Posted by: deblinaganguli | February 5, 2019

Memories – The Red Cap

Isn’t it disgusting to know that a long wait is going to result into nothingness? In fact, it is even more disheartening to know that the person you were waiting for has planned to send someone else completely unknown to you requesting you to treat him well and undoubtedly it will kill all the char of the prolonged waiting.

I was further annoyed as it was the time of Durga Puja and my friend had promised me to visit Kolkata during that time so that we could have fun together. I had made thousands of plans to ensure that he was able to enjoy every bit of it. Be it pandal hoping or shopping, food or fun rides, I wanted him to cherish each and every moment in my hometown especially during a time when festivity is in the air.

People of Kolkata go mad during Durga Puja and though it might sound weird, it is a fact that they start preparing themselves for this big occasion at least 6 months prior to the actual festival. I am no exception and that particular year was going to be the most special Durga Puja of my life as my best friend was about to come. I was on cloud nine, when my dream collapsed completely hearing that he had to cancel his trip due to some urgent work. I felt like screaming and crying inconsolably. But that was not the end of my misery. The breaking news was that he was sending one of his friends to experience the fervour of Durga Puja.  On top of that he told me to be his guide. Now, I really felt like scratching my head and punching my friend.

Any way, I comforted myself saying that life can’t be fair all the time. I wanted to make my friend happy and if this gives him happiness, I will do it for him. That devil was supposed to arrive on Sasthi. I requested my friend Tania (who neither knew my friend nor this ‘new problem’ by face) to accompany me while I meet the stranger. She obliged me with a positive response. Oh God! What a relief.

I was told that the ‘unwelcomed guest’ would wait for us at Deshapriya Park, a very popular destination of South Kolkata. I was told by my fried that the stranger would wear a red cap so that I can easily identify him in the crowd. With a broken heart, fiery head and artificial smile on my face, I went to the spot and started looking for our ‘guest’. It was maddening to try to find out an unknown person in such a huge crowd and that is precisely what we were doing.

Suddenly, I saw a man talking to my friend and asking her if Tania could recognize him. My friend looked absolutely bewildered, her expression clearly stating that she had never seen the man before. Since, the man was facing my friend, I could not see his visage but definitely I didn’t like his approach. Why did he have to talk to Tania ignoring me if there is nothing wrong?

I decided to act like “Jhansi Ki Rani”, (a title bestowed upon me by my best friend considering my temperament) and teach this man a lesson. I would not have even mind slapping him hard if required but as soon as I intervened the conversation and went forward to ‘save my friend’ from the clutch of that person, my whole being was shaken. Was I dreaming? Was I hallucinating? Was I imagining unreal things? I couldn’t believe my eyes. I felt like screaming at the top of my voice once again but this time it was out of joy.

My happiness knew no bound. In my excitement, I couldn’t decide how to react. The person was none other than our guest, but not the man with a red cap. He was rather wearing a black cap and the story of the red cap was absolutely fake, created to divert our attention. Well, the man with the black cap was none other than my friend who had framed this entire story to give me a surprise. It was one of the happiest moments of my life and needless to say that it was the best Durga Puja ever.

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