26 May, Saturday. 8: 01 AM. "Anuj and Mohita"

I woke up at the unearthly hour of five o clock today morning. Why? Because there's no water at home, and I needed to see if water was coming from the supply or not.
It's a complicated thing, and you shouldn't worry your little pretty head about it.

Anyway, problem's solved now. My tank is full.

I just spoke to your dida. She said you went to sleep quite late last night. And that you woke up pretty early too. Your pishi [my sister was right] We should have called you Chingri. You're as restless as one.
Anyway, so while you're sleeping now, let me tell you about two very important people in my life.

Anuj and Mohita.

I've known Anuj ever since I was a kid. He was the only other kid who had ears as big as mine, so I felt a special connection to him. He stays a two minute brisk walk from our house in New Alipore. I remember we used to go cycling around the para looking for women. We seldom found any, but that's beside the point.

You know the phrase "thick as thieves?". Well, that's exactly what we were. I don't think we ever fought properly, which is funny because I end up fighting with most people. We used to go everywhere together - to school, to cycle, to the mall, to the movies, to plays and sometimes even to bed.

Ah, the bed incident. You must know about that.
It was one of those days when I was spending the night at Anuj's. We did that often. I'd stay over, steal a pint of beer from his dad's stock, get drunk silly on 30ml of alcohol, watch a movie and crash out.
One particular night, it was blistering hot.

So naturally, we had our T shirts off. After a beer or so, Anuj complained of a horrible backache. Faithful friend that I am, I offered to massage it for him. He agreed and asked me to get a tube of Moov from the cupboard.

Now, the cupboard was in the next room. And since it was in the middle of the night, I didn't bother to put my T shirt on. So out I walked in my shorts, opened the cupboard, took out the Moov and turned around to walk back on tip toe.

Unfortunately, there behind me stood Anuj's little sister [she was almost 16 then] looking at me with suspicious eyes. Since there was little I could do or say that would explain the situation, I smiled at her sweetly and walked back into Anuj's room.

Anuj and me fell of the bed laughing of course, once I was inside.

I met Mohita when I was in class 10 or 11. I forget. It was the tradition of our school to host these fantastic big scale musicals, and sometimes people from other schools would participate. The year that I refer to, a lady by the name of Shonali Ghose was direction a play based on the Emperor's New Clothes - it was to be called Pins & Needles.

Mohita was from the school next to ours, Pratt Memorial.  On paper, they're our sister school. Hormonally speaking, they were anything but.

Over the span of a year that we were rehearsing for the play, Anuj, Mohita, me and a few other people had formed a tight group. After rehearsal, we would head to my place, or Anuj's. We'd lounge about, talk, fool around.

The play happened, and as it came to an end, we knew our friendship would too. Because that's only natural isn't it?
But here's the thing: it didn't.

We stayed close, perhaps even more closer than we were.
Anuj and Mohita started dating soon. And not to be left behind, I started dating my string of girlfriend. 
Anuj moved off to Hyderabad to do his college. In a few years, Mohita moved off too.

We never spoke on the phone much, I'm lousy at that anyway. We never wrote to each other. But whenever we met, which was pretty much once a year or so, it was like none of us left.
Right now, Anuj is probably 31. Mohita will be my age.

But when we meet, we're still 17-18. It's hard to explain really, but no doubt when you grow up and see how we are with each other, you'll understand.

A few months after you were born, we took you to Calcutta. And co-incidentally, Anuj and Mohita were there too. I played a prank on Anuj that I'll never forget.

Remember, that you were as large as a doll then. So here's what I did. I wrapped up a doll in your clothes and held it against my chest, cradling it. No one could tell that it actually wasn't you, and that in reality, it was a doll.

Anuj came, sat down on the sofa. I came out of my room carrying the 'fake you". His eyes lit up. [He could only see the clothes, remember] A few feet before him, I pretended to trip, and in doing this, I flung the doll in the air.

I heard a scream. It was Anuj.
But a second later, I saw the doll - in Anuj's hand. The bugger had caught it!

Later on the roof, the 'real you' snuggled up into Mohita's arms and slept. It was shocking because you don't generally go about getting comfortable with just about anyone.

So here's what I wanted to tell you really darling.
If something were ever to happen to me or your mother ever I want you to give that bugger Anuj and his wife Mohita a call. They're my best friends, and they'll know what to do. Everyone needs two sets of parents - one for real and one pair, just in case.

They are your just-in-case parents.

It's 8:46 AM now. It's time, if I'm not mistaken, for you to get up and play.

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2 Responses to 26 May, Saturday. 8: 01 AM. "Anuj and Mohita"

  1. Thanks Bodhisatwa Dasgupta for allowing us into your silent conversation with Mimi.We are overwhelmed that you have considered us.We heard your heart out & here's what we want to tell our Cute Meera.

    Mimi- You will soon hear of the saying "Two Peas in a Pod". You will relate to your father and me in the same manner. And as for your "just in case" Mother,she dotes on you like a small girl with a barbie doll.

    We are thankful to your parents for giving us YOU. And should anything happen or not happen to your mum and dad, your MODAM(My Other Dad And Mum) are always there. We love you and
    are excited to make many a memories with you, as we did with your parents. You are growing everyday & even though we are miles away, your Mom makes it a point to capture your moments and share it with us. Its as though we are actually seeing you grow everyday before us.

    So to tell you, "just in case" you have something to do or have something to say and think mum and dad cannot be approached, you have us two.


  2. Wow.

    *My current expression as I am still speechless,
    Mimi is certainly a lucky girl, and you, a lucky dad to have a daughter like her.

    Thanks for sharing for journey and stories.

    I've never had much conversations with papa, but I hope you both be the best of friends till forever ceases to exist.

    Much love.



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