Darkness Beneath The Lamp
The air reverberated with the chants of ‘Durga Maai ki Jai’ as Sree and Ajit stepped out of Sovabazar metro station. The entire stretch was decorated in shining lights. Kolkata, the City of Joy, had transformed into the proverbial Wonderland. They hurried past traffic signals, walking, catching their breath at times. No one wants to miss the Sondhi Pujo at Rajbari…
The beats of the dhaak were still fresh in their ears. It was getting late. Sree had to return to Garia. Ajit walked her off till the nearest metro station. Even in this lit-up jamboree, they found a dimly lit lane to share a cosy moment of togetherness…
Ajit was about plant a kiss on her cheek, when Sree moved back. He followed the trail of her eyes. Beneath a lamp-post that was barely glowing, sat a lady in rags, holding an emaciated shape – that resembled a human baby – in her frail hands.
“Ekta taka hobe bhai, aj saradin kichhu khay nai amar chheleta (Please give us a rupee, dear brother. My son hasn’t eaten even a grain of rice the whole day)” she squeaked.
‘Durga Maai ki jai’ – the chants reverberated in the air.
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