Sunday, July 13, 2008

Match making (part II)

On the fateful day, I once again put up valiant resistance but was overpowered by Swapan & Sanjay who literally dragged me along with them. While entering the house we followed the same formation (nobody wants to change the wining formation!). Sanjay rang the bell and it was answered by an even bigger giant with a broad smile from one ear to other. “I am Bhavani Banerjee. Do come in please” he said and ushered us in. He was joined by his brother Chandi who was also beaming from ear to ear. Before entering the living room we just briefly surveyed the same. On the left there was a window, by the side of which was a huge Bengali style divan. On the right there was a big sofa by the side of the wall. The living room being not too spacious, these two pieces of furniture had created a choking point like “Strait of Hormuz” near the entrance. If you had crossed that choking point, the rest of the room was sparsely but tastefully decorated. On the opposite side of the window there was a curtained door leading to the dwelling portion of the house. A few chairs were kept in between for additional seating.

Before we took our seat, Chandi introduced us to his elder brother. To keep the escape root clear Sanjay took the divan and Swapan sat on the sofa. Considering me as a nonentity both the brothers immediately decided to personally entertain the more important guests. So Bhavani sat with Sanjay and Chandi took care of Swapan.With no other option left, I crossed the “Strait of Hormuz” and occupied one of the chairs, avoiding the one conspicuously decorated with a cushion.

After pleasantries were exchanged, there was a silence, may be due to dried throats of my partners or lack of topics. Anyway, Swapan cleared his throat and mentioned, “End of this month, there will be a big function in our locality on Rabindrasangeet (Tagore’s songs). Are you too coming?” just to start the conversation.
“We are exponents of classical music and do not consider Rabindrasangeet as having any class.”, said Bhavani with finality.
The remark probably offended Sanjay who, I later understood, had some soft corner, like normal Bengalis, for Rabindrasangeet.
“I don’t think your remark is very fair” protested Sanjay mildly.
Swapan was suddenly buoyed by his team spirit and thought it was his solemn duty to help Sanjay.
“Rabindrasangeet, after all, are lyric based and some of them could easily be termed as semi-classical” commented Swapan, like an expert.
His intention, I guessed, was not to pick up a fight but might be just to prove that Rabindrasangeet are songs after all!
Conversation, however, did not stop there. Both the brothers took it as their solemn duty to convince both Sanjay and Swapan, whom they have already accepted as de-facto disciples, the greatness of classical music and its superiority over any other form of music. All four of them then got engaged in an animated discussion over music in general and classical music in particular!

I, who never had any brush with music, was wondering with their depth of knowledge on different type of music and Ragas (tunes) most of which were going over my head! I was particularly impressed by Swapan whom I knew to be innocent in music while in IIT just the other day!

When the argument had reached its crescendo, the curtain on the dwelling side was gently parted and floated in a girl in her late teens or early twenties along with a middle aged lady. Suddenly there was a hush in our conversation and we all stood up to greet them. The girl was wearing an aquamarine sari in typical Bengali style, a single strand pearl necklace and matching ear rings. She was of fair complexion, medium height with long raven black hair flowing half way down her back. She was not classically beautiful with very sharp features but very pretty. A face which would not be lost in the crowd. If you have seen it once, you will always have a desire to see it once again. Minimal make-up and a faint fragrance of jasmine added to her charm and innocent youthfulness.

We all sat after exchanging salutation in Indian style. The girl sat on the cushioned chair next to me, increasing my pulse rate to 150 (hope that is possible?). For some time no body uttered any word. Then all of a sudden Bhavani said “Yes, what I was telling?” Then all the warring factions once again went for their musical discussion completely ignoring the main purpose for the assembly. The middle aged lady, who was the girl’s mother, kept a smiling face but must have been cursing her husband under her breath. The girl found something very interesting on her thumb nails, which she must have seen so many times before. I did not know what to do and concentrated on the mosaic design on the floor which I was seeing for the first time.

This imbroglio continued for a couple of minutes, which was like ages under the situation, when I thought that it must be quite humiliating for any self respecting girl to be kept waiting like this with nobody paying her any attention. My throat was completely dry due to nervousness. She looked at me with startled expression full of anxiety when I drew her attention and said, “Look, the one who is wrestling with your father is Sanjay. He is a classmate of Arup who is looking for a partner. The one on the mat with your uncle is Swapan. He is Sanjay’s friend from Delhi. I am not sure whether he has ever met Arup. I am Swapan’s friend and just happened to be in Delhi. I really do not know anything about Arup. So my judgment is not likely to tilt the balance in anyway. Since, however, the main characters are so very busy, we may probably introduce ourselves as friends if you do not mind. By the way, my name is Biplab”.
The girl gave me an unsure smile, making my day. “Oh! That’s very fine. My name is Archana”.
I always found Bengalis outside Bengal are quite self assured and Archana was no exception. Probably my preamble also put her at ease. Though she started nervously, some prodding from her mother made her quite free in discussing almost anything under the sun including some personal details like, her studies, her hobbies etc.
When I asked her “Do you also sing classical? Don’t worry I am not going to ask you to sing one”
She rewarded me with a smile and said “Yes, of course” Then she gave a flitting glance to her father and added in a low voice “I also sing Rabindrasangeet when my father and uncle are not around”.
Sanjay was already feeling suffocated with unending discussion which he did not start and was now visibly frustrated seeing me having a good time with Archana. “Biplab is leaving to-morrow” he uttered, may be just to give the signal that I would not be the part of the team from the next meeting.
“Why? Though summer is not the best time to visit Delhi, but since you have come all the way, why don’t you stay for a few more days” asked Archana’s mother.
“That is not the case. Biplab is leaving to-morrow for Germany with a scholarship.” Corrected Swapan.
“WHAAAAAT?” said everybody in unison unable to check their surprise.
Though Archana did not utter any word, she just looked at me and gave a knowing smile, as if I have concealed something intentionally. [To be continued…]


Rini said...

Told you should write a book ... this stuff is way too good to be part of a Web log - Here's where my "millions" lie - start typing really hard since 12 millions is the number we decided on, remember? :))Seriously Baba really enjoyed myself and am so looking forward to the 3rd part!
By the way loved your "about me" section too.

biplab said...

Dear rini,

Thanks a lot! As i said " a million here and a million there will always add up to a tidy sum". As you know, it is all yours.




It appears that the the next part will not be the last one of this series ! Otherwise, you wd hv written:

to be concluded !

Carry on Biplab !!


Indrabhom said...


Bravo! Besh jome gacchhey.. taratarai baki kisti gulo paatha.

Archana to mone hocchhey tor preme pode gacchhey already..

Rini tor meye bujhi? Or moto amio tor "About me" section ta khub upobhog korlam. One foot at a time, ha ha !


biplab said...


Yes, rini is the last of my three musketeers. Next part will be more be more interesting.


Unknown said...

You should write a book!! This is quite good. The two short stories were very interesting and waiting for the part III of this story eagerly!!

MM said...


Your posts are such wonderful reads! You really should consider writing a book like Rini has suggested.

Best Wishes,

biplab said...

Astha, i knew that i can gossip well. but i never tried writing. i am really very pleased if you have liked the story. next part will be still more interesting.

biplab said...

madhubanti (titli), thanks for your encouragement. i do have lot of plots.... mostly personal experience which may fill couple of books, but starting something at 61 is scary.

................. said...

hmmmmm ei goppota etodin chepe gechhile keno ???????

tappor ki holo ????

biplab said...

pupli, this incident was known to many as soon as it happened. i do not know how you missed it. sorry for the omission. mama

jdrhere said...

Can't help admitting that your portrayal of the dame, reminds me of RKN ...especially the 'fragrance of jasmine'...WOW...

biplab said...

Gopa, Thanks a lot, but RKN may not like it.

jdrhere said...

By any chance, are you afraid of RKN's ghost?
Am sure RKN's 'English Teacher' would have loved it.

biplab said...

Gopa, unfortunately i have not red RKN much except seeing a few serials in TV. If i am not up to the mark he may be turning in his grave in disgust. that is what i am afraid of.

Unknown said...

Er por ki holo? Please, taratari jaante chai.

biplab said...

chand, soboorae mewa falle! i just wanted to write something on a current topic i.e. nuclear deal. i will post part iii of match making by the weekend. did dev see it? i will be interested

AJourneyCalledLife said...

Kaku, got addicted to your blog. Waiting for the Hero to make an entry!!!

biplab said...

amit, i will post part iii this weekend. meanwhile could you please give your comments on my latest entry on nuclear deal?