Oleander by Ratan Bhattacharjee SignUp

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Today is Olea’s birthday. The first, second and even third wish too is blinking on the mobile notifications. But no message from Neel till evening. Cake celebration singing all are done. But no poem was recited.  She did not have a mind to recite poem. Poem means Neel. Those lockdown nights they used to write poems, Neel’s poem for Olea and Olea’s poems for Neel. Their acquaintance began in a seminar. Olea translated two poems of Neel.

Extraordinary translation said the mesmerized Neel.’ From today I will call you Olea’

Really! Olea said smiling beautifully ‘I will be in the seventh sky’ will feel honoured. I have one poetic God and that is you Neel

No, you are my Bijoya.

Means? Olea wanted to know.

Neel smiled and said, It is simple, if I am Tagore you are Victoria Ocampo.

So many chats like this. Today all are making Olea nostalgic. All talk stopped for a long time. Neel used to say, love never ceases to exist, it flows ever like a river. There is no separation in Love. But the tragic separation finally happened. All successful love stories are tragic in the end. Olea disconnected Neel after a quarrel over someone close to her.

Birthday party was over, now lockdown is lifted, and people were on the street. Olea was late for dinner for birthday celebration. Usually she takes dinner at 830 but today it was 9. After dinner she was getting ready for her studies, suddenly at that moment the calling bell rang on the door. A parcel was delivered. The handwriting was so known to her. It was a parcel from Neel. She opened the parcel in no time. The title of the book was printed in Golden yellow on the red background ‘Oleander’.


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