"When bright flowers bloom Parchment crumbles, my words fade The pen has dropped ..."

Friday, May 13, 2011

At the end of Day. In the land of Dreams ..দিনের শেষে ঘুমের দেশে ..

Sun is breaking across the snow capped Kanchenjunga, throwing its first rays into the sleepy town of Ghum. So aptly named, Ghum(ঘুম "sleep" in Bengali) , this beautiful town of North Bengal is ever so sleepy. Mou had come with Sagar just after their marriage some 30 years back. They were completely enchanted by the beautiful tea gardens, the meandering Teesta, the serenity of the town and the innocence of the people. Sagar and Mou decided to come back and take root in this town in the evenings of their lives.
The evening had indeed come but without Sagar. As Mou sits in the easy chair in her balcony basking in the morning sun, sipping a cup of tea she remembers the bygone days.
Mou had just completed her BA when she got married to Sagar. Although being an arranged marriage , she always felt she had known him since time immorial.  It was his persuasion that she completed post Graduation and then went for a doctoral degree in English Literature. It was not easy with infant Sahil already into this world, but Sagar's immense support and help her conquer the battle. Soon she got a job of a lecturer and with time soon she turned a professor. Meanwhile Sagar climbed the steps of his success.But time could not erase the imprint of Ghoom on their minds and souls. It became a ritual to visit Ghoom whenever they visited Kolkata during vacations. The sleepy beautiful town gave them the much needed respite from their busy schedule. Soon Sagar and Mou decided to make a small house in Ghoom for their yearly refuge. But who would have known that Sagar would be able to enjoy his Dream home only a year. The cruel hands of destiny snatched him from Mou and Sahil. It was devastating for both of them, and for Mou the loss was boundless. But she had to compose herself for her 12 year old son. Fighting against all odds she tried her to give her son all the very bests. Time rolled on but their annual trip to Ghoom did not cease.
And it was during these trips that had brought a whole new meaning to her life. It was a morning like today's , and she was sitting in the balcony sipping tea as now. Sahil then a handsome grownup of 24 had gone for a morning stroll. Sahil was leaving for abroad in a month to study medicine. He never wanted to go, but it was his Ma's suasion that made him agree. Mou sat there wondering how she would live with Sahil gone to such a distant land. And there stood on her gate a young girl in her late teens, with clothes which were complete rags, and with a body shivering like a feather. She came up-to Mou and meekly asked if she could give her a job, any work for that matter. Mou was about to give a blunt NO , when something within stopped her. She looked at the girl intently. Somehow she knew the girl had just survived a cyclone. She asked her to come inside and gave her a cup of tea, and toasts. But the girl wont have it. Instead she cried and cried and cried. Within her sobbing and hiccups, all she could muster was she was sold by her uncle to some aged man for money and she was to be taken to some country for what she did not know(but Mou knew).  That was not the end of her plight. Back at her so called home in a small village a stone's throw from Dhoom, the orphan girl was molested by her uncle. She didn't have nerve to go back. Mou could see the truth and desperation in the girl's eyes. She did not have the heart to turn her away. Mita remained with her. Soon Sahil left for higher studies and Mita became her only companion at home. She would tidy the house, prepare the dinner , decorate flowers in the vase, and then wait for Mou to return from University. She started calling Mou "Mamoni" .Mamoni taught her to read and write. Though from a very poor family the girl had a flair for arts. She would prepare small decorative virtually out of nothing, would arrange the flowers with such beauty that the floral arrangements almost looked professional. Mita often told Mamoni she was very fortunate that Mamoni had given her this sanctuary, but there were many unfortunate girls in her village who were desolate and abandoned. And then Mou decided to take voluntary retirement and permanently move to Dhoom.
At Dhoom, with Mita to assist her she set up an abode for all helpless women and girls; Started off with just two of them , the abode has turned into a small scale industry for handicrafts and other art works. Mita looks after all the production work while Mou looks after all the official and financial stuff.
Meantime Sahil has settled abroad and wants to take Ma with him, but Mou refrains. She knows her true home is here ..in the land of dreams where every body calls her "Mamoni"..loving Ma 


shruti said...

Is this a true story?????

amy said...

beautiful story di .. i could imagine the her story while reading it.

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