Chapter – 7
The Strange Meeting
The next day started early for me than usual. I could not sleep well all night, just got tossed on my bed. It was a bad habit on my part that I could not sleep anywhere except in my little cozy bed, at my home. Anyhow Soma had not got any trouble I think as I enjoyed her light snoring all night long. Anita was too civilized in this respect. She just started her ‘pranayam’ on the hotel couch, studded in bulky foam.
“Eh already up”, Soma yawned at Anita.
“Yeah”, she managed a succinct reply while allowing her respiratory organs a full scope for breath in and breath out.
“Please call Moinak, brother of Kumbhakarna. He would otherwise make us late”, Soma said still resting on a pillow.
“Hmm, but you should consider yourself Kumvakarno’s sister first”, I retorted.
“I don’t want to shame the roosters rising so early”, she giggled.
Everyone got ready within an hour and started for the Chitora Women’s Welfare Institution campus. It was a splendid city, so neat and clean and so arranged.
We reached the campus gate around 9.30 a.m. I gasped at it opening my mouth so wide that Soma just put her palm on it. We reached the Seminar Building. It was so gorgeous yet so homely. It reminded me of my village school shadowed by numerous trees and shrubs. We collected the necessary information and entered the hall. The hall was enormous and thronged with students from all over India. The tables were set in a restaurant pattern group of five could sit at a place. We took middle seats, didn’t want to be in the first row and not at the end also.
I felt too alert over everything and watched every corner with a timid look. It seemed as if I had landed on an unknown island with its unanimous inhabitants so smart so colourful.
Could I do something with this evanescence mind of mine? Could I fight here? I didn’t know but I felt too much queer and my fear of losing my ground overwhelmed me, as if how such a naïve girl from so native a village could stand on that enormous dazzling rostrum and tell the reality of that far away setting.
“What are you thinking?”
“I don’t think that I can utter a single word there in front of this chic company.”
“Aatri don’t indulge in such bogus thought for God’s sake. You are our group leader. You should cheer us not we.” Soma hissed angrily in my ear.
But I found no leverage over my feeble thoughts. Looking at Soma’s grave face I tried to concentrate on the project and presentation of us. Perhaps I became too much engrossed in my thought that I noticed him only when Soma jerked out in excitement.
“Wow! What a pleasant surprise Akash.”
I upsurged from my stupor with the very sound, ‘Akash’.
When I turned back it was a real surprise for me – after five long years. Yeah, it’s Akash and I had not gone mad.
Soma just jumped from her seat and took his hands. Akash came forward. I tried my best to keep my composure still, unaffected but I was sure his eyes could not miss me even after a prolonged interval.
Hey, I am Munmun, the phoenix fabulist who wants to tell you stories. I love to read stories and I love to weave stories. I feel life is an amalgamation of multiple stories, colourful threads, and threads of pain, pleasure, hope, and hopelessness. We just need to pick those hues and arrange them, knitting them with our own emotions and perception. So let’s celebrate the stories of life.