Monsoon Wedding

    Tumse sadiyon ki wafayon ka koi naata thha.. 

    Tumse milne ki lakeeren thii mere haathhon mein….

    ***I was bound to thee since eternity, it was designed on my lines of destiny***


    This anecdote has been conceived, constructed, and cultivated against the backdrop of a synthetic dream. The date on the calendar refers to a dawn in August in the mid-90s. The location is an up-market apartment on Park Street, Kolkata, India.

    This location is special to me for more reasons than one. It is in this little laboratory of freedom that I have learned some of life’s greatest tips to existence. I look at them as my takeaway scraps of wisdom from realities’ workshops. It is here that I have discovered how failed experiments could be translated into meaningful experiences. I have also understood that mistakes could be interpreted as lessons learned and giving in to irresistible temptations would only mean that I shall have no regrets as I moved on in life. Unlike any other tutor, this third-floor apartment right in the heart of the city has taught me to live, to win, and to love without restrictions. So, without further ado, I shall take you by the hand and lead you to where my story unfolds… 

    A light rain screens through the open French windows spraying droplets of restless dreams on my face and hair. It’s too early to wake up and start the day, and in this blissful moment of semi-conscious wakefulness, I have neither the intent nor vigor to pull myself out of bed. Turning my face away from the window, I see your otherwise restless countenance arrested by a deep and peaceful sleep now. There’s no mark of the frivolous recklessness that characterizes your disposition at all other times that I have seen you. Instead, with a streak of that wet morning light gently caressing your face, your eyes closed and a fading smile still tucked somewhere in your pursed lips, you lay in a quiet stupor like a hermit who has found salvation in his trance. 

    My heart melts at the sight and I am overpowered by an unassuming desire to protect you thus, undisturbed by the waking realities, untouched by any malice that the day might bring upon you. I want this moment to linger a little longer, this comfort of sharing silence to prevail forever. As if somewhat reading my mind, you retaliate to my notion of an invasive silence between you and I. Even in your serene respite, you turn your face towards me, pulling me closer and burying your nose in my hair, whispering a muffled “Good morning, Sunshine”. The lull of your voice fills in the air, my dewy-eyed endearments get submerged in a few ‘meaningless somethings’ that follow. With eyes half-closed and senses half-awake, we lay interwoven in each other’s arms, welcoming the start of a new dawn. 

    In this red-tiled third floor apartment in one of Kolkata’s plushest neighborhoods, we are locked in a sense of oneness, intimacy, security, and comfort of having found each other. It is not just the realization of having discovered ourselves individually in that ‘search’; we are wrapped up in a strong perception of belonging to each other completely—mind, body, and soul.

    The idleness of our prolonged love-making transcends to a more relaxing moment of quiet togetherness. Leaning your bare back against the wall, still holding me against you, you pull out a stick from a box of cigarettes on the bedside table. The clink of your Zippo rings sharply into my ears, the smell of tobacco fills my nostrils. Somewhat unused to the odor, it stimulates a sense of hunger in me. Planting a quick wet kiss on your lips, I turn and ask, “I need to eat something. Are you hungry?”

    Do I wait for an answer to a question so redundant? If I am hungry so must you be. By the next few minutes, tripping on rosy wings, gathering the white cotton long-sleeved kurta - an XXL that I supposedly ‘borrowed” from my Dad’s closet and never returned - around me, I scurry towards the kitchen door. A ray of light trickles through the half-smoked glasses, making curious patterns on the red mosaic floor—in circles, some full and few broken, like a child learning to write an “O” in a kindergarten school and making several attempts at it till he masters the art.

    Conscious of being watched, I finish my chores in the kitchen. All the while, I find myself recollecting scraps from last evening that we spent at Bar-B-Que, reliving the conversation over dinner, revisiting each confession we made to each other, and reassuring myself of the commitment we now share. In a flashback of happy sequences, I see myself rewinding to the days when we first met each other, on a beautiful spring afternoon many years back as kids. Little did we know that a chance meeting on a sprawling school campus in eastern India, a decade back would leave such a lasting impression on either of you or me. 

    When destiny had planned our first meeting, I was an effervescent ten-year-old prancing around in shorts and sneakers and you were a lonely 12-year-old kid who drew cartoons when you were sad. I was the uptown metropolitan girl visiting her mother’s alma-mater while you were a local resident. Our mothers were contemporaries in college and only an unrehearsed meeting had brought our lives together. That spring afternoon, you were tasked with the duty of showing me around Tagore’s land. I was more than excited to have such a guide. 

    Though with very few words said, you had taken the task with utmost sincerity and escorted me to all the tourist ‘must-see’ locations throughout the day. By noon, our little feet were tired. When we finally reached a clearing by the river Kopai, it was late afternoon. I was hungry and somewhat tired of the silence that prevailed. I had brought out a ham sandwich from my little box and offered you a bite. You had taken it from me, thanked me, and begun sketching again….leaving me to wonder if you didn’t like me if you had even noticed my presence.

    An hour had passed by and neither you nor I had spoken. I played with the grass, digging the earth with my nails….making circles with the dried twigs and thinking what life in a sleepy place like that could be like. You seemed unperturbed by my presence. The evening was setting in and we had decided to walk homewards. The path was smeared in a palette of crimson, scarlet, and flaming bloom, heralding the season of life in a riot of colours. "I wish I had that flaming red branch of Palash, that one that is so full of flowers that you can hardly see the leaves, right there at the top," I had said with a childlike obstinacy, not hoping in the least I would be heard and walked in silence towards the guest house. You had escorted me till the wooden gate, said ‘goodnight’ and walked away. My ‘thank you’ had faded out in the darkness of the evening.

    I remember I was leaving homewards the next morning, back to the confines of an urban world, when I had found something on my car seat. It was a sketch of a little girl with curly hair falling across her face, smiling at a leaf of grass. Strewn on it was a handful of Palash.

    Years passed by, we drifted yet memory of that one beautiful moment of togetherness amidst the red earth, the blue skies, the swaying Shimul, Palash and Sonajhuris, the quiet tranquility of the Khowai and the serene yet rhythmic flow of the Kopai… and amidst all of it, the memory of you had remained etched on my being. I smile to myself as I think how I had even given that rendezvous a name. In one of my old journals, in immature cursive writing, I had named it “My Spring Sonata”. And I hear myself hum…

    “Aapke naam se taabinda hai unwaan e hayaat

    Varnaa kucch baat nahin thhi mere afsane mein…”

    ***Thy name highlights the headlines of my biography

    If it were not for thee, my story would have had no meaning***




    Author : Ananya Mukherjee

    Ananya is a Storyteller, Corporate Leader and Art Patron




    Binayak Deb says (Jun 10, 2020):

    You weave dreams from the harsh realities of life Like picking up wild roses from a thorny bush

Post Comments