Papiya extended her hand, looking away from Himu. She was still looking at the lake, enveloped in fog. It was a chilled winter morning. The Shivam Lake in Haridashpur is the most famous place for morning walk. People of all age groups come here during this time of the day. Children play in the nearby football ground. Many of the houses were still asleep, along with the marketplace here; but the lakeside was a happening place. A few winter birds which could not avoid the urge to come out of their cozy nests were sitting on the tree above the bench where Himu and Papiya were sitting. They kept the frozen environment alive.
“Here, take it.”
Himu handed her the lighter and a cigarette from his packet. She lit it. He lit one himself. The fog was too dense. They looked deep into the lake, but nothing was visible. The diving board was the only thing they could see, and a few bamboo poles coming out of the water. After that, it was all white. It seems that the lake was taking a nap, wrapped in a white cloak. They tried to see through, but nothing else was visible.
Written for: Tell a Tale : Week # 7 : Silence
These were the last few days for the couple in Haridashpur. Papiya got transferred to Haridashpur Post Office a couple of years ago and the couple moved in. The township attracted them, the very moment they set foot here. The people were lovely; the environment was so apt for the newly married couple that their whole stay here was like an extended honeymoon. Papiya used to be busy the whole day in her office, while Himu remained busy with his daily chores and writing. It was a perfect place for him to take out the creative genius he had in him. They used to enjoy the evening together, roaming around in Haridashpur – the temple, the river, the mountains and of course the Shivam Lake. They used to walk into the remote places by the mountains or near the river and sit there for hours till the sun would set. They used to enjoy the silence of this place. The rumbling of the river water; the chirping of the unknown species of birds; the sight of the rainbow after an evening drizzle – would set peace in their hearts. In spite of all these, they used to find and enjoy an indescribable silence of this place. Apart from a few honks of a passing train, there was nothing to disturb them. They used to immerse themselves into the quiet of Haridashpur. They would sit on the soft green grass near the river, dipped in ecstasy of their love for each other and the harmony of the nature. She would often keep her head on his lap and would tell her about all that had happened in her office. He would laugh, empathize or keep mum. He would discuss the latest poem he wrote and would tell how the hero of his last story is going to be the villain at the climax. She would enjoy everything he said. A kiss; a hug or long strolls holding each other close was a common phenomenon. This place was not their own, but they got attached so much that the very thought of leaving Haridashpur would bring tears in their eyes.
“It’s getting dark, isn’t it Papu.”
“A few minutes more please.”
She puffed last her cigarette and threw the bud away. She was angry, somewhere deep down. He was not less annoyed too; but then, there was nothing else they could do. They gave an intense thought to the decision. They thought to let go of Papiya’s job and settle down here permanently. They thought of Himu becoming a full time writer and publish a few books. They thought of borrowing money from her father, until they get well off themselves. Nothing lasted – none of their plans. They had to think of the little Pihu, who was in her second year in school. She had a better future in Kolkata, the happening busy city. Moreover, it was a promotion for Papiya and she was posted in the Head Post Office in the capital city. Not every day do you get such an offer – not every day you get such an opportunity to fix your destiny and brighten your future. They had to leave.
She stood up from the bench, holding his fingers. Her eyes were twinkling and Himu could see the flicker in them, even in this twilight. He stood up too. They were about to leave the place.
“Himu,” she said. “I’ll miss this place.”
They hugged. There were tears in their eyes. None saw that – not even the chirping birds hovering above them.
“I will miss this place too, Papu.”
“Very much,” they said in unison and slowly started walking back to their quarters.
Crossposted at: Thus Wrote Tan!