☛ Submission for October, 2024 issue (Vol. 5, No. 2) is going on. The last date for submission is 30 September, 2024.

Fortnight Friend


Dr. Seema Sarkar

Associate Professor of English

Navyug Kanya Mahavidyalaya,

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India


Today Usha was very happy and relaxed again. She could make a man understand the power of ‘No’ finally and that every woman is not accessible to bed. Man and woman can be very good friends also without any physicality is still to be digested by society. ‘Men are always men’, she thought. She was a reputed Professor of vocal music in a Deemed University and had a very good reputation in society. Though a strict taskmaster, she was adored by her students. She had a young son, who was in job after his B.B.A. in other city, far from her. Ujjwal, her darling, her lifeline was now trying to get top IIM for his M.B.A. Like mother, he was also a very good singer and has a passion for cooking, which he has inherited from her maternal grandparents. Usha had gone through a bad marital status, so she was staying with her parents from the time, Ujjwal was only 2 years old. Therefore, Ujjwal was deeply attached to his Nana-Nani, who groomed him up into a wonderful personality, without the shelter of a detached father. He was openly told about his father, nothing hidden and hence at the time of divorce case, when his father tried to lure him to speak ill about his mother and grandparents, he frankly replied that he knew all truth.

So, it was crisis period of COVID-19 and social distancing was being maintained. Ujjwal was comfortable at his place to work from home, but daily video call to Maa & Nani made their life joyful in this dismal situations. Usha was a friendly person and was active on social media. Her live music was always appreciated highly by public. She was a positive person, who could spread happiness everywhere with her infectious smile. Her students were mostly her Facebook friends, colleagues, new acquaintances in seminar, conferences added to her friend list. She was open to all with a crystal clear heart that anyone can see through. She actively updated her department activities with her junior colleagues on Facebook page.

One day some Viren sent a friend request. As usual, checking her common friends with him, getting assured, she accepted it. After 2-3 days, in her messenger, she saw: ‘Hi, Thanks’... in Viren’s box. She asked, ‘what for thanks’... prompt reply, ‘for accepting my friend request’. Fine, then casual whereabouts being exchanged and she came to know that he is a reputed businessman, touring to various places for business purpose, loves driving mostly in his car. She also came to know that he has an ancestral home at her city as well and visits it frequently. Then, like her other male friends, normal good morning, funny messages poured in, exchanged quite often on messenger only. He sent beautiful songs videos also, which flattered her the most.

One fine day, on his funny message, her funny reply turned into his asking for mobile no. as he wanted to talk and know her more personally. She hesitated, gave no reply. He teased her, ‘What happened, so you don’t want to talk?’ She immediately exchanged her nos. A gentlemanly approach again, ‘When you are free, alone to talk, let me know, call you’. These days, she was busy on digital platforms with her talks, musical shows. So she replied for Sunday evening, two days later. It was amusingly taken by him that she can’t even spare few minutes for friends even. As she casually exchanged her whatsapp no. now a message popped up, ‘Hi, Viren here’. She casually replied, ‘Yes your no. with name saved’. Now again showers of music audio-video poured in, soothing her soul. On a soulful song, she commented, ‘My favourite’ and the answer ‘dedicated to you’ then again ‘especially for you’ tag with a romantic song prompted her reply, ‘enjoying your flirting’. Then on chat itself both enquired about each other’s family. His reply, ‘you are my family’ increased the fun of knowing this naughty man. His enquiry about her husband made her reply, ‘Perhaps, you haven’t checked my profile properly’. Within 5 minutes, ‘found everyone except your husband’. She said, ‘So whom have you found?’ He said, ‘Your son’. She gleefully replied, ‘He is my world, my darling’. He insisted, ‘Tell na, why hiding game?’ She said, ‘I’ve nothing to hide, fine, when you tell me about your wife etc. I’ll tell mine’. Immediately a video call on whatsapp from his side started ringing, which she dismissed saying it is her son’s time.

What appealed to her about this man was his giving space to her, if she said that she is busy in ‘riyaz’ her musical practice, he would not disturb by messages or call. By the way, the awaited call was taken next morning by her and casual knowing about each other went on and again on his marital status said that he was single and something there to tell when meet face to face and offered to take her on a long drive that day as he was in city. She was startled by his approach but flatly refused saying to maintain social distancing, having an old mother at home. Again normal chat started. But that night when he said ‘I need you alone’ was replied ‘I’m not available’. At night, while talking to her son in routine, at his enquiry what Usha did whole day, she amusingly replied, ‘flirting with a handsome gentleman, who wanted to take her for a long drive’. She had already shared his profile pic with him as an enquiry to make him a friend. So Ujjwal knew about him but such a comment from his mother prompted him to ask about her answer to the proposal. She used to tease her young son so often on girl friend matter etc. She jovially replied, ‘No way.’

Next day on call he frankly told he wanted to meet and spend time alone with her, as he considered her a bold and beautiful lady, who has every right to be happy and enjoy her life in her own way. She told him in a friendly manner that she was happy with her mother and son and enjoying her life to full. He was welcome to her home to meet in front of her mother. He openly told her as an admirer of hers that he wanted to hold her hands, hug her, kiss her and in front of her mother, he will not feel good. Though somewhere deep in her heart, she felt flattered as for 20 long years, she was spending her life as a saint, controlling all emotions and desires within. The handsome gentleman’s approach was curbed by expressing her discomfort on such actions. He assured of her consent and comfort zone which didn’t make her feel dirty at all. Otherwise, she had faced very boldly this cruel world for the last twenty years by snubbing such people, blocking them bluntly. But Viren was special, who sweetly tingled the emotions in her heart and she wished to retain him as a sweet friend. At night his bold expressions that he’ll start afresh with her with commitment & transparent to explore the physical world and rejuvenate with him as he wanted him in his bed, erupted the volcano of emotions in her heart...She thought why this happened to her! Why she is feeling weak...She had already told her mother that a new gentleman has entered into her life as a friend, showing his dp pic as she told about all her male-female friends to her as well as her son. Somehow she passed a disturbed night. In the morning, when he called and dotingly addressed her as pretty woman, she told that she was emotionally disturbed to think that somebody felt her in his bed. Now she had a question tormenting her if she is a slut or a whore? She treats him as a friend only. He was taken aback and said he never expected such expressions from an independent lady like her. Next day normal message exchange made things normal again. But in afternoon, while driving to other city, he suddenly called & after sweetly addressing her told that he was hurt by her blunt expressions yesterday. So after reaching his destination, he will call to speak his side and then she would remember that a creature called Viren entered her life one day.

She immediately contacted one junior colleague with whom, she was very close and openly teased her in naughty ways. Vithika was a modern girl, brilliant in studies, got medals, awards & a gem of the department. But she went through a very bad, abusive relationship also, later found a man of her heart and now was happily married and a mother of a two year old naughty child. She heard and said that Usha had every right to be happy in her own way, according to her own choice. But Usha said she can’t think of physical relation now at the age of 50. But she wants this man to be a friend like others. She didn’t want to block him as his hurt ego can lead to bad consequences for her outside. Now she was a little relieved to vent out her heart to someone. By the way, she sent a nice song to him expressing that she is happy in her small world and let her be there as she is without any more expectations from life. She wrote that she had an online show for an hour then she was there to listen to him, so that she is not distracted by his call in between. No call came rather the song was acknowledged emotionally saying, ‘I do understand...but be mine’. He called in the evening, sweetly talking and she clearly told that for her physical relationship was under the sanctity of marriage and that once for all was over in her life. He insisted, ‘you are mine, I need you’. She helplessly expressed that she was unable to make him understand then as she had very clearly gave her denial on that front. Later in night he also sent some messages expressing his love with new songs as well, insisting ‘Let’s be together’. The erotic messages aroused her carnal desires and deep within she wished if this handsome guy can be his man and lead to a dream world where she always wished to stay forever. But practical life was very different. The harsh reality hit her conscious and she replied that it was impossible a dream he was in. In this patriarchal society, no one bothers of a man’s activity but a woman has to abide by society rules. What her son has to suffer that her mother was having an affair with a businessman. Now she wrote that she had committed a blunder to make him a friend. Immediate response came, ‘what do you mean?’ She flatly said that she considered him a thorough gentleman and hence exchanged mobile nos. She wanted to cherish him as a sweet friend only. Reading her comments, he finally said, ‘Be happy in your world, let’s quit, cheers! I’m blocking you.’

Next morning, she called Veethika and told everything and said she deleted his chats not to get distracted anymore. That she had done earlier also when for the first time he desperately expressed his desire to see her beside him. She wanted to know if her nos. with him create any problem for her in future! Vitheeka comfortingly assured that he has to check his reputation as well, as he is a well-to-do man of society. So she should relax as she had blocked him on all fronts then. After that, she left a message to Ujjwal that she wanted to call and speak on Viren’s matter to him. After breakfast, he called and she told every detail as she did to Veethika. For her, he was his support system emotionally, a friend, philosopher and guide after her father’s demise, two years back. When asked if he felt disturbed by her vent out, a positive reply came from Ujjwal, ‘Till now I felt you treated me like a baby, but today I feel an adult to whom you confide freely. You have done right thing. I’m proud of you Maa and respect you more as a strong and independent woman. You have all the rights to live your life as per your terms.’

Later she received in chat, ‘Thanks for sharing the incident with me as it will help me grow as a person and allow me to be open with you in the future as well,’ made her feel emotionally strong. That night they had a usual video chat in night and the trio of 3 generation slept peacefully. Next morning, she shared to Ujjwal some beautiful romantic messages and a song sent by Viren with a bold confession, ‘he is the only man in my life who made me feel a beautiful woman, even his approaches never made me feel dirty but can’t lead to false hopes so told to be friend only and I really miss his messages and calls...You must know this fact’. She jokingly commented on a romantic message that he could use it when he found his soul mate. She confirmed also that he was not disturbed by her confession. Now she felt once again the energy and zeal of life to face it as it comes to her. She feels refreshing on the spring breeze that entered to her barren and bleak life for a while and a sweet smile automatically adorns her lovely lips...