It was a day of July. A sunny morning bloomed after a long lasted rain. Usually everyone was happy to see cloudless blue sky that morning. I was happier that I was going to college after two days due to heavy downpour. We used to stay in a small flat, where I didn’t have much space to reign over. I was not allowed to talk over phone late in the night when I was in school, and don’t know why I continued that habit long after I left school. My friends used to tease me a lot as I didn’t take their calls after 11. I had two completely different identities, in my college and in my home. I was very much friendly, joyous, enthusiastic, talkative, and vibrant in college. My parents used to get my opposite image in home. Now I cannot understand why I hid my every emotion from them, but I just did. My father used to keep a distance from me, though he always said “after a certain age, father and son become friends”. But I never shared anything with him, he was not bothered too. My mother was not so indifferent, but she was not too cozy at the same time. I can remember, I was close to my Masi, my mother’s sister. I could share a lot with her, but not mom.
Anyways, I was happy that morning. As I was going to bathroom to get prepared for college, my father asked me to come with him that day. He used to go to office via ferry ghat at shibpur. He had to give me something from his office. I got irritated instantly. Why that day?
“Because last two days were raining. I could not go to office. And day after tomorrow is the last day. You should fill it up today and post it. Understand?”
“Why are you all trying to take me out from my college? It’s the best college in the state.”
“Yes, I know. But the subject you are studying is not the best I presume!”
“Who told you that? Do you know how many students got placed from IITs this year studying the same subject?”
“They are from IITs. What do you think? You could get into IIT for your masters if you continue what you are doing now!”
“If you don’t have that much faith in me, why are you wasting money filling another form for an exam which I know I cannot get through!!”
“Because there you will be taught something which can make you someone in the society. And the exam!! If you try hard, you can obviously get through. Nothing is impossible.”
“Why are you trying to fulfill your dreams by me, why? I don’t want to be an engineer, please, try to understand. I don’t want anyone to tell about me as ‘engineer’s son is another engineer’. Please…”
My father couldn’t tell anything. He just stared at me for a while, then took his towel and went into the bathroom. My mother gestured me like she would gobble me if I say a word more. I changed my clothes and silently moved out. I forgot to bring my wallet and I discovered it when I got into the bus. Luckily I had a twenty rupees note inside my jeans pocket which saved my prestige. I was so unmindful that I forgot when my stop passed. It was a lady sitting beside me awakened me.
“You were about to go to Rabindra Sadan, isn’t it?”
“Yes, why?” I was confused.
“Rabindra Sadan just passed.”
Oh my God. I took out my cell phone from my pocket and something cold flowed inside my spine. She called me twenty times. I couldn’t realize as the phone was in silent mode. It vibrated also and even I could blame my father for my ignorance. But it was she!!!
Oh, oh… she’s calling again!! What should I do? If I pick the phone, she’ll blow me with her chosen adjectives; if I don’t she will definitely going to do it with higher intensity!!! What could be done, what…. I just jumped from the bus when it was reaching the next stop. The conductor and the driver were trying to abuse me like hell and I just smiled at them with a “Ta-Ta” hand gesture.
I ran towards the previous stop and it started raining. I almost got drenched when I reached the bus stop where she was waiting. I couldn’t find her standing at the stop. Definitely she must have gone to search for a shelter. It was raining heavily. I could get into the shade of the theatre and realized she was not there. Around fifty office and college goers were waiting there. I wiped my mobile with a borrowed hanky from an acquaintance (from my neighborhood) and called her. She was sounding very upset.
“You could not pick the phone. What are you doing?”
“Sorry, I was running.”
“Running?? Don’t you understand value of time!! I was calling you since eight in the morning and now you are calling me back. It’s already 9:30.”
“Sorry, tell me, where are you?”
“Soham, I am not coming today…”
“What!! But why?”
“That’s why I was calling you. But you…”
“ I didn’t go with my father, actually fought with him, didn’t take a shower, didn’t eat anything, and ran almost half a mile, got drenched…. And now you are saying you are not coming!!!!” I shouted as few ladies looked at me strangely.
“Soham, that’s why I called you in the morning, but you didn’t pick up the phone.”
Her voice was shaking, the very first time I felt that she is in a mood to apologize. Instantly my sufferings seemed little. A feeling deep within me told me to take the opportunity to teach her a lesson as she knew my land line number also. But another feeling from much deeper part restricted me from doing so.
“Okay, leave it. I am going to college. Meet you tomorrow.”
“Wait, wait. It doesn’t mean you will bunk your classes today and have a packet full of cigarettes to enjoy. I have many friends to follow you, you understand?”
The feeling from less depth within me cursed me like anything!!! I just hung the phone up.