“Anirban, it was only you who knew that I failed in my first year college examination. I did not tell this to anyone else and asked you repeatedly not to tell others. Why could you not keep a small secret?” Subhash Das sounded upset.
Anirban, son of Mr. Anil Biswas was of the same age as Subhash Das. He appeared in Bacellor of Arts examination three times with the same outcome and according to the rule of the university he was not given a fourth chance to appear for the same examination. People, behind, used to call him ‘non-graduate’ but his father used to mention him as his ‘undergraduate son.’
“Subhash, I did not tell this to my father. I told this only to my sister-in-law, who is also my good friend. I told her not to mention it to others. I do not know how my father came to know about it”, Anirban looked annoyed too. He had no courage to ask his father how he came to know about the secret which he was not supposed to know. He could not find his sister-in-law in the crowd. Therefore he stood in front of his friend with a guilty looking face with a hope that his friend would forgive him.
“Anirban, you are an idiot. You must know that women cannot keep secrets; it is a curse on them.” Subhash Das finally could vent out some anger on his childhood friend.
“What kind of a mean and jealous person can tell such a lie about my son that he is not a science graduate?” An old lady was heard speaking while approaching towards Subhash Das. Probably she could not hear that her son had mentioned just a few seconds ago that he was not a science graduate.
“Mother, you do not need to talk here”, Subhash Das told the old woman who stood just in front of her son with arms on her waist, as if ready to do anything to guard her son’s honor.
“You do not need to open your mouth here, Subhash. I know Anil Biswas for a very long time. I have never seen another person who is as jealous and mean as him. Because his son could not become a graduate and his daughters could not pass high school examination he is trying to tell lies about you. You are a jewel, any mother would like to have a son like you”, the mother talked in a loud voice so that everybody present could hear one more time how bright her son was.
“Mother, uncle is right; I am not a science graduate. I am only a commerce graduate” Subhash Das interrupted his mother.
SHOPUT everyone present was shocked when the mother slapped her grown up son in front of a large crowd.
“Mother why did….” but before he could say anything more he saw his mother started crying bitterly.
“Oh Subhas’s father, I fulfilled all the responsibilities that you had left on my shoulder. Is this what I should get in return? I still remember how much you liked my spinach curry. Whenever I cook spinach for Subhash I remember you and I cry silently so that Subhash could not see me crying. But see what he has done in return, He is an enemy whom I had given birth and raised. See how he had hurt me for all that I had done for him”, Subhas’s mother did not show any sign of controlling her words and tears.
Everybody looked at Subhash and saw that his eyes were also moist. Mr. Sur came forward and put his hand on Subhas’s shoulder. Mrs. Sur came forward and put her arms around Subhash’s mother.
“Subhash, whether you are a science graduate or a commerce graduate you are still the same person and we all know that you are a good person. Nevertheless you should tell your mother why you told a lie to her and then ask her for forgiveness”, Mrs. Sur suggested while still holding the grieving mother tightly in her arms.
“Did you all forget that a naphthalene ball is still there in my grandson’s nose? He is a child so he cannot complaint but that does not mean that you should ignore him and quarrel for a petty reason”, suddenly Ravi’s grandmother was heard screaming.
[ to be continued ……]