As he reached Vardhan Mension, Atanu found aHindusthanigateman stood at the gate watched him top to bottom. He was a newly appointed fellow , so it was not his fault to verify a stranger. He approached to him and asked him to stop by hand gasture.
Atanu smiled and said, "I want to meet with Nabarun Vardhan, the owner of this house . By the way whats your name?"
"Mukesh , yes sir Mukesh Verma! From Ara District, Bihar. "Sir shab is at his office now.So you cannot meet with him.Please come another day."
Atanu felt little akward by his behaviour.But literaly ,he was right he was paid for this only.
He did not stop as if he couldn't listen him.He slowly moved up to Mukesh and smlied again , then said vey softly -"See Mukesh ! I am a friend of your shab ,I can meet others as well ! And don't worry ! Nothing wrong is going to happen with you.Get cool. Madam is there of course !Or she too has been somewhere?"
Mukesh replied promptly , "Yes sir she is!"
Mukesh's conscience was not permiting him to allow a stranger to meet with Mrs Vardhan when she was alone. Yes! she was alone. Kids were at school and his parents too had been somewhere by car.Rather he did not know what sort of friend he was ?As there wasn't a male member in the house so generally no other male person can enter the house, it was his concept about a family custom. He was not acquainted with such a culture. He fell in a dilema. He wait a for a while and said," Sir I'm going inside and beg her permission ?"
"No , don't that ! You are right , I will come anther day, it would be better".
"Excuse me sir, it was not my point to restrict you meeting her".He if he was their close friend or relative case could dangerous for his service could be in question mark!
-"This could be an urgent sir, I'm stopping any more".
"Well , Mr. Mukesh you are right , you are doing your duty! By the way I'm not a bad man , 'am I looking so? Not, na!", he joked this time and burst into laugh.
Their interactions was over heard by Madam Shrirekha.She herself came out of the house.
"Hey Mukesh, don't stop him coming.Let him come.He's our own " , Shrirekha said.
She approached them at time. She gave a lovely and pleasent smile to Atanu. She then headed him inside, into the palace.
Mukesh ashtonishingly saw them to enter the house.He thought of door to be closed. He understood, "this fellow must be a special for the family.....!"
"After a long time you did come to this place . -'Am I right sir? Why perhaps you don't think us your own !" She grinned. "By the way let's sit at the drawing room". Atanu gave his concent by nodding his head.
"If you don't mind , --Could I ask you a question?" Shrirekha said.
In reply Atanu said, " Absolutely and unhesitatingly , it will be my pleasure!"
—"Are you getting married soon?
-I'm telling you this as I have learnt few days back .
-A friend of mine told me this.Other wise how could I know?"-She smiled and added , - "She has also warned me not to spread it publically.Is it a love marriage or will be a social marriage?"Leaning her head back she looked at Atanu with a mischievous laugh.
Atanu brushed his head with his fingers,
smiled and said," I don't know how rumours spread in the air, God knows !"
Shrirekha interupted him, "Meaning ?You want to say this is not true.I mean it's a fake news , right !"
Being little upset Atanu said ,"How can I make you understand that I don't have any relation or friendship with anybody nor I have planning for marriage ! Why people make their spicy news about me! I request you boudi to ask them to stop all these nonsense. Believe me, I actually hate these things."
And , no matter , we can be friends at least! Isn't it?'
"We are already friends and what's the use of making friendship freshly ?" Atanu asked. A silence spread all over room for a moment.
Shrirekha raised from her chair.
" You don't need , but I need your friendship ' your helps and accompany .Understood"
With a long deep sigh Shrirekha said these to her husband's friend Atanubabu, while offering him a cup full of tea. She had her sheer uttering and unexpressed appeal.It seemed to be her to be hopeless.Or she had long desire for something she couldn't get .
Atanusaw today a different Mrs.Vardan. What happened to her? Anything wrong with her. He tried to guess shipping the hot tea.
She is a middle aged handsome lady , a mother of two beautiful kids. A tall dark handsome husband , Nabarun is in her possession. Truely speaking , there is nothing lacking in her life. Beautiful well decorated palace like lauxarious building in the heart of the city ,various categories of cars. Charming curated green garden infront of the residence and what's not. Still she is upset .Why? Solution didn't come in Atanu's brain immediately. She took a chair and sat near by him. She was alone today. So she was very happy by getting Atanu's company . She seemed to be more pleased than other days. She gazed at him continuously as if she was examining his head to toe every inch. Atanu cracked the last biscuit and shipped tea at the bottom level. He got a fresh cool breeze of air gushing through the windows.He felt the smell of alluring and temptating perfume from madam Vardhan. She is lascivious even at her forty. She is well maintained lady. Any one who sees her ,at first sight will fall in love.
Atanu stood up, smiled and was about to left the chair.Shrirekha winked him to know where he was going?
"Are you in a hurry today Mr. Atanubabu ?"
--"No, not like that. Isn't it too late?",said Atanu.Also added, --"Mother might think unnecessarily .Oh yes! let me go now ."
"No, no I cannot let you go so early Mr. Let him to come atleast !" Or, do you feel bad because we are two only. I'm your friend's wife no one else! Then what do you have to worry about?"
He got into a unwanted of trouble! He could realize he fell into a trp . Omm! No, he should go without a delay.So started to move and .......!
Suddenly , she approached him , caught his hand and pulled him towards her . "Ouch! Oh! Boudi , What happened to you ? It's not fair. Have you gone crazy ..?"
He screamed and made an effort to keep her apart from him. Momentarily his body and mind filled with hatred and shame!
Atanu never expected this type of things from her nor such behaviour. He got really puzzled at first -'what is she doing ?' Is she in herself or totally lost ?He tried to think on his own. Being a simple innocent lamb couldn't understood anything.
Shrirekha didn't listen Atanu.She applied all strength to keep his lips near to her . Atanu failed to resist her .She kissed him madly fullfilled her desire. Then she left him. He noticed a real satisfaction at her reddened excited face . Her entire forehead was drenched by her sweat , a clear restless breathing was still seen on her chest. What was happened , happened in a moment quickly and unpredictably in a cyclonic speed .Then the cyclone stopped and calm also. She seemed to be gratified and tired at the same time. But neither the sign of shame nor regrate were reflected in her face. He could not raise his head to face her directly. He felt tremendously guilty . He thought it would not be safe for him to be there even after this silly incident.He couldn't guess what might happen and what might not. He was not blaming Mrs. Vardhan 'rather he blamed himself. He should not come in absence of his friend. He could remember old proverb his father Bhavesbabu chanted "Pathe Nadi (river), Nari(women) Singhidhari (horned animal) Tiner Nai Biswas Kari ". Meaning on the path we shouldn't rely on river,single woman and horned animal. One may fall in dangerous situation ! He vowed not to repeat this again.
He moved slowly towards the gate. He stood there for a moment turned back to see the reaction of Shrirekha's face. To be surprised she was indifferent as nothing was happened , nor she had done anything wrong.He stepped down to the road .His house was at ten minutes walking distance. He looked nothing aroun him,his tension was mountained to a height. He could not decide, should he continue the relation with the family or not. If he left, how Nabarun will take it. Atanu is sure he must put pressure on to him to know the reason of his deserting him and his family.
Mukesh smiled and saluted Atanu. He did not say anything simply looked him till he disappeared..............
Merci pour la lecture!
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