9 September 2016

Love At Maddox Square


This is an imaginary story of a girl falling in love with a man and the man loving her back. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.

Shreya was looking so beautiful in her blue saree. She knew that she was looking beautiful. She was a bit proud of this fact too. It was the evening of Sasthi during Durga Puja. She was there at Maddox Square with her friends. All her friends were equally decked up. They were all giggling and covertly checking out all the cute boys around.   

Rahul was standing there with his group of friends. He was looking very handsome in his blue jeans and blue panjabi. Coincidentally both of them were wearing the colour blue. He was busy chatting with his friends and overtly checking out all the beautiful girls around. The bangla band Cactus was performing on stage. Rahul remembered the time when he had bought Cactus' first album as a school boy. So many years have passed since then. It was so nice to hear songs like 'Sudhu Tumi Eleyna', 'Ichhamoti', 'Holud Pakhi', 'Nil Nirjaney', 'Noah', 'Mon', 'Udaaner Gaan', 'Bodhu Rey', 'Rajar Raja' etc. after so many years. During the 2004 Durga Puja, Rahul had bought the 'Rajar Raja' album from Music World at Park Street. Rahul remembered the days when he used to listen regularly to Krosswindz's 'Poth Gechey Benkey' and also Parashpathar's and Abhilasha's first albums.       

Shreya looked at Rahul and immediately liked him. She liked his height, his looks and his charming smile. It was love at first sight for her. Initially Rahul did not notice her but later on he did. He liked the fact that a pretty girl was checking him out. It gave a boost to his ego too. After around an hour of checking each other out, Rahul went to Shreya and started talking to her. Here is how their conversation went :

Excuse me, are you Sukanya? I think you are there in my friend list in Facebook. 

No. I think you are mistaken. I am not Sukanya. 

Ok. Sorry. I thought you were Sukanya. 

No. My name is Shreya. 

Ok. Nice meeting you. So you come to Maddox Square everyday during Durga Puja?

No. Usually we come only on Ashtami evenings. But this year we came on Sasthi for the first time. What about you?

Every year we come here on all four evenings - Sasthi, Saptami, Ashtami and Nabami. I just love Maddox Square very much.

Why do you love Maddox Square so much?

Well, here one gets to bump into old school and college friends. Plus there are these musical shows every evening. And I have been coming to Maddox regularly since 2000. There is a nostalgic element involved also. 

Thats it?

No, one gets to also see the most beautiful girls of Calcutta at Maddox. For example, someone like yourself... Ahem...

Ha Ha Ha... Are you trying to flirt with me?

No no no... I am just saying... Don't take it in a wrong way please...

The conversation continued further. They exchanged phone numbers. Shreya liked the fact that Rahul showed the courage to come up to her and talk to her. She introduced him to her friends. Rahul called over his friends and introduced them to the girls. They all had a lovely adda together. They all went and ate fuchkas, papri chaats and drank soft drinks. The girls stayed at Maddox till around nine o' clock. Then they left. The boys decided to stay back for some more time. They all decided to meet again the next day. 

That night Rahul and Shreya started chatting on Whatsapp. They chatted for almost an hour. They decided on what clothes to wear the next day. He also sent her a friend request on Facebook. She immediately accepted it. He went through all her pictures and the picture which he liked the most, he immediately made it his laptop wallpaper. Also he downloaded that picture on his phone and made it his phone wallpaper too.

On Saptami evening, Rahul and Shreya again met at Maddox, along with all their friends. She wore a green saree and he wore a green panjabi. All their friends understood that something was cooking between them. Anjan Dutta started performing on the stage along with his son Neel Dutta and the legendary guitarist Amyt Dutta. It was a wonderful performance filled mostly with songs from his nineties' albums. Rahul felt nostalgic. He wanted to travel back in time to the nineties again. He started missing his childhood and teenage-hood days. It was so nice to hear songs like 'Ranjana', 'Darjeeling', '2441139', 'Mary Anne', 'Calcium', 'Bhalobashi Tomay' etc. after so many years. Anjan Dutta also sang songs from his latest album 'Unoshaat'. 

Rahul wanted to spend some time alone with Shreya. But it was next to impossible to separate her from her friends. Shreya also wanted to spend some time alone with Rahul, but she thought that if she left her group then her friends would take it the wrong way. That day also the girls stayed till around nine o' clock and the boys again decided to stay back further. Before Shreya left Rahul just took her aside for a few seconds and showed her his phone wallpaper. She gave him the sweetest smile possible.

That night Rahul and Shreya again started chatting on Whatsapp. He asked her to meet him alone for lunch the next day. After initial hesitations she finally agreed. 

The next day was Ashtami. Rahul and Shreya met in front of Priya Cinema in the afternoon. She was wearing a black saree and Rahul wore a black panjabi. This was obviously no coincidence. From there they went to Deshopriyo Park and then to Tridhara Sammilani. For the first time Rahul held her hand. Initially she took her hand away but after some time allowed Rahul to hold her hand. They came back to Marco Polo restaurant on Sarat Bose Road for lunch. After lunch they went to Ballygunge Cultural and Samaj Sebi. Then they went to have some coffee at Lake Road CCD. Rahul really loved spending this quality time with her. She also loved it very much. With every passing minute she was falling in love with him. Rahul could read that in her eyes. Whenever he complimented her on her looks, she blushed beautifully. Rahul really loved the way she blushed like a red rose. She was looking ravishingly beautiful in that black saree. She really felt comfortable in Rahul's company. It felt as if she knew him for ages.  

In the evening they both went to Maddox Square again in a cab. They both sat really close to each other inside the cab. Shreya was sitting on his right side. He suddenly kissed her on her left cheek. She was surprised by this sudden action. She blushed a bit and pointed out that the cab driver was looking at them from the rear-view mirror. He told her to ignore the cab driver and asked her to give him a kiss. Again after some initial hesitations she finally kissed him on his right cheek.

On Ashtami evenings, practically all roads in Calcutta lead to Maddox Square. That is the place to be and be seen in. Maddox feels like the seventh heaven and cloud nine combined together during that time. Maddox is like the biblical Garden of Eden for Calcutta's Romeos and Juliets. One gets to see the most beautiful women ever seen by mankind. When the Gods come to Earth, they bring these ethereal heavenly angels of flesh and blood with them and this makes Calcutta a much better place to live in. One's life is worthless if he or she hasn't visited Maddox on an Ashtami evening. Another feature of Maddox is that this is the place where one accidentally sees one's ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends walking hand in hand with someone else. Again here one also sees one's ex-crushes and ex-flames, either single or happily mingling with their special someones.

Rahul and Shreya reached Maddox around six o' clock. Their friends started arriving there one by one. The bangla band Fossils started performing on the stage. It was so nice to hear songs like 'Aaro Ekbar', 'Ekla Ghor', 'Nemesis', 'Bishakto Manush', 'Millennium', 'Acid', 'Bicycle Chor' etc. after so many years. Rahul remembered that he had also bought the album 'Fossils 2' from Park Street Music World during the 2004 Durga Puja. Rahul and Shreya had a lovely time at Maddox Square chatting with all their friends. But this time they both took some time off from their friends and went for a walk together, hand in hand. Their friends understood their feelings and let them go for a walk. They walked hand in hand throughout Maddox. They both took shots at those balloons with those toy guns. Later on they again joined their friends. During Durga Puja, Maddox Square is like a giant college canteen. As usual the girls left Maddox around nine o'clock and the boys decided to stay back for some more time. Only this time Rahul also felt like leaving Maddox but he ultimately decided to stay back with his friends because he did not want to ditch them. They would have felt bad otherwise. He also silently thanked Maa Durga for bringing such a sweet girl like Shreya into his life. 

On Nabami evening, Rahul and Shreya again met at Maddox. This time however none of their friends came. They all went for pandal hopping at other places. But Rahul and Shreya decided to meet at Maddox and go nowhere else. Shreya wore a red saree and Rahul wore a maroon panjabi. Since none of their friends were around therefore they enjoyed complete freedom. They roamed throughout Maddox hand in hand. The place was less crowded. There was no musical activity on stage that evening. But a huge gang of boys was sitting together in a circle on the ground and playing their guitars and singing bangla band songs. Their favourite number was obviously the anthem of bangla bands - 'Telephone'. They sang that song quite a few times. Rahul and Shreya listened to the songs for some time. Then they went and ate cotton candy and ice-creams. After almost an hour of roaming around, they finally sat on the ground. A poor man was selling old newspapers. Rahul bought two newspapers and used them as sitting mats. 

Rahul and Shreya sat close to each other. A bubble-wallah was standing right beside them. He was blowing out bubbles through his pipe and the whole place became like a magical fairyland. Shreya really loved those bubbles. She felt like kissing Rahul's lips but controlled herself. They both had a long heart-warming adda. Rahul told her about his ex-girlfriends. She listened patiently. When he asked her about her ex-boyfriends, she cleverly avoided the subject and changed the topic. They talked about films, bengali theatre, literature, politics, poetry and about a host of other topics. Rahul told her about his favourite TV shows. His current favourite TV show is 'The Big Bang Theory' and his all time favourite TV show is 'Xena - Warrior Princess'. Shreya listened to all the details about Xena. She was a good listener. Rahul also told her that he considers Kabir Suman to be his Prophet and promised her that he would certainly take her to a Kabir Suman concert at Kala Mandir in the near future. There were quite a few beautiful girls roaming around in small groups. Rahul did not even look at them. Shreya liked this fact that Rahul was not checking out anyone else. Around nine o' clock they left Maddox. Rahul took a cab and dropped Shreya home and then took the same cab back to his own place. This time Shreya sat on his left side therefore Rahul kissed her on her right cheek and she kissed him on his left cheek. This time however there were no hesitations from Shreya's side...