baggout Blogging Contest

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Yellow shirt

The Yellow Shirt

It was mid august, the air hot and humid, the sky cloudy and so was the heart of Rubina. Rubina family, comprising of mother, Ranu De, father Ramani De and brother Ranjan had moved in to their new home at Garia in extreme south Calcutta. Rubina had been born and brought up at Dumdum cantonment, extreme north of the city and had a host of friends and friendly neighbours the thought of whom made her heart heavy and depressed. Mr De and his family stayed so long at a rented house at North Calcutta where buildings were separated by so narrow margins that you could almost touch one another from the different roofs and Rubina, used to such narrow lanes and by lanes found herself lost and lonely. She now had a whole room and an attached balcony to herself and sitting on the balcony she was lazily observing the people down below when her attention was drawn to a yellow shirt and the young man in it, in precisely that order. The young man who held her attention was in his mid twenties and the owner of an attractive tanned complexion, a latest haircut, medium height and athletic physic. She could not see his face and felt curious until he looked up at her with a. pair of intense eyes almost angry and those were the only features that she was aware of when she looked into those eyes. Rubina heard some one shout at her ‘Does Ranjan leave here?” and she was conscious of another young man beside the yellow shirt. The companion repeated his question and Rubina came back to her senses, “Yes, yes, please wait” and she went to look for her brother.

Rubina was seventeen and had just finished her school. Rubina had an extremely sweet disposition, so much so that her looks more often than not reflected that sweetness. Otherwise she had almost plain features, her eyes though were big and black with naturally thick black lashes, a small but sharp nose and a soft and round chin. She was not fair , neither was she dark and she was quite tall by Bengali standards. Basically Rubina was conservative and shy by nature and so long she did not have any boy friend. This chance meeting with the young man in yellow shirt bowled her out completely. Gone was the state of melancholy – the days of boredom, her heart suddenly started singing songs, her eyes became mysteriously shiny, her skin glowed and she danced around the house, looking at herself in mirrors and blushing for no apparent reasons. That night she had a strange dream; she saw a man waving at her. It was a rose garden full of yellow roses .A beautiful melody was in the air. She thought roses should emit good smell and not good music and she put her hand out to pick one, when the rose garden turned into a huge yellow shirt . Rubina looked at the man who had a yellow shirt on but she could not make out his face, so she started walking towards him but her legs wont carry her, they felt so heavy and she tried and tried and to her despair saw the man turn and vanish -she came out of her sleep crying.

Bikash was a graduate engineer working with a business house situated near Park Street area where he spotted Rubina waiting for Metro on her way back from Loretto college. Bikash was attracted by her innocent looks and a devastating figure , which mother nature had generously endowed with youth. Her slim stature had well shaped full breasts and a round and slightly heavy hip, which gave an impression to the onlooker as if she was a delicate creeper with blossoms, which were heavy on it which reminded him of Kalidas’s Shakuntala. Bikash considered himself good looking and attractive to the other sex and was disappointed to find that the girl never looked at him. Rubina by nature was sober and dignified ,did not look at people when out in the streets. Bikash made a habit of taking the same train every day and after he got tired of catching her eyes, he made enquiries and found out that she had a brother who was a fellow student. That is how he made friends with him and visited their house. Rubina was blissfully unaware of the chain of events and saw him for the first time.

Nearly a year and a half have passed. Bikash would come dutifully everyday and spend sometime with Ranjan, helping him with his studies and showing no apparent desire to befriend Rubina, which most of Ranjan’s friends were in the habit of and which impressed him immensely. But Bikash would invariably choose the day and time when Rubina was at home and thus their eyes met, and many unspoken words were communicated without the knowledge of the unsuspecting elders.

Bikash could read the interest in her eyes and played for time but never spoke to her. He would come and chat with Ranjan making enough room in his heart as he was quite an eligible bachelor and ultimately approached him for the hand of his sister. By that time Ranjan was quite taken up with his senior and was also highly impressed with his sobriety and on his part he apprised his parents of the situation. That evening Rubina came back from her evening classes and heard them discussing about her marriage and immediately flared up.

“Why do you want to give me away in marriage so soon, am I a burden on you?” She cried. Her parents and brother were moved and refrained from speaking anything more about the proposal as they were not aware of her feelings for Bikash and Rubina in her turn was in the dark about the would-be-husband and never dreamt that it could be Bikash they were talking about. When Bikash heard that he had been rejected, his male ego was hurt so much that he married the very first girl that his mother chose for him and that too at quite a young age for today’s standard

For sometime now Bikash’s regular visits had stopped suddenly. An anxious Rubina waited at the specific time on her balcony, only to return to her room broken hearted. There was no Bikash in sight.

‘Dada one of your friends came while you were not home.” Rubina was dying with curiosity to know his name

Who was it?

Well I don’t know his name but I saw him the other day in a yellow shirt. Ranjan was thoughtful for a while and then exclaimed- oh Bikash? But he is supposed to be in Delhi now, he has got a job there. You must have been mistaken., Rubina.

So his name was Bikash?. Bikash …Rubina murmured to herself, her heart pounding with unknown fear and a hitherto unknown feeling . Her tender soul felt so hurt, he is gone, he is not in Kolkata and she did not know: why, why ,why , how could he.

Ranjan looked at his sister for a while then asked – do you like Bikash?

Rubina blushed – I hardly know him dada.

Yes , yes, ofcourse, my mistake. Ranjan attributed her blushed countenance to natural shyness, but still he remained thoughtful.

After sometime Ranjan again came to Rubina’s room. Rubina looked at her brother questioningly with wide innocent eyes. Rubina- funny that you said you saw Bikash. Did you know Bikash asked for your hand in marriage! Nothing could have been a greater news for her but for the tense that Ranjan used in breaking the news. He asked for my hand? “‘ Yes , remember , you got so upset when we were talking about your marriage’- it was him and after you declined he acted very queer for days and I thought may be there was something between you and you had ditched him. For Bikash said something about girls should not be trusted . And I was all the more surprised at his sudden marriage. I was thinking of asking you about you.

Alas ..If only Ranjan knew what blows he was aiming at his darling sister.

Rubina, when she heard about the marriage was shocked and broken hearted. How could he, she thought, as if he could not gauge from her looks how taken up she was with him. Her young heart bled and she cried so much on her pillow that in the morning her mother was shocked to see her swollen eyes. Days rolled into nights and months into years, and after two more years a very eligible match was found for Rubina, a very good scholar and a professor, though ten years her senior Mridul Sen was a jovial soul, well liked and popular among friends and students alike. Rubina did not say no, as there was no young attractive man in yellow shirt waiting for her with open arms. In her heart of hearts she still pined for his love that was now reserved for somebody else. As a loving heart sees no reason, she craved for her unfulfilled romance and quite unreasonably harbored anti feeling for the unfortunate husband .

Mridul with his inherent affectionate nature treated his young wife with sensitivity and care and attributed her aloof and somewhat curt behaviour to immaturity and side effects of being separated from loved ones at the tender age of nineteen.

On the third day after their marriage, as was their custom, Mridul came to Rubina’s house and by chance Bikash chose the very day for visiting Ranjan with his wife. Ranjan’s wife Sheela was a simple soul, pretty and plump.

Ranjan introduced the four among themselves and jokingly said that Mridul could get his sisters hand only because she refused Bikash. Before Mridul could react, Bikash said in a haste, thank God she refused or else how could I get a gem of a wife like Sheela! hee, hee, hee….the young man giggled to hide his embarrassment . Rubina looked at him in stunned disbelief. Such an effeminate voice! Is this the man she wanted to get married to, a man with a voice like a woman, giggles like a girl, no wonder he chose bright yellow of a shirt to show off the whiteness of his skin- such a dandy. Here Rubina was a little too harsh on him for it was the yellow shirt that made her notice the man in it and never before had she thought the colour too loud or effeminate .Really it is God’s grace that she escaped by a hair’s breath, otherwise she would have to be tied down to this man with a woman’s voice the whole life, she shuddered at the thought. Mridul was watching his wife closely and asked anxiously ‘ darling are you ok?”

For the first time since their marriage Rubina looked at her husband with gratitude and with love and marveled at the baritone, so reassuring and ofcourse so masculine- and said smiling, no dear it is nothing , I was only thinking of a yellow shirt.

For my soul mate

I saw you standing far, far away,

With your arms folded as you do.

A gust of wind came my way,

Bringing in your scent.

I took a step or two,

Fear lurching in my heart.

Suddenly I looked back

And it was the moon.

I ran as fast as I could

And was in your arms

holding me tight.

My eyes could not see you smile.

For, for my eyes it was a knight.

The river flew from my eyes

Dropping into your soul.

I saw the waves coming our way

Fury and passion blended in two.

My heart was laughing and crying for I knew

At last it was you and only you.

No comments: