32 Years old Bicycle

“Have you sat properly back there ?” Sanu’s dad asked Sanu in excitement, who was sitting on the carrier on the back of the bicycle of his father’s. The bicycle of his father was 32 years old, the whole body of the bicycle is brown in color except the handle, it was glittering like the silver with S. K Das engraved on it. It runs as smooth as butter. Sanu’s Dad got this bicycle from his elder brother when he was suffering from blood cancer and eventually died of it. Sanu’s dad was dropping him to his school which was their routine. And as usual he was at the back on the bicycle wearing a white shirt, blue half pants, blue tie with a circular badge on it which had a picture of Rabindranath Tagore at the center and initials of the school name at the top. He had a red colored pokemon bag hanging on the back of his shoulder. He had to constantly adjust the strap of the bag on his shoulder as it was too heavy for his weight. He was thin had curly hairs combed in two parts more on the right side than on right, fair complexion, innocent face and had a scar at the right side of his forehead which he got when he fell while playing at night and his head slammed on a rock leaving him with 0.5 cm deep hole.

Sanu was looking at bikes, cars passing by his side. His dad at the front seat of the bicycle had been talking to him. “My brother always loved me the most of all the siblings, he used to ask me to come to his office at the college by noon, so that he could give me money by lending it from his colleague to bought the groceries for remaining month as it tends to end before next month salary.”

It was month of march, the rays from sun were beginning to get under the skin. A boy with large curly hairs entered the gate he was wearing a khakee colored half pant and white shirt. He had chocolate brown complexion, brown eyes and had a slight beard indicating that he had just entered the teenage era. He entered the small sized office through a wooden orange colored door There were several desks in the office separated with some distance. At one a curly haired man was sitting in his chair, at his desks there were some opened files, a pile of big registers at left side and a crystal like paper weight was mounted on the pile of registers. He went to that desk, the man at desk looked up and said “Shibu, come here, sit”. Shibu sat on the stool at front of the desk. “Wait here, I’ll be right back.” the man said while standing from his chair “Okay dada” said Shibu in acknowledgement. He went to the desk to his next where a bald man was writing something in registers of some sort. He bend his back and said something to the bald man. The bald man looked into his blue colored shirt’s pocket and took out 20 rupees note and hand it to him. He came back to his desk and gave the money to Shibu and said “Buy the groceries and get yourself some Cashews and Raisins.”

Now Sanu and his Dad on the bicycle reached the square at right side there was a hotel named ‘Dwarika’ to the left of it a Pan Stall followed by a photocopier and a book depot. And auto-rickshaw stand to the left. From this square they had to go to the cross the road to the right. As they crossed the road and went further down the road. At some distance there was a Gayatri Maa’s temple to the left. Sanu had to chant Gayatri Mantra every time they passed the temple , his dad had instructed him while they were going to school like this at the start of his class 3rd this year. In the beginning his dad had to chant first and he had to repeat it. After three days he memorized it and now he was chanting by himself as they passed the temple.

Sanu’s dad always preferred a shortcut which lies before the square name “Pal Chowk” named after the doctor who’s clinic was at the square. The area of the square consists two Colleges. two banks, numerous photocopier and general stores, due to which it was always crowded by people, students and automobiles. To avoid all this traffic and black fog pumped by the vehicles. They named the shortcut as ‘Pahadi Road’, as it has some ups and downs due to uneven deposition of mud during monsoon. The road had bushes and cactus on both side. On the right at some distance there was an ice factory.

To be back on the main road which will take them to the school, they had to take a right. This road had some potholes as this road accommodate some storage facilities for the ‘Bidi’ company which allows several trucks to load and unload the materials. On the right side there was compound covered with red flowers all over it of the bungalow owned by the owner of the ‘Bidi’ company. There was a soothing aroma of the flowers inside the lawn covered all the surrounding. At the Gate of the bungalow there was a guard in blue uniform and black cap on his head with a fiber rod hanging at his waist using the belt. At the chair beside the guard a girl in pink frock was sitting. She was white as milk, with innocence dripping of her face and had pitch black hair with two ponytails hanging on her shoulder. “She’s the daughter of the owner of the ‘bidi’ company.” said Sanu’s father looking at her. “She’s suffering from autism, I’d seen her at the hospital when we’d taken you for a routine check up after you had fits when you was 6 years old.” his dad told him while they were nearly at the main road.

On one autumn, Sanu at the door of his house where they used to live before they had moved to their own house was trembling, his mom saw him and called in hoarse for his dad and Sanu fainted and fell at the door. His dad held him and run for the main road to find a auto rickshaw, his mom followed them. They took him to their family doctor’s nursing home. But he recommended to the Psychiatrist who fortunately visited their city that day from his home town Nagpur. As a part of his treatment they had to visit the doctor at his clinic at Nagpur for ECG checkup. Once they were waiting for their turn to visit the doctor, in the lobby with all the patients and their guardian. They were sitting on a green colored sofa with Sanu eating his Cadbury Dairymilk. The lobby had white marble floor, with a reception desk at the right corner beside the entrance at which a nurse was sitting. The room had various posters of brain and different instructions hanging on the walls. The nurse at the reception desk called “Siddharth” Sanu’s ‘Bhalonaam’ as per the Bengali tradition of having two name one ‘Daknaam’(nick name) and one ‘bhalonaam’(Official name). As they were about to open the door, there was a tap on his dad shoulder. The man was the owner of the ‘bidi’ company, his father known him as he had been to a cultural program as a chief guest where his dad was playing percussion instruments for rhythm like ‘Nal’ and ‘Congo set’ in it. He explained him the situation that it’s urgent to show her daughter to doctor. And his dad let them in first as it was their routine checkup and they didn’t had any hurry.

Now they are at the main which will lead them straight to the school. this road accommodate all kind of stores like book depot. general stores cosmetic stores, optical store, garage on both the side. There were three schools,a Church, a Gurudwara and a ‘Shiv Shankar’s‘ temple all very closed to each other. Sanu’s school was in front of Gurudwara which is beside the Church. In front of his school there was a ground which used to be a garden which serve the purpose of jogging track and now it was barren land due to some government dispute regarding the land consist only a ‘Shiv Shankar’s‘ temple. Sanu jumped of the carrier, his dad handed him his water bottle which was hanging around the handle of the bicycle. He hung the water bottle around his neck. And he went towards the entrance waving his hand and saying “Good Bye” to his dad. His dad stand their looking at his son’s red pokemon bag on his shoulder as he adjusted the strap of the bag while entering the gate. Sanu looked back for the last time to saw his dad looking at him. He looked as his son disappeared into the corridor.


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