Prayer (Prarthana)

Saturday, May 30, 2009




Ting Ting Ting. The wall clock said it is 3 AM at night. Sudip got up from bed. The bedroom is a bit enlightened from the street light. The curtains are removed from the only window open. There is a continuos buzzing sound outside. It is still raining. The heat wave is a bit reduced with the advent of the monsoons. Sudip felt cold. He got down cautiously from the bed, cautious enough not to disturb anyone. Lowered the speed of the ceiling fan and then looked back at the her wife Sonali and daughter Sunetra. They are fast asleep.


This has been a very tough day for Sonali. The housemaid didn't come today. All day she had to look after every possible household works by herself. She had to cook as well like everyday. Sudip loves food and he loves food cooked by Sonali more than any other food. Sunetra is only three. She looks like a little fairy nowadays. Sonali is good looking, Sudip is more than average. Suntra has received the best looks from both of them. She has thrown away the bed sheet aside. Sudip thought of go in again and put it in place, as it is a bit cold today. Then he paused, slowly got out of the room.

Sudip took out a bootle of water from the top of their refrigerator and entered the kitchen. The window of the kitchen is half closed. A sudden gush of moist wind jumped inside the kitchen. He once thought of closing the windows, at least in the bedroom, but recalled Sonali doesn't like that. "It feels so suffocating. I cannot sleep this way", she always complain except in winter. Sudip drank few sips of water from the bottle. He put that down and try to search for the match box in the cell. It's not there. He gets out of the kitchen to switch on the light.Getting the match box and head towards the other bed room through the dining cum living room.

Sudip has his desktop in this room. This room is smaller than the master bed room in this two bedroom flat they have purchased the last summer. This flat is at Patuli, a very convenient location in the newly built area at south Kolkata. He can easily reach his office at sector V at Salt Lake and can get back within half an hour or so at night. Sudip took out the packet of cigarette from the drawer of the computer table, lit one and sat on the bed. Here also a window has been kept half opened by Sonali. "Gods need air too." She told with a muse when Sudip asked about shutting all the windows. "But my PC!" "Gods will save it, she replied". "You see, gods will save my computer", repeated Sunetra. She always try to keep copying what her mother said. That's how people learn to talk, that's why a language becomes the "Mother's Tongue". The little lady, she always says everything to be her. The other day she was lookig at a car with great concentration. "That's my car" she said. "It's not your's for it is not ours. Everything me and your mom have is yours" corrected Sudip.

"Gods will save everything. My PC, my family and Sonali?" Sudip wondered. The rain must have been stopped. In this room is there is a large picture of Goddess Kali, the goddess who is widely worshiped by Hindu community specially Bengali people. Also one of Lord Ganesha. The God of knowledge with elephant's head. In two other medium sized frames there are pictures of Lord Krishna and Goddess Durga. In a corner self, specially created on Sonali's demand there are several small framed pictures and small statues other God and Goddesses. Sonali worships regularly. Sudip is not a believer. He sometimes had arguments with Sonali about keeping so many pictures of Gods. "This room looks like a average villagers room. These pictures better be kept at the home place. Sometimes my friends come here, and the pictures are so embarrassing. Can we not keep some of them at the bed room?" "No, you can't. In bedroom, the pictures of Gods should not be there according to Bastu Shastra - the Indian home science. We have photos of ours in the dining cum living room".

The cigarette is burning slowly to ash. Sudip canot think steadily. He has gone through vary tough situations throughout his life. He has built up his own fortune from the day he started living with his uncle after his father's death. He later found that his mother could not care for him as she got married and settled very soon after his father's death. All the time of these disturbances, he never prayed to God. A hatred towards this unknown force drive his life in a determination to win out his adversities. He became atheist. The man who has married his mother didn't allow Sudip to live with them. Sudip went to a residential school at 6. Almost at the end of his studies in a college at Kolkata, he lost his mother as well. He was left alone, he remained alone. Even after all these evil happened to his life, Sudip steadily studied in his college to shine in his life. He was really a good student and very soon after he passed out with a Master of Computer Application from his university, he got a job. Again, he had shown to his uncle, aunt, cousin sister, all known relatives and everybody around that he is not lost. He can win without the God between him and his success, even if life gets measurable.

Sonali came in his life like a cool breeze. After his marriage with Sonali, he brought things started to get settled for the last seven years. Now they are happily married couple, trying to build the future of their daughter with good education and other learning facilities. But can Sudip keep everything smooth running if Sonali won't stay with her? He lit another cigarette. No, he cannot bear this. He loves his wife than anything else in this world. She has been the turning point of his damned life. Life has become a bit smooth sailing for him from the day Sonali joined hands with him. After Sunetra's entry life feels like heaven even after the regular tremendous workload, tension and frustration at workplace. And now he is standing at an uncertain corner of life where this golden dream built by them is going to get shattered into thousands of small pieces.

He understood that he is not going to sleep, no way. He slept his sleep for this night. He is not going to office tomorrow, for he is going to tell Sonali and her parents about the truth. The truth, that Dr. Anirban Ghosh has let him know in the evening. Her cancer test has been found positive. The pain in her stomach is no more an average illness. Immediate treatment in a very sophisticated institution with cancer cell only may help her. Sonali will have to undergo a hell lot of pain to fight out this uneven battle. Even her Gods cannot help her or are they the only help for her to win? Or will she loose and Sudip with Sunetra will be lost?

Ting! Another sound of the wall clock let Sudip know it is 3:30 AM. The highway is slowly waking up. Some vehicles have started moving. The sound of rain has been stopped totally. He heard a dog howling from far away. As if the dog is crying. Sudip felt a burning sensation in his eyes. Looking towards the pictures of the Gods and Goddesses, he started weeping unknowingly and started to murmur, "If you are there, please help her. I don't believe in you but she does. She worships you regularly. Please let her beliefs come true. Please listen to her prayers." Tears started rolling from his eyes.

10 comments:

G.Kannan June 7, 2009 at 4:40 PM  

Nice post indeed. The so-called athiest in Sudip looks to God for help in crisis. This is natural human tendency to look to God in crisis. And God alone can offer solace and miracles.

Vinay Rai June 7, 2009 at 10:09 PM  

I believe in divine power and feel blessed to have someone by my side always

Shankha June 9, 2009 at 7:39 AM  

Yes, GOD is a concept that keeps their beliver much happy than an atheist. To be and remain an atheist is very tough in life.

One of my perspective of the story is, if you really love someone, you can go to every extent for whom you love.

Thanks for the comments.

agnitrisha June 14, 2009 at 7:01 PM  

its a heart breaking story, very beautifully written.

Sashindoubutsu June 20, 2009 at 6:48 PM  

another wonderful story..

Quiet Waters Rise July 21, 2009 at 1:21 AM  

Wow Shankha, this post was very well written and really touched my heart and nearly left me in tears. I agree, when you love somebody, there is nothing that you won't do, especially in the face of possibly losing that person.
Wonderful post!

Subhasis August 21, 2009 at 3:03 PM  

Nice treatment with the emotions. Mny guys can find themselves in Sudip.Very touchy.If I would be a Film maker, then this script may give birth a good tele film.Anyways thanks for such a luvly story.

Subhasis August 21, 2009 at 3:29 PM  

I can rember the property of a Little Story(Choto Galpo) mentioned by Rabindranath Tagore : The sory that ends, but not ends ... It holds the reader full concentration and when its a climax, reader wants more ... that time it comes to an end ... GOOD IMPLEMENTATION ... thanks

Daniel August 22, 2009 at 5:36 PM  

please good day.i will like to thank you very much for you showing me how to write article with voice recognition software.i am not India but i will like to learn how to open and use this software from you and also other thing of interest.Thank you

Dipto February 1, 2010 at 11:05 AM  

narrated. the twist in the tail(or tale) was wonderful.

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