“You say it bes…
"Our greatest pretences are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness"
|Swati Chatterjee Lahiri
||Tue, May 21 2013|
Illustration: Rajat Dey
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বাংলাভাষা ও বাঙালি চরিত্র
Vivekananda: One of India’s leading lights
“You say it best when you say nothing at all”-Ronan Keating
15 years- was that very long?
This was the thought that crossed Natasha’s mind when she met Farhan at the cafe near the Prague Astronomical Clock. An overcrowded place with tourists far and wide, Natasha’s heart was missing a beat every moment as she waited for him – the whole place stood still as though everything had stopped for them to meet. Natasha could not even recall how the two childhood sweethearts had separated their ways- was it a physical separation or was it also a separation of their souls? How had she remembered him all these years- the candid expressions, the laughter, the woes, the joys of togetherness and even more…or was it a memory that faded into oblivion with every passing day and year….
It was a waiting game- Natasha after all had waited for this day for years; her heart yearning to see the investment banker, Farhan who she had woven her dreams with, if not anything else. As Farhan gradually walked towards the seating area where Natasha sat, Natasha fell into a trance and experienced the same numbness that she felt every time when he came close to her when they were young.
The flurry of thoughts- the upsurge of emotions and then the meeting- it was extremely difficult to keep the mind and the body connection. The mind wanted to say so much and yet the body felt lifeless.
Natasha felt the words of Eric Hoffer echoing in her mind…” Our greatest pretences are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness.”- After all she did not want Farhan to gauge that he had meant the world to her – well… certainly in the past.
They both sat down at the corner table waiting for the waiter to bring the menu card. Natasha did not know what Farhan’s favourite was and she was not to be blamed for that; after all how many dinners had they had together? She had dreamt of candlelight dinners with him, she had imagined a post dinner walk on a moonlit night on one of the pathways but…nothing of this sort had come to her mind ever where they would be sitting as perfect strangers across a table. What would she say to him….after all these years…. after all there was this prolonged silence of 15 years where a lot of words remained unsaid and unspoken and definitely un-conveyed.
He had not heard her- he would possibly not hear her- because the language that she spoke was a foreign language that did not follow linguistic norms - it was her language that she only invented, she only spoke and she only understood. No, she could not blame Farhan for not being able to comprehend her language; after all she never held him responsible for anything. All she cared for was how she could love him fathomlessly, selflessly and endlessly….The words of Judy Garland echoed in her heart...”For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul”- how on earth would Natasha know because she had always chosen to love him in silence. She chose to love him in loneliness as in loneliness Farhan only owned her and no one else. Lastly, Natasha chose to hold him in her dreams as in dreams, there was no end.
Amidst the clattering sound of silverware, the murmur of the guests, the melody of the song ..”Afterglow” by the famous INXS filled the atmosphere. Natasha faintly could hear the words…
“Here I am, lost in the ashes of time, but who wants tomorrow?
In between the longing to hold you again
I’m caught in your shadow, I’m losing control
My mind drifts away, we only have today”
And then she saw Farhan raising a toast and saying to her...
”To us…..together or not“…
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