CHAPTER - ONE
“I am pregnant” Shreya just utter these words softly. Rajat was just half laying in the bed and playing with his mobile. He just looks to his beloved wife with a broad smile and says, “Thank you Jaan, I am so lucky today”.
Rajat and Shreya met five years back in Raja bazar science college at fest. Rajat at then an engineering student and Shreya pursuing her master’s in chemistry. So, it was Shreya’s fest and Rajat was just a guest there. However, Shreya performed a solo singing at that fest. In a magenta colour, saree and a single bindiya, makes her divinely graceful. Rajat could not move his eyes from her. Rajat never believed that there is something called love at first site but that day he realizes that these absurd things actually exist.
Rajat can’t sleep that night. More than love. It was a surprise for him. Since his teenage till date he has crossed paths with so many ladies but Shreya, how she has taken his heart in her first look with her deep dark eyes.
Next day morning Rajat was standing outside Shreya’s campus gate. He has just lit the cigarette, the same moment he saw Shreya is coming out of the gate. She wore a mustard color saree with bottle green border. One small matching bindiya, but most beautiful thing is her floating deep dark eyes decorated by night black kajal.
Rajat just threw the cigarette and ran to Shreya.
“Hi, I am Rajat. Would you mind if I take two minutes of yours?”
“Regarding…” Shreya said skeptically
Rajat was feeling nervous since he was trying to hang a cool dude type smile upon his face and then replied,
“Well, I am not good at arranging words. I can’t sleep after seeing you last night. Every time I close my eyes, your face floats in front of me. I know you have already started thinking that this man is one of those lunatics who has just escaped his asylum. Trust me, it has never happened before. Your dark, & mystic eyes have refused to leave my mind. It attracts me like anything. I can’t imagine anything without you. I never believed in love at first sight and fate has taken revenge on me.”
Rajat just finished the line and was huffing. He was breathless.
“Look man, you know nothing about me, my whereabouts and just gone crazy for me. You even don’t know I may love somebody or not. You just come and say these things to me.”
Suddenly Rajat’s face has gone stiff and then firmly but politely he said,
“I am so sorry, madam. Yes, you are absolutely correct. How foolish am I. I never consider that you might love someone? I was just carried away with my own emotional perspective, selfishly. I am sorry for my behavior & take a leave, madam. Sorry again for disturbing you like this.”
Rajat just walked away straight and not even giving a glance at Shreya. He knows if he did it once again, those eyes, he can’t put a single step ahead. He knows those profound, dark eyes will chase him for his rest of life. Rajat kept on walking with his thoughts. Suddenly a man taped his shoulder and said,
“Gentleman, I think a lady is calling you since sometime.”
Rajat just turned back and saw Shreya was trying to catch up, but her saree did not allow to gain required speed. She was panting. Rajat ran to her and said,
“What happened, you need some water?”
“You are a really strange man; I was calling you for such a long time, but you were running away like a horse,” after gulping some water, Shreya said.
Rajat was a little perplexed. He could not understand why Shreya is here. He said to himself, “Is there any little possibility that she accepts my proposal”. Same moment he dismisses that thought and told his mind. “Don’t dare to dream that buddy, there is no hope”
“Why you leave like that, and I think you have some problem in your ears too.”
“What makes you think so I have a listening disability,” Rajat said that with a frown.
“Because you don’t listen properly, I said to you I may love somebody.” Shreya stopped and smiled through her eyes.
Now the childish smile was back on Rajat’s face.
“Should we continue investigating my hearing problem standing in the middle of the road or we move towards that coffee shop for further discussion?”
“Yes, we can. By the way, I am Shreya,”
“Hi, I am Rajat,”
Then, as usual, love makes his own way and Rajat and Shreya meet again after a week and keep an on meeting at regular intervals. As time flows, after study, Rajat joins a software conglomerate and Shreya stated her research. But love between them kept on growing day by day.
Rajat and his family are staying at the heart of north Kolkata. Their family is one of those cults who are somewhere directly connected to the family of Sobha Bazar Raj Parivar few generations back. So aristocracy always flows in their blood. Rajat’s father Ranjan used to work as a bureaucrat in state government. Now being retired, he spends more time on books or News Channel at home. Ranjan’s Wife Nirmala is the key person in their family. She manages everything as per their family is concerned. Nirmala is one of those ladies who always takes pride in their legacy & aristocratic culture. Somehow, she never understands that her legacy and aristocracy are eventually transforming her into an orthodox frame of mind. Nirmala has been always very strict in her family and child pertaining to discipline. She believes too much expression of affection and love is a roadblock for her child’s future. She has always opted for the best school, the best teacher, and the best facilities for Rajat. When everyone praises Rajat’s success, Nirmala always feels proud silently about her decision. She has made it. She has designed Rajat’s life so greatly. If there is any place in the world where Nirmala is humble & courteous, then that is in the presence of their three hundred- and ten-years old Kul Detva, idol of Laxmi & Narayan. She always performs all pujas & rituals with all her devotion. She always believes that Mother Laxmi has her sight of grace in this family. That is the source of fundamental strength of their family.
Ranjan was always busy with his work and his club. He used to believe that life should be full of enjoyment and celebration & should not have any regret. Ranjan always admires that he is lucky that he got married to Nirmala, who manages his home so well that he never felt the burden called family. He always felt that his family is in a picture-perfect condition all the time. Maybe nowadays he is feeling that this picture-perfect model makes his family really perfect but also same time lifeless as still picture. Ranjan knows it’s already too late to correct it. His family will be like this, and Nirmala wants it to be like this only. So, he immerses himself in the world of books, isolated and lost.
Rajat, since his childhood, had seen that his family moves with the clock. In time lunch, in time for dinner, in time go to bed, everything goes as per routine only. There is no deviation in routine, every family member abided by that rule only. Sometimes he feels so lonely & suffocated that he wants to break this prisoner’s life and wants to live in his own way. As many times he thinks that Nirmala’s one sharp look evaporates all his rebellious strength and thoughts. He again gets back to his routine life. So, when he first met Shreya, the rebellious Rajat was again reborn. He knew Nirmala would never accept Shreya gladly in her family. Rajat thought a lot of times but could not convince himself that he can manage his life without Shreya at any cost. Rajat even knew that convincing Nirmala would not be a simple task. He also knew that one day he needs to accomplish that task, there is no escape route.
Two years back one fine spring night, Rajat said at the dinner table,
“I have to tell something to both of you.” Rajat said with a bit of hesitation.
“What is this all about, Rajat.” Ranjan asks softly.
“I mean to say… umm.. I mean,”
“Rajat, this is not the way our family’s boys speak. Hope you have not forgotten which family you belong to. Your lifestyle has changed drastically nowadays.” Nirmala said in disgust.
“Will you now tell us what you wish to tell,”
“I love one girl & I want to marry her,”
There was a pin drop silence in the entire room. Rapid sound of Rajat’s heartbeat had engulfed the space.