All doors and windows were open for the whole day, today! Reva along with her maid cleaned every room of her 5 BHK house. She keeps 3 rooms closed usually, as now, two bedrooms are like Titanic for her. Last week, Reva cleaned the whole front yard. The vegetable garden is becoming very striking. Cabbage, coriander, brinjal, chilli - all are becoming lip-smacking. The flower plants are also growing fast, refreshing the air. The guava and aamla trees in front of the gate are becoming quite bushy. Reva has a plan to cut few extra branches of both the trees.
She wants to do so much, but for few months, her right hand is aching. And, winter is also showing it’s harshness these days. Body is not fully supporting the mind…
But, whatever! Festivity is in the air! It’s Bihu time, eve of Magh Bihu! Time to be at home, spend time with family, have fun and fiesta! Whichever Assamese channel you open, you get to see bhela ghar, food preparation, Bihu dance, which infact never used to happen this way, even in history. Tenants on the top floors started leaving for their home, one by one.
“Aunty, Happy Bihu!! We are leaving now…! We will be back by next weekend. Have a Great Time, aunty!” Bonti, her husband and son came down with their luggage packed for one week. They were the last tenant to leave for home.
Reva smiled at herself, silently thinking about the phrase “Great Time!”
Yes “Great Time!” Reva too had such moments in the time gone by. It does feel so nice to count those moments…dancing with every beat of happiness! Those blissful moments with her kids and hubby! With kids, she and her husband really used to have blasts in Bihus. All of them used to be so busy in getting stuff ready for the evening bonfire and fest. The evening used to be never ending with food, wine, music, dance… what an amazing time that was!! Visit to their village house was the primary excitement for them. Cooking in the fireplace, preparing sweets and pithas till the wee hours, taking bath in the early chilly morning in the river and dry-up in the Meji fire, all were the beauty of the festival.
“Ahhhhhh….” A shivering just passed through her spine! Last few years, her kids could not come home on Bihu. Her nested little birds found their new wings and own circles of life… This year too, kids with their families could not come, as they will anyways come on the 6th month ritual of their father’s death. Ofcourse, frequent visits to home are not possible for them, as they live thousands of miles away. Now, the whole house hosts only two human beings…She and her maid. And, yes! That’s called life….in true sense.
“Bhonga cycle, bhongabell, bhonti tumi metric fail…” A new song, she just heard, played in loud volume in the backside of her house. Probably, those people were all set for the evening parties.
She instructed her maid to accumulate few wood logs. She decided to cook on the ‘chouka’, the fireplace in the backside balcony. She opened the fridge to take out the two Kanduli fishes, her sister had sent two days back and started cutting onions and garlic to start the preparation.
With the dusk, the whole surrounding was full of music, smoke, and soothing aroma of barbeques. She too started cooking, but she kept herself alert to hear the ringtone of her phone which might beep anytime…. Yes! Sometimes, few words from own people make the whole day or whole night….
So, was everything over now....only hopes from the phone calls? Nope, not yet!....Every passing shower has a sunshine. The TV was showing a Live Concert of the old popular number “Kajiranga Bor Dhuniya, ekurei naaitulana”, to which she could never resist herself dance to the tune…
She picked the TV remote and stepped up the volume by few decibels….and the cold living room found its life again…..