the song I always thought what might have happened to Roma after she fled, Did she have a happy ending or otherwise? As far my personal experience is I have seen Romas having both happy and tragic ends.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Departure

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He looked up at the sound of the door like always and as usual their eyes met and spoke.  He said “Good Bye Dear! I may never see you again but you’ll remain in them forever”.    She was surprised that he knew though they had never met actually yet her eyes gave away every secret.

Image source: http://fotosa.ru/ru/stock/search.asp?ID=354236

PS: Do the 55 words above make any sense to you? …. It didn’t to me :O ….Who wrote? Obviously Mi! mi! mi! 😛 … Do I need help? Seriously!

Fool

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This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 9; the ninth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

“Look what I have found in his drawer while cleaning his desk today” whispered Sudha nervously handing over the piece of folded paper to Vimal.
“What is it?” replied Vimal, irritated.
“Sssh… Just read it and don’t shout he’s in the other room.” said Sudha in low voice indicating Vimal to lower his voice too.
Vimal opened the paper and read it, frowned and looked at it again. He seemed to be worried too, looked at Sudha and blurted “Are..”
Sudha put her hand on his mouth and whispered “What are you doing slowly”.
Vimal lowered his voice and asked in questioning tone “Are you sure he wrote this one?”.
Sudha irked and retorted “I told you I found it in his drawer moreover don’t you recognize his handwriting?”
“Yes but why would he write such a thing.” replied Vimal and thought something.
“Had I known it then why would I ask you. Shall we talk to a pychiatrist. We need to do something before its too late. Thank God I found this one otherwise…Oh my God I can’t take it anymore…. Please do something..” Vimal hushes Sudha and looks at the paper once again.
“No! No pychiatrist. Right now we have to be very careful on this one. You know how today’s kids are we have to be very careful. I think you need to keep a close eye on him.” Added Vimal unmindfully “Another thing he  should not suspect that we have discovered this note and behave normal with him. We have to be very careful. Meanwhile let me do some enquiries and see how to handle this one..”
“Good Lord never can understand what goes on in the boy’s mind” said Vimal to himself seemingly disturbed.
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Vimal switched on the light on the table in his study. The study was a small cosy room with a large window in the left and couch underneath it, there was a table beside it with a huge shelf stuffed with books, adjoining it was another shelf with all kinds of CDs/DVDs. The table had a computer and the usual stuff. Vimal pulled the chair and sat on it. This was his place of recluse and generally was ‘out of bounds’  from the rest of the world.
He pulled the bottom most drawer and found the cigarette pack and the lighter, he looked into the packet and found there were 6 sticks in it still. He pulled out one and went to the couch and looked out of the window. The dark night sky had turned reddish and there were no signs of the stars or the moon. The winds were really strong and the wind chimes were making a strange music. “It must have rained somewhere” thought Vimal aloud. He liked the smell of the first rain and he always liked this climate specially after such super hot days but today he was not really interested in the weather outside.
Vimal looked at the chair and let out a cloud of smoke. He thought I have solved so many complex issues sitting there. That was his ‘idea’ chair. But all those ‘problems’ were solved by his mind but today he’s faced with something that involved his heart too. He took out the note Sudha had given from his kurta’s pocket and looked at it once again.
It said “I AM USELESS I AM A WASTE PLEASE KILL ME” all in capital letters as if the writer of the note was screaming. “Really Brave” he thought about his wife Sudha who didn’t panic on seeing such a note in their only son’s table but actually came to him, like she always did during tough time. So he should not panick but think! Think of a way out of this. His analytical mind started to look for answers to ‘Why?’, ‘What on earth could have gone wrong?’.
Vimal started to think about his son Vishal. Who was an intelligent, enthusiastic, energetic young boy in short a ‘super cool’ dude the ‘Bindaas banda’. Yes that’s what everybody said about their Vishy(that’s what Sudha had called her baby when she first held him in her hands and later Vishy became Vishal for offical documents but remained Vishy to all his loved ones.) He and Sudha had brought up their son very grounded so naturally Vishy was a very level-headed child Vimal thought.Then what had gone wrong suddenly?  No there can’t be any generation gap here as he had always treated his son with the respect and care a young adult deserves the moment he steps into his teens. Vimal had learnt this skill from his own father with whom he never had any generation issues. “So Mr. Vimal where is the gap?” he questioned himself.
Vimal’s thoughts kept going in circles and ending up in the same place irrespective of the fact that le he started to think from a very different angle. What happened to his ‘out-of-box’ thinking abilities he wondered. But he would not give up so easily so he started from the beginning and concluded that only way to get to the bottom of this was to get inside Vishy’s mind but How he thought. Just then a face flashed in his mind. It was the ever smiling face of Tinni. Tonima was Vimal’s sister’s daughter. They lived in same lane and Tinni was a year older to Vishy. They had grown up together and were very close. They were the bestest friends and not just cousins. Vimal felt a little relieved at the silver lining that Tinni seemed to be at that point. Vimal looked at the clock it showed 2.30AM. “Time to go to bed” told Vimal to himself.
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“Impossible! Mamu. It can’t be bhai…” exclaimed Tinni jumping up from chair after reading the note.
“I know I know beta this doesn’t make any sense but you know your brother’s handwriting right”.
Tinni didn’t say anything just shook her head in despair as if trying put the peices of puzzle together.
“Ok Tinni beta could it be he was seeing somebody and something happened there. I mean…”
“Oh mamu you know bhai, girls are the last thing he will be serious about.” Tinni a little irritated by the whole thing.
“Whatever it is, you have to help. See you are closest to him so you should try to talk to him and get to the base of all this.”  uttered Vimal and looked at Tinni with hope as if she was his saviour.
“Hmm…’ replied Tinni absent-mindedly.
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“Bapi where is ma?” blurted out Vishy looking very  anxious.
“She’s gone to the Kalibari today is Saturday remember. What is it can I be useful?” said Vimal lovingly. He thought this could the opportunity to talk to Vishy directly as Tinni had failed to extract any information.
“No Nothing…” replied Vishy and turned to rush back to his room.
“Tell me what is it maybe I can solve it for you.”
“Well then actually I have to complete an entry for a young writer’s challenge.”
“Oh great what’s the challenge about let me see if I can contribute.”
“No Bapi that’s not the problem. They had given a line on which I have to write a funny story and I had written the line on a piece of paper and I am not finding the paper now. “
“Oh how big was the line don’t you remember them.” Vimal seemed to relax.
“I wan’t the exact words you see its important. It was something like ‘I am waste I am useless Kill me’ or something.”
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PS: This is a work of fiction. I sincerely wish that every father whose child gets suicidal becomes a ‘Fool’ like Vimal and this story doesn’t
remain a fiction.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Filler Post Again

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What else can happen in my current state 😀 .

So here is the link for my latest Short Fiction aptly titled “Winter of 99“. Do read it and let me know how was it.

A bit of statistical puzzle my earlier fiction “First Day at School“(old timers of this blog remember?) is for last 5 months receiver of highest visitors around 15 per day. Mostly these days this post is topper for the day but the comment count still stands at about 6 so what’s it about post that’s making it apparently most visited post yet I am not sure whether its most read. Any ideas?

Last but not least soon I’ll be going off air that is will take a break from the blogosphere. Recent past many of the friends in blogosphere have used the Guest Blogging effectively. I too wish to keep the blog alive with your help in form of guest posts. So anybody willing to volunteer please email me at [dmanji at gmail dot com]. Lets keep Chronicles of a Techie ticking for the period of my sabbatical.

The Last Ball

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Namaste Sirji. Oh you don’t know me right? I am Ramshankar Yadav son of Dayashakar Yadav. I sell balls(those multi-coloured ones) at this crossing.  I see you are trying to recognize me please don’t try sir you won’t remember as there are a number of us. No sir I am not asking you to buy one ball as I have sold all of them today like I mostly do. But do you remember that Saturday night. The night when it was raining cats n dogs and traffic was hell. You were with Madamji(she looked so happy) and I approached your SUV. Your baby who was on Madam’s lap looked at the ball and wanted it, so put his little hand out to hold the ball but Madam quickly pulled his hands in and rolled up the window. It was raining and the little boys hands were getting wet so memsahib did the right thing. But sir your boy liked the ball very much and he was squealing. Actually sir kids like the balls very much.

I waited there for sometime hoping that you would buy it from me. Its not a very costly ball sir just Rs.25/-. You could have bought it easily if I may say so. Its not a Chinese product, sir we make it with our own hands. The mahajan gives us the raw materials and we make them and sell at this crossing and give the mahajan back the amount excluding our ‘commission’.

Well you could have taken the ball for yourself too. You could have kept it in your cubicle sir or you could use for the basketball on your floor. You are wondering How a ball seller like me knows about cubicles, basketballs. You see before coming here I was working in garment factory as office boy. There the computer bhaiyaa(a very nice guy) had told me that in big offices people have games, toys, gods, fish bowls etc in their cubicles. You must be thinking that what I am doing here when I had a ‘secure’ job. Well actually  the Boss(the factory owner) used to beat me for small mistakes and one day I thought it was enough. You know even my father had never hit me so I left the job and landed into this ball business. I don’t regret sir as initially the business was very good because I was the only one here but then with time many more joined the fray and sales have started dropping but still I can manage and I am happy because I am my own boss here.

But sir that day business was very bad due to rain and I needed that money badly for Chutki. Chutki is my little sister sir. Since our parents were washed away by the floods she stays with me here. She was very ill for some days and I needed the money to buy some fruits and milk for her. We don’t worry about medicines because we have Tom uncle in our basti, provides the medicine from the charitable trust’s home free of cost. Tom uncle is not a doctor he is what you all call a ‘quack'(he is courier boy by the day) but in times of need its his medicine that works. Don’t be perplexed sir Chutki is fine now and has started going to school again but that day I waited for some more time in rain and then went home as it was getting late with just milk. On the way back I dropped at Tom uncle’s ‘clinic’ and he gave some fruits which was given to him by one of his ‘patients’. Theres a saying in bengali “Rakhe Hori mare ke” which means “If God’s with you no one can harm you”.

Anyway sir the signal is turning green you have to hurry. Sorry for disturbing you and wasting your time. And thank you for listening to me and not rolling up the window this time. Are you wondering what happened to the last ball? I couldn’t sell it that day.

PS: This is a work of fiction though I have known some of the characters from very close quarters specially the Tom Uncle(obviously name changed).

Image Source from internet

Their Arrival

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55fiction

“They have arrived come fast” said his mother on phone.
He quickly glanced at ‘their’ room and was satisfied that it’s ready to welcome ‘them’.

He headed straight towards his mom and she pointed to ‘them’.
Finally he could see ‘them’. Sleeping peacefully in their little cradles a boy and a girl, his twin babies.

The Admirer

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Other day I saw you at the mall after a long time and waved.

You waved back and told something to your husband pointing me.  I said “She’s my friend” to wife, She smiled and replied “She’s very pretty”.

I continued “and thats her husband. Don’t they look great together just made for each other “.

PS: This is my first attempt at 55-Fiction (55 word story) hence comments are eagerly awaited.  Meanwhile you can read some exotic 55ers here.  Most of which are penned by Pal.

PPS: This can also be read as prequel or sequel to “We are just Friends

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