THE LIGHT OF THE DESERT

Original in Assamese: Dr. Jyotirekha Hazarika
Translated: Pranami Bania

About the plot of the Novel
It’s a story that revolves round Radhika and Tonnoy. The story is an intense, gripping and romantic one where two lovers meet, fall in love and get separated. The plot is romantic as well as spiritual where love is embodied as a spiritual entity that crosses the barrier of language and space.

The Light of the Desert / Desert Moonlit

Before the Jet Airways flight takes its speed on the runway, Radhika received the last message from Tonnoy –

“Who knows when and where they would meet again.
But the moments God gifted them whether such a few days.
May be sufficient to live rest of the life with a feeling
That some one is waiting for!!”

Radhika is returning Assam after completing her third refresher Course in Delhi for which she stayed in Delhi for twenty four days. She is returning back to her work place Jorhat; but it seems she has lost her tender heart somewhere. She has left all her enthusiasm at the last moment of her flight. After the departure of Tonnoy half an hour ago in one jet airways flight, Radhika has lost all her homecoming spirit.

After completing a special summer school of twenty one days in Jamia Millia University of South Delhi, the next day Radhika is seen in the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Tonnoy departed in another jet airways flight and from that moment, Radhika lost all her homecoming spirit.

Radhika’s eyes were filled with tears as a few minutes back, she parted with Tonnoy. Her heart shivered for an unknown tragedy. She was weeping in the back of her mind without Tonnoy noticing her. After a gap of half an hour, Tonnoy’s flight flew to its destination and which separated each other. Tonnoy’s sudden departure seems as if there is no chance of the two meeting each other in future. There is no possibility of the two to rest for sometime. Life’s tragedy caught in an island.

Eight years rolled on when Tonnoy remain unmarried, but one month from this day, Tonnoy’s marriage is fixed … pre fixed date, his parents selected bridegroom.

It was eight years ago from this day, when Radhika felt desperately in love with Tonnoy. It was the time when Radhika came to Bardhman University for attending an Orientation course. It was only two years then, when she joined as a lecturer in a college. Being the only daughter in the family, the parents were quick in planning her marriage. Radhika’s village was rigid on the issue of caste and creed. The news of Radhika’s highly educated friend Nandita’s sudden marriage to her lover in the temple ‘Kamakhya’ was quite a shock to the village. It was the thought of Radhika’s family to give away the hands of their daughter to an eligible mate as early as possible as she was a working woman staying far away from home. “Girls mind! Who knows when it changes?”––– her maternal uncle often warns her mother in this way.

Having completed her masters with flying colours, Radhika’s photo was published in a number of newspapers. And accordingly, a marriage proposal came from an A.C.S. officer Anurag Choudhury. A suitable match from a reputed family of the town; Can there be any suitable match for Radhika other than Anurag Choudhury? It is obviously a perfect match for Radhika and accordingly, her innocent parents without the caring to know her heart, the two families solemnized the formalities of marriage in a court. Spendid arrangements were made to entrap the free mind country bird in a cage. Her brother’s joy knew no bounds.

There were only six months left for the marriage to be solemnized.

“It is better to complete the Orientation course before marriage.”– the senior lecturers in college suggested her. Due to increase in familial responsibilities, it will not possible to do such course on time, which will hamper one from getting the senior scale. There is chance of doing the other refresher course in Assam. There is no chance to go abroad all alone.

Act according to sayings.

As she was travelling to Bardhman from Guwahati in the Kanchanjunga express with here brother, she had a dream–

“She was in the middle of a vast green valley.
Surrounding on all sides are the high mountains.

She could hear the voice of a man coming towards her after it touches something.

As if someone is whispering and calling her– into the middle of the green valley.

All alone.
She went running and saw the bright sun.
No. There is no one waiting for her. Only nothingness ….”

On the third day of the journey, the inaugural programme was held in Bardhaman University.

On that day, her eyes caught sight with another pair of bright shinning eyes. And after this Radhika’s new journey with Anurag came to a sudden halt.

What was there? Was there a handful of shinning star or the celestial light of the full moon?

Tonnoy Krishnamurti, Lecturer of History Dept.
Two years elder to her.

A south Indian from Bangalore with a greyish complexion and an eligible person, Tonnoy. Radhika was totally lost in the World of Tonnoy and she completely forgets about the engagement ring that Anurag has put on her ring finger. She totally forgot about the legal bond signed between them. She forgot all the possibilities of her new married life.

Love compels everything to forget.

After meeting Tonnoy, there was a sudden flow of the Jamuna in her mind. They came quite close to each other on this twenty eight day’s course. Language was not a barrier for their love. The river kept on blowing silently without causing any disturbance to other.

On a particular Sunday, both of them came to Vishwabharati. In the serene and quite atmosphere of Rabindra, Radhika was transformed into a little girl of her youthful days. She just let open her heart’s fencing and was seen jumping on the green valley. She was seen hiding beside the tall trees. “Hide...uh...Seek”… it seems the time of playing hide and seek again returns back to her life.

“Radhika, Radhika” … Tonnoy was looking for her in the entire Shantiniketan.

All of a sudden, Radhika appeared smilingly from the back yards. Radhika could never forget the experience of the first kiss; she had on her lips from Tonnoy till today. There were no expectations. No chance of deliverance. It was but an eternal experience felt within her heart. It was but a heavenly experience for her which could not be experienced in language.

How can a man gather so much of courage so as to pray for love from an engaged woman? And look at the unfortunate … condition of women … Is there any time left for her to change?

Oh! Everything happens. The distance of two hearts or the solitariness of the two minds may be the reason for the sudden outpouring of this love. But love? Caught between study and administrative work, Anurag could never learn the basic lesson of love. Radhika has completely compromised her life with mere materialistic pleasure rather than expecting love and happiness from this relationship. During the last one year Anurag could not spare a couple of minutes to really understand or feel the inner mind of Radhika … innocent little girl hidden deep inside her heart. But Tonnoy could take out this innocent little girl from Radhika’s mind. Radhika was transformed into a heartless hilly stream.

Where did she read, right at this moment she does not remember the writer’s name …“How to separate love and weapons? One cuts the heart, other the head.’’

Eight year from now Tonnoy has cut the heart of Radhika into pieces.
And then she turns  crazy … like Radha.
Love is really strange, it is incomparable.

Putting the first foot step in the road of love–one flower that always blooms is the raktajaba. Caught in the midst of misty autumn. In love, time might return away in waiting, the duration of promises might exhaust. Invisible bonding might be broken without taking the first step. The music of love might break away … the home of trust might shatter away on the gateway of love.

Oh! Incidents do not happen in the same way. Love means the satisfaction of being one after separation … nobody knows how the polar ice breaks, how stones breaks into a stream then finally meets the river and ultimately reaches the sea. From the gateway of love, there might start a new life. Love can give the feeling of fulfillment in being unfulfilled … love can give a higher sense of fulfillment in being separated.

The feeling of hatred can emerge from the gateway of love. The opposite side of love is separation. Love can be saleable … there might be bargaining between sale and the seller. Love can be like a flower … once broken, it is damaged. Is there any time left, once the flower is broken down? Does any time remains in one’s hand to enquire about the color or fragrance of the broken flower?

[Continue reading Section-2 or click eBook]

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