The Four Windows

by Amardeep Chowdhury
Preface
What virtually appears to our eyes doesn’t essentially subscribe the reality. What subscribes in reality may not virtually appear to our eyes.

The world is a huge theater stage with unbounded characters. Each character is performing the role in the play ordained by the unseen. Each life narrates a story of its own. Each story is unique in itself. Each story depicts of an epoch. Like an intelligent pursuer the unseen mighty keeps changing the equation for us. He closes one door and then he opens many others. The choice he leaves upon our prudence and judgment. Perhaps it is a way to teach us a lesson. Do we really learn anything or just pretend learning.

In our day to day life we commonly make our moves in absolute assumption. We decide based upon our wits, wisdom and acuity. Sometime our course of action falls into place and sometimes it falls out of line. At times when we pass through trouble free situation and things goes mostly to our whims and fancies and we call it as good time. On the other hand when we stumble into situation when nothing goes our way and trouble continues unendingly we term it as bad times. The portrayal at times looks similar to one another and sometime distinct to each other. Situation of life at times fills with contentment and sometimes turns into desolation. But then this is how the sequence of life rolls.

Perhaps one of the greatest virtues of human being is that each one of us who are affected by such impediments of life eventually gets used to of it and able to handle the situation like never before.



Sincerely
Amardeep Chowdhury






Declamation:-

The impending story is a creation of imagination and has no relevance to any factual or real life instance. Any resemblance to the same with fact related to any person, dead or alive is purely coincidental.
All views expressed in the story are author’s personal. Names of individuals and places used in the story are fictitious.
The author does not intend to hurt anyone’s feelings and emotion or disrepute anyone’s sentiment. Nor wish to humiliate in any manner any person or any class or section of the society. The author neither wishes to incite any communal prejudice or ill feeling towards other community.
This is only a point of view which the author wishes to share with everyone.

The Four Windows
Srikaant finally got his cozy corner, rent was reasonable and saved his pockets and in a location almost in the heart of the town, a residential area though and a room top of the building from where he could look around to have a picturesque spectacle. He thought he could roam around with his cigarette in his hand and could have a view of all the four directions.
Earlier in the morning his aged landlord Mr. Boikunthadev Dastidaar made few things essentially clear to him.
“You are a bachelor. I’m not very keen and comfortable keeping young bachelor as tenants. However since Bhowmikbabu has assured me that you are a decent fellow and that you would be here for just eight months or so I have accepted his request to accommodate you.”
“Thank you. You’ll have no trouble keeping me, I assure you.”
“No…no. Every tenant begins with the same dialogue of yours. You think I’ve grayed my hairs just like that under the sun? My friend I’ve the reputation in the locality to be very firm and level headed landlord.”
“Yeah, I’ve been forewarned.”
“No Bhaya, you aren’t. Now listen to my conditions carefully. If you fail even in one, you’ll be thrown out with your bag and baggage immediately.”
“Yes yes Boikunthada.”
“No dada. You address me as either Dadu or Jethu or Mesha. Do I look like your elder brother?”
“Sorry dada….I mean Dadu…Jethu…Mesha whatever you ask me to address you as.”
“That you decide. Now let me tell you my conditions...”
“Yes, yes.”
“Don’t interrupt me while I’m talking.”
“Okay….No I mean I’ve pressed my lips.”
“Hmm! My first condition, you’ll have your food outside and not attempt to cook anything in the room on electric heater. Morning if you want a cup of tea I can provide but you’ll have to pay 60 rupees extra along with the rent. My second condition, you will not spend too much time in the toilet. My other tenants also need to clear out their stomach in the morning. My third condition, you’ll get at the most two buckets full of water for your bath and washing your inner garments if you wear. Your other cloths please send them to the laundry. My fourth condition, you must be back by 9:30 pm otherwise you’ll need to spend the night in the street or wherever. I can’t wait with the keys in my hands beyond 9:30. My fifth condition, you have to advance me three months rent and pay your room rent on the first of every month. My sixth condition, you’ll prick no nail on the walls. Provision for hanging your mosquito net and clothing is already provided in the room. My seventh condition, no girl friend is allowed in the room. My eight condition, no room sharing with any friend of yours even for a night. My ninth condition, don’t try to impress or influence my wife to favour you with your sweet tongued words. My tenth condition, when my granddaughter comes on her vacation don’t you dare try introducing yourself to her. Am I clear?”
“Yes, I understood.”
‘Pore bolbena, tumi jaante na.”
After the old man left Srikaant took a long breath of relief.
“Fuff! What a character?”
The room was quite cozy and airy. It had four windows in the four corners of the room. He opened them one by one. There was four other building blocks in front of his four windows which were all one storied taller than the building he was staying in. The roof top will be debarred of sunlight, he thought. The four building looked alike and appeared to have been constructed by the same builder or belongs to the same owner. Each window faced a balcony of the four buildings. He only prayed that he doesn’t need to see similar characters like that of his landlord hovering out from these balconies. Perhaps god listened to his plea.
Deboshree on his east window came out to put her soaked cloths. She looked at the opened window in front of her balcony ignorantly and went back inside. She was little dark yet good looking and married, maybe few years back.
Rajeshree came out to water her flower pot on the north window. She was almost the same age of Deboshree but had no sign on her bare forehead to validate whether she was unmarried, divorcee or a widow. She was fair looking, thin but wore a plain light colored saree.
Mamta sat on a chair on the balcony facing the window on the west combing her hairs. She had long hairs. On her thirties but she looked younger than her age. She was married.
After a long hiatus, Pallavi stood out in the balcony on the south. She was quite fair, having appropriate physique, good looking as well. Similar to Rajeshree, it wasn’t clear whether she was unmarried, divorcee or a widow.
Srikaant was comforted by the sight. He thought, at least he will have some sort of solace in this unknown town. End of the day, after a tiring day of marketing survey demanded by his company, meeting old clients, trying to make new clients, sometimes would be able to convince and sometimes failing to influence, he will have at least four windows of his room to give him the glimpse of four fairly looking ladies to recline his day’s tiredness. Men are after all men.
That evening Srikaant went out for some shopping and dinner. The old bolshie Rambo had timed to lock the gate at 9:30 pm and he should get back on time or spend the night with the stray dogs and beggars on the street. As he walked past the lane he saw a small hotel with a signboard “Meal @ Rs.25/-“.
“Not bad to start with”, he thought and stepped in.
“What will you have? Rice, Chapatti, Paratha.”
“No, I just came to enquire till what time you keep your hotel open.”
“Till 10 pm last. Causing you any problem?”
“No. Will I get food by 9-9:30 pm?”
“If you want warmer food, be here between 8:30 to 9 pm. Thereafter you’ll be served cold and colder.”
“That’s fine. I’ll be here at 9 sharp.”
“….As you feel suitable. Are you new to this town?”
“Yes, I’m”
“Where are you staying?”
“I’m Boikunthababu’s new tenant.”
“Good, get back home by 9:30 sharp or else you will stay on the street.”
“What a reputation Boikunthababu is having in the market.”
“Yeah, he has.”
“What do I call you; I mean what is your name?”
“People call me Gaurango. What is yours?”
“I’m Srikaant, Srikaant Chatterjee. Can I call you as Gaurangoda”
“Very well, that’s what everyone calls me by. What do you do?”
“I work as a Marketing Executive for a Kolkata based company.
“And what do you market…I mean what is your product.”
“Ours is a computer software company. We sell …..”
“Thaak thaak baba, this is going to go over my head. Calculator is good enough for me.”

After an evening stroll in the market place Srikaant had his dinner at Gaurango’s hotel. It was quite reasonable, quite homely and clean. After dinner he returned to his new home. As he opened the gate he saw Boikunthababu sitting in the verandah with large key ring with a number of keys in it.
“Goodevening Dadu.”
“Hmm! Good evening.”
The conversation went no further. Srikaant quietly climbed the staircase. The four windows of his room were still open. He switched on the light and saw horde of mosquitoes hovering all around in the room.
“Bloody hell, what crap did I do? I should have closed the windows before I left.”
There wasn’t any mosquito repellent available. So he decided to burn a piece of rag or something to drive out the flying vampires. He started looking around in the room but nothing was available. He went out of the room in the open roof but nothing was suitably available.
“Take this repellant. You left the windows open and the door closed,” came about a caring soft voice of the landlady.
“Thank you Dida. I made a silly thing.”
“It’s okay. You’ll be careful henceforth.”
“Yes, I know.”
“What time you need your tea?”
“Don’t take trouble. I’ll have it outside.”
“It’s not a trouble. Had it been Siddharth, won’t I have made a cup of tea for him?”
“Umm! Who is Siddharth Dida.”
“My son.”
“Okay, he is probably working elsewhere, is it?”
“Yes, he is far away; quite far from my reach. He is one in the twinkling stars…perhaps always stares me from the sky. But I don’t recognize him. How do I? He is amidst so many stars...They all look alike.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it. I shouldn’t have asked you.”
“Don’t feel sorry. I always come to the roof before I go to sleep. I look up at the sky…try to find him. And when my tiring eyes surrenders I go back to sleep.”
“Come, I’ll get you down.”
“No I’m fine. I can go myself.”
The old lady slowly climbed down the stairs to disappear into her room.

Next evening while having his dinner Srikaant asked Gaurangoda.
“Gaurangoda, what happened to Siddharth?”
“Who, Boikunthababu’s son?”
“Yes.”
“The family has gone through a very tough time. Soon after delivery of a daughter Siddhartha’s wife passed away. The family had just recovered from the shock, Siddharth also… Police says it was an accident. People say it was a murder.”
“What does it mean?”
“Siddharth was a civil engineer. He was young, energetic and like any young man wanted to do something for his country, for his society. He was looking after a road construction. The lobby of contractors had everyone on their side. The Collector, the local MLA, the Police Commissioner, everyone knows of the ongoing corruption and parsimony. Rather they are the ones who stand behind the scene and run the theater. Many an occasion they indifferently persuaded Siddharth to either join the clan or stay aside. But Siddharth wouldn’t listen. The nastiness of the system couldn’t taint him so instead they stained him by his own blood. One day while returning from the work site he met with an accident and got killed on the spot. The vehicle which hit him and run could never be traced or recovered ever. The case was framed very conclusively with no proof, no witness and postmortem report only suggested the wretched vehicle seemed to have hit him from behind and the fore wheel and the rear wheels had run beyond doubt over his body from toe to head flattening his face beyond recognition. Who could have escaped death in such an accident? But neither the postmortem report mentioned nor police investigation report suggested anything about the four pieces of rope found tied to his hands and legs. We can only imagine how he must have been thrown down on the road with his face may be facing the ground. Or who knows, maybe he was made to see his death approaching to make it more painful and heinous. His slayer must have secured him by tying his hands and limbs on the ground before they run the lorry over him. The nexus between the system and racketeering no one can fight them.”
That evening when Srikaant saw the old lady sky gazing, he went and stood near her.
“You had your dinner Didu?”
“Yes I did. What about you?
“Yeah, I had but somehow didn’t like it much.”
“Why? Gaurango I heard serves very homely and good food.”
“No, when I went out from here I got the smell of Begunbhaja being prepared in your kitchen. The smell of the hotel food can’t match that.”
“Aha! So that is the problem.”
“Yeah, that was the beginning of the problems. There are many more but?
“And what are those?”
“Well, now you’ll say, once in a while you would give me begunbhaja to eat. That will start another problem. I’ll then not like the hotel food at all. The next problem, you would say to have food with you. That will create another problem…”
“What your Dadu?”
“No, that problem will be handled by you. The problem is that you will probably not take money from me. And I will feel I’m being strangely distanced. Naturally, it will make me feel I’m not likely your own.”
“Why should you feel that way? If I don’t charge anything it will only mean that you are like own.”
“That is the main problem. You will treat me just like your own but that won’t make me your own. When Siddaarth was working probably you use to snatch his whole salary from his hands and would say, ‘Why do you need the money when you are getting everything at home.’ But with me you’ll treat indifferently. Won’t I feel distanced and feel just being treated like a guest?”
Next day onwards Srikaant was a full fleshed paying guest and more importantly despite of having warned to keep distance with the landlady now Boikunthababu was needing to share the same dining table to eat with him.
“I warned you to keep distance from my wife but you have influenced her for your fooding.”
“Dadu, I’m a marketing person. Impressing and influencing people are my job, my forte.”
“ Theek achhe theek achhe, But this will not bring about any concession to the room rent. Is that clear?”
“It is an agreement between me and you.”
“You’ve already broken one condition of that agreement.”
“Na go na…Ota aamar tarafa. That’s a special offer from my side.” The old lady defended.
“Don’t forget my other conditions. As far as charges for your food is concern, your Didu will decide.”
“Yes Dadu.”
“This woman will never spruce up. You’ll suffer, mind my words. Don’t come to me then with a grumble.”
“Achha tumi chup korbe. Let the boy eat.”
So it was a new beginning for the old lady. Srikaant would talk to her long hours. He would amuse her. He would sing songs to her. Within a very few days the milieu of the house changed. The old lady would laugh, talk and remain happy. The old man who was yet unwilling to relinquish his suspicious notion however at heart begun to like Srikaant but never let revealed.
After elapse of not many days Srikaant had to go to Kolkata with some official work for few days. His absence in the house was now being felt by the old couple. The old man seemed more emotionally troubled. He would go to the roof and check if his room and belongings were alright but never wanted his feelings get divulged.
On one such occasion when he was in his room, the old lady who had gone to collect her cloths caught him.
“Aye chheleti, jekhane shekhane cigarette kheye felbe. Idiot has spoiled my roof with his cigarette butts.”
The lady smiled back.
“Why are you smiling? What is there to smile?” He demanded.
“Nothing. I just felt like smiling.”
“Let this boy come back. I’ll tell him this is not done. Aye sob aamar barite cholbe na.”
“Really! Why don’t you call him up now and tell him that?”
“Yes yes. I’ll.” He went down the stairs exhibiting his seriousness.
“Khaali faanki.”
“Maago…” the old man groaned in pain downstairs.
He slipped the stairs and toppled onto the ground. Neighbors rushed into the house and he was taken to the hospital. He suffered multiple fractures and was admitted.
Srikaant rushed back as soon as he was informed. For a week the old man was in the hospital and was released thereafter with strict advice to be in complete bed rest. Srikaant would do whatever or more than what a son does. Right from taking him to the washroom, brushing his teeth in the morning, giving him a sponge bath in the afternoon, feeding him and talking to him as a companion.
“Ki holo, Chheletike bolchho na je?” the old lady mocked.
“Ki bolaar kotha bolchho? I have nothing to tell him.”
The lady then revealed the entire episode to Srikaant. The old man was quite embarrassed and tried to uphold his ego. But finally he had to accept his defeat and surrendered.
“I wish I could have a bridegroom like you for my granddaughter.” The old man mocked.
“Come on Dadu. You are dissuading from your own conditions of your agreement.”

Srikaant opened the four windows of his room.
“…Deboshree is quite a busy lady. She gets up early in the morning and finishes her connubial jobs. By 6 in the morning her first batch of students arrives. Till 9 she completes tutoring three batches. Side by side she would prepare breakfast and lunch for the family. Her husband, Jayanta has nowhere to go so he habitually gets up late. However, her mother-in-law tries to lend her a helping hand. She has no child as yet and perhaps she has no intentions too anymore. Hardly she talks to anyone but carries out her connubial responsibilities dutifully. By 9:30 she will go out to her work.
Rajeshree has two children, a son and a daughter. She is a widow and has left her in-laws abode and presently staying with her parents. Her younger brother and his wife stay together. None seems to get along with each other. It appears each one in the family knows far too much about the world than what they ought to have known and seems at heart feels that the other members knew a little lesser. And often one could hear heated debate among the family members.
Mamta is always busy with her daughter and son. Her daughter has completed her graduation and is into a good job. Her son is good at studies but is suffering from thallassemia. She is always worry stricken for him. She is not in any talking terms with her husband for over a year now. They stay together but are becoming stranger to each other day in, day out.
Pallavi has lately lost her husband. He succumbed to bone cancer. She survived with a son and is staying alone. Her husband worked in a reputed company and held a high statute; a statute where she was never required to do a thing. She was habituated of leading a life of luxury with companies provided apartment, car and domestic help.
Three years from hence these four ladies had a different life to lead. Three years later they are leading a life they probably never thought of.
Deboshree belonged to a very poor family. Her father died prematurely. Not that they were much well-off till her father was alive but the presence of the man in the family matters a lot. Her father was not only, the source of earning for the family but was padding to various connubial impediments. Not that all their needs the man could meet with but he always tried to keep his family contented. He was their source of guidance. He was their savior. He gave them the feel of safekeeping. He was their assurance of the forthcoming prosperity and self-sufficiency. Soon after his demise Deboshree knew, now she had to borne the responsibility of her deceased father. Her mother was academically ignorant. She had never stepped out of the four walls to know the world of earning. Her brother was too young even to realize the loss of losing a father. Therefore, she decided to step out her feet across the bar of the door.
She joined a printing press. Side beside, she took up tuitions and also associated herself to a Welfare society as an art teacher. She would slog herself day and night to earn for her family. Her priority was her brother’s schooling and her family’s survival.
She was going ahead of her age. While girls of her age group would usually like to pick up a boy friend, or would like to freak around with friends or love spending on cosmetics and buying dresses, she was buying every second of her time in earning and saving every single penny which she could that would help her family.
In the process she earned a good name, a good reputation and a deserving respect.
Rajeshree met Santanu in a wedding. Her father was in a government service. She is the eldest and has a younger brother. In the family her mother is the deciding authority. Her father has no say. It wouldn’t be prudent to say that her mother is nefarious or a mean person or maybe yes, nevertheless she is stubborn and despotic. They stayed in a joint family but presumably for her mother’s attitude the other members of the family opted to live secluded under the same roof.
Rajeshree and Santanu had an eloped marriage though later both the families accepted their matrimony and gracefully organized a ceremonial celebration of unification. Problem started thereafter.
Santanu were three brothers with a married elder sister. Santanu’s mother is a widow. Santanu’s father was a well acclaimed businessman and a contractor. The situation of the family was affluent and had plenteous of friends and well-wishers. The family never realized that in event of an eclipse even the sun hides behind. Santanu’s father died of a fatal cardiac arrest. The children were yet kids to handle a mammoth situation and the lady was still a child to the vindictive world. Relations and friends stood by till the death ceremonial but soon after the event they forgot the path which once a time led through the house. Soon scavengers picked up their piece of meal from the unsettled and ambivalent family. People took as much as advantage of the dead man’s origami and their acquaintance with him. The original firm got blacklisted and the family faced bankruptcy soon.
The lady was immature but along with it she was simple and religious too. To her every move of her life and livelihood has to be the dictum of her Guru Thakur. She would associate her Guru Thakur anywhere and everywhere. But the young broods specially the ones intruded into the family from other had different outlooks.
Santanu was not even into a job when he got married. He wasn’t matured enough to realize the correlation between marriage and occupation. Soon the infatuations begin to die between Rajeshree and Santanu. There were quarrels and sleepless nights. The ambiguity between expectations and expediency distended. Fortunately Santanu got a job before it could deteriorate the situation much further and the relation up for a split cling together again.
Mamta on the other hand was a qualified veterinarian. While pursuing her studies she met Bidyajuti. Bidyajuti’s father was lecturer in her college and she use to attend tutorial aids from him at his residence. Mere acquaintance turned into friendship and friendship into a crush. The commonness between them was diametrically opposed. Both belonged to different community, language, customary, tradition and culture. As it is said love is blind and sees no binding and boundaries, both went desperate to marry each other.
Bidyajuti’s father however was fond of her as she was one of his best students. Although there was slight resistance from both the families initially yet the sentiment of the lovers was uphold and their wedding was consented. This could have been the best concluded love story if destiny wouldn’t have planned otherwise.
Twelve years of marriage with two children and undisputable relationship and understanding, who could have imagined this? Such a companionate relation could utterly deflect. But it did.
Pallavi hails from a well-to-do family. She had fallen in love with Swarup since her school days. As she is the only daughter she had always been a pampered child of her parents. She always had got what she wanted. And she adapted to a nature of disliking hearing anything in no. She married to her own penchant. But then Swarup was also an abiding husband. Both of them had been extravagant and fun loving people. They believed in living in today. For them predicting future was losing out the happiness of today. She has a son. He looks so much like his father.
When they would throw a party or they had to go to a party, Pallavi would be very concerned about her dresses. She would select out four-five dresses from her wardrobe and rehearse in different dresses in front of the mirror. Then she would choose the best one and send for ironing. She was so particular and stylish. She always dressed elegantly.
Pallavi was always a dominating wife and Swarup was indeed a very submissive husband too. So that Pallavi was not disturbed in her sleep he would often sleep in the guest room when he came home late. They didn’t realize that Swarup was suffering from leucopenia for quite a long time. Although they knew he was susceptible to hypertension owing to his hereditary but who would have thought he would finally die of osteogenic sarcoma.
The day Deboshree established her brother she was the happiest person. She knew she had overcome her biggest task. Not only the family had now a man earning but that she could alleviate some time for herself, she could enliven her femininity. She could catch few moment of her waning away girlishness.
One of her distantly related maternal uncle brought the proposal of Jayanta. They were explicated about Jayanta’s families demure, the affluence Jayanta’s family savor, their dwelling of three storied and Jayanta’s business and business prospect. There was nothing wrong or suspicious or a demerit to disqualify the proposal. So she agreed to the marriage. The marriage also went blissfully.
For one month everything looked very normal. Jayanta would like to spend more and more time with Deboshree. Willingness of being together by a newly married couple is obvious. What was wrong in it? A newly marriage demands such an obvious beginning.
Weeks passed, fortnight passed, month passed. Six months and Jayanta wouldn’t go out to earn. And finally one day, the landlord sends a court’s eviction notice revealing everything once and for all. Jayanta was jobless. He had no business or any business prospect which he had talked about before marriage. The whole house was given to them for care taking when the house owner had gone to Mumbai on a three year’s tenure. Jayanta’s family had been their tenant. There had been a valid agreement that Jayanta and his family would leave the house no sooner his landlord returned from Mumbai. More than the agreement it was the bonding of trust. Jayanta and his family declined from both. Someone advised them if a tenant lives in a house for more than two years, the owner can’t evict them. But they lost in the court. They were evicted in one day from the house. Ever since then they are staying here.
Deboshree was devastated. She questioned her husband why he deceived her and lied about the whole shebang in the family. He refuted back saying, ‘Did you ever ask me anything for me to say anything to you? You and I got married simply because our elders arranged it for us. Neither I ask or verified anything about you nor did you. Now where comes the question of deceiving? If you were elated by the sight of the big building I was living in or over the moon by hearing my occupational gossipmonger what am I to say. I married you because I thought you could be married.’
Deboshree immediately called up her distantly related maternal uncle and asked him why he lied to her mother and her about Jayanta. Her uncle also expressed his admission of guilt for misconstruing the matchmaking. ‘Yeah, I admit I should have investigated in detail but I couldn’t smell of nothing. I only wonder how it went wrong. Now since you have married him you must stand to his miseries as well the way you would have enjoyed the happiness if everything had gone well, the way it was expected. It is nothing but your destiny. Some people are born with such destiny but do they not survive in the world? They do.’
Poor Deboshree was perjured and deceived. The cogitation and privation of her whole youth went defeated and unrewarded. She didn’t know whom to blame or what to do. She can’t undo her marriage nor could she renounce her marriage. She found her back from where she started off. Or maybe she was in worst situation than she was ever. She thought she lost her biggest or may be her only precious asset which could have cajoled a better life for her, her virginity which she had also lost with the marriage.
She is living but no more like a human being. She has become a living corpse, an emotionless piece of equipment. Under the enduring circumstances if her feet slither otherwise, she can’t be questioned for a demeanor that may look clandestine in the society.
Rajeshree’s connubial life on the other hand was gradually taking a ruinous turn. Santanu though professionally excelled but his family front gradually went unpleasant. Disagreement between both husband and wife grew grievously. The breach between them deepened more with the interference of her mother. Biased support of her mother to Rajeshree’s amiss and awry obstinacy misled her to the extent that she started to abuse and humiliate her in-laws for no rhyme or reason. She was however only a little solicitous or rather scared of Santanu’s brother-in-law who had a say in the family and she knew it very well.
Conceivably she was prompted to keep this one person in the family on her side. Perhaps she was made to realize this was the lone person in the family who could make or spoil everything. And maybe she thought she could mislead him against her in-laws by being good to him. She would tattle him about all the ills the whole family thought and talked about him. But gradually he understood the game she was instigated to play. Instead he counseled her and warned her that she was losing her ground by her misdemeanors.
Regular conjugal quarrels and vanishing feel of love and dying lust that coerce a married couple, Santanu begun to seek his needs away from home. He was soon in an extracurricular affair. The whole family comes to know about it. On principle none in his family favored him but at heart they all knew for the reason.
Rajeshree was shaken by the revelation. She knew not what to do and how to react. She begged all in her in-laws to forgive her bad behavior and rescue her from the plight. The family reunited against the pandemonium. Each one did what they could to deter Santanu from enduring his illicit affair. Things were normalizing pretty well. But when the white horse lives within the rock even the mightiest of weir needs no time to break.
In one of the visits, Rajeshree’s mother taunted Santanu and his mother, ‘If upbringing of broods is not right they habitually opts immoral trail when they grow up.’ There was fierce argument and argument led to misperceive decency from indecency. The squabble broke the walls of munificence and threshold of decorousness. Soon Rajeshree and Santanu started blaming each other’s mother. No daughter or son would tolerate their parents be reprimanded or rebuked. In the quibble the crater resurrected and in this occasion it recreated itself never to replenish the previous relation again. Santanu invigorated his extramarital relation again.
Santanu had gone to meet his paramour once. As he was crossing the road a rashly driven vehicle hit him. He was rushed to the hospital. He fought his battle for life for three days and succumbed to his injuries. Rajeshree had become a widow. But she was given another opportunity to resurrect. Santanu’s family gave her a whole hearted espouses. For few days she behaved herself genially too. Soon after she received the ransom of various insurance policies Santanu had, she incarnated back to her individuality.
Mamta made her life to revolve only around her children now. Bidyajuti is a government servant and was in a reputable position till recently he was clipped off his authority for his extramarital conducts which was demeaning his position. He had illicit relation with his co-worker who was a Muslim and a divorcee. Among Hindus bigamy is illegal and Mamta has decided not to accord a divorce to her husband. Therefore the couple leads a life like two lines drawn parallel on the same plan which would never meet.
They happened to be very loving and understanding couples. Despite of dissimilar community, custom, language, food habits and perspective yet they came together well. Mamta did everything to adjust herself into her in-laws approach. Even Bidyajuti for that matter initially always stood by Mamta. So that she wouldn’t feel pariah or secluded he would always advocate and ensure Mamta was involved in a family talk whether it was a meager or colossal issue. Mamta’s suggestions always hold gravity and the family admired her judgment, foresight and wisdom too. There was nothing wrong till Bidyajuti was transferred to other town and Mamta had to stay back for her children’s education for 9 months.
9 months, they thought was too petite a period that the duo could manage without each other. But these 9 months conceived the rudiment of putrescent in their nuptial relation forever. Naazima was divorced just a year back. The anguish of shattered matrimonial was still very raw in her heart and the battle against the predicament aftermath of the divorce was still on.
Bidyajuti was new and was trying to settle down in his new office. Naazima was working in that department for quite sometimes now. She knew in and out of all documents and records placed in that office and Bidyajuti being her senior she had to help him out. Occasionally they sat in the office till late and curtsey demanded that Bidyajuti gave her a lift to her home. Gradually Bidyajuti become au fait with her predicament and he grew a soft corner for her. Bidyajuti’s caring and helping approach towards Naazima impressed her too and in the miasma of solitariness and desire to conviviality both went close and maybe too close to each other. In labyrinth of new relation the old bonding became vulnerable and of no great shakes.
Mamta’s children still hope that their parent’s would unite someday. Not that they don’t know the irrevocable situation of their parent’s relation but they still have a hope. They know it very well that they are the only string that has kept the fragility of their parents yet intact and tied together. They are on their mother’s side but haven’t abandoned their father as well.
Bidyajuti visits his paramour regularly. She has a grownup son from her previous husband too. She knows that even her own son is not in favor of this illicit relation but it’s too late and too little she feels doable to relinquish her relation with Bidyajuti. Both the ladies probably have left it to the destiny to decide their fate.
Pallavi could have stayed with her in-laws if she had wished to. They are equally affluent and have a name. But Pallavi seems to want an independent life to lead debarred from relational obligations and restrictions she would confront from her in-laws if stayed together. She could have stayed with her own parents too. That could have been easier. Or perhaps she feels by the merit of her deceased husband’s stature she has uplifted her stature too and she can’t afford to climb down.
A habit what a person adapts to in his or her childhood endures throughout one’s lifetime as a nature and it can’t be changed. To adjust with the contemporaneous quandaries people only add on to adapt newer habits in the name of adjustment and coup up.
After her husband’s demise the company on sympathetic ground also offered her a job despite of her meager qualification but she couldn’t manage it. Her finance requirement is till this time being supported by the insurance settlements, the settlement of her husband’s dues and some saving which they had made at a point of time. What they would do after it gets exhausted is worth realizing now. The hangover of her precedent livelihood is yet to get subsided and she is battling to get over.
Pallavi has lately begun investing into shares, a subject which she isn’t much confident nor comprehend too well. May Almighty save her! She is now believably considering selling of her land properties as well. Probably she is constricting her legacies to bring it to a controllable and doable clasp. She has become very reclusive latterly. Perhaps she doesn’t much trust anyone whom she had known earlier. Or perhaps she has in one fell swoop become palpably matured by the colossal clout of her misfortune. Alike the other three ladies probably she is also gambling with the destiny. These are the four annals perhaps you won’t see through these windows but you need to know. ”

“But why are you telling me all these Didu? I never wanted to know about.”
“…Because I know why you have opened these four windows of your room.”
“But I always open these Didu.”
“The very first day when you stepped into this room you did it unintentionally. And this is what you do persistently thereafter. You are doing it ever since you saw the four women. If I were wrong you would have interrupted me the moment I started their chronicles.” She smiled and climbed down the stairs to disappear into her room.
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