Dhansirhi – the stories by Gargi Bhattacharya

One evening while returning from office, at the 7-Days shopping center, as per my habit, I checked for new magazines. On the upper racks,there were the recent issues of India Today, Readers digest, and few mores magazines and the lower racks were still holding the old editions.

At the bottom most rack were diaries, notebooks and few more books. Within them, I saw a Bengali book in brown cover. I picked it up and flipped through the pages and kept it back. It was a 26 short stories book, priced at Rs. 75/-. At the moment, there was not enough reasons for me to buy a story book.

Days passed on. I used to get a glimpse of bookshelf as usual. The number of that particular book’s copies seemed decreasing. Inquisitive now I was ! And I again picked up the same book to check – who wrote it?, as the writer’s name was not well known. I thought to buy it, as the writer was some Mrs. Gargi Bhattacharya from Bangalore.Dhansirhi

As the bookshelf is located at the main entrance, the book was getting dust over it along with diaries kept there. But the bright brown color of the cover and the painting was talking something to my instinct. I picked it up and wiped the dust out and read the preface.

I bought it that evening, and after dinner I started reading the stories. Having done my education in Hindi and English, the distance from Bengali literature makes my Bengali reading speed slow. The story writing technique caught my attention. It was story about a small bird and a famous female screen personality. The story ended with a message of need of indigenous methods and ill effects of using the pesticides. There are stories of love and tears and the complete saga of human emotions. One can just keep reading.

So did, I kept reading other stories. The way she picks the theme, and makes the scenario and at last brings her ‘message’ quite efficiently are really impressive. The sentences used are simple yet full of flow.

After few days of my reading, Ma arrived here. I let her read the book. She got something good to read at home, when I was in office. She read all the stories and was equally impressed by the stories. In evenings and back to home journey, I re-heard the stories from her. She just gets lost, while narrating the stories, after losing herself in the characters! It was easy to guess, how much she loved the stories.

I let Ma know, the writer is from Bangalore itself. She said to write her back congratulating on her debut story book.

After few days, I wrote Gargi back and she replied. And her reply again left an impression of earthiness and a humble appreciation of praise.

She told me about her one new book to be published. And I do hope, the new book will be a success again on the bookstalls and she will be a hit in Bengali literary circle.

Congrats to Gargi ! May God bless her pen and her supportive family !

My Two Faces

I have two faces.
One over another.

Inner one, I do hide.
Outer you all do see,

The inner one is colorless.
The outer face is colorful,

“Go and say them Hi”
The inner face says.

“Wait, they may not reply”
The outer face warns.

“Write them, and say I care”
The inner face says.

“What if, they will scold you?”
The outer face warns.

“Go and embrace them”
The inner face says.

“They are not your blood”
The outer tells the inner.

“At least you can greet them” masks.gif
The inner face says.

“Why should you do?”
The outer face keeps mum.

“I do write poem.”
Inner face said.

“I too write fictions”
The outer face exclaimed.

Then Inner face shouts on outer –
“You- are cruel ,
Soulless and blunt.
You look good,
But you are bad
And I hate you”

My outer face says to inner-
“You may hate me
Forget not –
I kept you safe,
You are delicate,
Tell me –
Who understood you.
Better than Me”

They kept silent,
For a while.
After sometime,
They fought again –

The Handbag

Her marriage is on 16th Dec. Her marriage invitation card along with a letter reminded me the day, which was her second day in the office.

To me, it was a normal working day, as I reached the door of first floor and I was about to enter. On the right side, I saw the new girl stepping down the stairs from the cafeteria. But to me it seemed that her steps were extra cautious.

My sub-conscience was not wrong. Just before, she was about to touch the floor from the stairs, she got unbalanced and was about to fall miserable. Without thinking anything, I moved forward and hold her hand. Before I can extend my left hand, she balanced herself . Before she could understand what happened, she promptly said… “Oh Sorry”.

I observed , her eyelid seemed wet. She might have cried few minutes before in cafeteria, I guessed.

While falling , she managed her dupatta but could not balance her handbag. The handbag kept rolling on the stairs towards ground floor. I guessed she did not fastened the zip of the handbag. The things in handbag scattered !

I offered her help. We gathered many used mobile recharge coupons (which she seemed never throw), a lipstick, a small diary, one small black polythene, petals of a dry rose which had turned out black, and a half torn letter, and some piece of paper torn in smallest pieces. There were broken bangle pieces ( Not sure, were they broken before ) and a little soft-toy attached key-chain.

At the time there were no one on the stairs to make her more embarrassed , but she was embarrassed. She must had got sprains on the ankle. Afterwards, neither I nor she said this falling episode to our colleagues ever.

She stayed with us for 7 months. The days she spent with our teams were really good. She changed the organization for better prospects. The industry is habituated to see such departures , but to two of her friends, it meant missing her contribution in the team.

I never knew much about her, unless few days before, she sent me a friend request in Orkut. I clicked to her personal profile. I was surprised to see her details. She had written: from the past relationship I learnt — “NEVER EVER trust Anybody”. I was a bit surprised to know this thing about her, but the sentence did elaborate the things she kept in her handbag.

I accepted her friend request and wrote a mail for her auspicious future.

She replied me back.

Today I dont have words to reply your line
“I do wish, Bhanumati ka Pitara ( the handbag) will contain fresh roses now onwards”
Apply for leave early and try to come along with Rakesh.
C. Puja