The Suitcases Made it Possible
The other day you, my dear reader, listened to an exciting story about my lawyer friend Rahim. You burst out laughing while listening. Today you’re going to listen to another exhilarating story about a dramatic incident that happened to my intimate friend Bimal, a professor of a Govt. college, a few days ago. His life took a new turn after that incident. Today you hear in the presence of the hero of the story, Bimal whom I have invited to my house to dinner and provide you this unique experience. So, Bimal, you assist me in narrating in detail what happened to you on that memorable day of your life! You told me the story several times in accurate detail and your presentation was so graphic that every word uttered by you is engraved in my memory. You know my phenomenal memory! I can recollect words verbatim. So, let’s start.
You told me that you had woken up early in the morning. You were to attend a seminar at Cuttack in Orissa and deliver an important lecture as a Plenary speaker. That lecture of yours, you have told me, included a power-point presentation. So, you took with you a pen-drive and then arranged your important papers and documents in your suitcase. You also took a book to remove the boredom in your train journey. Your suitcase also contained your clothing ironed properly and a small amount of food to be eaten during the journey.
After keeping things in order in the suitcase you asked Anima aunt, your mother, “Mother, I’m going to take a bath. Prepare my meal. I have no time to lose.” Our dear Anima Aunt replied from the kitchen, “I’m almost ready, my son. By the time you complete your bath, it’d be fully ready.” You, then, replied’ “Ok, mother”, and then entered the bathroom.
Your mother then served the dish containing rice, dal, and fried fish. As we all know, dear reader, that fish is considered to be very auspicious for us, Bengalis, for any journey.
Bimal, I can clearly remember that you then took blessings of our Aunt and then took the suitcase for heading towards the railway station at Howrah from where you had booked your ticket for Janshatabdi Express to Cuttack.
After leaving home you had to travel by bus for another 30 minutes to reach the railway station. You boarded a bus and was lucky enough to obtain a seat where a woman was sitting next to you. Interestingly, she also had a suitcase with her. She kept it in the narrow space in front of her. You also found the space to be enough for keeping your own suitcase. So, the two suitcases stood side by side, as if they were in a conspiracy to turn the courses of lives of their owners.
When the bus was about to arrive at the station, the bus became crowded. It was bursting with passengers. As you know very well, my dear reader, that most of the people would get off at the station. Bimal somehow managed to take the suitcase and left the station.
From the bus-stop to the railway station it was five minutes’ walk. So, Bimal, you were heading towards the station with the suitcase in your hand. Suddenly, something came into your view and disturbed you terribly. You noticed that a sticker with a phone number was attached to the suitcase.
I very clearly remember what you told me, Bimal. You said that you started wondering “When was it done? Whose number is this?”
Then you stood aside for a closer look. Then, tell us again how you felt at that time.
“I was surprised and shocked”.
Yes, Bimal, I remember that you tried to open the suitcase but couldn’t and said to yourself, “Oh my God! This suitcase is not mine”. The discovery, you thought, had burst your bubble and you were at a loss what to do next.
Now, dear reader, can you imagine what was going on in his psyche?
You later told me that you said to yourself, “How can I inform this to the organizers of the seminar? I have a very important role to play tomorrow.”
Can you guess, dear reader, what did he pray then?
Yes, exactly, he was praying to God, “Please, save me, my Lord”.
Bimal, it was quite natural that you were lost in disappointing thoughts. The thought that was prominent in your mind must be, “How can I get back my suitcase within fifteen minutes. I have only fifteen minutes in hand before the departure of the train.”
The only thing that you could do at that moment was to contact the person whose phone number was attached there. You dialed the number and waited for the response.
You said that, as was expected, a woman received the call saying, “hello”
Tell your excited listeners what was your reaction then?
“I was surprised to hear that sound “hello”. The voice is so well known and intimate to me. A burst of excitement gripped my agitated heart.”
Then the woman asked you, “Who are you talking?”
“Yes, and there was not an iota of doubt in my heart. My heart-bit became still more rapid. I could only say, “Mohua?” In an enthusiastic voice, she asked, “Aren’t you Bimal?””
You then confirmed that Mohua was absolutely right in identifying the man who was the centre of her existence, round whom all her thoughts revolved. His presence made him forget the passage of time and their love occupied the pivotal centre of their lives that controlled all other thoughts. Bimal, do you remember that you confided everything to me? Today, only with your permission, can I relate all these things to my reader.
Her father was determined to marry her off elsewhere despite your utmost struggle to win her. He took her abroad and all contacts stopped there. You were then an unemployed person as against her wealthy and politically powerful father, and you could do nothing else then. You only took a vow not to marry any other woman. Then you got this job. I remember Anima aunt tried her best to persuade you to marry a woman of her choice. Then she gave up hope of marrying you off. Things were going on in this way, but that day restored your former happiness and romantic craving.
Tell us, Bimal, what happened then?
“Mohua immediately threw a volley of questions at me “How did you get my contact number? Where were you these years? Where are you now? Do you know, Bimal, my father’s attempt failed and it is beyond my imagination to enter into a marital bond with any other person? I came back from the U.S. A. only last week and bought a house in Kolkata. I am desperately in search of you. God reunited us, Bimal, God united us! Mohua was speaking so fast in excitement. She didn’t give me any chance to reply. I couldn’t utter anything, at first. Only tears of joy trickled down my hot cheeks.
After a few minutes, I regained my power to talk distinctly and intimated her the details of what happened. I also informed her that I was still a bachelor.”
You then came to know, after enquiry that the suitcase belonged to Mohua. She left some documents with her sister, Shipra, three days ago. Shipra was coming to Mohua’s newly occupied house adjacent to Howrah railway station to return those papers. What then Bimal?
“Half an hour elapsed through our conversation on the phone, and we were again became unconscious of what was happening around. Our joys and passion knew no bounds.
Dear reader, you are definitely eager to know the last words of Mohua on the phone. Now learn from the hero of the story what Mohua said.
“I’m coming, Bimal, to bring you and the suitcase home. You just inform the organizers of the seminar that you are sorry for not attending the seminar. The next week we are marrying.”