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Colour of Holi


By Hiranya Borah

Copyright 2017 Hiranya Borah

Smashwords Edition

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It is another failed love story from me. This is a complete fictitious story. If you find any resemblance with any living or dead person, it is merely a coincidence only.

Thanks to my readers and friends and above all my family for their constant support to write something usual and unusual. I love them all.

Thanks to Smashwords for publishing this story book along with my other books.


Chapter I: Meeting after a Long Time

It was a pleasant surprise for me to see Arati after almost thirty years at a recent family function of a common friend. Still she looks stunning.

‘You look so young, a desire may crop up in my mind to play another innings with you!’ As I started my flirting with her, both of us started laughing loudly.

‘Unless my husband does not kill you!’ She said to me pointing her finger at her husband.

‘Oh he will not mind! Even though he will not allow me to play with you, definitely he will look at you differently! Am I right sir?’ Shaking my hand, I asked Arati’s husband.

‘Yaah. Your comments will reignite our love for each other for few more years hopefully.’ He retorted back.

‘You are very lucky to marry Arati. Arati was on the radar of many of us. But she did not give any lift to any of us. Therefore, we have to settle for someone else.’ With a broad smile I said.

‘Can you tell these things, had your wife been around?’ Arati commented.

‘My wife never minds for such loose talks coming out of my mouth. Particularly, after my age crossed the threshold of the half century, she used to say, I have already crossed the expiry date. According to her, I am now a toothless tiger or a venom less snake. I can only make sounds from mouth and behind.’ I made a fun of my own old age and its consequent effects.

‘Oh, so sorry. But I am yet to reach your stage now. Arati will definitely certify that.’ Arati’s husband boasted like any other North Indian male.

‘Oh, that is great! That may be the reason why Arati is still glowing!’ I have a habit to make others feel happy at my own cost.

‘Hey, don’t believe Hiranya. He is a dangerous man. He is like ‘Bagali Bhakat’ (stork who pretends like a saint to catch fish). I know he is still after ladies of all ages. So beware of him, he may snatch away any ones’ wife.’ Pradeep, a friend of mine, commented from behind to puncture my claim of being toothless tiger or venom less snake (impotent).

All of us laughed; but I saw some rage in the eyes of Arati’s husband for actually making fun of his boasting on his masculinity before his wife.

Chapter II: Last Meeting

It was year 1985, when I last met Arati. On that day, she was with her mother, Purabi and brother Ashutosh to see off her father at airport. I was also leaving Guwahati by the same flight.

On that day she was wearing a red sari with a red blouse. She was stunning with her red dress which matched her skin colour. I could not take away my eyes from her, till I crossed the security of airport for boarding. The last sight of her is still vivid in my eyes.

Yes, I loved Arati. But I could not dare to tell her about my feeling about her. The reason was simple, I never thought I was any match for her. I was from a lower middle class family, staying in the hostel with a monthly expenditure limited to Rupees one hundred fifty only. On the other hand, she was from an upper middle class family who used to come to the college by car driven by a driver. So my love for Arati is nothing more or less than perfect 50% of any love affair.

However, when I saw her for the last time, I had some value addition in my social and financial status. At that time, I joined Government India as a Class I Central Service officer and all on a sudden my value in the marriage market soared. But probably it was too late.

She told me, ‘Hiranya, I am going to get married in the next month. He is an officer in Government of Assam. Will you be in Guwahati at that time?

‘No. I shall be in Delhi only.’ I completed my sentence somehow. I wanted to cry. But a man should not cry in public; we were taught by our parents from our childhood. Therefore, I did not cry before her.

Chapter III: Only a Mute Spectator

Some of my friends decided to go to Arati’s residence situated at a posh colony of Chandmari to play holi with her when I was a final year student in my college. I was reluctant to go as I did not know how she would react when she would see me. But Ajay, a class mate of mine, son of a tea planter of Upper Assam insisted me to accompany him and some other friends, who were mostly from rich families of Assam.

As we reached their residence, we spread out in such a way that she would not be able to escape from us. I prayed to God, she should not come on my way.

But on that day God was not probably in my side. She was running towards me and said, ‘Hiranya, do not throw colour on me.’

My friends shouted at me, ‘Hiranya catch her, catch her.’

Both of us stood like statues for a few seconds and then she pushed me aside and ran to her friend’s residence.

On way back, everyone scolded me for my inaction at the appropriate time. Everyone blamed me for their failed raid to her residence.

Next day, when I met Arati she asked me, ‘Why did you not give me colour yesterday?’

‘I do not know exactly why I did not give you colour or did not catch you as everybody was shouting.’ With a meek smile I said.

‘Actually, I was expecting color from you. But probably, you are not knowing how to tackle a beautiful girl!’ She giggled and broke my heart to pieces.

Chapter IV: Leaving Guwahati

Though I was not from a rich family, my result had always been good enough to get a seat at any of the top universities of our time. So using bare minimum resources, I landed in Delhi to pursue my higher studies. After joining at Delhi University, I was seldom able to visit my home town or Guwahati due to heavy financial constraints though at that time, with student concession, train fare from Delhi to Guwahati in second class was mere Rs.62/-.

Despite of urge from heart to see once again Arati, I could not see her face in the next few years till I completed my Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in statistics from Delhi University.

While appearing an interview for a post of lecturer in a college, I met Arati in the sideline of the interview. She also came for the interview, however for a different subject. She was looking gorgeous on that day also. She talked to me for few minutes before commencement of the interview.

‘I am not going to be selected as my result is not as good as you people. But it is a fun to appear in any interview. Any way how long you will be at Guwahati?’ She was as bubbly as earlier.

‘Tomorrow, I have to go back to Delhi. I have my written examination for civil service from the next week.’ I told her.

‘All the best for the examination. Do not forget us, once you become a big man.’ As she said, she giggled again.

Without her knowledge she hurt my heart and gave an unbearable pain in my chest.‘

Chapter V: Life Goes On

With happiness or without happiness, time goes on. I was extremely unhappy to lose Arati. After losing Arati I concentrated in my office work and preferred to stay back in Delhi, instead of going back to Guwahati.

In due course of time I married a girl from Guwahati. After my marriage to my wife, she told me one day that she knew Arati from her childhood as three year senior to her. She told many good things about Arati oblivious to the fact that every time she speaks about Arati, she only hurt me.

However, once I was blessed with my children, love for Arati started decreasing over the years. Practically, she lost her prime position to my wife few years ago and she became a non-entity for me for last one decade.

But on seeing her in the party, all memories became green (fresh).

Chapter VI: Why You Did Not Play Holi with Me

As her husband went to the wash room she asked me, ‘Why you did not play holi with me on that day?’

‘You asked me that question on the next day also. Now give me your honest answer to my question, did you want to play holi with me on that day?’

‘If I say, yes and honestly, I was waiting for you, what will be your reaction?’ She put me another question.

‘In that case, you once again broke my heart today by saying that.’ I admitted to her.

‘I also cannot forgive you for that. You were too meek to propose me, is not it true?’ She charged me.

‘Perhaps you are correct.’ I again admitted my fault to her.

‘Because of your meekness, you spoiled not only your life, but also mine.’ Before I reacted, I saw her husband was coming towards us and therefore I did not comment on her pointed accusation.

When the couple left the party, Arati gave me her phone number to call her.

Next day when I telephoned her, she told me that she wanted to meet me alone. I gave my hotel address and room number and requested her to come in the evening for a dinner. I also told her politely to come along with her husband.

But in the evening, she came alone as her husband went to Bangkok with his friends for a week leaving her alone at home.

‘What about your children? You could have brought them along with you.’ I asked her as I was feeling little uncomfortable in welcoming her into my room.

‘My husband is an impotent donkey. We do not have a child. But I found, you are still a very meek person. Seeing me alone, you are worried, is not it.’ She said with an intriguing smile.

I gathered my composure and courage for the first time in my life in front of Arati. I finally invited her to my room and subsequently to my arms.

Arati stayed with me for the next three days, as long as I was in Guwahati.

After three days when I was approaching my residence at New Delhi, I had developed a strong guilty feeling for my wife; after all she has high regards for both of us, Arati and me.

The author is a Government servant and a man of vivid experiences derived from his official postings across the country, travels across India and numerous visits outside India. He is presently placed at New Delhi.

His earlier publications are:

1. Random Thoughts through a Coloured Prism

2. Dilemma of a Young Mind

3. Funny Statistics and Serious Statisticians

4. Melody of Fragrance

5. Akhadya

6. Few Cities through the Lens of Hiranya Borah

7. Guilt: Gift of Winter Spring

8. Beautiful Ghost
9. Great Fighters: Grace of God

10. All Blurred

11. Putting kids to sleep

12. How to become unpopular

13. Soulmates

14. My grumpy Face

15. Love and Worries

16. Discussion of own Birth: A Taboo

17. Interview

18. Indecent Love Affairs

19. My Fair Lady

20. Waiting time

21. Two Stories

22. My Mother: Dashami Borah

23. Parineeta

24. Manorama

25. Unwanted

26. First Attempt

27. A father

28. The Portrait

29. Snapped Thread

30. Only He Knows

31. The Stupid Mother

32. The Same Old Story

33. The Old Scoundrel

34. Third Attempt

35. Some of my First Days and First Nights

36. Snubbed Twice

37. Have You Met the God

38. Frequent Flier

39. Messiah

40. Forgive and Forget

41. To Win or to lose

42. Call Girl

43. Beyond Blood Relation

44. Lady with a Black Car

45. My wife

46. Complete Woman

47. Diwali Gift

48. Romance with a Lady

49. Open Heart Surgery

50. My First Love

51. Replacement

52. Pebbles on My Way Home

53. My First Bengali Book

54. Murder Mystery

55. Niharika

56. Swapping

57. Make a Habit to Thank God

58. Killing of a Bird

59. The Hero

60. Fantasy versus Reality

61. The Party

62. Road Rage

63. Death of a Friend

64. Cannot Live with Memory Only

65. None Cares for Me

66. A Tribute to My Guru

67. Two Professionals

68. The Choice

69. The Elusive Spouse

70. First Encounter with A P

71. Plane Crash

72. Plane Crash Part-II

73. Plane Crash Part-III

74. Abducted

75. A Bag of Currency

76. Suitable Groom

77. Head Hunters

78. My Dear Sister

79. Selection While Waiting at the Airport

80. Oh Shit

81. Perverse

82. He Got Back His Wife

83. Beautiful Faces

84. Elder Sister

85. Good Morning

86. Prey

87. Pass on your Death to Someone Else

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Email: hbmb@rediffmail.com

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