It's over between us. I do not need your unconditional love. Want some freedom of choice instead. I want to have the right to smoke some hash or go out with my friends. I don't want your love. It stifles me. I want to meet her too. Not because I love her any more than I love you. But because you forbade me to. We will just down a couple of drinks maybe. Or maybe walk up to her apartment. You hated her from college, didn't you?
And marriage? I am not marrying you. So what if you were by me when I had nothing to hold on to. I am not getting married at all.
Lemme keep it short and simple: don't try to get in touch with me.
I read the letter once again and tried to make out if it were too harsh. But when you sever ties, you have to use a knife. This was the only way I could say goodbye. And I wasn't even saying goodbye. After reading it a couple of times I decided to sit on it for a while and went out for a smoke.
I don't usually smoke, you see, it's only when I'm alone or don't have anything better to do. After smoking half of the Wills Flake cigarette (this is the cheapest and surprisingly the smoothest brand) I threw it into a bin. When I have a child, if I ever have one, I will teach her to be a responsible citizen, I thought. I was trying to push away questions posed at my own sense of responsibility. Did I do the right thing? Am I doing the right thing by calling it quits? But I want to. I don't want to be with a woman who'd forbid me to drink at a party, for god's sake.
I walked towards the lake. In Calcutta one would usually say, "I walked towards Lake." meaning the only lake in Ballygunge, with a capital L. I don't know, just assuming. At the corner of Menoka theater I looked up at Raja and Parna's apartment. Didn't they get married very young, I was thinking when I bumped into someone. The girl cursed and bent down to pick up her purse. It was Parna!
"Hey, I was just thinking about you guys! How strange!"
"Kunal!!" Parna shrieked, "what the fuck are you doing here? Come up, come up" she almost pulled me into the stairs leading to their apartment on the first floor. The stairs were dark but clean. "Edike ki? Haven't seen you in ages, man."
I was a little shy with Parna. When we all went to Digha in 2004, Parna walked into our bathroom with a camera and clicked Raja (her hubby now), Supriyo, and me in the nude. I was never comfortable being nude in front of girls, although that was perhaps the only time. Maybe we didn't make too much of it because she was more of a tomboy. Is that a non-pc term these days? What do they call tomboys now? Maybe she still has the picture!
Parna was her usual self like I knew her a couple of years back. How's Raja? He is settling down in his business. His parents have accepted their marriage. They are not planning to have a child in the near future...I was filled in with their details. And then it was her turn to ask.
"How's Ananya? Are you guys still together? I heard you got a job with The Telegraph? Congrats."
She didn't get an answer to her first question and guessed what might have happened. Although nothing had happened till then. Ananya probably didn't even know that I was gonna dump her any of these days. When I got up to leave, Parna gave me a long hug and asked me to take care.
For a change she didn't offer any advice. Maybe she has changed too, who knows.
I ran down the stairs and suddenly didn't remember where I was headed. Wanted to be with mom. Maybe I should speak to her tonight.
Dad and Mom were away that night. They went for Uncle Mukherjee's birthday party at the Taj. Have they ever thought of gifting a book instead of a bottle?
(may be continued, dunno really...this is a new attempt at ladlit at somebody's request)