The Old Rendezvous

Subrato went to the street to get a close-by gander of the blooms that the florists sold. They were jovial and loquacious to regular patrons. Who was carrying on the flower to the passersby? There was a gathering at each crossing. Music emanated from the church close by. The churchyard later became a place for the succeeding generations to visit… Some famous people had their final halt in that terrain. There we a political genius, a master and an entertainer and a specialist. Now Subrato went to the second terminals street to see his old aunt who was living with her younger sister. After, her husband ‘s end, his aunt was residing with her sibling. The younger sister had a kid who was working abroad. His family was with him in New Jersey. He comes once in a year, the last time was when his father passed away. Subrato’s cousin had two adolescents. His daughter went to discotheques often, and his son started living separate, though he was not yet eighteen. These were his major headaches because he wanted to bring up his children in the traditional way… But when he came to India with family, he hid his troubles before his folks and put on a happy face. Now he is thinking about shifting over to another faith because anyway, he has a bundle of cash but no tranquillity, and he holds this new journey can exalt his soul. When this world is done, he will have authentic tastes of peace. That was how he thought.
From a distance, Subrato viewed the burial ground and could mark the burial chamber stones and wild hedges painted at random intervals. This was one of his most loved spots and when he was 25 years old, he contacted the place first and he was brimming with excitement. He used to relax on a concrete bench under the rank of bowers viewing the cemetery that was a mile or two away, near the East Gate of the garden. Off the greenhouse and there was a memorial service site and he ruminated on the shortness of human existence. Those moments were just the reverse of his rambunctious years in the university with buddies always around, eras of merriment and hilarity… At the university, he was a good speaker and could make extempore addresses. Then he wanted a change and came to this beautiful city of gardens and started preparing for the National Examination. He went to the big park consistently with his history learning sheets and perused diligently sitting on the concrete chair under a tree. His optional papers were literature and World history and Indian history. Even though Literature was familiar to him from boyhood, history was a subject he learned later. He was a complacent guy then and he wanted to crack the National Examination, alone without the supervision of an instructor or coaching courses. But soon he realized his folly and later thought he could have studied under a tutor. But in course of time, his interests changed and he reached some interesting places and met interesting personalities that he had not imagined. In those years he received a fixed amount of money from home which was just enough for food and lodging. As he got the funds from home, he would render for the hotel manager and then he has no pocket cash. To the stature of the fiasco, his 100 rupees note was pickpocketed in a swarmed transport. He got just 300 rupees for a month from his parents. In those days it was okay for endurance if you don’t have a rich inclination. He wanted to see a portion of the shows. And also those occidental moves that he wanted to see. But could not. Later he could come back to this city and would go to all the shows with his friend when both were better off in life…
This Botanical Garden was a preferred locality in those days. He even studied some of their botanical names. He even touched some trees and embraced some trunks, and he is not sure if the trees can remember those gestures. He does not retrieve which trees he hugged when he came back after two decades… That was fun in youth, because he had no friend in the city, except a boy who sold wares in front of the hotel and spoke his mother tongue. But the latter was always working hard to make both ends meet. He was luckier because his mom will send occasional fried fish in Horlicks bottles through some neighbour who happened to come to this city on some private business. He remembers regular walks to the second biggest library in the country, where books were kept aesthetically and in order and students occupied most of the chairs.
Once he purchased two tickets for the film, ”Summer of ’42”, [1971 American film] but had to leave the city suddenly as his mother wanted his presence there. He transferred tickets to the gentleman in the next room, who was a railway guard living away from his family… The fumes still came from the distance, which made him ruminate upon the scene of life. He was close to mother and in the boyhood, he thought he will die with his mom when she passes on. But that didn’t occur. At the point when his mother passed on Subrato was 40 years. In any case, he didn’t figure it grand to kick the bucket at that point. He cried yet he didn’t pass on, he had a family to take care of. Still, he had his own life to savour, and he needs to live it to the level fittest but, he didn’t have the haziest view of how to do it. These late turns throughout his life were something he was unable to predict… Subrato got an auto-rickshaw and advanced to see his aunt…
–[From a work of Fiction in progress]

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