Cyclone (The ride)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

There he is. Sitting on the end of the corridor waiting for her. He is dressed in his blue denim and white full sleeve T-shirt as he generally likes to wear on the off days, when they meet at the stipulated places, be it City Center, Salt Lake, or Mani Square Mall or the RDB Bulevard. He is also wearing a leather jacket for fighting the sharp sting of cold at this last week of January. He is different. He is the real man. Tall, smart, handsome and very witty. He is gorgeous. He is her's. That very feeling gives her a shudder somewhere inside her heart. Is he really hers? Will he be her's? Who knows.

He generally comes with Ronit. Ronit is a shy kind of a boy with brilliant big eyes behind his high power glasses.

She goes with Meghna. The girl, she thinks her best friend.

Meghna is not as good looking as she is. She is a bit fatter and shorter than her. Meghna was not her first choice though as she is much more intelligent and studious than she is. But, she didn't have other options. Meghna is dependable. At least about him. For, she knows, he loves her looks, not Meghna's.
So, where are we planning to move today? she enquired.
We are going to face the 'Cyclone'. he answered in short.
Ah! Cyclone, when where? In Kolkata? But this is winter. No chance of any wether hazard has been heard by her. She wondered, may be these guys know. She looked back at Meghna. She is chuckling. What so funny about a storm such as Cyclone, she thought.

Taxi! They entered into taxi and he told something to the cab driver. The cab started running.

'Give me some sunshine, give me some...', the new ring tone set by Swapnil reminded him about his immediate duty. No office today, he must meet Manisha. Things are not going good between themselves. Swapnil knows that he is not going to marry right now. At least not until his job gets settled at the new company he has joined. They have to wait till the things get settled. Manisha is a bit conservative girl and not a believer of pre-marital sex, not even in a less harmful manner, as it is common at any park at Kolkata. She has become furious after they have returned from Digha, the nearest beach resort. She is the one who fixed up this venue today. To decide the future of this relationship. What a place indeed. How will they discuss their future in such a crowded place? God knows and Manisha must be knowing, may be she is trying to draw an end to this. Swapnil left his sit, picked up the phone.

'Hi mom!'
'Yes dear. What's up?'
'Sir is not going to teach today. He has some other assignments in hand.'
'So, come back by the next bus'. Paroma insist.
'No mom. We have a plan for today.'
'Plan. What plan? Are you not coming back? I am cooking a special dish for you. You may bring Rishi and Mallika if you like.'
Paroma frowned. Will they come back right now? Even if it will take around thirty minutes to come back, what is she going to cook for them? Sima, her helping hand in daily works has just left. What she will do?
'No mom. We are not coming back. We are planning to have a little fun together and will come back before lunch.'
Well, the little girl has grown up. Paroma thought. She always used to come back in the name of good food from school. Paroma sighed.
'So, may I know where are you people going?'
'To face the Cyclone mom, and don't ask me anything else.'

Why on earth they have planned to go there? Nice place, nice rides, but Cyclone, what if. These words always come to her mind nowadays. Paroma felt that she is getting older. She has no office today, she has nothing important to do at this moment. She started going through the 'Femina' and continued thinking about the same 'what-if-buts', after all Tina is only fifteen.

Finally they are at 'Nicco Park', the biggest amusement park in the eastern India, a pride of Kolkata.

'So, now you know where the Cyclone is going to happen?' He asked timidly.
'No, not still now.' She answered. She has actually been frustrated. She could not imagine that they are heading towards Nicco Park as long as the cab not stopped. She has been here with her friends a couple of years ago. She hates the rides, specially the higher ones.

'It's the Cyclone ride. The roller-coaster ride in the park.' Meghna added.
'This is a wooden-roller coaster. With approximately 17 meters(55 feet) height and 750 meters (820 yards) long track, this is most probably the biggest wooden roller-coaster in Asia.' Ronit clarified.
'And that means I am not riding, you people enjoy your ride, leave me alone. I would go home.' Srija argued frustratingly.
'No way dear. You, on the other day, boasted that you know no fear.' Saunak replied. We all are in.

They headed for the ticket counter at the gate.

Tina and her friends reached for the toy train at first. This is a cool free ride that let the visitor have a glance of all the rides from outside. Today is pretty cool in the daytime. They all are using their scarf and caps on. Still the stinging wind passing by made them feel line pinching at their bones.

'So, this is the right place to talk you think? Swapnil asked as soon as they entered. This is a hell lot of crowded place, we could have gone to Nalban instead', he argued.
'Don't yell at me like that, or I shall get away right now.'
'OK, let's have coffee then. I am feeling pretty cold.'

Swapnil and Manisha took their seats at the food park.

A group of four young college students to the nearby seats. We all know them by now. They are Srija, Saunak, Ronit and Meghna. They are nearly end of their argument. They all want to give it a shot, even Srija.

'It will be great when he will be their beside her. I can grasp his strong hands and can depend upon him totally. After all, I am going to depend him for a very long time, in future.' she thought.
'So, you are my partner today.' Ronit asked meghna.
'No other choice.' Meghna giggled.

Tina, Rishi, Mallika and Srijib are now on the queue. They are going to ride the 'Merry Go Round'. That is Tina's favorite till her childhood. She suddenly started recalling those old days. Her father used to take her to different fairs just to let her ride the 'Merry Go Round'. She used to go round and round and round and used to look back to her parents time and again. Such a happy family they had. Tina felt that some teardrops are rolling down her chicks. Suddenly, se got conscious and wiped off before anyone could see.
'Why are feeling so bad? What went wrong?' Srijib asked.
'No, nothing.' Tina replied in short. Srijib is keeping a careful eye on her, she felt.

'So, are you not going to marry me?'
'This is the question you have asked a hundred times during the past few days. What's wrong with you? You know my job is new.'
'See, my parents are not going to wait for eternity. I am a school teacher. I cannot fool around with you all the time like this.'
'You are the one who have chosen such a public place full of school children around us. We could have arranged it somewhere else.'
'No. I want you to face the world say it loudly to me and the people around that we are going to get married. It is our fourth year and we cannot carry on celebrating our first meeting date each coming year. Rather I shall prefer to know the end of it. Yes or no. You can tell me frankly, I have saved some money for us, even I can arrange some loans on my behalf. Tell me if you are going to marry me or not. Right now. In front of everyone.'
'See, don't be silly. You know my condition. I am going to sale the flat dad owned. I shall have to pay off all the lenders, then only I can settle.'
'OK, you pay the lenders, I lend you money to marry. Let's not finish our love this way, of course, if it still exists.'
Yes it exists. After all these years. After the 'Digha' trip, the lonely room, the double bed and a not so wanted pre-marital sex, it still exists. Swapnil knows that, Manisha is her woman. The only lady he can depend upon in this heartless, hopeless, penniless situation. The only thing he needs is a bit of time. Suddenly Swapnil got a brain wave. He stood up finishing his coffee.
'What?' asked Manisha.
'Manisha, you want me to tell it to you if I love you or not and we are going to marry or not to all these people around? OK, I shall do that and for sure will shout it out. Please come with me.'
'Where? Are you planning to go out so early?' It must be a trick she thought. She must have hurt Swapnil. He has the prejudice of walking on his own. Till the day they met, she has noticed that and that is the best part she likes in Swapnil. He never takes help, specially monetary help from anyone. He has a real wide shoulder and a very brave heart to face his situations, specially after his father's death.

May be she is nagging too much, Manisha thought. Actually, she is getting frustrated about her situation. A fellow teacher of the junior-high school she teaches, is taking interest in her nowadays. Her parents are also trying to arrange something from their end. Her aunt is pressing hard to persuade her to leave Swapnil and opt for someone else she knows. It's a total hazardous condition. Though she is saying a firm 'no' each time, sometimes she also loosing faith on Swapnil. That 'Digha' trip shouldn't have happened, she thought. She is 28 now, when will she grow up.

After the queue for tickets they are now standing on the staircase which takes them to the landing platform of the 'Cyclone'. Meghna has ridden this once. She loved that ride. She sat on the fourth two seater coach of the eight coach coaster train. She enjoyed every bit of bit specially the first big fall that transfers the static energy to kinetic energy and lets the whole train move fast on the rails, without any power supply while it moves. She loved the view at the tallest spot, from where the whole area was clearly visible. The nearby lakes looked beautiful.

Ronit is not very confident about the ride. He never tried it before. He looked a bit helpless. Though it is his joint plan for the ride, the cold wind pinching on his face making him more nervous. He looked at Srija. She definitely be enjoying the ride. Specially with Sounak to help her, hold her and listen her. He could be there he thought. In his lone moments of weakness he has grown a very soft corner for Srija in his heart, and may be some envy for his dearest friend Sounak.

Rishi is not confident about the Cyclone either. His girl friend Mallika loves it, so he has to come, unless he would have avoided this queue to ride the high roller-coaster. He just don't like the height.
Srijib pat Tina on her shoulder. 'You will like this shot he said. I have rode this before. Nice view and the drops are excellent. And it takes only 2-3 minutes.'
'But I am feeling really cold.' Tina said. Can we not wait and try the other ride.
'It will be hot! You won't feel anything once you start to fall. And that's really fun,' Mallika explained.

Swapnil and Manisha just reached the landing station. There is a wooden fence, regulated by a gate keeper. Only sixteen people are allowed at a time.

There is huge noise on the tin shaded roof of the landing station. A train just entering the braking region. That will be their train.

*** Will come back with the second part very soon. ***


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