<••||DOWN TO THE BAZAAR||●●>
It was about half-past six in the evening, when I seized my bag and set out to attend my maths tution. The classes are conducted at the house just opposite to ours. So, it takes even less than a minute to get-to.
Entering, I found my fellow tutionmates, Debarchana and Arpan, already busy rummaging their books and copies. Surprisingly, sir was nowhereto be spotted.
'Maybe he's busy inside'--I thought.
And keeping down the bag casually on the carpet, I slid down beside it, cross-legged.
As I settled, Debarchana gave me a warm-hearty smile, whereas Arpan giving a cold one, resumed back.
But, it was just, I had opened my bag and pulled out my copy when;
'Yesterday's homework done?' A cold-crusty voice reached my ears. But, before I could say or understand anything, sir emerged out, from behind the curtains beside me, with a sarcastic look over his face.
"Homework?" he repeated, observing me gaping at him blankly.
"Homework---" I gasped, recieving a well prognosis, beforehand.
"Not done again, I bet?" He enquired more gruffly, giving a stern glance to me, which made my stomach lurch vigorously. I sat as still as a rock, speechless, blinking at him.
There was complete dead silence. Even, the other two had stopped their activities and were looking into the matter, with an intense inquisitiveness.
Finally, to break the ear-piercing silence,anyhow I found out my tongue and tried to say, but;
"Sir--actually--I-I was si-si-- " choaked, as I could very well notice his pale face changing colour, like a chameleon, first red, then scarlet. His eyes were blazing with the immense temper rising inside him, as they flickered outflames .
"Get--out--now!" He muttered distinctly, gnashing his teeth frantically.
Thought he tried his best to keep down a bellow, but I could catch a glimpse of, his furiouse-with-rage lips trembling vehemently, as he spoke.
Arguing with him in such an exasperated state-of-mind was downright futile, I knew.
Having nothing to improve more, I bandished my copy and pens into the bag and gloomily rose-to-feet but before taking a step outside, I caught a glance of the sniggering faces of my impish freinds.
The next moment, I was standing staring at my abode, alone over the deserted street, utterly nonpulssed.
'What should I do...' I thought, 'should I return back home...no! Hang on--if I return so early, surely they are going to get a good hand on me...so--should I then---'
"Oh--yeah, I should...I should enjoy this time...who cares" I muttered under breathe, feeling the thrill of excitement flowing through my veins.
Reassuring myself that, there was no one outside watching at me and even, neither sir nor my freinds were looking out; straightaway I started walking down the road to my left, humming a little tune all the through.
After taking two double right-turns, I found myself standing a few feet away from the maidaan, which was all black, but there was a faint rusty noise reaching my ears, as if somebody was having an inchmeal swing.
I strained my both eyes and ears to get a clear look of the unknown human being, or maybe no one, but the last and least thing I could spot out, was a shadowy figure seated on one of the swings.
"Heyyy---who's there?" Finally getting exhausted, I yelled at the anonymous figure, which, on getting my voice, yelled back;
"Heyyy---Liza! What're you doing there--come here!"
It was a very familiar male voice, but for a moment I couldn't get it.
So,I sprinted as fast as I could at the direction of the voice and finally, when I reached there, panting for breathe, out from the pitch darkness popped the round cheerful face of...
"Rohit--" I gasped gaping at him.
But he didn't seem to be surprised, rather, grinned broadly and flunged out his both arms hugging me so tightly, that I, already out-of-breathe, felt like, soon to have a heart failure.
Fortunately, he let go of me, still a smile shinning on his face, whereas I kept on coughing and fidgeting for some oxygen.
"Come--let's have a swing--" saying such, he held his hand around my shoulder and forwarded me towards the swing, on which he was sitting at past and therefore, was still in a slight motion.
We settled down in the swings next to each other, and for again, there was complete silence. Only the rusty noise of the ancient swings, broke it.
"So--coming from home, eh?" He ask me serenely.
"Tution--" I replied nonchalantly, but my partner seemed to be taken aback a little.
"Now--don't say you're bunking your tution...I s'pose, huh?" He asked me but a bit more anxious this time.
"Nah--expelled" I said more casually but I could feel the internal rage growing up.
"Oh--now--I--see--" he chuckled softly but, to this, the barrier of my rage gave away and I burst out shouting at him.
"DON'T YOU LAUGH AT ME!" I squeaked, almost jumping off from the swing and folding-in both arms,"IT'S NOT MY FAULT...AN-AND FOR YOUR KIND INFORMATION--I WAS INDEED SICK! SO I COULDN'TCOMPLETE MY 'OMEWORK!" Casting a severe glance at his apologising face, I wheeled around and even before, he could speak a word, I strided off. But, when I had just taken a few steps, someone arrested me from back.
I re-wheeled around to find the gloomy face of Rohit, laying a tight grip on the edge of my t-shirt. I jerked away his hand disdainfully and opened my mouth to say but;
"Got angry on me, huh? Oh--c'mon--you tetchy gal, I was just kidding on you, don't you ge'it--" he spoke out, before me, in a very cool and pliable tone, smiling inwardly(I guessed).
I didn't answer and looked the other way.
He looked at me for a second, and understanding the mood-off expression over my face, he added in-a-jiff;
"Oh! Now don't be so moody! Okay--okay, I am extremely sorry for my deed...now please forget the past--and--let's have a fine walk...see the weather's so pleasant, isn't it..."
I very well understood the fact, that he wanted me to stay with him, some more time, in the mere name of brisk walking.
So I asked, posing;
"Okay--but, where on this earth, do u s'pose to go, huh?"
"Anywhere, you like!" he replied hastily, seeming keen to keep going with a normal conversation.
I thought lightly for sometime but then, as no idea borned into my head, I appealed to him.
He too, thought deeply for a moment and then;
"What 'bout going to a market?!" he said so excitedly, as if it was a fair indeed but then looking at my disgruntled face, he added faltering;
"No--i mean--you see--well--market's a very interest place--'coz--er--there're so many people and they give you real...pleasure!"
Now, I grinned to him openly and said politely patting his shoulder;
"Oh--please, Rohit, what'd you reckon me--a monster, huh? That, it's going to eat you up...let's go--but...hang on--which market are you talking 'bout, Chandidas?" And to this question, he turned his head so quick towards me, that, I bet, he twitched it.
"Blimey! Chandidas! Gone mad or what--I?" He almost howled in surprise, his eyebrows raised and eyes widening.
But the very next moment, he added impatiently;
"No--no, not Chandidas--Bhagat Singh's enough...'coz you see--that's kinda little market, these days"
"Oh yea...let's get going then--"
He smiled back at me and both of us strided off taking the winding road towards right, chatting all way down.
After consecutive double right-turns, at last we found ourselves facing the serried state of the bazaar with numerous people, as the evening crowd, has filled every inch of space on the land.
The main road was tightly conjested with varied transports; and the different types of shops situated at the either flanks of the busy road, were too having a great deal to do with their hustling and bustling customers; all busy buying or bargaining with the already exhausted-looking shopkeepers.
We both transveresed the whole market, walking along the brink of the road, either gossiping or commenting on the passer-bys.
After walking a few lengths, we reached in front of a bare, measly oil-lamp-lit shop, which was, in-all-probability, being neglected by the busy-bees wayfarers.
I noticed, a very aged woman was sitting hunchbacked in front of a small, black kadhai and a rattan basket, full of aloo pakoras.
My mouth started watering instantly, and watching me staring at them covetously--
"Want to have a?" Rohit asked me smirking.
"No--no money--" I replied back shrugging and looked the other way.
"Don't worry, when I'm here" He said, seeming always to be in funds and proceeded towards the old lady, who had been watching us till.
Whereas, I waited for him outside eagerly.
"Yeh--take it--" He said after reverting back from the shop, and thrusting me a hot pakora into my hand, which literally made me wade-a-war with it to hold properly, until it cooled down.
"Anyway I didn't--ask you, what're you doing at the dark ground, all alone--" I asked him curiously, helping myself to the delicious pakoras.
Rohit glanced at me with a never-mind-about-it look, and then taking a great bite of the almost eaten-up pakora, he said through a mouthful of the stuff;
"Actually--I vaus ju-jus' vaving some vresh ver, you vee--"
It made me think, it was like a quite achievement for someone to speak in such a state.
Then finally, giving a big shallow, he continued, but this time, his cool voice has raised and body shook with rage;
"My dear mum--shooed me out of house, only because my nefarious brother broke off her more-than-life-precious phone an-and the whole blame came upon me, as I's found there lingering just after the accident happened, whereas my brother had already fled away from the spot...earlier!"
"That's why, I came to the ground to calm down my mind...I'll simply kill that rascal!" He mumbled under his breathe, lips trembling.
"Oh don't get so infuriated..." I said in a consoling tone, "these are just the same...don't worry...c'm let's move on--"
Though he still looked furiouse and stayed muted, but forgot it as we came across a gift shop, with an intermingled with variouse colourful products on the shelf, he happily bought me a magnificent keyring(though I refused him),with 'HAPPY FRIENDSHIP DAY' scribbled on it beautifully.
"Advance gift for you" he said giving me a loveable grin and beckoning me to proceed forward.
"Thank you so much" I said quietly walking alongside with him. Though, he didn't speak back, rather gave the same smile.
Finally, when we had reached to the extreme of the market, he turned to me, glum-faced again;
"Okay--so...we should return back now--'coz-- orelse our not-lenient mums're not going to listen anything if we turn up late...though maybe mine's still angry...but then also--" He said knitting his eyebrows.
I gave a quick, brief glance at the wrist watch and a huge thunder struck right at top of my head.
"Oh my god Rohit, you're right! We're too late by now...it-it's almost half past eight--we've to hurry up--c'mon on!"
And we both broke off into a run, haulting only, when we reached Rohit's house and he, giving a last, gratified and pleased look at me, stepped into his home and slammed the door.
I stood staring for a few more minutes at the house before me, fingers crossed, hoping, that this time he might'nt get anymore scolding from his mother.
Then, again receiving another thunderstruck-of-time, I sprinted towards my home and, ultimately, when I reached there, panting, already found my fellow freinds leaving their class, laughing and talking loudly as if they were returning from a cinema and not tution.
I gave them an evil-eye and momerising the every pleasing moments with Rohit, I smile inwardly and turned to my own domicile, which was still deserted, as no one was outside, fortunately.
For few seconds, I stood rooted to the ground, staring and the sweet memories still stirring in front of my eyes. Then, at last, I took a deep satisfying breathe, tugged the beautiful keyring gingerly into my geans' pocket and opening the door, stepped inside.
My mum was sitting in front of the TV and, father was busy with his own phone beside her.
As I entered, both of them turned up their heads to me, in union. For a dreadful moment, I thought, maybe they know everything but it soon faded out, as both of them smiled and resumed.
After a fine dinner(though I didn't eat much and that made my mother a little suspicious); I was lying at my back in my bed, almost at the verge to doze off, but, suddenly, I sat up bolt upright.
'Oh no! My homework's still pending...' I shouted in owns mind; 'shit! Again tomorrow, oh--no--again another evening--full of anxiety and anger, ill words from sir...and maybe--a few more free--casual moments with Rohit--in the amusing market--but--will he turn up tomorrow too...maybe his brother's going to break something again...oh!' I thought mildly, and slumped back, but a thrill of fervidity ran through my whole body...
BY HEDWIG'S QUILL
DATE : 9 AUG 2021
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