Love, rain, Parama and Alokananda

‘Such a beautiful day…’
Parama said, ‘why not we go for a walk?’
Alokananda was trying to edit a passage.
The report would go to the editor’s desk by nine. From there to the composer’s.

‘Why not?’
Parama asked.

‘If Rajdeep da finds you loitering around like this, you know…’
Alokananda said, suppressing her smile.
‘Who’s that Rajdeep? I’m slave to none!’
Parama said, smiling.

It was only two forty.
A mild breeze was blowing.
It had the smell of flowers and a bit of moisture.
‘It might be raining somewhere…’
Parama thought the first thing she and Alokananda came down to the small park opposite their office. Break time.
The makeshift stalls of food and chai by the boundary of the park were having brisk business.

‘For the last few days noticed you are in the most blessed state…always smiling…doing all works in time…not sitting on papers and not keeping them piled up…clearing them as soon as they come…what?’
Alokananda asked Parama.
Parama looked at her.
‘Nothing… Just it is such a fine weather…’
‘Na…not letting go of you only by those words…’
She pulled Parama.
Parama danced her brows.
‘Tell me, will you?’
Alokananda asked, this time pleading.
‘Want to know?’
Parama asked.
Alokananda couldn’t suppress her excitement.
‘I am in Love…’
Parama replied bluntly.
Without any excitement.
Not even dancing her eyebrows.
Not even smiling.
Alokananda couldn’t close her mouth.
Parama, the girl she had known for the last five years, never even going out with any boyfriend, thinking them to be most childish, jealous, arrogant and silly, had fallen in love!
‘Don’t joke with me…I know how you only a few days back slapped a boy who just tried to offer you a rose…’
Alokananda said, looking confused.
Parama was singing.
Usually she sings English songs.
Alokananda had heard Bob Dylan to Bob Marley, courtesy Parama.
But Bengali songs…
Only Rabindra sangeet.
But this song though Bengali had a tribal tune.
‘Fallen in love with a tribal guy or what?’
Alokananda poked Parama, using her right hand.
Parama was not listening to Alokananda’s words.
She had bought kachuris from a shop and presently dividing them into two equal proportions, numerically, counting them.

‘Lunch break…stuff your stomach first…God knows when we would be out of office this evening…’
Parama gave some kachuris and potato curry held in a small plastic container.
They had sat down on a bench at the park.

‘Ok…but tell me, who that lucky guy is?’

Parama said, munching kachuris.
‘Come’n! Do you think I am a fool? Can’t I see it in your face?’
‘Really? Does it show?really?’
Parama became thoughtful.
‘Of course! When I met your Mriganko da, I didn’t sleep for a whole night!’
‘Ha ha ha…’
Parama guffawed.

‘Now tell me…please…’
‘Well, I am in love with Love…’
Parama said.
‘Love with Love? What kind of puzzle is this?’
Alokananda asked, her eyes patting.
‘Well…look…now that we are sitting here and having our lunch…in this park…ain’t it beautiful?’
‘Then what?’
‘Then we go to the office and edit stuff and compose things…you call Mriganko da, asking about Shiblu, in the midst of your terrible business,ain’t that beautiful?’
Parama asked, looking at Alokananda, with poignant eyes.
‘Yes…that’s we all do…I mean you call your dad and ask whether he had taken his lunch…don’t you?’

Alokananda was confused.
‘Okay…then you look at yourself at the mirror and don’t you say you are beautiful?’
‘I dress up standing there…but don’t say that…’
‘Okay…don’t you like it when a cuckoo sings or parrot talks back?’
‘My dear Alokananda di, that is love!’
Parama pinched Alokananda’s cheek.
‘Tui na…'(oh! You are such a …)
Alokananda giggled, almost like a child.

Gayatri’s discovery

That afternoon last, was the most blessed one probably I had’
Gayatri thought as she started ironing the school uniform of her daughter Ahona.
Ahona would go out at nine. She checked her school bag.
‘Have you taken your exercise books? The class work copies? That Enid Blyton which you borrowed from your friend?’
Gayatri asked.
Ahona nodded.

Kaushik was checking a script.
‘Ahona, have you seen my glasses?’
Kaushik asked.
‘You have put them on the bedside table’
Gayatri replied.
‘O yes…’
Kaushik went to fetch them.
The script of the story is to be checked.
Often while typing he loses a comma, or an exclamation or an apostrophe.

Gayatri was humming a song.
She was thinking of the afternoon last.
The cool breeze was sweeping the street then.
She was returning from office.
The sun was drawing a supranormal sketch on the sky.
She found herself immersed fully into the beauty of that moment.
She forgot to take the change from the vegetable man when she bought those vegetables.

‘Mom, where’s my pencil box?’

Gayatri was brought back to the reality.
‘Gosh, am I drifting?’
She thought.

Kaushik had started works with the script it seemed.
A song was being played at his music system.

An instrumental piece.
A piano.
Gayatri knew it.
Richard Clayderman.

The pool car had arrived.
Gayatri took Ahona to the car.
The children were chirping there inside the car like a flock of birds.

‘Have you memorised the poem aunty asked?’
‘I did…should I recite?’
‘I have got a new Percy Jackson!’
‘What is it?’
‘That Greek heroes…’
‘Oh! Would you lend that to me?’
‘Yes! Why not?’

The children were chirping.

Gayatri thought that the morning was just the continuation of the afternoon last.

Kaushik was writing something on his clipboard.

Gayatri looked at him and felt blessed.
‘A work centric man… How come he got so many words in him? How come he keeps on typing and writing and pouring?
All the time writing?
Where from he gets that energy?’

Gayatri had seen him for years.
He had remained that.

Then she thought of the scene of the last afternoon.
Her being fully immersed into the beauty of an afternoon of spring.
Her waking up today and being into the same kind of feeling.

‘It must be Love…’
Gayatri thought.
She started preparing the breakfast.
She started humming a song.

A song that had those words which narrates the story of finding Love as worship.
A kind of devotion.

‘Love, if it is there, it comes pouring, in forms of words, in form of a song, in form of an afternoon painting a sky…’

She thought.

‘Its a wonderful world…’
She heard Kaushik singing from his study.
A song.

Washington’s ?
Gayatri tried to recollect the name of the singer.

‘He must have completed checking the script…’
Gayatri smiled.

She thought of singing out aloud.
A song of Tagore.
Of finding Love as worship.