An evening by the Teesta

Jayanta Madhav

An evening by the Teesta The first forty years of life, it’s said , give us the text ; the next thirty supply the commentary on it. But as time flies with unremitting haste , it’s only when realization strikes at one sudden unaware moment that we find , the journey through our next thirty has already begun ! And it then overwhelms one looking back and taking in the text of his past forty that really had so much in it to comment ! What with a sense of social security one is endowed with on joining a job and the contentment it gives in supporting his family, the transition from one’s college to work is often associated with tangible changes in his trait and temperament . It’s also when one’s growing adulthood starts yearning for consummation in the company of someone destined to hold hand and walk the rest of his life together ! One’s initial service years often therefore beget fond memories of life. I too have similar memories around my first few years at job starting back in 1985 albeit some lasting ones , for the simple reason that the first ever person I had in life as my boss happened to be a woman ! Natty and swank , she had everything the new recruits could have asked for : shining curls that bobbed and swayed , and curves we wished to see in our female friends only till recently at college ! No wonder , the spirited among us would discuss every possible (non) issue at her chamber and then spice up those discussions at the mess over their evening glasses of beer ! This went on till the officer got transferred and the group missed their daily dose of motivation . Two years on , I received a communication requiring me to attend a conference at Gangtok. The delegates were to reach Siliguri , stay overnight and proceed together by bus next morning to Gangtok . Reaching our Siliguri Guest house around noon , I walked into the dining hall for lunch and just as I turned to a sweet familiar “Hi” , what I saw with electrifying delight was the face I once eyed with obsessive gaze ! “So what are you doing in the evening ?”, she said , after the usual pleasantries and the small talk that followed . “Nothing much ma’am , may be just a stroll around ! “, I said, sniffing the possibility of ambling quietly by her side in the breezy evening . But no sooner did I push back my bubble of chivalric fantasy , I doubted if I had heard correctly when she said, ” Let’s go to Hongkong Market then “. Petty purchases and window shopping done with , as we were readying to return , our car driver came up feverishly and informed that he had to rush out due to a sudden medical urgency back home, profusely apologizing for our inconvenience. We told him not to worry and leave immediately , reassuring him we would make some alternate arrangement for returning to the Guest house which anyway was not very far . Though it was first decided to walk down, citing her inconvenience of walking with heels , I hired a pedal rickshaw . And so there I was , chatting and chortling with the person I was once obsessed with , as a crimson plume haloed the setting sun and a soothing breeze from the Teesta wafted her loose locks to tease my cheeks ……

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