by Swarnasankha Acharjee
Subhangi is one of the most cheerful and lively girls you will ever come across. She is currently in her bachelor’s. A girl who is loved by all in the colony. She is quite pretty as well. Straight long lustrous hairs reached her lower back. Her eyes were beautiful, capable of hypnotizing people with a stare. And quite naturally a lot of boys in the colony, and even in the adjacent colonies too, were in love with her. However, she is still searching for her Prince Charming.
Usually, in the evening Subhangi would loiter around playing pranks on neighbors. However, they were not annoying to anyone.
That evening was nothing special until a truck loaded with household things came to a screeching halt. It was followed by a car. As the car stopped, a lady with her daughter and son came down. The lady was Asmina. The girl was Zarin and the boy was Zaheer.
Subhangi was quite impressed by the first look of Zaheer. He was tall, of a well-built stature, a handsome face and those silky hairs were enough for Subhangi to think of him as her Prince Charming.
However, Subhangi and Zaheer are quite opposite to each other. Zaheer is serious and concerned only about his work. He works for an IT firm. Neither he is interested in social gatherings, nor is he friendly with the people around him. While Subhangi likes going around with friends, Zaheer likes to be all alone. In his leisure time, he would listen to Kishore Kumar songs. That’s the only thing he does other than his work.
He used to go out to offer prayers in Mosque (Namaz). Subhangi would wait with her friends to see him. She tried many times to talk to him, but all efforts were in vain. Someone would call out for her, or a bike would come in between. Something or the other would prevent Subhangi from talking to him.
These efforts of her even though were unnoticed by Zaheer, did not escape the eyes of the neighboring aunties. But, as there was no response from the other side, they kept the gossip only to themselves and decided not to involve Subhangi’s mother or Zaheer’s mother.
Zarin was however more like Subhangi. She liked socializing. She liked being around friends. She took admission in her bachelor’s in the same college as Subhangi. With all efforts of talking to Zaheer going in vain, Subhangi decided to get close to Zarin to get close to him. Zarin was however unaware of all these going around.
With the days passing by, the bond between Zarin and Subhangi began to grow strong. They would spend a lot of time together both inside and outside the college. Subhangi kept on asking things about Zaheer. And little by little Zarin started suspecting that Subhangi has some feelings for Zaheer. She even asked Subhangi light-heartedly whether she likes Zaheer or not, to which Subhangi did not deny. Zarin used to tease Subhangi but never had the courage to say anything to Zaheer.
Days passed by. Holi was round the corner. The whole of the colony was busy in preparations for the Holi except Zaheer. Holi was on Friday. The only thing he had planned was to offer prayer in the Mosque. Subhangi knew this and had planned to greet him with colors while he returns after offering prayers.
On the day of Holi, as per plan, Subhangi waited for Zaheer at a little distance from the Mosque in such a way that Zaheer couldn’t notice her while returning. And her friends, along with Zarin a bit further away.
Subhangi noticed from a distance Zaheer coming towards them. As soon as he came close enough, she sprang in front of them and applied colors on his cheeks, and shouted “Happy Holi!”
Everything seemed to come to a standstill. No one moved. No one made a sound. Subhangi could hear his breaths. Zaheer could hear her breaths. Zarin and others were waiting in shock to witness his reaction. Subhangi looked into his eyes. He looked into hers.
He took some colors from her hand and applied them across the soft cheeks of Subhangi and uttered, “Happy Holi”. He passed a smile and was about to leave when Zarin and others sprang in front of them with joy. Subhangi was overjoyed. So were Zarin and others. Zarin and others applied colors to Zaheer. And he wasn’t backing off either. He played Holi with utmost joy.
And as usual, this raised a few neighboring eyebrows. Not something very much acceptable to the conservative people. And of course, these controversial things spread faster than wildfire. While most people didn’t find any jinx in this, some people found it hard to digest.
Over the next few days, Zaheer was spotted in many public places. He started meeting people. And contrary to the preconceived notion of the people, he was a very jolly and cheerful person. A person whom not even his sister could recognize. He became the male version of Subhangi. Cheerful, joyful, and loved by all.
After his office hours, he would be spotted with Subhangi at various places. He enjoyed her company. Often they would be at the rooftop late at night with Zarin and others. The growing fondness of each other was not something conservative people would take in a good way. So they went on to complain first to the mother of Subhangi, then to Zaheer’s mother. Both of them replied that they have no issue regarding this growing relationship and they are already aware of this!
One fine evening, Zaheer invited Subhangi to his house. As she entered his house, he guided her to the rooftop. He had decorated the rooftop with her favorite flowers. A playlist of her favorite music was playing in the background. She was awestruck. She loved the ambiance. She looked back and hugged him as he whispered in her ears, “I Love You!”
About the Author:
Swarnasankha Acharjee is a writer from Agartala, Tripura in India.