The moment I landed in Digha two things happened.First, it started raining heavily. Clouds flocked from nowhere, and sea winds blowed with a mood of madness and the daylight got faded into all shades of gray.
The rickshaws which crowded near the bus stop also ran swiftly.
I was also about to catch one when I came across the second thing which occurred.
A young woman caught the rickshaw which I am suppose to catch and occupied it,
I shouted ‘Excuse me’ half wet already and the woman turned her face towards me.
I got struck by surprise.
“Shreya’ I uttered . Are you Shreya?’
The woman nodded and said. ‘Sorry, you have mistaken’ and then went away. Only the wind blowed her blue dupatta.
I kept stranded among the sweeping winds and torrential rain and gradually decreasing no. of rickshaws alone still trying to solve the puzzle.
How can I mistaken Shreya?
I nooded in disbelief and then jumped into a running rickshaw and ordered ‘Hotel Sea-Coast’.
As usual Arijit is late and only God knows when he will reach. He said he have some assignment in Shankarpur today and then he will meet me here. He is a totally cracked person and he planned this program. He is a photographer by profession and thus has no fixed schedule of work. I am well acquainted with his whims thus his delay is usual to me.
But the thing that pinching me is the incident of Shreya.
Shreya is one of my close friend in the college, we completed BCA together and even started MBA together but in the midway she left it for doing MS in US. I still remember that we both felt so lonely at the day she went and I was the one who went to see her off in the airport.
But now the question that arise in my mind MS course is for two years and now only one year has passed.
So a doubt pooped.
Is it really Shreya?
Or really I have mistaken?
No. It is not possible. The attitude, her walk, turn of her face, the way she carries the dupatta round the neck , all symbolizes her and I can not get wrong in those.
Shreya must have come for a vacation.
But then why she haven’t inform me?
One after another.
But no answer.
It is almost evening, the weather is cloudy still but not raining luckily. Thus there is no meaning to waste it inside the hotel.
I put the slippers on and soon I am in the way to the beach.
A lovely evening is awaiting outside.
Tourists in great numbers pouring in..some foreigners clicking snaps..kids running..some guys drinking openly Beer Can.. some other walking towards the rocky steps with tea in their hand..a girl finding it diificult to handle her flowing skirt.. some woman similarly trying to manage the pallu of the sarree..hawkers clattering ‘chai, babu chai?’..passing rickshaws ‘Market jabe babu..New Digha?’..the colour of the sky appearing brilliant with last shades of the red mixing with grey..seagulls flying high.. some lonely crows dancing on the tip of the sea..green sea quite sharp at that period of the day..tide is coming.. winds blowing in fluctuating speed.. sand grains itching the body.. a waste newspaper came flying in the air..with the smell of jhalmuri..the mood of a holiday slowly grasping me..
I walked gently through the sands and took tea from a nearby stall..
I just have a first sip and that moment I saw again the woman.
This time I waited and did not said anything.
Winds touching Shreya, she is wearing a Yellow kurta and jeans now, her hairs revolting in winds through strings..her small steps..her sudden stop through a walk..then again walking..her ribboning her strings of hair..all symbolizes Shreya..
I then played a trick.
Just walking a bit close to her..I uttered loudly in order to be audible ‘Diya’..
The woman infront of me turned back in a twinkle and her face reads all surprise.
She is about to work..I said ‘Why are you doing this Shreya..why?’
She turned again towards me and then with her beautiful eyes on me said..
‘I am not Shreya..my name is Aditi!’
Then she started walking fast through the sands.
I didn’t follow her.
Because I know she is Shreya..because in this world only I call her as Diya..in her twentieth birthday when she flew off the candle over her birthday cake..her eyes full of light..that moment I named her.. ‘Diya’..
I came and sat over one the rocky walls on the marine drive.
Evening slowly passing away.
The roadside shops of sea-shells getting lighted..the sounds of sea water crushing in the shores filling up the air..sky appearing dark blue with flocks of red clouds..birds flying..far across the sea small boats with their lanterns sweeping in the waves..blue sky mixing unnoticed at the greenish sea..there perhaps the hoprizon lies..
I took another cup of tea.
One mystery solved.
The woman is Shreya.
Another mystery begins.
Why Shreya is refusing to recognize me..why..why?
Walking through the beach when the night is ripe with foamy touches of sea curdling at your feet is one of the most beautiful feelings of life.
For a distant I can see that I am the only person on the beach.
Winds blowing again in an unpredictable mood. It carries the threat of rain with it..thus it sometimes flowing gently..sometimes it pouring with a rush.
Moon in a crecent shape glowing on the sky..though it is dimmy somewhat..clouds claiming her light often..thus the graphics of the beach at this point of time is a slide show of black and white..sometimes the clouds cover on..sometimes off..a wave came and crushed in my feet..another came and washed..I slowly walked..Arijit came at the evening..then again he went out for drinks..I thus came for this walk..I took a long breath..fresh air..the scent of sea in the air..I walked..sometimes I lighted on the torch..then again putting it off..
It is really mesmerizing..a thin layer of moonlit night slowly brightening up the surroundings..winds quite sharp..boats over the sea appearing as swinging dreams..sea has an immense attraction..it makes you lonely and grippes out the inner feelings of one..
Thus I started thinking of Shreya..days spend with her..her mood..her frustrations..our friendships..thus the one question which I dislike to face again popped up..Do I love Shreya..and like always the answer came with a mixture of positive and negatives..really I don’t know..only thing I know that she is the most important friend I had in College..but again if I love her why I would let her go so easily for US..or is it because I have no ground to obstruct her..I was then nowhere..thus purely unconsciously I started reviewing my analysis of an apparent love affair between us..and obviously this time also there arrived no conclusion.. with the question still showing red signal.. ‘Do I love Shreya?’
I again came back to reality..and the thing that hurted me more was that why Shreya refusing me to recognize me?
Moonlight now a bit thick.
Suddenly I heard a different sound.
Sounds of breathing fast.
And some other sounds.
I walked with big steps.
And once I came near the source of the sound I stopped.
Just infront of me is a bunch of bush and a wrecked structure of a sand earthed building.
From there the sound is coming.
I can guess much more than see.
As I went near I flashed my torch.
I got struck and saw that just beside the bush and the structure two people are involved in the primitive game and they are having sex..
The light of the torch flashed on them.
I can see the naked girl lying.
And then I saw the man over her.
He shouted in utter slang.. ‘Ke Be shala..!’
I swithed off the torch.
Then went out from the place.
As I again came near the sea I heard the sound of running.
Somebody running quickly.
Again I flashed my torch.
The first thing that I located are some fresh footprints.
It is made just now.
Somebody ran through the beach.
I followed the footprints.
And then at one point I can see the figure.
I flashed the torch.
In the dimmy light of the moon through the rainy winds a figure swiftly running crossed the beach and took the road to the marine drive.
But something it left.
I went forward and picked it up.
A blue dupatta.
And I know it belongs to whom.
I sat on a bench through the sea side on the beach some minutes after sunrise.
Several questiones needed to be answered today.
But first of all I need to find Shreya.
Its been enough now I should find her and ask her what she is suffering.
And what she is doing alone in the beach at the dead of the night?
I am planning my program on how to progress at that time a local boy came and said me ‘Babu Chithi!’
I saw he is holding a white envelope in hand.
Then he ran away.
I opened the letter.
I do not know what to write to you and exactly how to write it. But the first thing I should say that I am sorry. I deeply apologies that I have told lie to you. I know you can never mistaken me and it is really a twist of my fate that I met you here where I really never wanted to meet you. I never wanted to share my experience with you as you to me always is the most bright and positive gift of life and I always want to keep you and my that place total pure. But still I forgot that how can I kept aside the person who is everything to me? I am really a silly fool..but please understand me Soumya that I always want you as that friend to whom I can get back after all extremes all experiences of dark shades. But I should accompany you with my journey.
I know you would never forgive me as I being too selfish went to US for MS study leaving you totally alone. But believe me that I remembered you each moment and your every letter became ingredients to spend the days there. I know it all appears so lyrical to you and I do accept my faults but it is indeed truth.
But I should tell you now that why I came to Digha and why I lied.
While being in US I met Arijit and somehow by his photographic skills his behaviour I got attracted towards him and fell in love with him.We had a relation between us but then suddenly Arijit left one day and never kept contact. So I have to come back to India and then found that Arijit is coming to Digha. So I came here also.
I always had doubts on Arijit during the last several months, he even try to get me physically.. the last night episode is the sheer proof of it.
How can I tell you all these ..tell me?
How can I be so cheap that when you need me I left you and when I have lost my love I would ask you to come back?
I started being defeated..my career also got scattered..I should have some place to get back.
And that is you.
Always you would be.
Its been a relief telling you the truth.
I am leaving Digha today.
And please forgive me.
And Soumya, you just be yourself.
Because that is so very special to me.
As it a shelter where I can love to get back after all extremes.
I saw the boy who gave me letter selling tea on the beach.
I ran towards him and ask , ‘Who Memsab kahan hai?’
‘Bus stop mein..subah ke bus pakar raha hai..’
I started running and soon came in the bus top.
I went to the counter.
W.B.S.T.C bus leaves at what time?’
A local said from beside before the counter person says anything.
I turned back.
I need to meet Shreya once.
Its been long that I have talked with her.
I started walking away from the bus stop.
There lies the W.B.S.T.C. Bus. Must be a case of tyre puncture.
And then my eyes struck upon a lady standing with her face towards. the sea.
I almost ran to her..then uttered softly.. ‘Diya?’
The lady turned at once and almost shouted. ‘Soumya?’
I can read several questions and much more than that shades of embarrassment on her face.
‘Let’s go back Shreya.’
‘But I have the bus ticket.’
‘You can have also tomorrow one. Sorry two. As I would be also going.’
‘But Soumya.. I can’t..’
“You can..only you can..’ Then I hold her hand..Come..lets go..’
Shreya slowly walked.
And then we both came on the beach and before speechless Shreya could manage to say anything I said..
‘I have a request..or it is an order.’
Shreya turned towards me with her beautiful eyes and large eyelids full of questions.
A bright sunny day is blooming.
Sky soft blue with traces of roaming clouds.
Winds blowing in a festive spirit.
I hold Shreya’s hand and then said looking at her..
‘I want my best friend back and this time in Calcutta..enough of US affair! Right Diya?’
Shreya with trembled eyelids and lips once looked at me and then lowered her eyes.
Well ..when a girl trembles and lower her eyes..and if you don’t know what it is..please fall in love Idiot!