Anirudh stood, as still as a statue, near the window of his study. His brawny muscles and tall silhouette looked exceptionally awe-striking with the gleam of moonlight falling on him. His eyes were stuck on a small picture frame in his hands with a melancholic smile on his face. To anybody else, Anirudh would have looked extremely handsome at the moment but only Sampoorna, caught up to the truth, as she entered the room. His breathing was heavy, his mind and eyes were unfocused. The unshakable leader of Tulsipur looked as if he had himself lost the way and was cluelessly staring at a crossroad with no direction in mind.
“People say the pain, when shared, is halved. You have celebrated victories with me, then why are you hiding the pain?” Sampoorna asked with subtle tone. Anirudh turned in a hurry, surprised to find her presence in the room. “Why do you think I am hurt, Sampoorna Maa, when in fact today is one of the happiest days of my life.” Anirudh blurted out, wiping his red puffy eyes. “Sampoorna Maa, did you see how Bondita won her case today. The bravery in her eyes and the command in her voice was so exceptional. Did you see the way, she countered every accusation and proved her innocence backing each statement with facts and evidences? The way she displayed her argumentative skills. Oh god, you know I was battling with my inner self to control myself from puffing my chest in pride when she rendered everybody who spoke against her, speechless. Even after so many years, the rays of new dawn of civilization still radiates just so brightly from her. Just like the day, I saw her a year ago.” Anirudh spoke out in a single breath; cause deep down he knew that the moment he stopped speaking, a fresh batch of inexplainable tears would gush out from his eyes. Sampoorna slightly bit her lower lip, to prevent herself from breaking down. Never had she ever seen Anirudh look so lonely and hurt. What she was unaware was that somebody else too, felt just as forlorn as him irrespective of being surrounded by a crowd.
“Congratulations, Thakuma. You are truly lucky to have a granddaughter like Bondita. Oh! how exceptionally she silenced that entire Roy Chowdhary family today. The face of that defeated Trilochan was truly worth watching.” An elder in Krishnanagar spoke. Thakuma chest swelled with pride. “What else did you expect, Mr Bose? My Bondita is a London returned Barrister that too a gold medalist. Those Roy Chowdharys were destined for a loss today.” As her conversation ended, Thakuma’s eyes searched for her shining granddaughter. In the joy of winning against Tulsipur, Thakuma had thrown a huge feast where she had invited all the elders and allies of Krishnanagar while basking in the glory of her granddaughter. She soon found, the supposed center of attention, standing near a window, looking melancholically at the moon with a glass of juice in her hand.
“What are you doing here?? Everybody has been looking for you and what is with this sad face? Didn’t you tell me you did not want me to lose my face?? Then why are standing alone looking defeated when you, singlehandedly managed to increase my pride tenfold. Be bold and bring the smile back on your face. You should have the look of someone who has defeated a decade old enemy of your family.” Thakuma complained as she went near her.
Bondita mildly smiled through her pain which went unnoticed by the overjoyed Thakuma. “It was my responsibility to prove us right, Thakuma. Also, I don’t seem to feel very well today, so can I go back to my room to rest??” Bondita replied in a thin voice. “Sure, sure you must be tired. Go ahead and rest up. Wake up afresh tomorrow.” Thakuma replied with a smile.
With a heavy heart, Bondita climbed up the stairs and slid down on the floor as soon as she shut the door. Her eyes, no longer feeling restricted, allowed the long-restrained tears to run down her soft cheeks. At that moment, Bondita just kept on remembering a single quote she had read somewhere, “I am not crying because you weren’t worth it but because of how my delusion of you was shattered by the truth of who you are.”
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