Kakoli Mandal



Kakoli Mandal


The Voyage To The Unknown

The Voyage To The Unknown

4 mins

It's been years I completely stopped writing. Not that I do not get time or whatsoever lame excuses one can fabricate....

If you really want to do something that you are passionate about, time somehow too will give you a fair opportunity to utilise it at its best.

I grew up being the old school nerd that I always used to be...quiet, well behaved, studious and of course the "teacher's pet ".

Life wasn't too complicated for me even during my teens. Well, that was the time most of my classmates already had boyfriends,and if not lucky in love,at least they had a crush on someone!

I questioned myself at times,what is it that makes me a complete outsider to my fellow mates? Was I weird because of my shy attitude? Was I someone whom no one wants to make friends with??

Back home one day when I came back from school and was silently studying,a sudden warm loving touch on my shoulder literally astounded me! I knew the touch so well..it was my grandpa...my dadu!!! The man who till his last breath was my pillar of immense support, unconditional love..and whatever you can think of.

I was in the 10th standard probably with the Board exams knocking at the door.Dadu was my mentor. He taught me everything with perfection and care,especially Maths for which I had a phobia!

That day was quite different from the rest of the days.Even I was not aware that silent tears rolled down my eyes,while the fat History book lay open in front of me!Dadu carefully wiped my tears,pulled up my face,and asked lovingly, "What happened Butai?Is everything fine?" My only nickname that dadu used to fondly call me was "Butai".

I nodded my head to make dadu feel all is fine.

Later in the night,when dadu came for dinner,I unwillingly joined him..though not in a mood to have food at all!

Dadu asked "Who told you something that you constantly are weeping??"

For the first time I opened up before dadu.

I asked him very frankly.."Dadu,am I top weird to have a boyfriend or at least an admirer? All of my friends do have someone or the other as companions,but I have none Dadu!!The tears simply won't stop!

Dadu listened to me very intently. AND the very next day he took me to College street Boi para,a place famous for books. Dadu did not tell me for what purpose he took me there.I was taken aback...what is going on??

Dadu bought me the book "Sesher Kobita" by Tagore and a collection of short stories of Sharatchandra Chattyopadhyay.

Later when we got back home, dadu fondly carressed my hairs and said, "See Butai...there will be moments when all you will feel is you are in complete vacuum..with no friends,no relatives..just no one for company.There will be moments of betrayal by your closest friends,relatives..there will be hopelessness too. Still,do not give up,be strong...make the books your best friend..at times of solitude,its books alone who will always stay by you,making you feel wanted,instilling vast knowledge in you. Never depend on anybody,but yourself..were his words..that still echoes in my ears!!

More than seven years passed, Dadu is no more with us..but his every words,his memories as silently etched in to my heart.

I have had moments of pain...the first time when my so called bestie,some Antara, left me alone when I needed het support the most..at a point when I suddenly lost my mother,and my world turned topsy turvy.

It was too painful to accept the sheer fact that the friend whom I loved beyond any limits would someday snap the ties of friendship that I imagined to be a rock solid one....and completely wash me out of her life..the biggest shock was still awaiting.

I came to know from a common friend that the lady in question was pregnant....such happy news,yes,I wasn't informed..the lady had a lovely boy..leave alone seeing the baby in person, I was deprived to see him..uninvited to the Rice Ceremony that was held in the vicinity where I stay!! The lady might have had thought my presence in the social function of theirs,could have marred it altogether,considering my presence itself to be inauspicious.

I was going through mental turbulence at that point of time...with a 1 year old kid and an ailing yet constantly supporting father who constantly stood by my side...faintly encouraging me to not lose hope but keep fighting...my husband whom I lovingly chose as a partner to share my life with against my family wishes,for the very first time physically abused me....being from the Defence background,the prestigious Indian Air Force...with so much glory attached to them..deserted me and his own blood,our son as well! That was 2014.....four years passed...no communication,no calls even to the lil soul who till date does not know what is it like having a doting father!

Destiny is vicious you see....it takes you near fire and just when you are about to jump on it, somehow you are saved by an Unknown source.

Is this what we call a miracle...braving with a smile on face, Grasping the back-stabs of besties,husband..and still moving forward with faint hope in heart that either the end is not too far, or a brand new beginning is in store for us..someday, Somewhere?!!

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