One more promise kept….
I waited gingerly after ringing the bell, not knowing what to expect. I was starting to get tired too. This was my fourth stop in a whirlwind 12 hour trip to create as many intersection points as I could that day before going back to dad. Usually my intersection points are about re-uniting with somebody from the long past or meeting complete strangers on the road. This one was a little different. I went to meet them. But I had never met them before. All that had happened was (you can read it here: http://www.rajibroy.com/?p=8180 ) when I met Sudeshna (again for the first time in my life – although we found out she was my sister’s classmate) in Houston, we realized that her parents used to live next door to my in laws. When she called her parents up in front of me, I took the phone away from her and talked to her mom to find out exactly which house they used to live in. And in the process, I promised her mom that I would come by and meet her next time I was in Kolkata.
Eventually, auntie (Sudeshna’s mom) opened the door. I started explaining myself
“Amakey chinben na. Amar naam Rajib Roy”. (‘You won’t know me. My name is Rajib Roy’)
“Rajib to? Na chenar ki aachhey? Ei sedin to katha holo”, she put me at ease. (‘Rajib, right? Why would I not know? We talked just the other day’).
That was all I needed to feel welcome. I opened my shoes and and went straight to the big sofa in the living room. Uncle came out and after the initial pleasantries, drew up a chair very close to me and said “Ami kaaney kom shuni. Tomar khub kaachhey esey boschhi”. (‘I am little hard of hearing. If you don’t mind, I will sit very close to you to talk to you’). There was a very genuine level of sincerity and eagerness to chat that came thru immediately.
And chat we did for forty five minutes about our times in Durgapur, their visits to US, life in US, their daily routine in Kolkata and all things sundry.
Forty five minutes later, I got up to take leave. “Bongo sommelon-e aaschho to?”, asked auntie. I was a little startled. First, as a background, “Bongo sommelon” is the largest gathering of Bengali diaspora in US and Canada. Any Bengali worth his or her bite of Hilsa fish makes a beeline to this event (I am not sure of the frequency – every year? other year?) from North America. With their resplendent clothes and glittering jewelry in tow!
Turns out they will be visiting U.S. (Houston) soon and was enquiring if I would be at Bongo Sommelon (which is in Houston this year in July) like them. Disappointment was writ large on her face when she realized that I have never been to any Bongo Sommelon and that I am not in a hurry to change that trend 🙂 I am hoping against hopes that she is not going to hold that against me from now on 🙂