No One Killed Basabi
Basabi and I were school friends. Apart from other prospects the same dark complexion and reticence of nature brought us close. I left Basabi after the intermediate as she went to the city for higher studies and I remained in my old school in the village for the next two years. Even after that, we were admitted to two separate colleges. Communication gradually dwindled due to the pressure of study. More than that the real fact was no vacuum ever remains empty. Someone always is there to take the new place and the closest ones are most welcome.
So in the hostel and college, I got acquainted with too many friends and there remained no space to be woebegone for school days.
And then life started flying at a jet plane speed…career, marriage, kids. Old faces got blurred and gradually memory erased them.
But the chance came suddenly one day. I got a message from one of my old friends over the phone to join a WhatsApp group. As I joined there amidst all the other school friends I found Basabi. I saved the number. But before I could manage the time to call her she called me.
And the gap of long 15 years was waved away instantly within a second. We talked as if we were never separated…old memories inundated our brains.
Old chord renewed and old friendship kindled with extra glory. On a Sunday morning, Basabi again called me. I was busy with household chores as it was the only working day at home when I had to arrange everything to start fresh on the hectic weekly schedule.
Her voice was weary and frustrated. I felt her wet voice as if she had cried a lot. She shared her frustration. She was pregnant. But she felt she could not look after two kids as she already had one and she nagged for miscarriage. She forced her husband to agree with her decision. But later she repented her choice. She came to know it was a girl child and from then on she started feeling vulnerable. Her mother blamed her for murdering a life. She started lamenting about the lost embryo. She felt she had murdered herself. It started chewing her conscience.
I heard her patiently and advised her to forget everything. She had a lovely boy who was very brilliant and studious. I told her to love him more and keep herself engaged in productive work.
After that day we both became busy with our usual schedule of a hectic life. Sometimes we used to talk through messages.
Sometimes she sent me her boy’s home tasks that she could not solve. She even started a singing channel. She used to sing very sweetly. But again another day she called me into my office and cried bitterly. She acted frantic over my dead hours. She said she could not forget, could not cope with life, and could not concentrate on anything.
Again I tried to make her understand. She was spoiling her arranged life for something else that was not possible anymore. I suggested that she could take another baby. It might heal her wound.
But nothing works for her. She remained normal some days but again started behaving oddly…started talking about suicide. I felt irritated. Life is a struggle. With the 24 hours busy schedule and office, home, kid, husband and in-laws, I had no time for those hypothetical sorrows. Gradually I stopped taking her calls or answering her messages on the excuse of work pressure.
She stopped calling me. Then one day I found her long painful message. She was contemplating suicide and she could not sleep because the bloody embryo was haunting her.
I shivered in irritation. Her call means monotonous depressing talks…nagging despondency that could not be healed. Whatever solution you referred to her she would not hear or follow.
And she had enough time to wallow in sadness but I had no time to hear the same record ad nousam.
So I just got busy with my life and shook away all her requests for a call like the tantrums of a baby.
One week passed and one day I was getting ready for a get-together party in my office in the Evening
As I was about to put my phone in my sling bag I noticed a ping over the screen. I looked at it. An image was shared in our school WhatsApp group.
I didn’t download it. I had no time. I slipped the phone into my bag and hurried towards the stairs.
I was late and tired when I came back. In the morning I found continuous beeping on my mobile. I look at it in horror and tension. All the messages were shared by my school friends in the school group. The ground beneath me shattered and I felt a searing pain in my heart.
With quivering fingers, I scrolled down the messages. I downloaded the images posted the previous night.
They were paper cutting describing, in brief, the unexpected suicide of a housewife at 48 Bidisha Sarkar Lane, Baharampur.
A thousand RIPs were flooding the screen.
No suicide notes were there to blame anybody and there was nobody to blame except me…me only.
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.