The Stroke of Destiny – a short story!

The first rays of the bright sun brushed her face through the curtains swaying in the wind. She smiled in her sleep. She imagined as if his hands were caressing her face. She opened her eyes and looked at him. He looked like a baby in his sleep. She kept staring at him for some time.

When she was just about to touch his face, the doorbell rang. No one answered.

The bell rang at least five more times before the man on the bed, reluctantly threw away the blanket on him. With closed eyes, he got up and started walking like a zombie. He seemed to know the route from his bed to the main door- practice pays off. Suddenly, he bumped into a chair, which was not supposed to be there in his way. “Ouch”, came the instant reaction.

Binodini could hold back her smile. Binoy has always been this careless guy whom she simply adores. She believes that they share a platonic relationship, much beyond what meets the human eye.

Binoy turned without even looking at who was at the door. He knew it was his maid. His kajer mashi (maid) is never late, more punctual than him. Even if Binoy is sleeping, she knew her chores. After all her work, she slams the door while leaving so that Binoy understands that she has left.

She did not say anything when she saw Binodini, it seemed quite common and natural.

Binoy Bagchi is in his thirties, a laid back, sluggish, typical Bong guy. He came to the city to make a name for himself as a painter. Initially, he sold a few of his paintings to a media house and gallery and earned a bit, but then things took a bad turn. With easy cash in hand, he slipped into a life of ignorance and merry-making. Soon, cash was over, and so was his luck. Everybody said that he has lost his touch.

Since then, he has tried to revive by doing some odd jobs, but hardly enough to get back to a decent living. He has realized that his passion for painting can only get him back from the shackles of failure and depression. So, he started all over again- doing what he does best- painting human portraits.

He met Binodini a few days back and something clicked between them. He felt a strong connection, and a strange one too. Their relationship grew, one little step every day. Binoy loved the way Binodini looked- a traditional style in this modern age. Her classic beauty was like a breath of fresh air in the polluted world of modern beauty where everything seemed superficial. Binoy loses himself in the depth of her eyes, every time their eyes meet.

Binodini is head over heels for Binoy. He is her first love, and she loves everything about him. Though she gets a bit jealous when Binoy spends time with other women, she knew that he will return to her every night.

Their sweet love story was about to turn sour with a stroke of destiny. Binoy touched her face, admiring her beauty, and kissed her. Then, he left for work as usual. Binodini sat there the entire day looking forward to when Binoy will return.

That evening, it was raining heavily. Binodini was getting scared of the thunderstorm. The thunder was too loud and the lightning was too strong. And, Binoy was getting late. She was getting impatient.

Suddenly, she heard the door unlock. Her face lit up waiting for Binoy to enter the room. Binoy came in, but there was someone else with him. Binodini could not believe her eyes. She was devastated when she saw another girl in Binoy’s arms. It seemed that she had met with an accident as she was bleeding from the forehead.

Binoy helped her in and made her sit on the bed. Binodini gasped, ‘how could it?’ How can some other woman be in his bedroom other than her? She wanted to cry aloud. She wanted to ask Binoy. She wanted to protest.

Suddenly, the thunder roared and the woman hugged Binoy tightly. A window in the room was left open mistakenly. So, the effects of Mother Nature outside were too profound inside as well. Hence, Binodini was also getting scared.

Both Binoy and Binodini skipped a heartbeat. It took Binoy a few more seconds to hug her back tightly, and say, “I missed you. Where have you been?”

The girl spoke up, “I am sorry. I will never leave you again. I love you.”

Binoy smiled and responded, “Me too.”

A sudden gush of wind entered through the open window and thrashed Binodini on the floor. The colour palette fell too. Her entire face got smeared with paint. Binoy tried to save her, but the damage had been done already.

Binoy’s painting – the one he was working on for days, the one which became his motivation, the one which could have been his masterpiece, was no more. He had imagined Binodini in his dreams, a perfect face, a perfect illusion.

He was painting her one bit at a time, admiring and creating her beauty with brushes every day. Something in her attracted Binoy. He had named his painting, Binodini, his imaginary love.

Yes, Binodini is not real, and this is not her story. She was just a painting. But for her, Binoy was real and so was their relationship. But now everything was over.

Binodini was on the floor and the water droplets on the canvas perfectly looked like her tears. Yes, she was crying. But, no one saw her tears like no one knew that she was real.

Finally, her fate has been painted with one stroke of destiny.

The Exchange – a short story!

On a chilly winter night, both of them stood on a lonely lane of the city under the starry sky of the night. They did not know each other. Their eyes met, but immediately, they looked away. Rather, it was a sense of guilt or shame in their eyes which they did not want to share with the world.

One was waiting for some warmth from a roadside shelter or bonfire, while the other was waiting to ignite the fire of passion for someone else. They are known by the names Bhikhu bhikhari and Bijli, the prostitute. Nobody knew their real names, nobody cared.

Every night, Bhikhu comes to this part of the lane in search of leftover food that people might have thrown away, or to scavenge through the dustbins of the shops in the area. For Bijli, this is her regular pickup point where she waits for her clients.

But, tonight, Bhikhu wanted to say something, but the time was not right. He decided to wait.

They were not always like this. Bhikhu was once Bikash, who came to the city with dreams to find a job to support his family. He started with some odd jobs, but bad company and addicted doomed him. Soon, he ended up behind the bars for petty thefts and earned a bad name for himself. Bikash turned into a beggar, Bhikhu due to the lack of jobs when he came out of jail. He regrets every moment of his life when he lost sight of his true focus. He has not contacted his family since and he doesn’t know what happened to them.

On the other hand, Bimala came to the city holding the hands of his lover, eloping from home with dreams of a new life, a new morning. But, that dream just lasted for a week. Her lover sold her to a brothel and took off with the money. Bimala turned into Bijli and her bright mornings turned into painful nights. Night after night, she started losing herself, and finally, she accepted her fate. She has not contacted her family since and she doesn’t know what happened to them.

Every night, Bijli stood on the dark lanes to be picked up, and Bhikhu would look at her for some time, and when she is gone, he would go back to his work. Bhikhu has never seen Bijli smile.

Tonight was no different either, but tonight was going to be different. It was really chilly and the lanes were not so dark either. It was Christmas and the streets were lit by dazzling light and shimmering decorations. They saw each other.

Soon, Bijli left in a car, and Bhikhu went back to his usual scavenging. The night was getting colder. Bhikhu was happy to find an old rag to keep him warm tonight. He was waiting for Bijli, but she was later than her usual time. After a long time, Bhikhu lost hope.

As he was preparing to sleep off, the blazing lights of a passing car almost blinded him. The car screeched into a halt, the door opened, something was thrown on the road, and it rode away faster. He could hear them cheering and abuse as the car moved away.

Bhikhu came coming to find an almost half-naked, Bijli on the road, her face bruised badly. She was barely able to get up. Bhikhu helped her get up. He had never seen her like this, she was always so beautiful with all that makeup. Her eyes were tearful with a thousand stories to tell.

Bijli brushed him away, but she fell again without his support. Bhikhu wrapped the rag around her and helped her again. This time, Bijli did not resist. He helped her to the side of the road where there was a small bonfire, he knew that she was in pain.

He gave her water and she accepted. Her eyes looked numb. Bhikhu ran and brought a small packet from where he was sleeping and gave Bijli. She was hesitant in the beginning but then accepted. She opened the box to find a small piece of cake in it. Bhikhu took the plastic spoon inside and scooped up a bit and offered Bijli. Bhikhu had spent his entire day’s earning on this cake. She looked at him, almost devoid of emotion after what she had gone through.

She took the bite, and tears rolled down her eyes, once again. But, this time they had a warmth in them. Bhikhu spoke up, “I want something in return.”

Bijli’s heart sank. Just when she was about to enjoy a slice of life, an exchange was offered. She felt rotten from within, thinking what Bhikhu will ask for in return. What else can men ask for from a woman like her? What else can she give?

Suddenly, Bhikhu said, “I want to spend the night with you.” There was a look of disgust on Bijli’s face. Bhikhu understood her concern. He added, “Please don’t get me wrong. I want to take you to the church at midnight. You will feel happy there. You will smile. Father said if I can bring a smile on anyone’s face tonight, the person will smile always. And, I have never seen you smile, so I want to take you there and make you smile. You will look beautiful with a smile.”

The words were too intense for Bijli. She was numb once again. Again, her eyes became tearful.

Bhikhu felt uncomfortable. He said, “Please don’t cry. I am sorry if you felt bad.” He was about to get up and leave when Bijli held his hand and said, “I will spend the night with you.” And smiled.

Then, she offered a spoon of the cake to him. They both smiled. On Christmas Eve, the tunes of Christmas carols from a distant church marked the beginning of a new relationship and an exchange of trust.

On this chilly winter night, the warmth of friendship kept both of them warm.

The Love Triangle!

Binoy and Parineeta found each other, just before Bengal was on fire due to the communal riots.

They were neighbours in a small, peaceful village, Sohagpur. Binoy grew up there, while Parineeta’s family had just shifted a couple of months back. It was ‘love at first sight’, when their eyes met. Binoy was on his bicycle, when he saw her beautiful face looking out of the car, which just zoomed past. He wondered about these new people in the village.

He was overwhelmed, when he found out, that ‘they’ have just shifted next door. He was overwhelmed to see Parineeta sipping tea in their drawing-room when he got back home. She gave a smiling glance and thus started, their journey of eternal love.

The families were close, but no one knew about ‘their’ growing affection. Initially, it started with ‘their’ eyes talking to each other, then ‘their’ encounters at the market or on the roads. But, ‘they’ were yet to speak the language of love.

Within a few weeks, Binoy was asked to take Parineeta to his college for her admission. The Roy family was liberal, who wanted a decent education for their daughter. Parineeta had to leave her studies when her parents decided to shift due to communal tension, but she wanted to resume.

They spoke for the first time on their way to college. Parineeta was shy and a bit of an introvert, but Binoy had his charms to become friendly and conversant. However, he was being very careful of his moves because he did not want anything to go wrong.

The beauty of her serene face and magic of her reserved tone enthralled Binoy more and more; he felt a magnetic pull. And, Parineeta admired a good friend, a humorous man and a caring person in him. Slowly, ‘their’ friendship grew into something, which was destined to stay with them forever, right from the time they met.

Soon, the sparks of love fired up between them. Though, they were aware of the conservative ambiance, their ‘truly, deeply, madly in love’ moments were evident to all. People knew that they were meant to be together, forever.

Soon, the communal heat burnt up the village of Sohagpur. The Hindus and Muslims, who had lived in harmony, were blinded by hatred. Establishments started to close down. Students started to drop out, there were instances of communal intolerance in the college, women were confined in their homes. Parineeta had to drop out of college and her movements got restricted. However, that did not stop their lovely-dovey catch-ups, sometimes on the terrace or through a messenger (like Binoy’s younger brother).

Then, one night, something happened, which changed their lives forever. That fateful night, Parineeta’s entire family was brutally killed by Muslim insurgents; she was about to get raped, but Binoy came to her rescue. His family was not spared either, he lost his mother and younger brother; his father was paralyzed for life. Binoy always felt a hidden guilt that he could have saved his mother if he had been there when he went to save Parineeta. But, then he consoled himself that at least he could save the love of his life.

The riots started to tone down, after massacring the village. People were crying over dead bodies, babies were starving in their mother’s laps and everybody was trying to come out of the disaster.

A couple of days passed; Parineeta was so traumatized that the slightest sound made her hide in fear; even a gentle touch would startle her and bring that shocked look on her face. She stayed inside the darkroom and refused to come out. She hardly ate and did not speak for days. Binoy was concerned, but one day he got a shock, when she was not in her room and the door was wide open.

Where could she go? Binoy wondered. He ran from pillar to post. Finally, he found her in the shattered village temple. Binoy called her. She responded. But, she was not alone, she had a friend.

Her friend introduced herself as Paromita. She was also homeless and hungry, her family was killed in the riots. But, she was strong and seemed to be a fighter. She explained how she managed to save herself from the attackers. The story sounded familiar to Binoy.

But, without investigating much, he asked them to come home as it was getting dark. Binoy’s half-destroyed house sheltered them for about two weeks. Then, Binoy decided to leave as there was no food and resources left.

They packed their belongings and headed for the city, hoping to find a new life. On their way, they were attacked by goons. Parineeta’s memories came back and she was shaking with fear. Binoy fought to save themselves and their belongings. One man was about to strangulate him, suddenly, Paromita took a rod and hit him, Binoy was surprised. Their eyes met, they had the same spark.

Finally, they reached the city. Someone had told Binoy about a mess-bari, which he wanted to go and check, but he wondered, who will take care of the others. Parineeta was still sitting dumbstruck. Paromita came forward and assured Binoy to go.

Soon, they started their livelihood in that house. Parineeta was slowly recovering to her usual self and Paromita was always aggressive, prompt, and ready to take challenges. Binoy’s love grew for both of them- he could not ignore Parineeta’s caring persona and Paromita’s guts and enthusiasm. She was always ready to help, she even spoke of finding a job to support them. She would help Binoy in the most unexpected situations.

Binoy could also sense the pangs of jealousy in both of them, especially Paromita, and sometimes he felt guilty. But, he could let any of them go.

Binoy found a job and was able to provide for them. Owing to growing gossips and his true love for Parineeta, he decided to tie the knot. He knew that Parineeta needed him the most and so did he. He proposed her one evening and the answer was an affirmation. Paromita came to know later, she had a mixed feeling.

In a few days, they got married in a temple. Three of them started their new lives.

After a smooth beginning, problems started to sneak in. Paromita was growing aggressive, day-by-day; one day, she even hit Parineeta. Binoy’s trips to the doctors and the library became more frequent. He has to send Paromita away to save Parineeta.

But then, the times were different. The treatment for Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) was yet to be validated. The doctors were not able to help much. No one knew much about it, especially about the cure. Many would ask Binoy to consult a priest or tantrik as they feared a possession by the ghost. But, Binoy found books about it in the library and read about it, more and more. He was always by Parineeta’s side to support her and help her to fight Paromita. Paromita was growing possessive of Binoy. But, Parineeta has always been his ‘first and only love’.

Years passed, and Binoy had found ways and means to keep them away from each other, but at times, things went out of hand.

Years later, on their 15th anniversary, Paromita came for her last visit. Advanced medical help, treatment sessions, and above all, Binoy’s unconditional love, made Paromita leave, forever.

Binoy and Parinneta have a daughter now. Parineeta insisted that they name her Paromita, because she felt it was a part of her. Binoy knew that his love and passion was satisfied by Paromita that night and not Parineeta. Binoy had told Parineeta everything, but she found it hard to believe, but gradually, she accepted. He never told their daughter about her mother’s condition.

Now, three people and two lives rest in peace. The triangle is now a straight line of eternal love between Binoy and Parineeta.

*All the characters and places are fictional with no resemblance to anyone living or dead.

Hope – Half Baked Beans!

#fanpost by Debolina Coomar

The day I confessed my love was your wedding day. You were dressed like a bride, like a beautiful flower ready to bloom. When I saw you in that glittering attire, those flowers adorning your hair, that jewelry on your body finally found their true worth, and of course that big bindi on your forehead reminded me of willpower and conviction. It has been a year now that I have known you, but still, I haven’t been able to confess my love.

And, how when you are getting married, I must tell you how I feel.

As you walked towards the mandap, I saw you looking down, your eyes full of tears, but I have always seen them brimming with confidence.

As you walked past me, I saw your lips quivering with shame and pain, but I have always seen them eloquent with determination.

As you sat in the mandap. I saw your beautiful face hiding under a veil of worry, but I have always seen it shining high with courage and poise.

But, do not let your worries mar this moment of happiness of your life.
Do not let the memories of that fateful night ruin the most precious moment of your life.
Do not let the men, who had shamed you that night lower your happiness quotient on this auspicious day.

I know the man you are getting married to, will accept you, love you, support you for who you are inside, and not just what you might have become outside.

Now, the rituals are over. I decided to confess my love, finally. I moved closer to you, and whispered into your ears, the words I didn’t say all this time, “ I love you, my dear wife.”

The day I confessed my love was OUR wedding day.


Survival – a short story (Toiwriteindia)

My short story ‘Survival’ is up on the Toiwriteindia closed group. Please do read, like, share and leave your comment (on the original post) to help me win under the theme of the month, Thriller. You can vote and comment till Aug 27th.


Thanks in advance.

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