A TypeWriter -By Keya Dutta

Two years of marriage,  many changes in Niraj’s behaviour punched the clock. He is highly ambitious of wealth, pompous, opulent to compete with the comrades. Niraj has been working as a finance consultant holding many rewards & awards, certificate from top business school. While, Adhira, only kept following her passion as a writer, despite a her higher degree and good job experience in a reputed farm.

She knew it would had to happen someday! A mere divorce paper couldn’t able to tremble her firm mind. She signed the divorce paper with just a thought that how her creativity once been admired and love by Niraj, today, it became an encumbrance. She had to choose between a facile, flaky, superficial relationship and a typewriter. And, she choosed the later.

7 months ago :

“You are such a grandmother!”, Niraj was satirical.

Adhira was still observing every movements of him, while she was still typing. She started writing another book lately in the last month. Her other books were always been uncanny and astounding, still not been recognised by big publishers due to her inconspicuous name. But, she is ridiculously passionate about story telling and those who knew her writing for a decade, await for a another queer.

“Well, haven’t you heard the saying, there’s no place like home except Grandma’s?”, Adhira replied in a light hearted way. She smiled.

“You know what is your problem Adhira?  You live in dreams, in a shell, impractical, dumb, irrational! Your degrees, your job experience could helped us living a better lifestyle. You rejected the best opportunity to be in a top position of learning and development. But, you and your never ending write ups, that too also writing in this tortuous, damn old typewriter. Who else in this generation of e-book, writes up in typewriter like a sloth? Don’t you think we could have afforded more luxuries than this?”, Niraj was highly hostile.

“Don’t you think it’s luxurious itself, when you do the things that you love?”, Adhira looked for an answer.

“This is not just about you and your crazy dreams”, Niraj was croaky.

She was aphonic for a moment.

“That why I am different, am I not?”, Adhira replied again with a smile. “Three years ago, these were the qualities for which you adored me to be into this marriage.”

“That was a different from now. I had a good support of my family. Today,  I could be the director of my Dad’s oil and lubricant farm.” Niraj’s juvenile was uncovered clearly.  Finally he announced about the divorce he wanted from her.

3 years ago :

He fell in love with Adhira on their first meeting at a mountain trekking camp at Solan valley. Her simplicity and concordance drawn him towards her. Her observant mind, capturing every tiny particles, which would have been ignored by any other normal person made her most unique amongst the group.

“Many secreats are tresureed in your diary, isn’t it?”, Adhira was appalled by Niraj’s voice from the back.

“Every twist has it’s greatest secreat. Don’t you have any twists in your life yet not twisted? Well, I am sure you have many twists and turns in your body.”, and both of them laughed at their own jest.

After several months of their courtship,  Niraj finally proposed her to marry him. The marriage was followed by simple ceremony in the presence of both of theirs friends, as Niraj’s parent’s were against this marriage because of Ahira’s identity crisis; being from a broken family.

15 years later :

Adhira Goswami is at her 50’s. Wrinkles around her face and neck, losing her eyesight gradually, bit shaky while writing on her typewriter. But, still not shaky of her passion, for which she lived in 15 years of isolation without grumbling. Neighbours call her crazy old typewriter lady. Kids from the nearby apartment knocks at her door and disappear to tease her, to annoy her. Old Adhira pretented to be annoyed by the kids and shouts, “hey you, all monkeys”. They giggle and do the act repeatedly. Secreatly,  she enjoys this activities by the kids. At least by doing this,  she finds some companies from the children. She deliberately keeps the door open for sometime and few kids enter into her room and touch her clothes, sit in the half torned out sofa, touch the books around the room and giggle. She pretends as if she is not aware of it and suddenly comes in front of them and they run away immediately. This became a daily fun for both the kids and Adhira. Only time she gets seriously annoyed was, when they try to touch her typewriter. She immediately closes the door if they try to touch it. She has been protecting this typewriter, for more than 30 years now.

Sometimes,  she makes the newspaper delivery boy Zafar, to sit for a while,  makes tea for him and asks about his studies. Whenever he comes with a news of her article publishing in the newspaper,  she makes special feast for him. Sometimes,  pudding, or cake, or kheer, or gajar halwa. Zafar, a calm boy, in his 7th standard, belongs to a poor Muslim family who is very fond of Adhira Goswami Aunty, not just because of her pudding and cake but also they have the similiar passion for writing. Zafar often comes to study at her place after his school.

Few months later :

A knock at the door in the early hour of morning. Adhira was little surprised. Thought, how come the kids came to bully her at the dawn!

“Oh Zafar! What happened?”,  Zafar was with a man, must be around 40 yeas of age.

“Mrs. Adhira Goswami! My name is Anirban Dè! I came to know from Zafar about your writing. I am in a search of rare typewriting literature from India, which is for collection of “Literature of Innocence and Experience” in Stockholm library of manuscripts and illustrations. Would you mind….”, before Mr. Anirban Dè finishes,  Adhira tells both of them to sit and make themselves comfortable.

She makes tea for all of them. In the meantime,  Anirban comes near her writing area,  the space full of her thousands of writings. It is flurry! He is in shock.

“How could a woman dedicated her whole life in her writing and protected her typewriter like her own child? And, how could people abandoned her for following her passion?

“You have to keep your passport ready to travel to Stockholm library soon ma’am! Thank you Zafar!”, Anirban stands still for while, with a intensed face.

“Well Zafar will follow the same passion after me. Never lose the hope my boy! Your passion may be your luxury itself. And, after me, you will take care of the typewriter, Zafar!”,  both Zafar and Anirban kept looking her poised and calm pains pouring through the teapot.

Today,  Adhira Goswami’s writings are considered one amongst the rare collections of typewriting books and manuscripts worldwide as an Indian author. Zafar, still visits her old room which has still the same fresh smells of the papers, ink refills and echoes of the typewriter.

“Her last Lust” – A short thriller by Keya Dutta

Screenshot_2017-04-26-21-14-38_1493222025947

Joel, the only brat son of the house owner tried luring her ever since Rumi, her mother and her step father shifted to their new place, on rent. Rumi was 19 then, looks vulnerable and sultry that any men would have liked to hunt her to satisfy releasing aches of their hormonal rushes. Her voluptuous and curvy frame enhancing to the subject of attention. Joel winked her many times with a luring intention. Though hesitated,  she liked to see his bare chest uptil his bellybutton frame secreatly. But, she had to disappoint him by her constant fear of being valunerbal.

One month later:

Rumi got up expeditiously with rumult and ran to the spot of gathering near the main gate. It was her mother’s dead body. She shooked her cold logged body,  tried to wake her up. Immediately ambulance arrived followed by her call. Doctor announced about body’s lamentation.

One month Before :

Joel is turning 28 today bashing his birthday. Three of them Rumi, her mother and step father is the part of the party. Joel winks at her again.  She kept her eyes immeiately and pretented scrutinising her sandle straps, though seduced by the thought of being copulated with him.

Joel came with glasses of mojitos towards three of them. He kissed Rumi’s mother’s hand in an anticipation of gratitude. Rumi’s mother was in her late forties. She got carried away by Joel’s charm. A passionate dance followed by in between Rumi’s mother and Joel. Rumi’s step father was busy seeing the fine imported wine bottles with his intellectual vista. Rumi left the party out of discontent and with the green eyed monster.

Very soon Rumi found both Joel and her mother in a coitus state on her bed. This has been a hunky dory between them now for several months in Rumi’s step father’s absence. Rumi just had a thought about Joel that of his being flirtatious with her few months ago, not even worthed a damn! Mother f*uker!

Rumi and her step dad were on the way back to home after the creamation. He asked her, “Do you know how this incident took place? How she fell down from the second floor balcony? ”

Rumi looked at him in a hopelessness way.

Her step dad said,  “last night your mother was at Joel’s room. Joel’s parents hammered the door with pique when they came to know their courtship through their old servant Joseph. They violently shouted and heralded by his father that Joel would be disowned from their heritaged property. 28 year old Joel got very much penitent and patrified that he forcefully slammed your mother to the narrow strip of his balcony. It was dark and she could not able control her next step on that slim strip. She fell down on her head. Doctor found it was internal bleeding too. ”

Today:

“Uh ha ha. .Joel. .that’s naughty of you”……

Rumi heard her mother gigling. She opened her eyes softly. She was drowned in her sweats waking up. She realised it was a dream. Rumi came and sat beside her mother on the couch. She was still busy talking over the phone with Joel. She again giggled over the phone in flirtatious way.

“Girl,  I am going for a day out. .ummm with Joel. Don’t worry about my dinner. Tell Dad too”.  Her mother said.

Rumi fumbled for a moment and said, “take care mother! “

Her Supressing Passion

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You

She awaited,  awaited for more than a decade, awaited for the right person to understand her emotionally and physically, a dream of indulging into a lifetime mating. Years and years passed by,  she never came across any man who could touched her core,  who had the same amount of passion,  who had the same belief of spiritual intimacy!

“And then, as if written by the hand of a bad novelist, an incredible thing happened.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Amulet of Samarkand

A very quite man, a writer and a thinker **(at least she beliefs) have been observing her for many months, written poems on her without her knowledge. And several months later that engrossed her.  She started believing his passion, passion towards her. As if her bridles going to be released,  going to be sprouted. As if she her buried passion going to get a new life. Alas!

He was not just into her completely, not even periodically. He had been carrying many other pride moments with other women from his  past. She sighed!

No, she will never believe in her dream again. And she allowed herself to surrender her physical body to entertained by a man whom she couldn’t associated with dream of emotional polarities (a divine sexual energy of men and women). She didn’t wait for the right person anymore,  but she created that dream by her own.

The tea selling woman in Varanasi

It was the tea-selling woman!

If people call Varanasi a “Holy city” or “Lord Shiva’s city” she is no indifferent to me.

prostitute-bombay
The Tea-selling woman from Varanasi

Returning back from the ceremony of cremation from Manikarnika Ghat, an everyday ritual taken place famously known as “Burning ghat” of Varanasi. I saw along the edges of the river people are having a fun evening , Sadhus smoking weeds, crowds were  watching multiple religious ceremonies, and street vendors selling food and crafts who were almost dispersed when on my return back the lodge. A frightful feeling and cold sweat in the numbing month of December, realised it was just foolish of me to stayed that long in Ghats all alone.

After crossing three to four ghats I was confused about the  right staircase towards my room. I heard one female voice coming from one deep dark staircase, thought to take steps up. A great sigh of relief! I knew, I could locate the lane where my Lodge was. The voice got louder and rough when I reached upto middle of the staircase. I saw shadow of three men and one woman, as if they were trying to force her for something and some filthy words to made my blod freeze. Sound of slaping and whaking her took sudden silence, when I was passing by them close..I could hear her suppressed weeping. I was reasoning that is it really possible in Holy city of “Lord Shiva” ?

Waking up next morning as usual I walked down to the Ghats to have my morning tea. It’s heavy fog to see any clear picture whether the lady had opened her tea stall yet or not and disappointed seeing her closed store. “May be it’s too cold and and foggy to start her stall”, I thought. I walked down toward Manikarnika Ghat to looking for another tea stall. I know the famous silent “Chai-Baba” (tea-monk) stall was there. Yes, he was precisely the same as described by many tourist in their travel memoir.

Three days went on,  and her store was still closed. I have only two days to leave Varanasi and may be I will never going to see her again. That day my friend accompanied me for the whole day as his research on Vedic astrology was hold out for the day. I told him about my curiosity to meet the lady before I leave. I asked him, “have you ever noticed her”?  She always greets people who come to her store. Doesn’t she look mysterious?  I don’t understand despite she makes fine tea with ginger why very less people show up. She spotted me very first time when I went to her for tea. She had no ungracefulness when I told her about my solo visit in Varanasi. Instead she said that she wished to be as liberated as me and belong to this class of society. I smiled at her and said, “It’s not about class of our society, It’s my spirit and zeal”

It was my last day in Varanasi so my friend from Canada(the research guy) and another Yogi form Germany decided to have lunch together. One of a local guy who works in the restaurant where we usually go for the lunch and dinner and been very sincere to my Canadian friend for many years, sat next to us. He always comes up with some local news to tell about. I was thinking, “What’s today!” and he stared at me first as if I have done something bad to him. He straight away told me, “If you visit Varanasi next time, never walk alone in the dark passages, specially the staircase which you came up few days ago. There is a disputes their every evening after she closes her tea stall”. And I took a sip of water before which I was about take a bite of my Chapati. “She was once a prostitute after her father died” he said looking  at my friend. “Her father was a poor priest but managed to look after his family by serving ritual prayers for the tourist.  At the age of  thirteen only she was forced to be a prostitute by her mother. Many times she has been bitten up, abused and faced ferocity.  But, she became a learned and skillful prostitute by the age of seventeen. After sometime she got married and started selling tea near one of the ghats. Everyone thought that her past life was buried behind after marriage, but nothing happened like that. Her husband became her flesh dealer very soon. Every evening there are some deals in that dark staircase and she was forced to overwork by her husband”. I soon realised It was the tea selling lady that evening.

I asked him, “Do you know where she is? I haven’t seen her for last five days.”

He told looking at three of us, “She has been sent to one of a brothel of infamous district in Shivdaspur.”

Her face is still vivid in my mind. She will always be the tea selling lady on the bank of river Ganges. If people call Varanasi a”Holy city” or “Lord Shiva’s city” she is no indifferent to me. I will always keep wondering…. what will happened to her!