Inheritance of Regret…

“Aashimadi, uff ektu fan ta on kore jao…”

[Aashimadi, please turn on the fan…]

I grumbled. I was still on my cozy bed.

She rushed into my room and turned on the fan and then continued sweeping other rooms.

This is how Aashima started her day. She came to my apartment before three other houses. She has been working for me for two years already. She is one of the most regular and punctual working women I have seen in my life.

Aashima has a daughter who is in eighth standard. Her husband sells vegetables everyday on the footpath near the bus stand. He smiles and salutes me every day when I go for work.

Radhu, her daughter would sometimes come and sit on the floor in the balcony and wait for her mom to finish. If I woke up early, she would get the chance to watch the news and the music channels on TV along with me.

Despite their poverty stricken household I have never seen Aashima frown or even a tinge of sadness on her face. She manages to send her daughter to a good school and for tuitions in the colony. Apart from that, Radhu is taking dance lessons.

 “What do you want to become when you grow up?” I once asked Radhu.

“I want to be a doctor.” She smiled wryly.

“Ami toh boli engineering korte.” [I say to her she should do engineering]

Aashima said from the kitchen still cleaning the dishes.

“Keno dactari te ki oshobhida?”

[What’s the problem with being doctor?]

I replied loud enough so that Aashima can hear from the kitchen.

“dactari korte onek somaye laagey. Toto dine or biye hoye jaabe.”

[It takes a lot of time to finish MBBS. By that time she would get married and have a family.]

Radhu blushed almost instantly.

We never talked about that ever again.

Five years later…

“Abhida, tumi eshe gecho?” Radhu got up from her place and came near me. She tried to touch my feet. I had to stop her half way and blessed her. She looked beautiful in her red sari. She looked pretty grown up with all the makeup and jewelry. I gave her the gift I had in my hand and went to see Aashima. She looked different. She was no longer the Aashima I knew from before. Things had changed when I had shifted to another city because of work. But despite everything she had managed to send an invitation card of her daughter’s wedding.

“Kemon acho Aashimadi?” [How are you Aashimadi?]

I asked her. She was managing thousands of things singlehandedly. She calmed down for a moment when she saw me.

She put her hand on my head and then on my chest and said, “Khawa dhawa thik kore hocche na bujhi?”

[You are not eating properly nowadays I guess?]

“Ami thik achi! Hotat biye?” [I am okay! Marriage all of a sudden?]

We both looked at Radhu. She was smiling.

“Chele ta khub bhalo. Ar chaarte parlam na…”

[The groom is a good man. Couldn’t refuse the proposal.]

She wiped her eyes with her sari. I could understand her problem.

“Or ar dactari pora holo na…” [Her dream of becoming a doctor remained unfulfilled…]

I could sense a feeling of regret in her voice. She couldn’t help but sob silently.

 After all she is a mother…

#HappyBelatedMother’sDay

*dedicated to all mothers around the world 

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Bike Ride…

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She looked at the road swiftly moving in the opposite direction. Countless cars, buses, trucks and bikes moved along with them.

She remembered the time they had gone to the carnival. He had won a huge teddy bear for her from the shooting stand.

She remembered the time he had taken her to watch the first 3D movie. She had screamed every time the shark appeared. But he had held her hand during the entire movie.

She remembered the time she had fallen sick. He had taken a leave for her and had stayed beside her the entire day. He had an important meeting and it had costed him his job.

She remembered the day she had asked him to cook some fancy dish she had seen on the internet. He perfected it after three times. And it was delicious.

She looked at the big helmet on his head.

She used to put it on her head and run around the house. And he would chase her.

After her mom passed away, he had taken care of her each and every need.

“I love you daddy…”

“I love you too dear!”

She hugged him tighter. She felt safe. She felt loved and cared for. She closed her tired eyes. She smiled…

Temple Run…

I boarded the bus and took a window seat. After five minutes I took out my phone and started playing temple run 2.

“O maa go… rakhosh….”   (Oh my God, demon!!)

The old lady beside me yelled when she saw the prodigal son of venom (from Spiderman) and a gorilla running behind guy dangerous from the game. I didn’t realize that she was observing me and the game for a long time.

“Apni khelben?” (Do you want to play?)

I asked her politely. She smiled. She was very old but her face was very serene. Something told me that back in her days, she might have been very pretty.

“Ami jani na ki kore khelte hoye!” (I don’t know how to play!)

She replied. But she looked pretty excited.

“Khub easy. Ei dekhun erkom kore…” (It’s very easy…)

It took her five minutes to master the game. But every time the guy fell down the mountain she looked dejected. But she continued playing. Fifteen minutes had passed and she had unlocked two achievements. By now she was grinning as she moved her hands in the air to collect as many coins as she could.

“Kalighat…” The conductor yelled.

“Ei amar stop eshe geche. Khub bhalo laglo!” (Hey, my stop has come. I had a great time.)

She ran her wrinkled hand over my head.

I could see the temple from the window. The old lady waved at me. I waved back…

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Departure…

“I will miss you!”

“Sir, you are not supposed to enter the departure zone. It’s off limits to visitors.” The guy in the uniform tried to stop him.

“I will miss you too!” She smiled. “Now go away.”

He saw tears in her eyes.

“…just saying goodbye to my girl over there!” He pushed the officer away.

“Sir, I won’t repeat again!” The officer tried to block his way. But he kept walking.

“I…I love you!” He shouted.

“I love you too honey…” She came near the glass wall which separated them.

Their hands touched just for a moment. Maybe for the final time or maybe not. He was trying to give her something but failed.

“Sir, this is my final warning!” The officer pulled him away from her.

Tears rolled down her cheek. She waved at him. Then she covered her face with her hand, turned around and walked away.

“You okay man?” I asked him. Mom had cleared security check and had disappeared just moments ago. She was smiling and waving at me before she left.

“No! I am not okay!” He barged out of the glass gateway. Moments later I realized that he had dropped something on the floor. It was a photograph.

“Hey dude you have…” I couldn’t find him outside the airport. He had left the place in haste.

I looked at the photograph. It was of the guy and his girlfriend. The photo was old. Behind the photograph a line was written.

“I wish we had some more time…”

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No Matter What…

“What is wrong with this world? Not a single wish from any friends or relatives!” She kept walking towards her apartment.

She remembered the old times when there used to be big parties for her birthday. All the neighborhood kids would assemble and celebrate her birthday.

“Trinnnnggg”

One new message.

She eagerly opened the message just to find a stupid advertisement from her service provider.

The last time she checked, there was not a single notification from her friends on Facebook. She had intentionally hidden her birthday info just to see how many of her friends actually remembered her birthday.

“Facebook sucks!” She couldn’t stop thinking.

“Just fresh out of college and have just started working and now nobody even remembers my birthday!” Tears welled up in her beautiful brown eyes.

She remembered the times she had celebrated her birthday in her hostel.

“Those were the best days of my life!” She wiped her tears.

She opened the door and went inside. She switched on the light and air conditioner.

“Surprise!”

All of a sudden she realized that her apartment was full of people whom she knew from all parts and phases of her life. Her parents were there. Her best friend was there. Her college friends were there and even some high school friends and close relatives were there.

“I…I don’t understand the meaning of any of this!” She still looked morose. “All day long I thought you people had stopped caring about me.”

“Hey, we planned this a long time ago.” One of her friends replied with a smile.

“And we wanted to surprise you.” Her mom joined in.

“Well guess what, I am neither surprised nor amused!” She sat on her sofa with a long face.

She looked around. She suppressed her smile. The entire apartment was decorated like a wedding hall. And her favorite flowers were all over the place.

“Oh well, then we will just have to eat the cake by ourselves.” Her best friend brought a huge tray and kept it in front of her.

Now she couldn’t contain her excitement and grinned like a seven year old.

It was a huge heart shaped chocolate cake.

“No matter what we will always remember.”

She read the words written beautifully over the cake.

“I will stop talking with you if you ever do this to me again. She hugged her mom and dad.

Everyone laughed in unison.

“Happy Birthday dear…”

The girl cut the cake amidst her loved ones. The night had just begun.

 

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