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Monday, October 22, 2007

Night of dark shadows

Night of dark shadows

I saw her enter the room. Wow! what a figure. I pretended to be busy with my files. Let her stand there waiting. I mentally laid her flat on the floor. Damn her. Nothing I do seem to touch her by a feather. What is so special about her! They ask me…. my friends? Well that she does not respond to my signals is enough to turn me on. Well even I thought I am taking too much of a time, so I looked up from my files..”Yes, Reema !” I leaned back and raised my eyebrows and gleefully noticed the slight exasperation in her expression..

Here are the details of bills outstanding with our H.O.. Manish said you wanted it. Reema sounded impatient. I was laughing inside. I pushed back my chair and took three quick and long steps and stood just behind her looking down her low-cut neckline the paper in her hand and….. guess what! She stood there red faced and flustered Cool as a cucumber she was not any more but red as an apple and I like eating them just as ripe as she was. Hmm….The devil of a phone started ringing and she left the room. Damn it. The picture of Ranu’s fat bottom hit me in the middle. Curse her! Curse her hunger like a starving Hippo, you feed her and go on feeding her, she would only want more.

Reluctantly I picked up the phone
“It is me, Ranu here!’ the same line every day
“Yes Ranu darling, what is it!”
“You have not taken your lunch box today!” Yesterday it was my blood pressure pill …. the freshly ironed and scented handkerchief, the day before…..
“I was in a hurry darling. Don’t worry I will have something from the office canteen.’
“Be careful, don’t take too much fried things, it is bad for your ulcer”
“Ok darling I would be careful”
“and don’t forget to take your medicine before the meal. It works better that way”
“As you wish Ma’m”

Manish walked in and leaned over my desk with two hands on the table a worried expression in his eyes. Not that Manish was worried about anything, he just have that kind of a face , with drooping lips and sagging jaw lines, he loves to carry on him a sad face. “Why don’t you try Dr. D R Mecheta . She is very good. If you want I can make an appointment for you, she is a very good friend of my sister”

“Well, thanks Manish. I suppose I will have to try her also. But I am seriously thinking of going for a surrogate mother. It is costly, I know, but still worth trying. Don’t you think so?”

“Well, it depends. It is always hard to chose some one for being a surrogate mother to your baby, isn’t it?”

“May be, but I don’t have any choice. If I don’t go for that Ranu is sure to go for adoption. But before that I would like to have a last try. “

What lovely cleavage.. and her skin, oh my …. smooth as butter. She gives me a tingle every time I look down her… you know what!. Baby you just wait and see. The day I catch you, you would simply stick by me. They all do.

I reached for my mobile. Dr Benugopal Majumdar !! I would like to have an appointment with you. If you would be so kind to give me a date .Next Friday.. at 7.45 pm.!! Mr & Mrs Rudraneel Sen . Ok doc. Thanks a lot.

I could imagine what is going on now at my antechamber. That sad-faced weakling would comfort the firebrand Reena with open arms. and there conversation would be something like this.

Oh what a creep; I feeling like slapping him every time I go into his room Reema is sure to exclaim with apparent disgust and I get more turned on when she is in that mood.

I could never have guessed that this chum of mine was head over heals in love with her had I not caught them talking in the following line a few days back.

Manish gave her a sheepish grin. “Most woman melt under his macho gaze and he is not at all used to being ignored by them. So be careful lady”.

What the hell !! He can’t even touch me by my hair…

Don’t tell me you are modern day Sita.

Well, I could if only you’d find a Rama for me.

Reema, you are absolutely nearsighted. Am I not good enough for you. I am the most eligible bachelor in town, trust me. Manish sounded wistful

Reema looked at him sharply . You know Manish how fond I am of you.

But only as a friend. Isn’t it so? Am I so uninteresting Reema. Really, you make my self esteem go down the drain.

Please Manish don’t make it so difficult for me. You know I like you sooooo much.. You are a darling. You would make a very good husband no doubt about it. But you know how it is with my family. Who ever marries me, has to take Bibi in dowry,

Why don’t you put her in an asylum?

Please Manish I don’t want to enter into a debate where no body wins. You know my mind. I am not going to leave my sis in the ditch. You don’t want me to act inhuman –do you? If you want me, you have to accept her. And that is final.

The next few hours both of them would work with utmost concentration carefully avoiding any conversation.

I realized I have a dung headed bloke of a friend who cant even convince the woman he loves that it is a sin, wasting her assets for the sake of an imbecile sister, who should have been in an asylum long back, both for her own good as well as for the society at large.

Had I not done so? Am I not human? I could have kept my brother with me and driven Ranu out of her mind and out of my life. According to that prude , I am a brute, a selfish wolf.. To hell with her. What does she know, what does anybody else know of the sleepless nights I have to spend, the dark days of guilt that I had to bear. What do people know of the dark shadows covering my existence? Was it my fault that my father and mother should beget an imbecile, a half-wit and leave the creature to their able son and go for a joyride heavenwards together or was it towards hell. I still remember the evening the two left for their weekend booze party from which they would invariably return drunk to their toenails in the wee hours of the night, when I slept with my baby brother by my side, clinging to me like a leech. The two would howl like dogs and fight like cats for long until the steam would go out of their flaring nostrils and both of them would slump to their bed like two heavy logs. But that fateful night there was no sound of the car screeching to a sudden halt, the garage gate being opened , heavy footsteps coming up the stairs accompanied by filthy and high pitched abuses. Instead, the police discovered the car in shambles, the front seats smashed with the impact of hitting headway a road roller that was parked at the wrong side of the road. It seemed the car hit the road roller headlong coming in a breakneck speed. Their lifeless bodies were extricated from the mess after carefully cutting door at the driver’s side. I was 21 and my baby brother was only 7 . They had left a fortune for us. A huge house at the posh locality of Manadavile Gardens at south Kolkata. Two cars. A bank locker full of jewelry and a fat pass book.

I had already completed my masters in Economics and finished my MBA with flying colours. My kid brother could never even finish his nursery lessons. He had an ugly gait and impaired speech but otherwise looked normal. Any one who did not notice him for a few minutes would take him to be normal, may be a little odd, may be a little spoilt. His nursemaid handled him with care, dressed and fed him properly and took him out for walks regularly in the afternoon. But he was fanatic in his love for me. Once I was in, he would not let any one come near him. Dada..dada… dada… he would dance like a two year old, clutching my hand.

He showed the first signs of violence, when I introduced Ranu, my bride to him. Ranu was a very loving young woman, full of sympathy for my unfortunate kid brother but he grew violent whenever Ranu made an effort to be friendly. He spurned all her efforts with iron feast. He would deliberately and cunningly spoil her food, her dresses, her cosmetics. The first hurdle was to remove him from my bedroom. His attendant had to fight every night to put him to sleep in his room. He was now grown up , a sixteen year old, and had immense physical power. And I had to replace the frail woman with a sturdy man servant. But like a cunning fox, he would pretend to fall asleep and as soon as the attendant dozed off to sleep, he would come out of the room and start banging on our door. He had an uncanny intuition to chose the time when Ranu and I were in an intimate mood. After one and a half years Ranu gave me the ultimatum, “Either I stay, or your brother”. I could not blame her.

My brother accompanied me to the asylum that would be his home for the rest of his life, like a faithful little dog, putting all his trust in his benefactor, his elder brother, who was more like a father and a mother figure to him. After all the formalities were done, the relevant papers signed, cheques given, I handed over my brother to their custody . The child looked up at me with his big innocent, trusting eyes and haltingly uttered.. dada.. you.. come. Like a butcher I disentangled my hand from his grip . You go in baby… I would come afterwards.

Those halting wards started hunting me day in day out. Dada.. you.. come.. I could not sleep, could not eat.. could not rest and could not work. How could that child live without me. How hurt he must be. Six months went past and I received a letter from them that my brother was in a better state and that I might take him home with me. So one day I set out for the asylum with my car . I did not tell Ranu anything about it. Kid was so happy to see me again. But he seemed changed. He did not come running into me but stood there at the door smiling uncertainly. I opened my arms and embraced him into a bear hug.

The doctors gave me his prescriptions and advised me to keep him away from Ranu as far as possible. Though the kid was far better but after all he was mentally retarded from birth and he regarded me as his sole property. He felt extremely insecure whenever he found me and Ranu together, sensing the intimacy.

I had booked a room at Hotel Seahawk at Digha for two of us and drove our car a few more kilo meters to Digha, the asylum being situated halfway between Kolkata and Digha. We reached the hotel in the afternoon and spent the day watching the sea from our terrace. It was a deluxe room and sea facing. The food was excellent. I ordered all the favourite dishes for my brother. In the evening we went for a walk along the shore . kid was terribly excited to see the roadside stalls. I watched my brother chatter incoherently, so happy, so excited, to be alone with his beloved dada. That night we slept like two children closely embracing each other. We were to leave the hotel in the afternoon so in the morning after breakfast I took Kid to the sea. I jumped into the sea and asked him to sit on the sand. As I guessed rightly , after a while he started coming step by step into the water towards me. Dada.. dada… I .. too .. come. My brother had never been at the seaside and he knew nothing about oceans, its depth, its waves, its enormity and its dangers. But he was very fond of his bathtub in our huge old fashioned bathroom.. I pretended not to hear him and he was already waste deep in water when I spotted the waves coming his way and I saw his two hands searching for mine over the swirling waters.

It was an accident. DO YOU HEAR ME- IT WAS AN ACCIDENT. Nobody blamed me. But the voice had never left me since then. It cries in my sleep, in my waking hours.. in imagination, in my love, in my hatred…… dada…. dada…. dada.

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