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The Name Under cover

Hi,welcome to my Hubpages profile. I am Arun Kanti Chatterjee and live in Kolkata. My mission is to share experiences etched on my memory.

The bubbly young man in his thirties was ensconced in a window seat browsing through a newspaper when I was standing next to him in a crowded bus. Finding me, almost of his age, continuing to be on my feet for a long time his conscience seemed to have pricked him. He quickly got off the seat requesting me to sit and I readily accepted the offer as I was also itching for a comfortable journey. The man perhaps read my embarrassment and in his bid to allay the awkward feeling he began making overtures bringing up various topics ranging from sports to politics. I soon discovered that we were on the same wavelength sharing almost similar opinion and disposition. His warm cordiality and sweet demeanour touched me profoundly and we seemed to be bound by good friendship although I could not know him further as he alighted from the vehicle much earlier. I began to ponder how soon I could meet him and exchange our feelings and ideas.


Friends meet in a library

Days rolled by and I almost forgot my travelling companion. It was not the time for cell phone and internet which now allow anyone to easily contact friends even if they are located poles apart. Since we had divergent ways of life living in different areas we could not easily get together except for a chance meeting and that happened a few months later when I could discover him in a library browsing through the newspapers. He could recognize me immediately and preferred to seat by my side and seemingly tried to discuss many things while reading books. But since it was a big library with many restrictions strictly observed we could not indulge in private matters anyhow. My closeness was further reinforced finding in him an avid reader. Although I was not that much addicted but I had always deep respect for those persons having inclination for reading books and other printed works. Our friendship appeared to be renewed but alas! He seemed to be in a hurry as he urgently needed to take a bus and go to a hospital to see his ailing sister. How I wished I could have reached there much earlier to spend more time with him! We could not know each other further and our discussions were restricted to only current news and reading habits.






Striking friendship forever

-the-name-under-wraps

After a long gap I could again trace my friend in a restaurant when he was accompanied by his wife and daughter. He introduced them to me and we started to dwell on subjects ranging from sartorial preferences to admission in good schools. His daughter carrying a camera was found to be very bright and sober like her father and the picture of the family added to my dream of having such a nice friend thanking God for his blessings. As I thought of knowing my friend better I tried to divulge our basic identities but his wife received a call just then from the residence asking them to immediately go back urgently. I could not proceed further and my intention to know more about my friend was thus nipped in the bud. But still I took consolation from the belief that our friendship acquired a new lease of life.

As I received a further jolt in knowing my chum fully I began to contemplate on true friendship. Frankly I did not have good many friends. Being a bit introvert type I used to open up only to my intimate friends who were few. “What’s in a name?” I asked myself and was content on having his company very infrequently though. It enriched such true friendship where the two young men share common values and taste while they sought to connect further but other business and preoccupations were coming in the way.

I did not have to wait for long as I could trace him though from a distance watching a big Football match being played by two arch rivals of our city. I was a great fan of one of the two teams which dominated the match and scored twice. As I rose to applaud much to my exhilaration that I could notice my friend was in a mood of ecstasy and clapping hands along with other fans sitting besides him. My happiness was more pronounced at the sight of his sharing again another common feature which gave me reasons to remain friends forever, cheer up and enjoy life. But when the match ended I tried by all means to catch hold of him and perhaps he had also such a fervent wish to meet me on that jubilant mood and speak about many things in life which we could not so far discuss. But despite my hectic attempts he melted away in the vast crowd leaving me only to celebrate the glory of our beloved team and fueling the urge for meeting him at the earliest to observe the victory in a befitting manner together.

I was again contemplating the fond idea how to contact him early for the much desired occasion in which my other friends and acquaintances having our football team allegiance were being invited the next day. The list grew large in size gradually as my child began to include his friends as well who were blind supporters of our team. But my friend occupied the top place in the list although not knowing his name till then I had to write ‘My chum’ instead.

While we were all ready for the revelry I received a call from the nearest police station to immediately proceed there. I felt totally annoyed but since such a summon was unavoidable I left for the job leaving others to enjoy in my absence for a short period assuming that the matter was casual. I headed for the officer in charge who had known me well. He ushered me in his chamber and handed over a photograph. I was baffled to find me along with my friend in it. As I was totally absorbed in the picture the officer held his arm on my shoulder saying “Very sorry, it is all gone. Your friend was run over by a bus yesterday after the big event. We could trace the photograph very neatly kept in his purse”. I had forgotten but suddenly remembered how he had instructed his daughter to take the snap when we had met in a restaurant.

So long I had been longing to see him without knowing his yearning for my association but then I could now realize much to my sorrow and loss how much he had been pining for his friend while remaining anonymous.





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Comments

ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on January 09, 2019:

John Hansen

Thank you very much for re reading my hub giving me the necessary impetus to write more stories.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on January 06, 2019:

I just re-read this sad and tragic story, Arun. It was just as touching a second time.

ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on January 06, 2019:

Sanjib Talukder

As has already been commented by a very wise writer we should do things now without putting off to a later time.Thank you for reading the hub and making such nice comments.

Sanjib Talukder on December 29, 2018:

Sorry ending of your loved one anonymous friend which will touch the heart of anyone by reading this article. Nice presentation.

ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on July 21, 2014:

Chatkath -I have written hubs on my own Sona uncle without sprinkling any imagination whatsoever. I went through psychic experiences in rural areas and wrote two stories narrating exactly what had happened. Besides portraits of my parents, uncle and to some extent my elder brother in Reading Habits are real without any sort of fancies thrown in. My hubs are based mainly on my real life experiences and in few cases I had to add a bit to spice up the stories . Thank you very much for your rich comments and support. I look forward to reading your hubs. Wish you all the best.

Kathy from California on July 21, 2014:

Very touching story written from the heart so can I assume that at least part of this is true? My best writing is always about something that I have actually experienced. You are a talented author and I look forward to reading more. Cheers!

ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on July 20, 2014:

aviannovice- Thank you very much for your wise comments. God bless you!

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on July 20, 2014:

How sad to see a friendship temporarily ended. It will pick up again in another life, I am certain of it.

ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on July 08, 2014:

Jodah- Thank you very much for stopping by and leaving such apt comments. Wish you all the best.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on July 08, 2014:

Very sad story Arun Kanti. It shows the need to do things 'now' and not put them off to a later time. Tomorrow may never come. Take care.

ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on July 07, 2014:

kj force-Thank you very much for your visit and wonderful comments which enrich my hub. Have a great week.

ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on July 07, 2014:

teaches12345-I always appreciate your visit and pertinent comments enabling me to think over and learn a lot. Thank you. Have a good week.

kjforce from Florida on July 07, 2014:

ARUN KANTI....whether true story or not, you touched on issues that are so prevalent in today's society. Too often, we take life for granted, the old adage " there's always tomorrow" comes to mind, and as we get older the time just whizzes by light a flash of light. Relish all in life and savor it. Thanks for bringing this to the table, made me stop and take notice..

have a good week...

Dianna Mendez on July 06, 2014:

The ending really threw me for a loop. How tragic. This reminds me that we must value friendships, even casual relationships.

ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on July 06, 2014:

livingsta -Thank you very much for stopping by and leaving such appreciative comments which are very encouraging.

ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on July 06, 2014:

travmaj - thank you so much for your visit and stimulating words. I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on July 06, 2014:

Devika- I always appreciate your visit and nice comments. Thank you

ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on July 06, 2014:

FlourishAnyway- Thank you very much for reading and commenting.

livingsta from United Kingdom on July 06, 2014:

Sorry about your friend. I can understand the emotions you have let out here about your friend and you have presented it in a very interesting manner. Thank you for sharing this with us.

travmaj from australia on July 06, 2014:

Oh dear, I did not expect that very sad ending. Such a warm story and the chance meetings began to cement a true friendship. So sorry, you lost a friend so abruptly.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 04, 2014:

Interesting one and so much to think about from this hub.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 04, 2014:

Oh no! Did this really happen? If so, I am so sorry. We pass one another and so often connect but don't know one another's names or have ways to keep friendships going.

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