A Shattered Dream
A Shattered Dream5 mins 204 5 mins 204
Anup was a handsome mechanical engineer of 22. His job search was going on. His cousin sister Sobha had a charming dark-eyed friend. She was Bipasa. Bipasa's parents were high school teachers. The girl was their lone hope. She was doing chartered accountancy at a premier institute in the city of Bhubaneswar. The boy lived in his remote village in Dhenkanal and was helping his father in running a poultry farm and doing farming. They had vast agricultural lands. Money was not at all an obstacle to anything. Yet the Odia people have a sick nauseating mindset when it comes to finding their daughter a suitable boy. A good government job is the only prerequisite for a boy to get married to an educated and beautiful girl. I was a storyteller, painter and a singer. But I had no hope of getting married to a girl after my own heart. I decided to remain a bachelor. Fortunately my wife saw my writings in magazines and journals and agreed to marry me. But one like her could be only one in a million.
Bipasa's parents were short-sighted and conservative in their outlook. They earned a lot but, though villagers, they were worse than the city babus. Proud, arrogant and aloof. They knew about their daughter having an affair with an engineer. The problem was the boy was not a servant of the government. Bipasa and Anup had spent a good deal of time together. She has promised him her hand and heart. Anup was on top of the world. But when it dawned on the girl that her boyfriend was not a job minded person, all hell broke loose. She couldn't accept someone interested in an independent profession. Athough they met as before she was too clever to hide her guile with false flowery assurances. He didn't know that he was just a 'time pass' toy for her. Anup came to Bhubaneswar every now and then to meet her. She was very much reluctant to meet him.
After a period of three years the girl never wanted to meet him and the boy was losing his patience and equilibrium. They had a number of altercations. Eventually, she blocked his mobile number and changed her place of resiresidence . Then Anup's heart began to bleed. He came to Bhubaneswar every few days and roamed the city's nook and corner to find her. She was not to be found anywhere. His parents urged him to forget her and he could hardly do so. When he began to call her from other people's mobile phones, she changed her number and didn't use the old one. Now the situation assumed alarming proportions. He began to smoke bidis and drank country liquor and lost his wits to the extent of sixty percent. He was making all possible efforts to see her and remind her of her promises. He would go to the other side of the river on each and every holiday expecting her possible arrival in the her house. He sit on a bench in a tea stall for hours. He saw her twice or thrice. When the girl and her parents came to know this they kept the front door of the house shut on holidays and during festivals.
Now the boy was not able to sleep a single minute at night. He shouted at nobody indignantly.
His hair and beard grew long. He was showering abusive words on his kind and generous parents.
He hurled obscenities at anyone and everyone who tried to pacify him. He would often come out of his room holding a bill hook or long knife or an rod to attack people. His dangerous and frightening looks scared the young and the old alike. He made repulsive videos and uploaded them on social media platforms.
The boy's uncle who had been observing him for quite some time took a resolve to get the boy treated. He was brought to Bhubaneswar and was examined by a psychiatrist. He had to be heavily drugged and take powerful sedatives and tranquilizers to go to sleep. He he would get up after long hours. If he mouthed bad and vulgar words, he would be beaten up very hard leaving singed blackened impressions from sticks. After some months he was considered normal. Nevertheless his mother often caught him shedding big tears silently. No body could could imagine he still remembered Bipasa after six or seven months. Now when he walked he had an odd gait and when he sat, one could notice his head shivering in a subtle manner. His uncle had deleted all the photos of the girl from his mobile phone. The boy used his mobile phone cautiously.
What kind of privacy did the boy have when everything was over. . . ?
During his last visit to his sister's house Ratikanta Babu, an elderly school teacher, talked to his sad frustrated nephew and tried his best to wean him out of the deep depression which was constantly weakening the boy. He was most intimately touched to know that his nephew had almost lost his memory. The boy's forgetful behaviour was clearly noticeable. After a very long conversation he took leave of his uncle wanting to help his father at the farm. When the uncle was lost in thinking, he saw a mobile phone on a nearby chair. He knew it was Anup's phone. He took the phone and typed 1998 to unlock the phone. He knew this password well before some four or five years. He searched the phone curiously. He was left dumbstruck seeing a photo of the girl Bipasa who he knew was going to get married to his friend's son who employed in Delhi as a chartered accountant. .