Skip to main content

Origins Chapter 2

Jay was habituated to stare at his laptop screen, after it had shut down. It was the only part of the day, where he could look at himself really. A square-jawed face, with brown eyes, and dark, curly hair reflected back at him. There was Still some cuteness in the face which proved his 15 years of living. The clock chimed 12 times to tell him that it was midnight. How much he loved this clock! It was a reminder of those days, some 10 years ago, which gave his life a sudden jolted twist. He still couldn’t believe how clearly he remembers that day. Wasn’t he just six? But he remembered the panic in which the door was thudded. Policemen scoured their house, the neighbors had came out of their houses, some of them crying. And then he saw it, a glimpse which was enough to be distinct in his memory. People say that they have seen tragedies; people say they are upset, but what he felt that day was beyond imaginable. Some moments, tragic or joyous, are meant for the deepest corners of our minds. Not to be shared, not to be confided in anyone, they were completely ours. This was it. But the clock was the only artifact common between his both houses and their fates.
Thirty minutes later, Geeta did her usual inspection of Jay, and found him sleeping. Ironically, Vidya’s tragedy was a stroke of luck for Geeta. They got a son. And they made sure that they always treated him as their own. They admitted him into the best school in the city, La Martiniere For Boys.  Naturally, they thought, given what Jay had passed through at such a small age, he would struggle academically. Not that they cared(only a person devoid of a certain thing, knows its value and doesn’t judge it), but it was one fact they were completely wrong. Jay excelled as a student. His sincerity unmatched. He was hardly 13, when he would stay up at nights to study. He said, it gave him some kind of peace, like it takes him to another parallel universe. A universe completely created by him. 

There was one particular thing about him. He could spend a lot of time with himself. He didn’t have any friends. He hardly talked. Naturally, Geeta and her husband decided to talk to a psychologist. “Well, the fact that he performs well academically do not prove the fact that the incidents have not affected him. Deep inside, I see some pain which Jay has covered with a mask. A stoic mask.” The female psychologist said after some fifteen sessions with Jay. 

Ever since Geeta had this habit of sneaking into Jay, expecting someday to find him unmasked. Maybe smiling. Maybe crying. Just any sort of human emotion at all. 

As the years passed, Geeta only once, saw the mask unmasked. It was the results day of IIT entrance exam. He had passed through. Just for a moment, a small second, a smile had erupted on Jay’s face. But in a split second, it was gone. Like it went deep into a well of emotions that he had saved all these years. But it was enough to bring out the tears of joy, in Geeta’s eyes.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Jay chose Kharagpur, as it was closest to Kolkata. Among all the changes in his life, it was the only thing that he had loved throughout. And, his choice of branch was easy. Chemical Engineering. He had loved the subjects ever since he was a child. 

But his four years at Kharagpur  were more marked, as it was there where he met Anushna. Never before her, had Jay felt the need for company. He went through it as technically as he could. He put around a research about her, how she was, where she lived, etc  etc. Creepy? Yes. But he never knew how to woo a girl. But slowly she felt too, how much Jay knew and remembered about her. At the end of the day, what a soul has ever needed than the need to be felt special. And Jay did just that. Nobody had ever believed Jay Chatterjee would ever have a girlfriend. When he told Geeta, she hadn’t been prouder.
The final year was always marked for the rat race of scoring placements. Jay joined a chemical company, at Haldia, Kolkata. The plant was new, and he got a much higher post than the other offers. It also meant he would be staying in Kolkata.
The next two years, passed on with a robotic time table. Wake up, Go to work, Come back, Sleep. For once, the absence of any kind of social life haunted Jay. He couldn’t study anymore. He could never go back to his own world. The small world he had created for himself, where things happened how he wanted them to. The only happiness he could ever get was the two hours he spent with Anushna every week. She stayed in Kolkata too, to pursue higher studies. 

It was one fine romantic evening at Ginger where he popped the question to Anushna. With tears in her eyes, she nodded in the affirmative, and hugged him. That day, there were no split-seconds about his smile. It was the biggest he had ever given in his life.
Two days later, when Jay walked past the security entrance of Johnstone Chemicals, Pvt. Ltd, he heard a slow blobbing noise coming from the inside. He informed the security that he wanted a look inside, and retraced his footsteps backwards. He followed the noise the main chamber, where usually Hydrofluoric Acid was stored, for production. He swiped his card, and entered the main chamber. The problem seemed to be in the third tank. Do not get confused with the word tank. They were large electronic containers with a digital passcode. Currently, there was a red light beeping on it. Jay looked around. No member of the staff was present anywhere around. And he could never leave Tank 3 beeping. If anything Chemistry had taught him is that the smallest of things could lead to miracle or chaos. He looked closely on the mainframe of the tank. He tried to touch it, but suddenly there was a seeping noise coming out of it. Then a white gas poured out of the tank. 

What happened next, Jay didn’t know. It felt like his face was on fire. He shrieked in agony, it seemed as if someone was eating his face out. He fell on the floor, and crawled till the fire alarm. The last fleeting memory he had was of smashing the glass pane, with his other hand on his face. The whole plant erupted with the fire alarm. What happened next, Jay only remembered in fragments. He saw the security guy picking him up, sliding across the floor. He remembered perspiring a lot. But when he saw at his hand, it wasn’t sweat, it was his skin. The horror made him lose consciousness, but he was sure he heard a distant siren of an ambulance approaching. 
Sometime later, Jay tried opening his eyes to a lot of white light. There was constant monotonic thud, around the place he was. Was this heaven?
 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What Daniel Fernandes's Shadows Is All About

Shadows: A Revelatory Special

I walked into Terna Auditorium on Sunday Night expecting a special set by a comedian I had seen perform live on a previous occasion and had seen videos of on YouTube. Daniel Fernandes went above and beyond that. At the outset he cautions the audience, that his self admittedly social commentary centred style of humour that has gained an instant association with him would not be a feature tonight.
His piece is a reflective one, touching upon self-doubt, his journey of self-discovery, his moment of truth and his foray into comedy. He discusses at length the various paradigms and notions of success that pervade society without sounding preachy. And how while non-conformity can be a lonely place, it isn’t the worst.
Fernandes’ takes on the mantle of a voice in our head and says everything that naturally occurs to us but social conditioning prevents us from expressing vocally.   Through an anecdotal and a canonical sense of humour, he narrates his evolving len…

Paanchphoron 4

Paanchphoron 4Organised by : Urotaar UROTAAR, are a socio-cultural organization, working on socio-cultural upliftment, awareness & motivational activities through Street Theatre, Short film, Workshops, Exhibitions, Cultural Events etc in various Locations of India.
Till date we have achieved More Than, 360 Street Theatre Performances across India 2 Short Films 21 Cultural Events comprising various Art Forms 8 Exhibitions of Paintings & Sketches Motivational Theatre Workshops for many Organizations Art & Culture related promotions
Besides all, for the last 3 years (2014-2016) & this year our Annual Live Art Festival 'PAANCH PHORON' has been one of its kind. It’s a combined presentation of Street Theatre, Folk Dance, Folk Music, Live Sketching & Live Handicraft Making from different parts of West Bengal. It is one such festival which promotes the talents of our State, highlighting the Making of various Visual Arts, and till date we have never disappointed our audienc…
"We create New Music because Uniqueness lay within us” The Radical Array Project Gets Close and Candid About Their Work


The Radical Array Project popularly known as T. R. A. P. which turned 3 years this August had a rambling conversation with us wherein they confided several of their experiences. This band set in the suburbs of Kolkata aspires to enthuse among its audience a spirit of new music with variation in taste and quality which is heartily appreciated by their fan followers.
Beginning with the introduction of the five member band consisting of Suanjito Dutta (the drummer), Swapnabho Roy aka Papai (the bass guitarist), followed by Ronnie Chatterjee (the guitarist, production manager) , Bhaswar Sen ( the Violinist) and Anupam Pyne ( the key board player) began the conversation.
When asked what was their inspiration to start the band, replied Bhaswar Sen, "the inspiration was to do something unique, apart from doing covers of famous bollywood and western music, the agend…