[ultimate_heading main_heading=”Rose is Red, so is the Blood, Short Story by Rumi Sharma – Issue.XXV : February 2017 ” main_heading_color=”#1e73be” sub_heading_color=”#8224e3″ spacer=”line_with_icon” spacer_position=”bottom” line_style=”dotted” line_height=”1″ line_color=”#1e73be” icon_type=”custom” icon_img=”id^48|url^http://ashvamegh.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Ashvamegh-ICO.jpg|caption^null|alt^Ashvamegh Journal Icon|title^Ashvamegh ICO|description^null” img_width=”48″ main_heading_style=”font-weight:bold;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:34px;” line_width=”3″ margin_design_tab_text=””]love and fate…[/ultimate_heading]

Introduction to the Author:

Rumi Sharma works as an Assistant Professor in Department of English, Furkating College, Assam. She writes poems, articles and short stories in the popular newspaper of North-East “The Assam Tribune” and other Magazines. Rumi loves to read books and magazines.

Rose is red, so is the blood

“No, no, it should not have happened. Today things are repeating once again in my life. It has been a long time since flowers have bloomed in my yellow garden, and had any bees and butterflies flit over the daisies. Why is it so? Is it an indication of that crucial time, approaching my door? Someone please stop this for God sake.”

 Lina could not sleep the night before. She only thought of Bidyut’s marriage proposal for her. She knew it very well that the staff’s provocation had resulted in this. She was aware of this result much before Bidyut actually proposed her. But she paid less attention to all those unnecessary gossips. Now she thought, had she not talked with Bidyut much; had she not gone to the office canteen together for lunch; had she avoided Bidyut after noticing his love for her in his eyes; she would not have faced this situation today. As they worked in the same department, so it was rather difficult to avoid such person that too knowingly. Lina then decided to call Bidyut once and meet him and explain all the circumstances rather than avoiding it. She dialed his number, but immediately touched the “end” button on the mobile screen. Something stopped her. She then left a message in his phone, “Can U meet me today’s evening in Uzan Park?” After a few seconds her mobile screen flashed with a message. It was none other than Bidyut’s reply, “ok I will reach there by 4pm.Eagerly waiting to see u in the evening.” After reading that message, Lina was quite clear about his feeling. So she did not continue with the message chatting.

 As it was a Sunday morning, she was rather working lazily that day. Because for every working person Sunday means a lazy day, where there is no time machine, no Boss, no workloads. Rather it is an individual independence day. She made a coffee for herself and sat in the verandah with the morning newspaper. But she could not concentrate on the newspaper. She gave a cursory look over the headlines and kept it aside. That day she was totally absent minded. She could not concentrate in any of her household work. By the time it was 2pm. She watched the clock and remembered that Bidyut promised her to meet at 4pm. She hurried up, had her lunch and got ready to see him in that park by the side of the mighty Brahmaputra. She always preferred to go to that park as the natural beauty of the ambience enhanced the Park’s beauty. She dressed herself in a black kurta with a combination of light blue leggings matching with the small embroiders in her kurta. She wore small earrings; put a bindi on her forehead leaving her hairs half clutched. She had reached the park by 3.50 and waited for Bidyut outside the entrance.

 Meanwhile she remembered the day when she had seen Bidyut in their office for the first time. It was month of April. Just after the Bohag Bihu, Bidyut was newly appointed in their office. He was distributing sweets among the staff as it was his first day in that office. Lina’s eyes caught sight of a boy wearing deep blue shirt with black formal pants standing at the doorstep of her cabin with something in his hands. He came in and introduced himself as Bidyut Saikia, joining newly as a superintendant cum accountant in their office. He offered the packet of sweets to her. Lina took one piece from it and thanked him. She than introduced herself to him saying her name and offered him a chair. He sat down and took notice of the cabin. Everywhere files and files and in the middle a girl sitting on her chair with a table full of papers and files. He immediately asked her, “Are you not bored working here?” She did not reply to his question. She only passed a sigh, which was enough for Bidyut to find his answer. Lina then said to Bidyut, “welcome to our boring file loaded life.” Bidyut- “Thank You”. After a few minutes of talk Bidyut left her cabin. His cabin was just opposite to her.

 Gradually there grew a friendship between the two. As they were the youngest among the staff, everybody loved them. They often went to the canteen together. Both teased each other. Bidyut sometimes accompanied her for shopping. So there grew a strong bonding between them. As such the senior women staff began to tease them. But both avoided to their comments with a smile.

 But it was really shocking for Lina, when Bidyut actually proposed her for marriage. He said, “If you wish, I am ready to carry those shopping bags for you forever. Rather I would be happy to grow old with you by carrying a stick in one hand and shopping bags on the other.” Lina was completely silent for a few minutes. She did not know how to react to that proposal. She sat on her chair without uttering a word. Bidyut broke the silence by saying, “you need not give your answer now. Take your time. I am not in a hurry. In fact I can wait for your answer till my last breath. Because you are the one with whom I would like to spend my life. I love you.” He then left the room. Lina was still numb. After a few minutes she took her hand bag and walked out of the office. Everybody was surprised to see Lina leaving the office so early that day. When Bidyut came to know about that, he tried to contact her over phone. But he failed, as Lina’s phone was switched off. He was then worried about her. He could not understand this reaction of her to his proposal. He thought maybe she had the same feeling for him but felt shy of admitting it, so left early. But if so, why would she switch off her cell phone. He again dialed her number, but failed to contact her.

 On her way to her home, Lina was only thinking of that proposal. She could not tell anyone why she was reacting in that way. She did not want things to repeat the same. She did not want that crucial time to wash away her happiness for the next time.

 Meantime Bidyut reached there and called her near her ears. She got frighten, as she was in another dreaming world thinking of Bidyut. He got two entry tickets from the counter. They then entered the park and sat on a bench, viewing the flow of the Brahmaputra. Both were silent for a few minutes. Lina then broke the silence by saying, “I am sorry for yesterday’s behavior. I have something to say, in fact share a bitter truth of my life. This is very important for you to know. And no one in the office knew about this thing of mine.”

 “Six years ago, I met him.” Bidyut immediately asked, “He?” Lina continued, “yes, he. He was a teacher, name Akash; Akash Baruah. I met him in a drama competition held in the district library of Jorhat. Both of us were participant in that competition. 1st prize Rs10000. Luckily in that competition I won the ‘best actress’ and he the ‘best actor’. As such we talked with each other. There I came to know that he was two years senior to me in studies. I was in BA 1st year at that time and he was a third year student. His house was in Dhemaji and I belonged to Baihata chariali. It seems as if destiny had called us to that drama competition. That day as it was too late to return to our homes, so both our teams with a few other teams stayed in Jorhat that night. We had our dinner together. Both of our teams stayed in the same hotel. Next day, as we were getting ready to go home, he came in front of my room to bid me goodbye. By the by he asked me for my contact number. I also exchanged my number without giving a second thought to it. That was the beginning.

 That night he text messages to me. I also replied to his messages. Gradually there grew a friendship between us. He once called me and said that he wanted to meet me. I invited him to my place. Surprisingly he was there after two days of that phone call. He was just standing outside my college gate. At first I could not believe my own eyes. I went near him, talked with him, and later I arranged his stay for that night in one of my friends’ house. That night I also stayed in my friend’s house. We introduced him to her parents as our classmate; and we convinced them by saying that we had a project to complete; as such we met. That day he proposed me in front of my friend. I felt so shy that I eloped from that place to the kitchen. Next day he returned to his home. While I went to see off him in the bus stop, he asked me for my answer to his proposal. I could not say anything at that moment. I kept bidding him goodbye, till the bus was invisible. After two days I accepted his proposal. Because I had a soft corner for him though I could not say so.

 On the last day of my BA 3rd year examination, he called me and said that he wants to meet my parents. A week later he came to my house. My parents met him. They were quite impressed with him. He was a teacher by then in a higher secondary school near his house. Next, came his parents to our home. They talked with my parents regarding our marriage. We had our ring ceremony just after my final result was declared.

 It was month of June, admission form were issued by all universities for MA courses. I also wanted to study further. But my father said that he will not be able to bear my expenses to study in the University. At that time Akash supported me and he told my father that if he had no objection than he would like to give my expenses during my University study. My father hesitated before, but Akash convinced him. So on the day of my admission he came along with us. We spent the whole day together. My parents were also there with us. We kept our belongings in a hotel room in Paltan Bazaar and we went out to have lunch together. That night we went back home in the night super. Our classes started from 1st August. As such I came to the hostel two days before. He accompanied me in that journey. After keeping my bag and baggage’s in my hostel room, we went to a restaurant for lunch, as we were very hungry by then. He went back to his home by the night super. As per the rule of the hostel I could not go to the bus stand to see him off. So I bid him goodbye in front of my hostel. He took my hand on his and said ‘stay well, I will contact you. Study well and always remember one thing that I love you and will miss you.’ He then suddenly kissed me on my forehead. I felt very comfortable, at the same time tears rolled down my eyes. He then bid me goodbye.

 A few months later, there arrived the winter season. Akash came to see me in the hostel along with one of his friends. We went for shopping. As I did not bring any winter clothes from home before so we thought of buying a blanket along with some other winter clothes. First we went to Vishal Megamart, then to Big Bazar and at last to Fancy market. There we bought one thick and also a thin blanket, two sweaters for me and he bought one blazer for himself. We then went to a restaurant to have something. We ordered butter naan and chicken butter masala. Then we came to the Nehru Park in front of the Cotton College and sat there for a while. He then told me that they will return that very night. I was very upset hearing this. I requested him to stay for another day. But his friend could not stay. I also said that as it is foggy night during that season, so it’s better if they travel the next morning. His friend had certain important work, so they hurried to go that night even. They started their journey at 9.30pm. Akash drove the car. At 1AM Akash called me and said that they had reached Narayanpur and were both feeling sleepy so decided to sleep in the car itself. I too wished him Good Night.

 Next day at 5.30 AM he called me, wished me good morning and said that they are about to start the journey again. Both hung up the call then. I too fell asleep.

 At 7AM, someone knocked at my door. It was Ananya, one of my hostel mates cum classmate. She was repeatedly knocking at my door. I was annoyed of it and at last opened the door. I asked her what the matter is. Why are you knocking in such a hasty manner? She did not reply me, not a single word. She just pulled me and brought me to the common room of our hostel. There I saw most of the girls were present in that room. The TV was also on. I asked one of them, “What happen?” She also did not answer me. She just pointed her finger towards the TV. There I saw “The Big Breaking”…A road accident took place in Dhokuakhana Charialli; a Santro car collide with a Winger; one is seriously injured and one dead. No one other than the driver was injured of the Winger traveller. As per the local report the person driving the Santro car had been fatally injured on his head and was dead. His name is Akash Baruah…” I was standing still like a trump of a tree. I could not speak nor could I cry. I felt as if someone had pulled the earth beneath my legs. Ananya immediately hugged me and cried aloud. But I still remained silent. Not a single drop of tear rolled down my eyes. I went to my room packed my clothes and left for Dhemaji. Everybody called me that day; my parents, my friends. But I did not attend anybody’s call. My heart was not ready to accept the truth. I felt as if he would call me then and say”Jaan, I reached home safely”. I was waiting for his call all the way to his house. At 7PM that evening I reached his house. I saw from the entrance of his house that many people were gathering outside his house. Still I ignored the truth. As I opened the entrance gate, everybody looked at me. There lied he in the ground; covering his body with a white cloth. His mother came forward and said,” we were waiting for you. We alone cannot adieu him without you. Say goodbye to him my child”. Hearing these words, I burst into tears. That time I felt that, yes I lost him; lost him forever.

 Four years have passed and still I could not forget him; nor can I forever. Because he is within me. I loved him, love him and will love him forever. When sometimes people who are ignorant of the situation ask me about him, I tell them that he is fine. I cannot say to anyone that he is no more in this world. Because I could feel his presence everywhere. He is alive within me. I have a pillow made of his clothes. Whenever I miss him, I talk with that pillow and hug it tightly. I am sorry Bidyut. I could not say it to you before. Please forgive me for hurting you.”

 After Lina shared this bitter truth of her life with Bidyut, silence surrounded them. No one could speak anything further. Bidyut’s eyes were moist. He could not say a single word. He could not even see to the eyes of Lina. An unknown guilt embraced him. Lina then silently walked away from that place. Bidyut followed her.


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