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The Estranged Lovers (A bond of a lifetime- Episode 8) (Part-1)

This is a flashback of how Anirudh had seen Bondita in London, before she came to India. I wanted to write this sub-track to explore Anirudh’s feeling and the importance he gave to our Bondita in his life but it ended up becoming too long and I also did not want to cut it short. Therefore, I had to split it into two parts, the second part will drop by maybe today or by tomorrow. So, Hang on tight on this journey through the past.

Anirudh settled lightly on the edge of the desk and began replaying one of his most cherished memories, “It all began with a phone call on a Sunday morning….”

Anirudh, sticking to his schedule, had woken up at sharp 5 that morning. He got up from his bed and with light steps strode towards a particular room across the hallway before even waiting for the sun to make an appearance for the new day. He pushed open the door and took a deep breath. “Bondita” he whispered. The room smelled like Lavender, her favorite scent. The walls of the room were covered in her pictures and the floor was filled with her stuff. His lips curved up automatically as he glided through them. His hands rose to gently brush the dust off a picture and he felt as if could almost hear her ringing laughter through it. He ardently stared at her portrait next. She truly was a pretty little girl. Her toothy smile which was sign of her innocence, her almond shaped eyes which were a mirror of her soul and her little nose which would go red whenever she cried or was angry. “Are you still the same, Bondita?” He asked, trying to strike up a conversation with the painting rhetorically. “How foolish of me to expect you to stay the same, when your Patibabu, himself has changed?” he answered himself with guilt and a mirthless smile. It had been a habit since the last 7 years. 7 years of spending his first hour of the morning with her.7 years of just sitting by her portraits at dawn. He felt safe and strengthened by her scent which he had made sure to respray whenever it faded in the slightest. It had been 7 years of him wondering what she is to him. He was still unsure about it, even after all these years. He had long stopped trying to find a name for his relationship with her. All he knew that, she was his peace, his comfort and his home. She was like an irresistible drug to him and all ever wanted was to get drunk in her scent. This morning routine abruptly came to an end with the phone ringing in his study.

The sound echoed loudly through the silent house forcing Anirudh to put an end to his favorite time of the day and rush to pick it up. “Hello” Anirudh grumbled, clearly annoyed at the caller who seemed completely inconsiderate of the time by calling at 5:30 in the morning. “Good evening, Anirudh. It’s been a long time” a cheerful yet unmistakable voice boomed at the other end of the line. “Professor George?” Anirudh said, with uncertainty. “It is I, my young boy. How have you been?” The voice responded.

Anirudh finally reached his cabin and looked out of the little window as the ship pulled out of the Howrah port. He smiled, as he recollected his professor’s excitement while asking him to attend the annual intercity debating championship finals. His foster college had finally managed to reach the finals, 9 years since he was the last finalist from the college. His professor had specially asked Anirudh to make an appearance to the finals as he had firmly believed that this year, their college was in for sure shot win, with one of the best debaters in the city on their side. “Will I run into her there?” His heart raced at the thought. “Even if I do, I will just ignore her. Otherwise, how could I answer her tsunami of questions? And its not like I want to meet her…” He paused his self-pep talk as his eyes fell on the pot of ek badam wala roshogulla he had brought with himself. “Let’s just shut up, Anirudh” He reminded himself before turning to his books.

The excitement ran all-time high, as Anirudh sat beside his professor in the second row from the stage with a clear view of the front. The countless voices and the energy in the room reminded him of his golden days in colleges. He smiled at the remembrance. The hall suddenly fell silent as three people walked to the stage. A middle-aged man who must have been the conductor of the debate, a young polish boy from Kings college who walked with his chest puffed, wearing his school uniform, followed by petite girl, striding in with an air of confidence. Was it the way the girl walked or the way her eyes radiated her confidence, but Anirudh found himself somehow focusing only on her and he clearly wasn’t the only one. “I wonder, how Bondita would look now?” His heart passed a comment before he could control it.

The conductor announced the names of the finalist college’s which were followed by a loud cheer. “Well, well, it seems like she is really popular.” Anirudh could help himself from saying it. “Our general secretary and the only female student of the batch. Also, a role model and star scholar. The whole school looks up to her.” His professor said with pride. The debate commenced and Polish took his stand first. When he finished, the hall erupted in an applause.

The girl on the stage, walked up to the mic, took a deep breath as she waited for the applause to die down. She, then commenced with determination, “It was truly an amazing presentation of view point by my worthy opponent. But, I, completely disagree with every single of point he raised.” Seeing the color drain as quickly as it had risen in the face of the opposing young lad on stage, a smile escaped Anirudh’s lips and he thought “That was a good one, young lady.”

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