Out of the Cage...

by Kunal Samadder

Sitting on the chair at the corner of the small balcony of our rented flat, I was relishing the sunny Sunday with a light peg of whiskey in my hands, celebrating the evergreen Christmas alone. It was about 2 O'clock and I wished to go through a long soundless siesta. But the green bottle of VAT 69 lured me magnetically to chat with.

My other roommates went out for the day on the occasion. We four people shared 3+ rooms flat together at the centre of the city of Hyderabad. Living alone is much more expensive at this hi-tech city, and we four hailed from other state culture, thought to be comparatively prudent in sharing together.

In fact, we're working together in an audio-visual media house. Whenever I get the chance to be alone, I love to enjoy the loneliness, and this sometimes makes other mates to be a bit huffy. I do understand their sensitivity, but I struggle to be parted from the loving forlornliness.

My roommates might be roaming across the bustle of the city, it was Chirstmas after all. But I waited for the Santa Clause to give me the most wanted gift I longed for to reach back my college-life; the life of dream, the life of passion and the life of confronting worthless emotions. But, I needed a rhythm to go back.

Fifth peg had already had finished the race through a long-cherished journey from the drying lips to the ending point of the starving stomach, and the sixth was about to hit the borderline of the neuro-cell of my brain with the rendition of the addiction. The warmth of the sunny Sunday started to soak the wetty soil of the heart and it evaporated into an invisible animation mingling in the aerial see, as if my heart breathlessly trod through the scattered barrels of memories left in the tiny studying room of my beloved Sayantani. Many years had gone since we parted, but she still haunts my mind.

She came down the stairs with the whirling of her yellowish maxi, and with the brightness of 200 watt big smile she welcomed me in the shiny evening. My heart got wet in the spontaneous giggly rhythm of her bluish eyes and I was so elated to feel the elegance of her fairy innocence. I sat on the untidy bed, books scattered here and there, and she sat over the windowsill, touching her legs onto my knee. The casual discussion grew more and more serious friendliness with the endless edupersonal topics included the sweetly awkward sensation and experience at the moment of the first smooching delivered by her boyfriend amidst crowdy presence of the students at the centre of our college. I noticed her flirty look at that time of storytelling to me.

Sayantani was the topmost brilliant student in our batch. Her friendly gesture put most of the guys in our college included senior batches and others from the neighbouring places, into crushing waves of the ebbing youth. I rather wanted to be a true friend of my dreamy majestic queen. Her frivolous playfulness and witty charm of humour always kept me busy on her toes. It was nice pleasure for me all the time to be in touch with her baffling presence with an uncountable time only spent to listening to her day-to-day newer experiences.

She used to ask me in several times who I did set my mind with, and her eyes looked deeper into my heart and brain. She might want to read my heart with her innocent flirty nature, but I was not capable enough to portray my love in front of her scrutinible eyes. I was neither the brilliant in studies, nor the radiant dream I had for the near future so far the period, and this was the only reason which caused the terrible inherent turmoil in front of my dream queen.

With the help of her innate womanish intuition she might inspect the rosy garden of my heart. I felt the addiction of her inclination on my presence as she always remained in her true feminine phenomena in front of my eyes. After the completion of our degree courses we were gradually separated owing to the different rhythm of the life being built up on the reality. She went on further studies and later got married with a rich businessman. I had to struggle a lot to be fitted with the corporate environ with the scanty stamped papers achieved from the educational and professional institutions. Now, I'm at Hyderabad, nearly 1600 Km far away from my parents and the city of my memories. I do still love to enjoy the majestic presence of my dreamy queen through the coffers of the memories of her. Love for her was always there in the air, and hatred too was jolting, but it was only one of the layers of her entire entity for me.

It was the seventh peg I started to relish and I lit a fag to cherish the intoxication of my Christmas celebration. Suddenly the silent vibration of my cell broke the rhythm of my trance. I couldn't see any digit displaying, but the vibration was still there until I pushed the receiving button to check if there was any positive call waiting for me, or, just was it my delusion as a consequence of the intoxication. But I heard the voice of a young lady who wanted to confirm by uttering my name, if I was the right person she was willing to talk to.

"Yeah, this is Raj Raj Chakraborty, but may I get to know who's there" I enquired with an aim to figure out the caller.

"Try to recognize me Raj, oh sorry, Mr. Raj Chakraborty - a media professional, presently staying at Hyderabad, born and borught-up at Kolkata, schooling started at Orient, then graduated from new Alipore College, stream.. English Lit. Am I wrong Mr. Raaaaj?" she delivered a brief synopsis as if she knew me very well, with her soft tricky tune.

I wondered at her concrete information, but I did hardly recognize the voice.

"Sorry ma'am, I'm not getting you. Are you Atashi, or, Moumita.." I asked with curiosity.

"No, I'm neither Atashi, nor Moumita, not even Suparna - your friendly Moody. Guess Mr. Raj, guess who you're online with" she continued her trickery.

I was sure then by her utterance of Moody' that she was no one else but Sayantani - my Santu. She only knew that I called Suparna as Moody' because her mood was changed so rapidly that I and Santu mockingly suggested her to work in weather forecasting dept.

My heart suddenly leaped in elation to feel the presence of my dreamy queen as if she was in front of my eyes. "You must be Sayantani, right" I exclaimed with abundant happiness.

"After a long, very long period I'm speaking to you, hearing your voice, enjoying the hearty ambience of your bubbly presence here." I was overjoyed with huge emotions.

It was I who didn't have the guts to reveal his love to his beloved, but it was she who didn't forget to bring her poor friend down into reality from the celebrated trance.

I wanted to know the reason why she contacted me after so many years since our separation. She did let me know that she needed my friendly cooperation which I had always extended to reach her expectation.

"I want to tell you a lot, but you have to promise that you don't interrupt at the midway of the discourse." She asked for my approval with a bit tensed pretension.

I did agree with, I loved to enjoy her verbal existence.

She told me that she got married to a rich businessman who had the very good rapport with her father. But the sheer differences of their thoughts came into divulge very soon at every now and then of the undulating ways of life, within after two years of their wedding. They didn't resemble any like and dislike of each other. But she never wanted to diminish the conjugal relations and tried to be flexible to the every situation came to meet with. Their relationship was a sort of marital bonding between convention and eccentricity, practicality and fantasy.

She wanted her seven years old daughter to get admitted into a convent cultured boarding school at Hyderabad and expected me to be her nonprofessional mentor. I was wondered at her frenzy proposal.

"Whaaatttt.., do you know what are you saying? How should I accept your absurd proposal scheme? Don't I have my personal life" I started opposition with a bit agitation but she coolly reminded my promise I made before listening to her.

"You promised me that you won't interrupt during my saying, please keep quiet for a while. I need to meet you Raj at the soonest possible, within three to four days. Firstly, you have to come to my house at Kolkata, and then you'll decide what you do further; either step ahead or revert back. Could you please deal with this demand?" she entreated with hidden command. Her latent expectation and incomprehensible dependence put me into an invisible situation of an extreme perplexity.

I had had a terrific fight with my heart and brain for the moment. But I failed to defend myself emotionally and gave her the words to meet within four days.

"Thank you Raj, thanks a lot. I'll be waiting to meet you soon".

Oh, my God, she put my intoxication into hell. Her voice was still humming into my ears. For me, she was just like a little bird and I wanted to fly with her together.

"Now, I've to make the itinerary schedule, time is too short. I've to reach within four days. Taking official leave, ticket booking, packing, and so many trivial jobs to do - It's a long process. Moreover, one and half days will be spent in the journey by train. It would be much expensive and foolish to make this journey by air." I thought of the fact and tried to plan accordingly.

So many questions came to the mind, a bunch of grievances jolted around. Did she ever try to realize my emotion, didn't she intuitively understand how blind my love for her was, and she didn't even contact me before getting married. Then why she called me up now, she's highly confident to utilize my softer emotions and generosity till now. She should have had looked for someone else better. The bloody hypocrite... The fucking shame on me! But I had to go, I couldn't resist my mind, it had already reached the destination.

After reaching to Kolkata in the evening I spent a few time with my home, and, then thought to call her up to get to know the detailed address as she changed her previous residence. I decided to meet her on the next day, but another problem arose. I didn't find her contact number recorded in my cell.

I concentrated on searching. "Did I delete the number after finishing our conversation, or, was it erased mistakenly due to my wrong finger operations as a result of my intoxication. Though I didn't find the digits displaying, but where the number had gone?'

My perseverance was gradually diluting with an unforeseen impatience.

"What to do now, how to meet her, she should at least call me up so that I can get to know her whereabouts. Shit, I should have noted down her contact details on that very moment."

My innate impulse pervaded the entire body and mind. Then my brain communicated silently, and I thought to meet her mother. It was nearly fifteen to twenty minutes' walking distance from my house to hers, and so that I didn't want to delay any longer.

I reached the house and a middle-aged woman opened the door. I asked about Santu's mother, and she guided me to inside. When I met her, the old lady recognized me immediately after a hiatus of so many years. She was sitting on the chair, looked ugly as unusual. Her sullen look intrigued me, and, I wanted to go deeper into her mind. I asked about her, and she looked at me morosely. I noticed her sodden eyes glancing upon me as if a copious stream coming out of the enraged deepest sea.

I tried to soothe her by touching hands, and then the unprecedented trauma waited for me to happen. She enfolded me by stretching the arms and started sobbing, grew loud and aloud. Before I understood the reason of the emotional outburst of her dormant anguish, she divulged in broken words with scratchy panting voice, "Santu is no longer Raj, Santu is no longer with us - no longer on this earth. She left away all of us forever." And she broke down. I could feel her heavy breath pounding upon my heart.

"whaaatSaantuuu.." I looked agaped. I was speechless. All of my nerves became numb. I plonked on the bed. My eyes panned, and each and every object of the room ached my heart. I looked at the naked sky through the window, and, the full moon was shining. And it seemed Santu was smiling at me with her forever trickery...

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