A missing moment that I feel could have been shown. The incident is set during the elopement track, when they were in a hut in Chandannagar.
This was all Anirudh Roy Chowdhury had ever wanted since the moment he realised his innermost feelings about his Bondita. Oh, how he craved to hold her in his arms lovingly; gaze at her, so that he would be looking into her gloriously beautiful soul. And finally, he thought, this was probably the moment.
His letters had not been in vain. Bondita replied to his letters. She asked him to meet her. Would it finally be the moment, when Bondita would once again, make her legendary entry into his life; grace him with her pious presence; and fill his monotonous life with her lively essence and all the colours of love?
How he wished that were true!
His heart beat faster, making him feel light all over. Her voice. His name, called out in her dulcet tone, was music to his ears. His feet moved and his body turned back, on its own accord, his eyes seeking the sight of his Barrister Babu; his heart’s desire; the other half of his soul; the one who he belonged to; his Jeene ki wajah; his Bondita.
His unblinking eyes, drank in the heavenly appearance of the yellow-saree clad woman in front of him. Bondita was smiling at him, making him fall into an abyss of utter merriment.
“Bondita…”, Anirudh breathed out reverently.
Her smile… her precious, loving smile, widened and her eyes sparkled. “Yes? You wanted to tell me something. Am I right, Sakha Babu?”, she asked softly.
Yes, she was. She was absolutely right, because he was dying to confess these simple yet intrinsic words to her. He suddenly felt his throat close up, the words getting locked inside him.
Words were failing him today. But that was inevitable. After all, how could he express in words, what he felt for her? It was something… an entity, that existed at an even deeper level than love. It was devotion and yet, it was much more.
And he would tell her exactly that. For that, he had to make a start. And hence, he cleared his throat and started speaking, choking a bit on his own words.
“I… I love you- … Bondita”
He tightly shut his eyes. And the moment he opened them, he wished he had kept them closed. Bondita’s reaction was something he had never imagined. Her face was contorted into an agonised and horrified expression. She slowly shook her head in disdain, and quickly backed away from him.
Anirudh was left there standing, his frozen smile melting off his face.
What was happening?
“What’s wrong with you, Sakha Babu?”, Bondita studied him quizzically, before she spoke again. “I thought you always thought of my welfare?”.
“I- I do, Bondita. A- all I… All I have ever done, was… is, and will be, for y- your good. Y- your welfare. I never…”, Anirudh trailed off, feeling like he had just been pushed off from a high cliff.
“Then what happened you today? You didn’t honestly think that I would come running into your arms, and want to spend my entire life with you?”, Bondita questioned, looking highly confused.
But Anirudh had. He truly had thought so. His arms fell limp to his side and he wrapped them around himself suddenly feeling cold. Why was his Bondita saying that? Had she not forgiven him for his mistakes? Had he not been expressive about his apology? It was all his fault. He must have made another abhorrent mistake.
With a disapproving shake of her head, and eyes that spoke of pity, Bondita said, “You are the man who became blind in hatred. You are the man who mercilessly punished a copious amount of people, just because they were from Krishnanagar. You tortured people, just because of their place of birth. You are the man, who kept quiet and let the woman you claim to love, be prosecuted! You are no less than heartless. How can a man without a heart, love anyone?”.
“I’m sorry… But I can’t let myself be with cruel Barrister Babu”, Bondita said, a lone tear trickling down her cheek and glistening in the light.
His own pain did not matter to him. Bondita’s single tear, and dejected tone, hurt him the most. He would take away her pain, and he would convince her that he had changed for good.
But as he started walking towards her, anonymous loud voices broke into screams and yells. “CRUEL BARRISTER BABU! CRUEL BARRISTER BABU!”.
Even this loud chant could do nothing to deafen the dull roaring in his ears, and he shriveled into himself as deep as he could. And from the periphery of his vision, he could see Bondita slowly disappearing. Before he could reach out to stop her, she had left.
Anirudh shot up from the floor, soaked in cold sweat. He was shuddering all over, and he felt breathless.
His eyes slowly roamed around his surroundings, and he became aware of his whereabouts. He and Bondita were not in a secluded place like that in his dream. They were in an old hut in Chandannagar, after having eloped from Tulsipur and Krishnanagar.
Shivering, he hugged his knees to his chest, warm tears cascading freely down his face. His head pounding, he couldn’t even remember the first half of his dream. All he could remember, was Bondita pointing out each of his misdeeds and loud chants that spoke of his cruelty.
Bearing himself opposite to what he really was; morphing a peace-loving revolutionary into the leader of a violent movement of hatred, had shattered Anirudh’s heart. It had hurt his soul. He had only two ways to go, and both of them were equally hurtful.
Beside himself, he felt Bondita move, and she was up quickly.
“Sakha Babu!”, Bondita gasped, more than perturbed and hurt at his relentless tears and his mortified condition. Her heart ached seeing him in such a state, and she merely wrapped her arms around his shoulders, not for once, asking the reason of his harrowed state.
Anirudh hesitated. But his soul commanded him to look at her and as soon as he did, he desperately threw himself into her arms, holding her tightly by the waist, sobbing hard into her shoulder.
Once his sobs slowly died down, Bondita broke away from him, looking at his face, as if searching for something. Anirudh’s head was tilted down, his hair plastered to his forehead, beads of sweat clinging to his skin.
Bondita watched him with tear-filled eyes for a minute, before she softly lifted his chin up, with her small, smooth hands. She looked into his pained eyes for a moment, not wavering or blinking, just to let him know that she was there and never leaving.
A single drop of tear rolled down his cheek and Bondita wiped it away with her thumb, before dabbing at her own eyes. She moved her hands down to his, and held them in her own.
Tightening his grip around her hands, Anirudh rasped out, his voice hoarse, “I’m sorry, Bondita. I’m so sorry”.
Bondita shook her head, not knowing what exactly he was apologising for, but she smiled faintly and her eyes assured him despite it. He blinked at her for a few moments and then started speaking.
“Bondita… I- I can’t get over that. I can’t get over what I did. I was so blind in hatred, I don’t even know what atrocities I really committed. And about what I did with you? How could I? I kept mum, and I subjected you to complete torture. How can I live with myself after that?… I can… I can never forgive myself. Never”, his voice dropping to a whisper by the end.
Her heart breaking into a million pieces, she reached out a hand to lovingly trace his face, trying to somehow wipe off his pain.
His eyes shut, he continued, “Such nightmares are frequent. But today, it was you. You were… you were telling me… about all the wrong things I did. And I realised something. I- I realised that I don’t deserve you, Bondita. I don’t deserve to be with you”.
The burning intensity of her gaze, was felt by Anirudh and he quickly opened his eyes, still shivering.
“Sakha Babu… I love you”
Anirudh stopped shivering. He blinked at her, sadness, resentment and love radiating back at her.
“How can you? After all that I did…”
Cutting him off, mid sentence, Bondita spoke softly, but loud enough to silence the dull, disheartening pounding in his head, “I tell you now, and I’ll tell you again, if need be. You did nothing wrong. And even if you did, the goodness of your heart; the purity of your soul, more than makes up for it. The enmity between Tulsipur and Krishnanagar was never caused by you. You were the man who was affected, and then involuntarily pushed into the middle of all hatred. All you ever did, was fulfilling your duty… towards your family; towards your people. Sakha Babu… You are my Bhagwaan. But you are in the form of a human. And it’s human tendency to make mistakes. It’s the law of nature. The most important thing, that really matters, is that you realise your mistake”.
“A- and about me… you are forgiven. You are always forgiven. And truth be told, more than your mistake, it was your dilemma that made you stay silent. You have been affected too much. I was away in London, working towards fulfilling our dream. But you… you were trapped. You were trapped in a web of hatred and you slowly enclosed yourself in a shell you built around yourself. Coming out of that shell, is time consuming, I know. But I promise I’ll stand by you, no matter what. You never inflicted any pain upon anyone. Pain has been inflicted upon you. I promise I’ll help you heal”.
Their tears mingled together, dripping to the floor. Anirudh finally began to feel the tendrils of warmth seeping into all the cold, unfeeling places in his soul.
“And what if I lose all resolution and strength to heal, Bondita?”, he finally asked.
“Then I’ll gather enough courage; enough strength, for both of us. After all, if I am yours, then what’s mine, is all yours too, isn’t it?”, she answered.
What had he ever done to deserve her companionship in the first place? How was he still so fortunate?
“I know that Bondita. But I am yours too. A- and that’s w- why I don’t want to burden you with my pain; my frailty. I want to give you all the happiness in the world. But how can I, when I myself have a feeble grasp over it? I have always wanted the best for you. And I am not that. I’m guilt ridden”.
Her eyebrows deeply furrowed, hurt reflected in her eyes, Bondita spoke up fiercely, “You want the best for me. But you still don’t realise that being away from you will hurt me? If you are burdened with guilt, then we will share the burden and lighten the load, slowly making it disappear. We will work together. And just like we will fulfill our dream of an empowered nation one day, we will bring you out of this trauma too”.
And suddenly, he could see the possibility of an exuberantly bright and positive future. A future, where their dreams were fulfilled; where their motherland, and it’s women were free from shackles and emancipated; a future with his Bondita. How was it possible, that in a few minutes, she alleviated half of his pain from over eight years?
Of course it was possible. After all, she was his chhoti Durga Maa. And now, she had even grown up so much.
Anirudh threw his arms around her, holding her tightly yet gently against himself, like she was too precious and fragile. And though, physically it was Anirudh holding Bondita, it was really, him clinging to her for support. She had helped him up from the deep pit of negativity he had fallen into.
Going against his nature; building a wall around himself; and a dam around his emotions, had wounded him. But he would heal. He already was healing. With Bondita by his side, he knew everything would be alright.
His kraanti ki mashaal had once again lit up the beacon of the old, determined, high spirited, headstrong Anirudh Roy Chowdhury.
He was a fighter, and he would battle through his trauma, paving the way of success.
Author’s Notes: Tell me, was writing this, a sane decision? Or was I temporarily insane while writing this? XD
Read and review please.
Give your precious feedback so that I can formulate my own opinion about this!
However, on a serious note, this does happen. I wonder why it was never shown in the show. For eight years, Anirudh did something that opposed his nature; for eight years, he couldn’t freely express himself. How suffocating must that have been! Hurting Bondita’s sentiments by staying silent would have affected him so much. And once he realises his love, everything is miraculously healed in a moment!
That’s not how it works though. He went through trauma. And trauma takes time to heal. It’s a gradual process.
Enough of my rant now. This was just my opinion.
Feel free to express your thoughts and speculations about this piece!
Love you loads 💙💛