The Pursuit of a Dream – By Sukanta Mandal

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Sukanta Mandal

 

 

“I had a dream,” Sudeep confessed, his voice filled with anticipation as he held Barnali’s hands gently, pulling her closer to him. The sight of her flawless physique always captivated him, leaving him powerless to resist her allure. It was in this state of infatuation that Sudeep found himself often dreaming about Barnali.

In his latest dream, they were together, intimately close, their bodies almost touching. The mere thought of such proximity sent a surge of electricity coursing through Sudeep’s veins. After all, who doesn’t dream? The anticipation of their meeting had fueled their excitement, eager to engage in heartfelt conversations, their words intertwining like a melodious symphony.

But now, as they stood face to face, a playful smile adorned Sudeep’s lips. With a mischievous glimmer in his eyes, he insisted, “No, no! You must share your dream first.” He wanted to delve into the depths of her imagination, to uncover the secrets that lay hidden within her subconscious mind. And so, with a gentle tug, he encouraged Barnali to reveal the contents of her dream.

In a neighborhood where their houses stand side by side, a high wall serves as a physical boundary between Barnali and Sudeep. However, this barrier fails to hinder their unique connection. As they ascend to their respective rooftops, Barnali transforms into the enchanting “moon,” while Sudeep assumes the role of the drifting “cloud.” In a fleeting moment, their playful game of hide-and-seek alters the very essence of the world, casting vibrant hues upon their surroundings. Yet, amidst the ever-changing spectacle, their intrinsic natures remain unaltered, like unwavering constants in an ever-evolving universe.

But it is when the wind dances joyfully through the air that the pinnacle of happiness arrives. With the arrival of this benevolent breeze, Spring emerges from its slumber, bringing forth renewal and rejuvenation. Within this ethereal harmony, the “moon” and the “cloud” continue their dance, intertwining their existences in a symphony of colors and emotions, reminding us of the enduring beauty that lies within the simplest of connections.

Sudeep, a first-year B.Sc. student, and Barnali, a final candidate of the Madhyamik examination, found themselves in a unique situation. Despite living close by, they were unable to interact or even catch a glimpse of each other through their windows. Determined to communicate, they devised a plan to connect from their respective roofs, but only during the evening.

Realizing that their rooftop encounters may not be enough, they also discovered a secluded spot under a majestic banyan tree near Jamtala More, a considerable distance away from their locality. This place became their sanctuary, a space where they could freely express their thoughts and dreams.

For Barnali, the stakes were high as she aspired to achieve above ninety percent marks in her upcoming examination. Their meetings, whether on the rooftops or under the banyan tree, held a significant historical significance for them, allowing them to support and motivate each other in their respective academic pursuits.

In this unconventional manner, Sudeep and Barnali formed a unique bond, driven by their shared goals and a desire to overcome the limitations imposed by their circumstances.

Sudeep had been eagerly awaiting Barnali’s arrival at the secluded spot for over thirty minutes on that scorching summer afternoon. The blazing sun overhead made the wait almost unbearable, but his excitement kept him going. Determined to be there before Barnali, he arrived early and settled in.

Finally, amidst a cloud of dust, Barnali appeared on her trusty bicycle, aptly named ‘Sabujsathi.’ With a mischievous smile on her face, she halted the cycle and stood before Sudeep, who was brimming with anticipation. The heat seemed to dissipate momentarily as their eyes met.

The sweltering weather didn’t dampen their spirits; instead, it heightened their adventure. Sudeep and Barnali cherished these clandestine rendezvous, their secret hideaway providing solace from the scorching heat and the prying eyes of the world.

In that brief moment, as the sun beat down upon them, they shared a connection that transcended the stifling summer air.

“Do you have any water?” she asked.

“Oh yes!” Sudeep replied, unzipping his bag and taking out a bottle. He handed it to her.

“Thank you!” she said gratefully.

“You’re welcome. Hey, have you ever wondered why people dream?” Sudeep asked.

“No, I haven’t really thought about it,” she replied.

“Have you ever heard of Freud?” Sudeep asked.

“No, who’s that?” she asked curiously.

“Haha, you know nothing!” Sudeep chuckled. “Freud is a well-known psychologist and public figure. He has written extensively about dreams and why people have them.”

“Have you read his work?” she asked.

“Of course! That’s why I know about it. I even borrowed his book from the library,” Sudeep said proudly.

“What does it say about dreams?” she inquired.

“I’ll give you the book after your exam. You can read it then,” Sudeep offered.

Barnali and Sudeep engaged in a lively conversation, delving into various topics as time passed by. The tranquil atmosphere was filled with the melodious chirping of birds perched upon the majestic banyan tree nearby. Suddenly, amidst their exchange, fate played a comical twist as a bird happened to relieve itself, landing directly on Sudeep’s unsuspecting head. Unable to contain her amusement, Barnali burst into laughter, finding the situation utterly hilarious. Despite her outward appearance of maturity, she was merely sixteen, and her youthful spirit shone through. Reacting swiftly, she uncorked the bottle and washed away the unwelcome surprise from Sudeep’s head. However, Sudeep couldn’t help but feel dejected at Barnali’s amusement, perhaps a tad embarrassed by the incident.

“Hey, why are you feeling so down? It’s nothing,” Barnali said reassuringly.

“Please, stop laughing. It’s really hard to bear,” Sudeep pleaded.

“Alright, how about you sing a song for me then?” Barnali suggested.

“I don’t know how to sing, but I can share a poem,” Sudeep replied.

“Okay, go ahead and recite it,” Barnali encouraged.

I wandered lonely as a cloud / That floats on high o’er vales and hills,” Sudeep began.

Barnali joined in, completing the verse—“When all at once I saw a crowd / A host of golden daffodils”.

“But that’s just a rhyme by Wordsworth that we used to read in sixth grade. Are you suggesting this is a dream?” Barnali remarked.

“Hey Barnali, not all dreams are like fairy tales. Many of them are actually connected to our real lives,” Sudeep explained.

“Oh really? So, what’s the story behind your dream?” Barnali asked eagerly.

“Well, in my dream, I found myself gazing at your window,” Sudeep said with a smile.

“Haha, but you do that all the time, don’t you?” Barnali chuckled.

“How did you figure that out? There’s no way you can see my window from your room,” Sudeep replied, sounding surprised.

“I just guessed it! Now come on, finish your story,” Barnali urged.

“Alright, so in my dream, I was staring at your window for a really long time,” Sudeep continued. “Then suddenly, I woke up.”

“Wait, that’s it? That’s your dream?” Barnali questioned, sounding a bit disappointed.

“No, there’s more to it. It was a colorful night with a gentle breeze. I was in a garden…” Sudeep began.

“Let me guess, surrounded by red flowers? Is this your dream?” Barnali interrupted him annoyingly.

“Well, you see, Barnali, all dreams are fantastic in their own way,” Sudeep explained with a thoughtful tone.

Sudeep, filled with anticipation, unzipped his bag and revealed a sleek, brand-new smartphone. Without a moment’s hesitation, he extended it towards Barnali, his eyes gleaming with excitement. In awe, Barnali accepted the gift, her heart pounding with anticipation.

Unable to contain her curiosity, Barnali meticulously inspected the device, examining every intricate detail. With each passing second, her excitement grew, and she couldn’t help but exclaim, her voice filled with disbelief and joy, “Is it really for me?”

Sudeep nodded, a broad smile adorning his face. He had carefully chosen the smartphone, considering Barnali’s preferences and desires. He wanted to express his affection and appreciation for her in a meaningful way, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Barnali’s eyes welled up with tears of happiness as she realized the depth of Sudeep’s gesture. It wasn’t just a phone; it was a symbol of their bond, a token of his love and support. She couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the love that Sudeep had poured into this gesture.

Grateful and touched, Barnali embraced Sudeep, her heart overflowing with emotions. In that moment, she understood that the smartphone was more than just a material possession.

Sudeep whispered to Barnali, “Yes, only for you.” With a mischievous grin, he revealed his secret plan. “You will just open the DUO app, and a whole new world will unfold before your eyes. Imagine seeing everything you cannot witness through your window. It’s like a dream come true.” Sudeep proudly mentioned his recent purchase of two SIM cards with unlimited data for three months. Then, he playfully asked, “Do you still sleep with your parents?”


 

About the Author

Sukanta Mandal is a student of English literature. His interests include English and Bengali poetry and fiction/short stories. Several of his writings have been published in renowned newspapers, magazines and journals including Modern Literature. In addition, he is interested in wandering alone and mindful living.