Twice I shouted “Rijul, Rijul” – there was no response. Rijul is my grandson. He has just finished his 10th standard high school exam, and now on a long term holiday till the results are out. This is now late noon, and, he is not to be seen anywhere. Now I shouted really loud….. and was I sounding a bit angry !
After a little while he surfaced from nowhere, with dust all over his body and face ! “Look grandpa what I discovered from the junk room….. a bicycle ! It needs a bit repair, but I think this can be made a nice one to ride”. It was a bicycle alright, but, I was not so sure that this could be salvaged for any use !
Pakhi was happy today. Deep had promised to take her out in the evening for shopping. She did not have much to shop….. a small bottle of plain coconut oil – she normally does not like those fancy ones with strong flowery smell. She would also buy a simple soap. In fact she told Deep about these two needs last month itself. But Deep said that he is yet to get his salary. His salary comes by bank draft from Bangalore. His organisation has the head office there. She has not quite understood the work he does. It is some kind of missionary type….. in fact Deep had a loud laugh when she wanted to know whether he works for any Church Mission. You mean to say whether I am “Rev. Deep” or “Pastor Deep” ? There after Pakhi had not expressed her curiosity to know about his work, but, she was sure he must be doing some kind of work related to ‘helping people… young people’….. many of them come to the house …. to discuss something or the other with him.
This morning Deep had said he has already got the bank-draft deposited in the bank, and, in the evening he would bring home some cash. This is the first salary in their three month old married life ! It was already late evening, and Pakhi already had undergone a long wait. She went near the main door and waited for some time. She was now visibly looking worried.
Kring….kring….kring… there was this sound of a bell ringing quite near the main compound gate. Pakhi , from a suburban area, was well versed with this sound of a cycle-bell. In her own house her elder brother had one. She rushed out towards the gate and lo behold, there stood Deep, standing with a new cycle! Throwing a large smile he announced “This one I just bought, it took a little time to fix some extra fitting…. like a seat-cover, a light, a carrier… “
Pakhi did not utter a single word about the outing programme that Deep had promised her.. instead caught hold of the cycle handle and took it towards the courtyard and softly uttered “You must be tired, go inside, I will put the cycle on the stand and come.”
Over a cup of hot tea Deep explained, for the next fifteen minutes, about all the excellent things about the cycle. After a while Deep said contemplatively “There is something I am forgetting…..what was that…. some thing about going somewhere !!! Oh yeah, I now remember…. next week there is a conference in Bangalore, I will take you along… you will enjoy surely…. they call it a garden-city.” He took out an envelop and handed over to Pakhi “I have already booked the tickets. The tickets are in this envelop. Keep them safe”. Pakhi got a fairly clear idea about the rest of her life and the life-style of themselves as a couple!
“Grandpa, you did not tell me whether you like my idea or not “?
“Oh, surely …. it is a grand idea…. get the tool box from up-stair, we will get on to our work right away “ .
Right now, I am at a repairing spree….repairing memories alongside!
Published by Diptendu Mukerji