“He had gone for an outing with his friends, was extremely happy for his new bullet, told he will be back for dinner.” Mr. Das’ voice choked as he explained his friends and neighbours.
The plush apartment was filled with essence of sandalwood and tuberose. The hall was full with neighbours, friends and relatives who came to console the bereaved parents. In the middle of the room was lying the lifeless body of Jeet, the only son of the house. Sudeshna, Mr. Das’ sister, was applying sandalwood paste on Jeet’s forehead with one hand, while with the other she was wiping tears with her anchal. Beside her, sat Jeet’s mother, Aparna. The lady was in her mid 40s but her elegance and beauty was something celestial. Anybody could make out that Jeet exactly looked like his mother, same complexion, dark big eyes, wavy black hair. Though preparations were on the way for the last rites, Aparna was aloof from whatever was going on. She was lost somewhere. Some relatives and friends were trying to console her, but she was not paying a heed to what they were saying.
“Boudi, say something, Jeet is no more, why are you sitting still.” Sudeshna tried to make her react. “Dada, she has to cry, make her cry, this is not good for her health.” Sudeshna addressed Mr. Das worriedly.
“Apu! say something, Jeet is no more, wont you cry, wont you hug him for the last time,” Mr. Das started sobbing bitterly. All in vain, the lady was unmoved.
Some time in the past.
“Mumma, why are you packing your bags, are you going somewhere? Baba scolded you, that’s why you are going”, four-year-old Rimi said in one breath. She again continued, “Don’t go Mumma, I will tell Baba, he will not scold you …”
“Rimi, your Mom can’t stay in this house anymore. I am leaving you with your Baba,” Interrupted her Mom. “I don’t love your Baba.”
“Then why are you leaving me Mumma?” questioned Rimi.
Without saying anything Mrs. Bhoumick rushed towards the door.
“Ma, please take me with you, I can’t stay without….,” Rimi cried out. But Mrs. Bhoumick couldn’t spare a minute more in that lower middle class household.
Mr. Suvodip Das, her dream man, was standing outside the house with his new BMW, the fat cat who was a CA himself and inherited a huge wealth from his ancestors. Mrs. Bhoumick boarded the car and Rimi’s cries faded with the distance.
All the rituals were almost over, only the body was to be taken for funeral. There was an undercurrent of people gossiping about the way Jeet was pampered, how he went out of control, the affluent lifestyle and all.
Suddenly, Aparna shouted, “It’s me, it’s my sins that took his life”, she hugged Jeet’s body and burst into tears.
Dada: Elder brother
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