I was seven-years old at the time, when love, in all its glory and fury, jumped out from behind a musty bookshelf and bonked me hard on the head.
It smelled a little like Chelpark Royal Blue ink, and also a bit like the breathless-escapades-on-steamers-during-partition-stories which dadumoni used to narrate, before he went all wrinkled and quiet. It reminded me of 7o’clock dashes to the building which is 103 A&C Ballygunge Place, and the sour taste in mouth when the milk would just not finish and the clock would just not slow down. I touched it gingerly, and it was soft. Like mamma’s cotton saree-aanchals when I would wipe my hand on them after lunch.
I talked to it. It smiled back.
It took my breath away. And I have been lost ever since.
When heartbreak happened, and loneliness happened. And people just went on pretending and wouldn’t stop, I would randomly shut myself up, and wander off.
And just sit there, in this random rajasthan fortress, besides the road in this strange kingdom far away, on the steps of this normal benares ghaat or in this half-forgotten village at the end of nowhere, until all the broken me-pieces were collected and glued back together.
And when pisemoshai just went away, (I refuse to say that he died), and everything just went freaky inside my head, I went and huddled up next to her.
And listened to her sing : "Hori din toh galo, sondhya holo, paar koro amarey..."
And cried, like I needed to.
Its been a fabulous 10 years of unwavering, intense love. And worship. And a way of life which just refuses to die.
Every single day, I am newly bonked-on-the-head, and every new facet I discover, settles itself inside, like this old and ragged quilt, which never fails to provide comfort, no matter HOW zonked I am.
Pardon my unashamed gushing. I adore, worship, love this man.
Smitten, badly, since 1995.