The Reminiscence


The Reminiscence

(A Short Story by M. Menonimus)

The Reminiscence

The Reminiscence

The Reminiscence

On the first December evening, Pradip, one of my school days mates, suddenly arrived at my residence without any previous information. Then I was busy with my thesis entitled “Woman Psychology in Shakespeare.” I was startled at his sudden entrance.  He looked like a stout youth though he had passed the thirty anniversary of his life some ten years ago. Giving a sweet smile he asked, “Friend, how are you?”

I replied, “I am getting somehow by the good grace of the Almighty God. But what is the matter with you that you have appeared all of a sudden?”

He replied directly, “I have come to you with a proposal. Hope that you will not refuse.”

What is your proposal? Have you got a mind to get married in such a declining age?” I asked him a little humorously.

“Not so. I want to go to Sonar Ghat. I hope that you would be my company.”

“When?” I asked.

He replied, “On the 7th of December.

I have a great weakness for sightseeing and hence, in spite of my engagement, I could not but comply with his proposal.

He resumed, “We must set out very early, at about 4 o’clock in the morning as it would take about six hours to reach there.”

“And who will else accompany us?” I asked.

“None else except you with me.” He replied.

Then he stood up and said, “Friend, I have to go to the market. So I want to leave you here. But don’t forget to get prepared early in the morning that day. I will pick you up in my car.”

I said, “O. K. But remind me by a call just before a day.”

“Certainly, I will ring you.” Saying so, he took his departure with a faint smile.

Days passed by and on the 6th of December evening he reminded me with a call of our travelling and I get a little mental preparation so that I could enjoy the moments without any previous occupation.

At about four a. m. he arrived at my house and picked me up in his new Maruti car. He himself was the driver. The car started to run in full swing. I had never been there before so I asked him, “Where does the place fall?” He replied, “It falls about twenty kilometres northwards from the National Highway, No. 31.

At about eight a. m. we crossed the National High Way and the car turned its way northwards. As soon as we crossed the N. H. Way, the natural environment seemed to be changing minute by minute. The road runs by the side of the Sonali River. The Sonali River seemed to me to be an extraordinary river. Though the river is a natural resource of the beauty of my own land yet so far I was not acquainted with its bewitching charms. It is a river about thirty feet in a breath. The waters are sea-like blue but transparent. Its torrent is high that marks that the river is not so deep. 

The sun was shining brightly. And I felt some warmth. The road was not plastered, only some rough concrete was laid down that gave the road a craggy shape and the speed of running the car came down. The road seemed to serve as the embankment for the river. On both sides of the river, there were lines of plane trees. All seemed to be mature. Thanks to our provincial government for taking such a scheme of foresting the wildlands. As we advanced we seemed to be gone away from human society. We met no pedestrians on the way but we encountered a few vans.

At about ten o’clock my friend Pradip said, “We have reached our destination.” 

We parked our car under a banyan tree beside the road. I felt something hungry and Pradip brought out some fruits, which we purchased from a roadside shop before we crossed the N. H. Way, from the plastic bag and we ate them as our fast food of the day.

First, my eyes fell on the water of the river and saw that the sun rays had been playing hide and seek with the waves of the river. Then Pradip took my hand in his and pointing to a nearby Peepal tree said, “Let us go under that.” We walked together and reached the tree. Then Pradip said, “About fifteen years ago I came here with my parents and Padumi.”

I asked, “Who was Padumi?”

He replied, “Padumi was the only daughter of Mr. Nilamani Barkakati who worked as a colleague of my father in The Public Works Department. He happened to be our neighbour as they took to live in a rented house near ours. We had good terms with the family. I was reading at B. Baruah College and Padumi was reading at Sandikai Girls College. We, (Padumi and I) read in the same class but in two different colleges.”

He seemed to be lost in reminiscence and I asked him, “Have you any affairs with Padumi?”

He seemed to give out a sigh and said, “Though we were neighbours, yet I had little acquaintance with Padumi till we came to this place. We came here for a picnic. Though we started early in the morning, yet we were late on the road for some unavoidable reason and we reached here at about twelve o’clock and we all felt tired and hungry. Hence, arriving here, my mother and Padumi started to cook our food on the bank of the river under the tree.

We began to walk ahead enjoying the wild natural scenery of the region. We walked for about half an hour by the bank of the river and enjoyed the wild garden of Nature. After a furlong ahead there was a garden of daffodils fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Enjoying them all we kept on walking ahead until we reached a hillock that rose like a cone. Beyond the hillock, the Himalayan range of mountains begins. My father and Padumi’s father wished to climb up a mountain. But Padumi and I dared not to climb that. Hence my father said, ‘You need not come with us. Return to your mother’s enjoying the nearby forest. We shall come back soon.’

When they left us, we began to walk hand in hand by the river. On our way, we noticed a small lake beyond the hillock. Padumi said, “Let us go to the lake.” It was about a hundred feet away beyond the hillock. The lake was surrounded by teak trees. We sat under one. Its water was as transparent as a piece of crystal. The shoal of curve fishes was dancing and running in the water as freely as the wild fawns. Padumi suddenly said that she felt tired of walking and leaned on my chest. I, for the first time in my life, began to be thrilled with romance. I became conscious of an agitation that people call ‘love’. She shut up her eyes as if she went to sleep.  My eyes began to scrutinize her comely charms. She bore rosy skin, a buxom body, chubby cheeks, and a pair of chins like that of a peacock. Her hairs were as black as pitch. Her eyes were like that of a wild reindeer. Her nose was as sharp as the pinpoint of an arrow. Then my eyes fell on her breast, but I could not keep on my eyes on them as they seemed to be fully bloomed like red roses attracting even the most indifferent bees. I lost myself in her beauty. After some time, she opened up her eyes and said, “Pradip, let us leave the spot. There may have, in such a mid-day, some evil spirit.”

I tried to laugh away her fear. She seemed to smile looking into my eyes. Then we turned to the road to return to our mothers who were busy preparing our food. Already two hours had passed. Both sides of the river bore the lines of plain trees growing wildly. We happened to enjoy some wild beasts in play, and herds of deer that were grazing. Pointing to them Padumi said, “There may have tigers or lions in the forest.”

I replied, “You need not fear because in the forest of Assam there is not a single tiger except some in the Manah Sanctuary.”

Then we walked on. At her every pace she seemed to be staggering and was leaning her head on my shoulder. Her black hair flew on my face. I felt the warmth of her breath. In her attitude, it seemed that she would give away everything if asked for. But I dared not ask her anything about it. I hesitated. In the meantime, we saw that on the other bank of the river some tribal boys were preying wild birds with catapults and stones. They seemed to be a part of nature, wearing some rags.  We heard them singing but we did not know what they sang as their language was not known to us. Already it was three o’clock. We felt too much hunger. Suddenly we saw that our parents were returning and they met us on the way. We soon walked on to the spot where we left our mothers. Reaching there, we took our feast and at about four o’clock we took to leave the place for home.”

All the more I was listening to his story and when he stopped I asked, “Did you fall in love with her?”

He replied, “Yes, I fell in love with her since then. She also loved me. We often used to meet on Sundays. But after six months, her father was transferred to Dibrughar and hence they left us a bag and baggage. On the day of their departure, Padumi met me and with tearful eyes, asked me not to forget her. After a week of their shifting to Dibrughar, I received a letter from her. Then in response, I sent a letter to her. But found no reply. Then I sent another one, yet there was no answer. Then hesitantly I sent a third one. Then I received a letter, not from her, but from her mother. In that letter, her mother wrote:

“Dear Pradip,

Thank you for your letters. We have received all three letters sent to you but we regret that Padumi is not alive to reply to your letter. She had died of typhoid.”

On hearing the sad news I wept. Already fifteen years have passed. During these fifteen years I’ve been trying much to forget her but as much as I try to forget her so much her image becomes visible to my mind and every moment I feel that her memory is haunting me day and night. The day we came here was 7th December. And hence on every 7th of December, every year, I come to this place to commemorate her.”

Saying so, Pradip gave out a long sigh. I noticed that the sun was about to sink down on the western horizon. The cold wind was blowing. The birds in flocks were returning to their nest. 

I said to Pradip, “Look at the sky, the clouds are wandering about here and there. I think it may rain. Let us hurry up and return home.” 0 0 0

The Reminiscence 

N.B.  The short story ‘The Reminiscence’ originally belongs to the book ‘The Fugitive Father and Other Stories‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

The Reminiscence 

Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:

  1. Advertisement Writing
  2. Amplification Writing
  3. Note Making
  4. Paragraph Writing
  5. Notice Writing
  6. Passage Comprehension
  7. The Art of Poster Writing
  8. The Art of Letter Writing
  9. Report Writing
  10. Story Writing
  11. Substance Writing
  12. School Essays Part-I
  13. School Essays Part-II
  14. School English Grammar Part-I
  15. School English Grammar Part-II..

Books of S. Story by M. Menonimus:

  1. The Fugitive Father and Other Stories
  2. The Prostitute and Other Stories
  3. Neha’s Confession

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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