I was feeling restless. One month of exams had fucked up all the finesse in me. Now it’s over. I don’t study all the year-long. So it gets particularly demanding during exam time.
I needed to lighten up. I desperately wanted to get back my life. I wanted to hold arpita’s hand in mine. I called her in her mobile for an evening walk to our favourite spot.
I called her and said she should meet me at five in the Batamore bus stand. We would cross Ganga and go to Sodepur. That is our usual love-route. We don’t sit in Konnagar Baramandir Ghat on our side. We would get caught by a thousand watchful eyes who know us both very well.
It’s not that we give a tiny rat’s arse importance to them nor do we care what they say, but certainly we don’t want to be the fodder of neighborly gossip-mongers.
Arpita came right on time. That’s her speciality. She is never late. And she goes away after waiting for only two minutes. So her 5pm is 4.30 for me. I am a renowned late-latiff. Always half an hour late.
We took the lane to ganga-ghat. Bought two tickets.
The launch was waiting for us. We, along with few other passengers boarded it. It started off.
Arpita was looking nice. She was wearing a red salwar. Red is my favourite colour. It’s not that I don’t notice girls who cross my path, but if she is wearin g red, I am ready to turn back. Of course not in front of arpita.
I don’t call her much for a meet. It is she who pesters me to meet her at least thrice a week. I can count how many times I have called her myself. She complains I don’t love her. But maintaining a relationship is a serious burden for me. I feel like a bonded labour whenever she calls me. and I usually keep mum during our courtship whenever I am forced to come. Sometimes I get tired of my daily tribute to her. I am tired uttering ‘I love you’ whenever she suspects there is something lacking. And she suspects it quite often.
My love statement does not sound realistic also. At least to me. This phrase is like an overused prostitute to me. I have used it so much that I seldom mean what I say.
But it has its own magical effect. Arpita is never tired of hearing this phrase. Never tired of listening how lovely she is, how unique she is, and how much I miss her every moment.
This sweet nonsense acts like a cooler. It cools her down immediately.
Sometimes, I can understand, she raises havoc intentionally just to listen how much I love her and how much I am repenting hurting her. And that the particular sentence that I uttered three years back was something that I really didn’t mean. It was just a slip of tongue or that at trhat particular date in June or July (whatever) I was in a state of sorrow and was thinking arpita was not loving me, or that she was not giving me enough importance. I was missing her that time.
All white lies. PR pufferies at its best. But it has a disturbing healing effect on her.
She would immediately start demonstrating how empty she is without me, that she always think of me. she cant live without me. she will make fill my life with love and effection and how devoted a wife she would be. As an example she would remind me how savage and uncouth I was five years ago and how she transformed me into a cultured, civilized, fine gentleman.
And I always agree with her. But I also used to retaliate. But that was long time back I don’t dare it do again.
When I would get really pissed off, I used to yell at her for making me her lapdog, for single handedly destroying my carefree days, my free-flowing thoughts, my casual shiny outlook towards life and how I miss my sunny days before she stormed into my life with black cumulous clouds. How am a tension patient now and insomnia has attacked me big time.
And I thought, I was winning. She used to listen my grievances with rapt attention. Absolute silence would prevail then from her part. She used to don an expression in her eyes, as if how sorry she is for my present state.
And this sorry disposition of her would encourage me to speak out my mind.
I used to go on telling everything that I am not supposed to say. Controversial stuff like how I have developed a soft corner towards my friend’s sister suchetana.
Little did I realize, she was actually recording my every statement in a hidden recorder in her brain. And those self-confessions, coupled with her sharp tongue would devastate me later on.
Even now, she picks up some choicest quotes, actually part of it, and uses it with the accuracy of a patriot missile to cripple me for the week. And she is never wrong. She knows too well the stuffs that men (surely bastards they are all) are made of.
And that suchetana part? My god, how many times she would crucify me for that. Even if I would admit that suchetana is indeed a bitch, she would not spare me for insulting someone of her sex.
And sometimes, she would simply get frustrated for a week. She would wonder, looking at the sky, sighing, “alas, there is no love left in this universe.” And she would really get upset.
I know the symptom, I know the panacea, I would then take her to a Chinese restaurant, and would kiss her in the cabin.
She would accept my kiss and return it also, she would rest her head for long into my shoulder and remain silent.
Than after coming out from the restaurant, I would have to hear, how love should be platonic and how I have become hungry for bodily love and that I was not like this five years ago. And how disappointed she is with me. I had to agree to every statement of her.I know, what would come next. She would go home and call in my mobile, and then say “I love you”. And that I should not mind her preachings, this is quite natural in love, but still I needed to behave. These are simply bad things before marriage. I agree.
And today she is lady in red. I am feeling like there is no love left in this universe. I need to kiss her. Let the darkness descent upon the ganga-ghat. I love you arpi.