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Thursday, 12 December 2013

“HOW I WANT THE LAST EVENING OF MY LIFE TO BE” By Sobhan Pramanik

“HOW I WANT THE LAST EVENING OF MY LIFE TO BE”

A thematic representation

By Sobhan Pramanik

Before quitting everything. I want to recap every happiness. Or maybe the only happiness I had.

Even today this foyer is brilliantly lit up in the golden light of sundown. The tower clock, standing tall and far eclipses a greater portion of the horizon from my sight, the immortal pendulum of whose now, perhaps pities my stroll to departure.
As the oscillations of my rocking chair gradually diminishes, drowning with it the creaking of its timber, I graciously race back to time.The time when the sun down at this foyer of my house smelt of crushed coffee beans dissolving to hot milk that she poured from a porcelain tea pot. Much unlike today's stench of medicines and organic solvents.



Casually sunk into the leather finish couch that now had ripped from the stiches and sipping coffee, we would recollect our falling in love. I used to narrate her my feelings when I first saw her. She was standing by the bronze railing of the terrace of her house in a white salwar, feeding crumps of bed to the innumerable pigeons gatherer around her. In return she reminded me of how admiring her at the same place I had crashed into a lamppost while riding my bicycle and laughed like crazy. I used to feel embarrassed at it. But now, perhaps in the last few hours of my life, I wish to hear that childlike laugh of hers.

She used to remind me of those Archies cards with romantic messages that we used to exchange on the last working day of school before it closes for a month long summer vacation. I used to write rhyming lines for her. But the edges of my card will always be crumbled because I had to hide it beneath stacks of clothes or suddenly push it into a filled drawer whenever my parents entered my room, before bringing it to her. On the other hand her card used to be neat on which she flaunted her ornamental handwriting.
She used to live in a palatial house with her grandparents and had her personal spaces, so she never faced issues regarding hiding a card. She even teased me by attempting to formulate a virtual lump in her throat and said, “Tum mere liye ek card ka v khayal nahi rakh sakhte…mera kaise rakhoge….”

I would then call her, “Drama queen” and we both would break into laughter. Holding her tiny fingers in my comparatively broad palm, we used to walk down a narrow broken path that unwinds through a beautiful garden bordered by cypress to my cycle kept behind our school canteen. I used to ride her back home, cycling down the asphalt laid road. All through the ride, she used to hum the rhyming lines from the card, which in the melody of her voice felt like music. As the sun dips into the horizon and my heart counting its last few beats, I wish for that one last cycle ride with her.

Fortunately or unfortunately she took care of me in a way she would have done to her parents had they been alive.  In those times our respective hearts appeared to be our gods and the gods blessed us with lots of love.

The proudest moment of my life was even after marriage when every time I peered down her neckline, I found a gold plated pendant there, shining radiantly. It was the pendant that I bought for her from my first salary.

Watching the sun go down from the foyer of our house after marriage was perhaps the most cherished moments. She used to say that sunset together every day was more precious to her than our plush honeymoon on the beaches of Mauritius.

The evenings of our tea session in April used to be the most fascinating ones. It is this month of the year when you experience evening rainfalls in Kolkata, rescuing people from the clutches of a sultry afternoon. Post that rain, in the west amid the back drop of a sun breaking from the clouds will be a string of a fading rainbow. I loved the way she used to nag me by asking me to take her to the end of that rainbow where she could find a pot of gold.

I just smiled at her innocence and she loved seeing me happy.

It is April once again but there is no rainbow. Even she isn't there. Neither the smell of coffee.
Oh! Wait. I am no longer sitting at the foyer of my house. My tenure there had ended. My heart had already pumped its last. Right now I am ascending an invisible stair case whose spiral railings is decorated by fresh tulips.
I can’t see where the staircase ends but after ascending to quiet a height, I spot what I was looking for. I look down to locate my house, in whose foyer now stands my caretaker rubbing her eyes. She is probably crying and in front of her lies a corpse shrouded till the chin by a white satin bed sheet. The face looks similar. Yes, it’s me; and the one ascending the stairs is my soul that has left the foyer to escape his monotony.

Now in my mind I could imagine where this staircase would end. Probably somewhere behind curtains of the blue sky onto the dewy lawns of a place called heaven. Suddenly the very thought of heaven shatters away the shackles of reluctance from my legs.

I run hard up the stairs. I can’t wait anymore nor can I make her wait. I run breathing from my mouth and this time I will surely be able to take her to the end of the rainbow. To find the pot of gold.


                                                    By-- Sobhan Pramanik

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