Bongs Bond in Brisbane

Abhisruti came running towards her dad. After all, who wouldn’t be excited to share the joy of receiving her first package! Equally delighted were her parents Saswati and Abhirup. The Guhathakurtas have migrated to Brisbane right after their daughter’s birth. She proved to be lucky for the couple. Abhirup never had to look back after relocating down under. His career started skyrocketing and it has been 23 years since he left his family in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Saswati knew about the romance between Ritam and her daughter. She realized that tonight, it will be the most convenient time to raise the topic of her daughter’s marriage. Abhirup heard his wife and gave in to their demand of meeting Ritam’s family. In fact, Saswati was more curious to meet Ritam’s mother as she is a Bengali too, though his father is a Keralite. They decided to visit the house of the Menons next Saturday.

All hell broke loose once Ritam’s mother appeared in front of the visitors. To his utter surprise, Abhirup was shocked to see Ashima after a quarter of a century. Helplessly, he couldn’t utter a word. But probably, Ashima made things convenient for him. She knew Abhisruti from before and Mr Vasudev Menon seemed to be a very calm and quiet, soft-spoken person. He didn’t say much. Mrs Menon straightway asked for dowry. She felt that would be the best way to avoid Abhirup after so many years. Ritam and his father both were surprised by her change of attitude. Never in the wildest of their nightmares, they could imagine that Ashima can ask for dowry.

Back at home, Abhirup made it clear that he won’t marry off his daughter to such a greedy family. But mother and daughter were insistent and brushed aside the dowry demands as a joke. Abhirup knew why Ashima made such a demand but he was helpless. The Menons were invited for a return visit to the Guhathakurta household a week later. Afterall Ritam is a budding scientist with the prestigious Translational Research Institute in Brisbane and Abhisruti is employed with the telecom giant Tekniligenz. It seems like a match made in heaven. It would be sheer stupidity to spare such a match. Abhirup was also determined to foil this alliance. Ashima didn’t disclose anything to her husband and son about why she became a different individual in front of the Guhathakurtas. Saswati’s husband knew the trick of paying Ashima back in her own coin. He is also strong-willed to counter Ashima.

Following Saturday, the Menons turned up and Abhirup made it clear at the very outset that he opposes the alliance as Ritam is presumably an illegitimate child of Saswati. There was a pin drop silence. Mr Menon asked him how he could come to that conclusion. Then Abhirup told them that he knew Ashima ever since his Kolkata days and she used to entertain top-level businessmen in Kolkata during the nineties. She must have given birth to Ritam out of one of the multiple matings that he witnessed in his youth. Mr Menon couldn’t stay silent any longer. He assured that Ritam was not born out of their wedlock and Ashima is Ritam’s step-mother. Ritam’s biological mother Swarnlatha died during his birth. And Ashima did fulfil the responsibilities of a dutiful mother and wife. Abhirup felt relieved and assured that Ritam is not his offspring as he was apprehending but couldn’t share with anyone.

Ashima wanted to rebut the claims made by Abhisruti’s father. She said you are right Mr. Guhathakurta but before slut-shaming me in the public domain, I think all should know the truth. Abhirup wanted her to stay mum but she was unrelenting. She explained how her first husband forced her to sleep initially with his boss and then with his employer only to get a promotion. Abhirup started sweating in such a pleasant Australian spring. Later on, after his aspirations were fulfilled, he mercilessly deserted her in the city of Kolkata. He accused her of infidelity and took a divorce. She being a mofussil girl hardly knew anyone influential in the city of joy, which actually turned out to be a cursed city for her. It was then she struggled alone by sowing and weaving to earn a decent living. Mr Menon was a manager then with a leading garment manufacturer and he was fascinated by Ashima’s work. She started getting more offers through Mr Menon’s source. In the meantime, they came close and started confiding in each other.

So pleased Vasudev’s bosses and employers were that they decided to transfer him to Australia with a promotion. Vasudev, worried about the fate of his motherless son, asked for Ashima’s hand in marriage. Ashima took it as a challenge and her last resort to survive in this cruel world. Now they are happily settled in Brisbane as a full-fledged family who is close-knit and no one has the authority to tarnish the image of any family member. No slander theory can work now and Abhirup realized that.

Abhisruti started clapping and her mother followed suit. Saswati addressed her as a sister and said that she is indeed proud that her daughter’s would-be mother in law is such a lady of substance. Abhisruti said that her ex-husband must be the unluckiest person on earth to have deserted such a woman and compared her struggles with the power of Goddess Durga. Abhirup was only thankful that he wasn’t named and shamed by  Ashima.

One thought on “Bongs Bond in Brisbane

  1. Brilliant story in LandDown Under, where a Bengali family takes the central stage. With every twist and turn, the story highlights human emotion and connects Bengalis and Brisbane.

    Like

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