New Harmonies

A Message from Maa

New Harmonies

Even as Mohona was suffering the pangs of separation in India, Shalini’s business in America was growing by leaps and bounds. Anupam, however, was struggling. Things were just not going his way. 

When Mohona had not been able to reach him on call, she had sent him a letter. The opening was calculated to shock: “You had gone away, Anupam. And now Sameer too has left me forever.” Mohona had also written that she had left Mumbai and had moved to her parents’ place in Varanasi. Anupam called the number that Mohona had given in the letter. 

I still think about that phone call, Sara. We spoke after ages. We were both different people by that time. It was possible to be friendly, if not familiar.

He did not know how to condole me. Both of us remained quiet on the line for some time. Finally, I started with the one sentence that I had rehearsed with many awkward condolences, ‘It’s all destiny, Anupam.’

Mohona also enquired after Anupam. His writing was taking him nowhere. Mohona suggested that he take a job at a publishing house instead of trying to get a book published. Like Mohona had counselled Sameer earlier, she now extended her practical suggestions to Anupam. 

Anupam felt reassured by her advice. After talking to Mohona, he told Shalini that he would now apply for a job, announcing that he had received this idea from Mohona. Shalini was irked by Mohona’s name. She told him it was a bad idea. The husband of such a successful businesswoman could not go around looking for a job. Anupam listened to her quietly but stuck to his decision. Shalini was so upset that she went on to blame Mohona for every vestige of unhappiness that remained in their lives, even though they were no longer in touch. Anupam could not pacify Shalini. The seeds of envy and insecurity were planted deep.

Nevertheless, Mohona’s suggestion paid off. After approaching a few publishing houses, Anupam landed a job as a zonal editor in a reputed publishing company. This affirmation of his merit restored his confidence.

Meanwhile, in Varanasi, Mohona formed an NGO. She started a school of music in Sameer’s memory. It was “the breeze of music”—Sangeet Sameeran. Here, she taught singing to blind children. The work gave her immense satisfaction and happiness. She even directed a concert with her students, which was highly appreciated by everyone, even the print media. Sagorika had also grown up by now. An extremely bright student, she scored exceptionally well in her secondary school exams.

I have learned now, Sara, that life balances joy with sorrow, and sorrow with joy. I was delighted by your achievements at school, when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. We consulted the best doctors and medical institutes in Varanasi. I prayed for my mother’s recovery, but she passed away within some months of the diagnosis. The loss of a parent comes as a rude jolt. You would know, Sara.

harmonies, varanasi

Sagorika completed her schooling and graduated from the London School of Economics, bagging a plush job afterward. She was in love with one of her seniors, and Mohona was happy to see her daughter progress in life. Mohona told them to come to Varanasi and have a traditional Indian wedding.

After Sagorika’s wedding, the newly-wed couple shifted to the US, as Swapan had found work at one of the best investment banking companies in New York. Mohona was disappointed to watch her go away to such a faraway land permanently. She wished them well, of course. But she was deserted again. She was left all alone again.

Photography: @focusraghu_photoartist
Location: Varanasi, India

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