Grandma never used to wear a blouse, only exception was when she had to go to the town and immediately upon her return she removed the blouse and described the experience of wearing a blouse as ‘worse than labor pain.’
The incident occurred when her youngest grandson Ravi was about three years old. It was a late evening, grandma had finished her monologue with the doll, put the doll into the bed and started closing the lid very slowly when without her knowledge the front portion of her saree, which covered her chest was displaced and one of her breasts was lying on the open edge of the wooden chest. The moment she had freed her hands the breast was trapped in between the lid and the rest of the container. It caused her such an excruciating pain that the only sound that her vocal cord could produce was a very sharp ‘ooooooooo’. Her daughter-in-law came running to the spot, lifted the lid and averted the fatality.
The following day her own grandchildren narrated the incident to other children, and when the mothers of those children came to know about grandma’s accident, they visited her. During that visit the story of her wooden chest and her doll became known to everyone. “What will you do if you could never have a granddaughter, whom would you give the doll?” few women asked. She did not reply but only looked up.
“The naphthalene ball might come out now”, Subhash Das commented after carefully examining Ravi’s nose. “I need a piece of thin paper”, he asked the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Sur.
The boy ran inside and came out with a small piece of thin paper. Subhash Das rolled the paper and gave it a look like a very thin matchstick; he inserted it inside Ravi’s open nostril like a key inside a lock and twisted it in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions. The child started sneezing and with one of the sneezes the white ball came out. The child was so confused by the sudden exit that he started crying.
Mr. and Mrs. Sur thanked everyone for their help and requested everyone to have some food and tea. Soon puffed rice, cocoanut and jaggery was served in few big bowls and people started helping themselves with the food. Mrs. Sur went inside to make tea for all. Everybody, who assembled on that evening, was seen enjoying the food. Only person who was not seen was Mr. Anil Biswas.
Subhash Das’ mother was seen sitting next to her son. She looked even more proud that evening. While sipping tea from her cup she said to her son, “I don’t care what you or others say about you but to me you are a double graduate.”
About a year after the naphthalene incident grandmother died.
One year after the death of the grandmother, Mr. and Mrs. Sur had their first girl child.
One day at noon, when the girl was not even two months old, Mrs. Sur was lying with the child on her bed. While staring at her child’s face, a teardrop started rolling down her cheek. As soon as the tear touched the baby’s cheek she smiled, her first smile since birth.