Due to my Office Duty last week and my Nephew’s 5th Birthday this week, I couldn’t edit and rewrite the episodes that are due to be on last Saturday (03/18/2017) and today (03/25/2017). So, here’s a throwback Saturday post with Story So Far… of Chapter 2.
Next week, I’ll try to post a bonus Episode combining two Episode (7 and 8). I’m also sharing a sneak peek into the Episode 7 with this episode.
25th March 2017
It was a late-April morning.
The small iron gate of Bhattacharjee brothers’ three-store building flung open as Sangbad jumped on the road. He’s now a thirteenth-year-old boy. In last two years, he had lost his weight and had gained height. From 5 foot 2 inch he’s now 5 foot 5 inch.
He looked around. He was searching Cork, his pet stray dog—he was a white dog with black spots spreads over his body.
The clinking of the gate with a loud metallic noise had brought his pet running from Pradip Kaka’s tea shop—wagging his tail and jumping in excitement. He was followed by Buri—an aged female dog followed by three of her puppies. All surrounds him in excitement; the puppies jumped on his polished shoe. He was going to stoop down to pat them when he was stopped.
“Don’t pat him now…” Aparajita screamed as she came out with his water bottle.
“No…I’m not…” He snatched the bottle from his mother’s hand.
The two elderly dogs looked at her with a disturbance in their eyes; the puppies understanding they had to leave the way moved towards their mother.
“So what’s the plan for the birthday boy…” Bikash Kaka asked while opening his stall.
He owned the cycle repairing stall adjacent to his house. He was a man in early forties.
“Nothing…Didi might arrange a surprise…I think…” he replied as the puppies seeing him stand started gathering around him—one also stand up supporting on his leg.
“How is your Didi…” Bikash Kaka enquired while opening one of the six locks of his stall.
“She’s fine…still recovering…” He replied.
The conversation got interrupted as Samir Kaka called him. It was his duty for last two years to drop him at school in the morning. At evening he returns home alone. He bid Bikash Kaka and pat the little pup who was standing supporting on his leg—this action made his Ma screamed again—and ran to Samir Kaka to board on his cycle carrier.
In these two years, Silver Star had extended itself.
It had started having its class at second floor also. The stair from the first floor the to the second floor led to two balconies-one straight from the stair and another taking a left turn. The balcony, straight from the stairs, had two rooms. One used to serve as the library and another one used to remain closed. The balcony also had a small roof which was kept close for safety by a grill iron gate. From the balcony, the Rathtala bus stand can be seen vividly.
The left of the stair had a spacious balcony with four rooms and a toilet. The odd one out of this floor was the store room. It was a tiny square one; sitting towards the end of the second-floor spacious balcony abruptly. It had two rooms on either side of it while the girls’ toilet was located the on left of it at a distance of approx thirty hands while the balcony lays on its right side.
The room that it had in adjacent, with a gap of twenty hands between it and the room was the largest one. It was the only room to had two exit doors. One towards the store room and another towards the part of the balcony which was actually a narrow alley facing the courtyard of the school. From there a bit of the busy Kasba Street can be seen.
On another side, the room was the smallest one of the floor. The peculiarity of the room was a big window at corner towards a closed wall and a pair of winds overlooking the field downstairs. Another peculiarity of the room was the space near these windows was a depressed planned platform with a flight of concrete stair.
The fourth room on the floor was another largest one. I’ll talk about it later because the description is not needed at this moment.
The Class Seven at which Sangbad was then was the smallest room opposite the storage room.
“What’re you doing…” Anushka chirped before snatching her bag from Sangbad’s hand.
The prayer was over. The first period would be starting in few minutes. Priyotosh and Saibal had settled down in the last bench which was at the border of the mentioned depressed area; there’s enough space for another one to sit. But, Sangbad had ditched that to sit beside Anushka, in the second last bench, and fulfill his wish.
“Where it is…” Sangbad enquired.
“What…” Anushka asked while keeping aside her bag because she knew he’ll not cross her to get the bag. She also knew why he was scrambling her bag.
“Today’s my birthday…you haven’t forgotten, I know very well…you hadn’t missed to bring it for last two years…so, where’s it…” Sangbad asked looking at her eyes.
Anushka smiled and thought to play a little more with him. So she bends her lips and replied, “I’ve forgotten…did I wish you last night or this morning…see, I’ve forgotten…”
Sangbad frowned and said, in a fail serious tone, “there’s an extra tiffin box in your bag…wrapped in the packet…and the packet has the emblem of Dey Brothers…”
“Good…great…our Feluda…” Saibal commented from behind.
He was enjoying this show. When they argue it look so good…he always comments to Priyotosh who always preferred to remain silent and only intervene when Anushka and Sangbad fight–Anushka take away the spectacle of him and he holds her hairs by the tail. Saibal loves to remain back and enjoy this fight. Let them fight…he would say.
Anushka smiled and said, “you always get hold of me, you know…”
She pushed up Sangbad’s spectacle over his nose and then, “you had petted the little puppy before you come to school…so your hands are dirty…at least one…”
Sangbad gazed angrily at Saibal. Last eve, while returning from school, he had helped a puppy to cross the road in front of his school by taking it on his lap. Saibal was there as well as Priyotosh. Anushka was absent last day.
“Did kakima know of this…” Anushka asked looking sharply with slimming her big beady eyes–her style of interrogation.
Sangbad scratched his head and smiling wryly replied, “yes…Pradip Kaka was passing at that time…he had seen and had complained it to Samir Kaka…who then pass the news to Ma…”
“And then you got a good scolding from kakima, and, another layer of another scolding, then, from Didi…for handling the dirty thing…” Priyotosh replied with a grin.
“But, before the prayer, I have washed my hands with the soap…see my hand smell of Lifebuoy…” Sangbad holds out his hand.
“Okay…how is Didi…” Anushka asked to steer the topic to another one.
“She’s fine…doctor said it is nothing only a sprain in her leg…many a time I had told her not to run behind a bus…even if she is running late…now pass me the box…” Sangbad said pulling himself a little closer to her.
Anushka grasps her bag tightly.
“Why is Miss is not coming…” Saibal commented.
“You’re a villain…enjoy the show…do you remember what had happened last year…” Priyotosh asked.
“He got caught by Dipwanita Miss…and not that day but next day he was punished by kneeling down outside the door…” Saibal replied.
Sangbad looked at his friends angrily. Anushka surpassed her laughter and said, “okay at lunch time…not now…”
Sangbad was going to say s’thing when a female voice interrupted him.
He turned his head in disturbance being getting interrupted. Anushka also seems to be disturbed.
It was Saibal who spoke first; in his frail voice, he asked “yes…”
The girl, as it seems to Sangbad, was much older than them. She was taller than other girls of his class.
“Can I sit here…because, all the benches are full…” she replied looking at Saibal.
Sangbad had a quick look around and saw there were few seats empty still then. But, they’re beside boys. Before he could say anything Priyotosh took his bag up and placed on the high bench between him and Saibal.
Sangbad frowned and stood up. Then, with a smile, says “you can as my friends want…”
As he settled down between his two friends, Anushka turned around and made a bend-lipped face to Sangbad as if she was going to cry. Before much progress goes on, Dipanwita Miss enters the class.
After a few seconds of hustle—as everybody settles down, the class went silent. E’one was scared of her. After scrutinizing the class with her beady eyes—that were small but look big for her high power spectacles, she orders, “there’ll be complete silence as I take the attendance. I’ll call the name followed by roll number…”
She sat down on the teachers’ chair and opened up the attendance; she pressed the page of the new attendance copy with her palm to make it level before starting calling the name followed by roll number as she had said.
“This is for you…” Anushka turned around a little and pass a brown envelope to Sangbad.
Sangbad slowly and silently opens the envelope and was surprised to find the content.
The new girl stood up as Dipanwita Miss called out “Elena Mondal…”
Sangbad was going to take this sudden chance to thanks, Anushka when she sat down suddenly getting him caught as he was going to speak.
“You three are sitting together again…Saibal gets up and sits beside…” she looked around and replaced him beside another new entrant—a boy who looks like a little Sumo.
Sangbad was going to protest for this when Dipanwita Miss looked at him and said “not a word from you…no one can talk on my face in the class…except you…Saibal hurries up…I know you two are bosom friends…”
Saibal looked at two of them and then walked to the mid third bench beside the new boy with a sad face and dragging leg.
Dipanwita Miss again started calling attendance.
Sangbad takes the cover of Elena and said, “thanks, for this…I’ve searching for this color of Jetter…”
“Sangbad…” Dipanwita Miss called out.
“I’ m not talking…” he said up.
“You were talking…what shall I do with you…I can’t scold you as it is your birthday…oh…okay your punishment will be allotted tomorrow…now you roll number is 20…” she said while putting P beside his name to denote he was present.
# Feluda: A popular Bengali sleuth created by Satyajit Ray. It’s seldom that a Bengali boy or girl hadn’t read his adventure at their growing-hood.
#Kakima: Bengali colloquial term for addressing Aunty.
#Lifebouy: A popular India toilet soap.
“So, when you’re going?” Saibal asked.
That day, it was their last day in school before the Summer Vacation. He and Sangbad were returning home. Saibal used to stay in a rented second floor near to the school. Sometimes, after they were promoted to Class Eight, for last one month Sangbad walked with Saibal to his house and then after bidding him, he would take an alley to neglect most of the busy eve main Kasba road.
“H’mm…what did you ask…” Sangbad was silent at the same time was in brown thoughts. The first one was uncanny because he loved to talk on s’thing that had caught his fascination while being in the school; the second one not because he often gets lost in thoughts–then and now–keeping the speech incomplete or the action undone.