THE LOVE INFLUENZA
Shipping (per book) : 50
Genre : Romance
TARGET AUDIENCE: ADULTS, TEENAGERS
Pages : 100
THE LOVE INFLUENZA
Despite his health issues Debarath had to join back residential School because of his alcoholic father. In his last year of School he encounters life to the fullest along his best friends, Tina and messy adventures. Things go well until everything gets fucked up one day. He loses everyone. Life knocks our hero to the knee.
However, he moves on. Debarath join Med coaching, 1,500 km away from home. He met Mishita there, a cute nerd from Delhi. Mish becomes his best friend. She was his cure like those Maniac Pixie Dream Girls in movies. Gradually friendship turns to intimacy, sex and every crap that comes along. Life was good. Amongst They finds a new friend, Sabhyasachi . The trio was cool. After awhile, Mishita and Sabhya grow an interest in meeting without Debarath’s company. This smelled fishy to Debarath. He had a fractured past. He fears to lose Mishita. He fears if this was going to end bad, like it always happened before. This brings us to think…
What was happening between Sabhya and Mishita?
What happened to Tina?
And what would happen to our hero at the end?
This novel entails the story of an unusual boy and his unending endurance towards life with a flavour of honey sweet love and the other sleazy shades of lovers. To feed your curiosity, do enjoy this beautiful piece of art by Debarath das.
Quite at the beginning of 2013, when in Eleventh standard, every other boy and girl of my class were having every picks of teen-age, kicking the ball off to the post, long hits to the pavilion, some were in first relationship, some attempting it in multiples, experiences filled with fun, energy and adventure. Everything was truth I suppose, as they used to tell me over phone calls. I was in bed rest for months, gazing at my hanged urine output, thinking if this was the end. These past years had been very difficult for me, every time I tried to go out and live to the fullest of life, I got stumbled back. I had Rheumatoid- arthritis, Sacroiliitis, and for some reasons my pelvic bone got deformed. I couldn’t even get up on my own. I tried, and this vertebral spine aches so hard that each time I fell back. I remember the time when I played Cricket, won trophies, cheering with my team “LONG LIVE ARAWALI” slogans and what not. Those memories used to come along tears in my eyes. I used to do good mimic. And now, I could barely walk. Despite everything, I still had to go back to my residential school once after I finish my treatment. My father used to be a heavy drinker and so my mother wanted me to stay out of that bizarre family environment. A fight goes for day and night in my family. He was a lecturer, a beautiful man with stylish moustaches and a sharp brain. We had a long shelf full of books at home, my father used to read a lot. But now, he is miserable, drunk, cocky man, the only things he takes out of his mouth were rubbish slangs and undigested Rum.
However, with pain killing injections and Ayurvedic treatments the pain soaked somewhat in a month, and I could walk somehow. Still my hip hurt while walking. And my mother thought to take my treatment to the next level. After a month here I was, if to fix this.
(Apollo Hospitals, Chennai)
I had my lunch on a local Restaurant outside the hospital along my mother. She seemed to like the South-Indian dishes more than me. After that we had an appointment with Dr. Vimal Abraham(MD, Rheumatologist, FRCS). So we walk back to the Rheumatology Dpt. of the hospital. The Hospital was huge with eye catching architecture. We sat at the waiting room. My mother was looking at the hanged ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ posters around. She too had a morning visit at the Neurology Dept. My mother had Parkinson’s disease. Her left hand used to vibrate continuously. She became weaker in last year’s pneumonia. My mother would leave the next morning for Kolkata and I would stay back at Chennai with Mamu(maternal uncle) for few more days.
The nurse calls my name. “Yes ma’am?” I replied to her screaming voice. It was the nurse, holding my test reports all together. I was nervous, as the doctor told me of a surgery before. They would dissect my hip and place a rod there. Now, everything depends on the MRI scans. “Here are your Reports,” the nurse passed me the Scanned MRI’s and sheets, “you have an appointment with Dr. Vimal Abraham tomorrow”, she says.
“But my son had an appointment with him today”, my mother tells the Nurse.
“I don’t know. Talk to the receptionist”, said the rude Nurse.
We walked to the receptionist, and She said the Doctor wasn’t fine that day, so to come the next day. He only was going to look fifteen patients. The “Doctor would leave soon”, she added “come tomorrow, sir” She says with a smile.
I feel the Nurse could say “the-doctor-is-sick” instead of “Talk-to-the-receptionist”. We don’t need a great effort to become good, we just need a hearty desire that come with a little smile on each other’s face.
The next day I was there to visit Dr. Vimal Abraham with those same reports holding on my hand. An hour pass by, I was waiting impatiently for my turn like the other patients left outside, so boring it was, as silence as heaven. Sorry, I suppose, you wouldn’t like to go heaven than. I was gazing at the wall clock in every other quarter minute; other patient’s instinct, and sometimes back at those MRI reports. Sums of surgery worries were continuously troubling my stomach. I was consoling myself at that petrified moment. I took my phone out and kept scrolling the news feed of facebook for a while. “Hey! I know this girl,” I put a like, there she captioned on it “Nothing is more elegant than a simple Sari” and it followed a world of hastags. Her naked waist was very visible between the blouse and the folding of her Sari. It was as white as milk. Indeed, her picture was flooded with hundreds of likes. She was 5’4, slim built body, lips like infants (soft, moist and colour of Red apple) and she had a perfect nose, and a hot waist was honey-on-tongue for the Bengali boys of our class. A fact is that, no average gene can impress their crush in that pool of social media, filled with thousands of unwanted competing genes. So Yes, I kept scrolling it further. Let’s not ask for the impossible route. Another fifteen minutes passed conflicting with my fear (of surgery), and a lust looking at her other pictures (I got back to her profile), which at some level calmed my anxiousness. Whatever, I was not sure about the rod they wanted to place inside my thigh through surgery.
Suddenly, an unexpected chat head popped up. “Hii, Debarath?” It was the girl in Sari, TINA! You know the only girl from high school, who beats everyone in everything. Oh my God, how come she knows my name? She knows my name and still she questions. Maybe this is what girls do.
(The Caution I didn’t get: I was to jump into my first relationship with zero experience. And I was excited.)
I wrote “Hello. I know you from school”. I tried not to show my Excitement. “How are you doing?” I further wrote
Tina: I am good, u say.
I’d no idea about her sudden interest but my already encouraged fingertips came up with a little sympathy gaining statements.
Me: “nt gd actually. I will go for a surgery in coming days, probably”.
It’s been two minutes, no reply came up. Did I overdo it, I mean it was our first chat, and I came up with my whole health reports! Now the butterflies had surpassed the speed of light inside my stomach. This nervousness could better be understood by the nail biting final match between India and Pak (what happens next?). I didn’t even know how to make up. What would she think? I texted few more massages, like, “Sorry,... xyz shit! That I put up idiocy” That was even more foolish. And I felt epitome of awkward then.
Tina: “Oww! I forgot to ask actually. How’s ur health nw?” She came up with a relieving reply. As I think now that it was quite normal feeling from my side, the anxiety I’m talking of. At that point I was like a small kid raising his hands to a flame, not knowing its nature, “maybe it’s cold”.
Me: “Good, but not so Gd. I am really scared of the surgery”. I’d no idea how awkward that chats were? Who talks about his health problems at their first talk with his Crush?
Tina: don’t worry. It’ll be alright.
“Debarath ... Debarath Das...Debarath Das....”the nurse I met the last day was literally screaming my name for last two minutes. I was blushing at Tina’s texts. And as soon as my conscious kicked in, I got up and rushed into the clinic. Before that, I looked at her at a glance, the nurse looked pissed. They would have let go other patients if my chat fantasy lasted for another minute.
I was looking at Doc’s face impatiently for an answer, as he was looking at my test reports. He was more like Stephen Hawking looking at the stars, very serious, the body left with an immobile posture (BDW, Hawking is my hero) and as if his lower lip’s mobility controlling the neural transmission of massages inside his head. When it stopped, the doc came up with a solution, “The joint damages on your pubic bones can be healed by medicine, Das”, than he pauses looking the reports further. I still had some queries, I asked him about the Surgery. He said gagging at my anxiety, “Don’t worry about that, you don’t need a surgery right now.” He surged my worries for sure with a beautiful smile flashing with his fluoride tooth in between. J
I came out with a glorious smile. I was scared of that joint replacement, “Thank god, it’s not happening”. I was the boy who was afraid of a simple injection, imagining a surgery was not just difficult for me, it was like killing me. I took a deep breath and call my mother to tell her about the Doctor’s visit. She was happier than me. “Oh Goddess Kali, all your blessings, Mother”, She says exhaling a long breath, “I told your Mama to take you to Airport tomorrow”, She further says.
“Okay, Maa”, I replied.
“And listen, don’t forget to chant Maa Kali’s name”, she says as like she warns. I smiled saying “Okay”, and put the phone off.
Chat head pops as I turned on the internet.
“What happened hero?” Tina, it was.
“Hey! The surgery didn’t happen”
“Congo”. “So, when are you coming back?”
“Great, happy journey J“
“Thank youJ““We never talked before”
“No, we did. We were in class 7 & PET sir told us to bring banners from Sports room”
“Oh, yes! I remember” “We were so small then J“. I wrote. I had a continuous blush on my face while chatting with her.
“YesJ“she replies. Then, two minutes pass by, I expected she would write something, but she didn’t.
“Can I ask you something?” finally her massage arrives after 3 minute 28 seconds.
“Sure” I wrote
“Why do you stay so afraid at school?”
“I barely see you talk to anyone”
“J J J Nothing of that sought”, I replied with a dozen Smiles. And that chat lasted up until late night. I was dancing with the stars, drinking nebula; living the finest moments of life. Until a massage arrived ‘you have exhausted 100% of your 2 GB data plan on your.....’ Shit! Those were the times we used to recharge our phones with 2 GB data for 299 rupees a month. Direct massages were 50 for 14 rupees. It was devastating how these used to blow in minutes like Diwali Pataka (fire crackers). Anyways, I had blown my main balance on ‘Gd ni8, Swt drmz’. Each cost One rupee. Alas.
The next day I landed from city of Anna to the city of Didi, I mean my hometown, Calcutta, the best city in the world. It looked a little rainy outside when I arrived at Dum Dum Airport. I love rainy days. I love glaring outside my window observing how those droplets wash off every particle of dirt off that leaf; our garden looks amazing after every rainfall. I love everything about rain, from that comforting sleep to my Satyajit Roy”s detective collection; every bit of it sounds absolute fun to me. But things are insurmountable when you are outside the home trying to find a cab. At the other side of airport cannel, there were plenty of yellow Taxies. Online cabs were forbidden to us then, and yellow Taxies were such a pain in the ass, their price I say.
“Kaka, How much for the Park Street?” I asked a cab driver I found near.
“400 rupees”, he says and I start walking to the next Taxi stood by, and this was a way I knew to compensate the value. “Hey! Wait!” The Taxi driver calls me from behind. He drove the cab back to the place I was standing, “You say, how much?” He further asked.
“200”, I said and he nodded, “We always go for 200”.
“Give three hundred, it’s raining outside”, the cab driver says and another cab driver came between, “Where, man?” the 2nd Cab Driver asked. The first cab Driver says something to me after him. It seems he was a little insecure from his voice. “Sorry?” I asked again. I couldn’t hear him as it was raining heavy at the Airport.
“I said, make it 300 at least. It’s raining”, he almost screamed in my ears.
“Okay, let’s go...” and I went on, “Oh! Put my luggage in the deck kaka “. The Taxi driver rushed out with a hankie placing over his head to put my entire luggage in the luggage. “It’s raining heavy. Hope the streets aren”t flooded yet”, the Taxi driver said. “Hope so”, I replied while getting inside the Taxi. I got comfortable inside the cab, putting my ear plugs, listening to Hemanta Mukharjee”s “Ei Mighla Dine”, which translates, “In this cloudy day all alone, heart refuses to stay at home. I wish to go near you, O”dear when will I get your invitation?”“ Tina! I think of you Darling.
“So, where have you been?” the Taxi driver asks. “Chennai” I answered.
“Tour?” He further asked
“Not actually, Medical Tour”, I said.
“Oh! What happened?”
“Rheumatoid arthritis and a Sacroiliitic they diagnosed with, left part of my pelvic joint got a little deformed due.
“What is that?” he further asked. Now it’s becoming boring I guess, to make everybody understand what happened to you, and here I had to flow double my energy at screaming my words out because of the storm outside. And I also understand why you should not be talking in gibberish Medical terms while talking to normal peoples. So I come up with a single word, “Arthritis”, I said. Wish I could stop that early man”s curiosity for a minute and enjoy my song, because his mouth went on like a Radio station.
“My God! At this age?” He further asked in shock and I replied a smile furiously. Somebody please kill me. I mean what more could I answer to that irritating question everyone ask. It becomes awful. Not giving him a fuck, I shifted my eyes outside the window “how beautiful my city looked” .The godly drops of cloudy womb washed every leaves, Building, Taxi, the rain made every Bent of the road look gracious. The city born again, smiled, The City of Joy. The drizzling went a little slower, finally home. I could see my mother’s restless eyes. Her feet must be tired, but heart stable in emotions until I hugged her and tears of happiness.
“My son, you look pale. I was so worried about you. Is it your entire luggage?” she asked as the Taxi driver took out all my belongings. You know, all mother’s worries, if something left.
“Yes, that’s it.” I hugged her, “How are you?”
She affirmed with a smile, “I’m good, Baba”, she answers. “When did you arrive at the airport?”
“2 PM”, I said.
“Yes, your uncle said over the phone. Was it raining at Chennai also?” my mother asked. “No. Bright and Breezy there”, I said.
“You”re tired. Get a shower. “I’ll serve you Lunch. You are hungry”, my mother said from the other room.
“Where is He?” I asked in a low tune while stepping through the door.
“He is your Father,” exclaiming, “may be in the roof,” she says.
“Oh!” I affirmed, “What did you cook? The smell is all over the house”, I said. I started uncovering the food items she decorated over the dinning. “Wow! The smell”.
“I brought it from the machbazaar(A fish market) this morning”, She says while smiling from the other end, “Now, go, take a shower first”.
After the refreshing bath, my stomach was all exited to get lost in the paradise of a heavy Bengali treat after so many days. “Start eating, Baba”, she says.
“Wow mother! This fish is so good”, I said after two gulp of rice mixed with fish curry. My mother smiled. “So, when are you going back to hostel?” I further asked.
“Mmm...I’m thinking, soon. This coming Monday I think, vacation is over now”, I said.
“You think?” my father cuts in. He was coming downstairs, holding a cigarette in between his fingers, puffing it in between. He rarely gets a haircut, so horrible he looks. I saw him with disgusting eyes, he barely looked at me. Seem he was already down. He drinks all day and treats my mother like a slave at times.
“You”re a big boy now. I dreamt of this day, you”re in 12th Grade now”, my mother blended with pride and emotion. “All of this family, drama wasn’t easy. Every page took tears to turn. I looked at you and bear everything, you were the force of living to me”, than she takes a long breath as if she reached her destiny. “Mother”, I said. I didn’t know how to wipe her emotions, but I used to relive those things through her eyes. “Okay, I am going to bed now”, I said as I finished eating. “Don’t cry”. “No, I’m not. Yes, get some sleep”, said my mother.
I stepped into my room, took the blanket, wrapped myself in and slept. She was at the other room. I call her, “Maa, Are you going with me?” “Where?” she asks.
“To drop me to Hostel,” I said.
“Okay”, My mother replied.
I woke up early in the next morning, did my morning stuffs right and ate my breakfast. My father at the other end of the table was asking me about the treatment. He was sober that morning. My mother at the other end was cooking and doing her household chores. No TV channel had any good programmes. I could tune in to Music Channel, but I always felt awkward doing that before my Hitler father. He barely speaks when he is sober, and barely stops when he is drunk.
I had the reels of Tina in my had, which were constantly fantasising me from inside; I had a little blush on my face. I hope my parents weren’t looking at me. I took my phone and wrote, “Hey! Good morning”. Abruptly a defensive thought kicks in before send, “Am I desperate?” Then I delete “Hey!” And send a “Good Morning” saying “no” to my every other frantic thought. I kept waiting for a reply.
Then I go back to my own room, “I was desperate”, I felt. “Why did I send that?” At intervals I look at my phone screen than at my books, than again to the screen. “I shouldn”t have done that”.
Ping! She responded.
“Good Morning Dear”
“How are you doing?”
“Hey, I’m good”
“How are you?”
“What are you doing?”
“When are you going back to school?”
2nd day, when school opens
Yo! Mee too
I was exited talking to her, not desperate. Sorry, a little I was, I guess. I told her about my illness, everything, she was a bit slower in Biology to get them. She tells me about ghost stories of Girls hostel, the urban legends, her favourite singer, and how her curiosities turned into tragedies, which were pretty cool. I shared my poetry. And she liked them, specially, “The whisper of innocence”. I tell her how much I loved classic Novels of my father’s rack, she got bored it seemed. ‘Why peoples don’t love my classic novels?’
Anyways, we become good friends.
It started raining outside, and every time it poured I used to open my windows wide. I loved it. The perforating rain drops falling over my nose were tickling the hues of my heart. They were cold, soothing, beauty of nature at its best. I had Tina, whispering the scents of love inside my heart. “I could think of her eyes and tell where the stars lie. Hell O’ beauty!”
About the Author:
Debarath Das is a student of English Literature and hails from the beautiful Northeastern Hilly state of India, Tripura. Born in a Bengali family in the â€™90s, he pursued his schooling from JNV, Udaipur. He has always been into exploration of words and lives since his younger days. Through all the crest and troughs of life, Das has always had enthusiasm of conveying the blisses and challenges of life through a differently indifferent way of storytelling.
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'The Love Influenza\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' being Debarathâ€™s debut venture into novel writing, is an attempt to scribble out the story that everyone might have passed by, but never peeped into. With an all new fragrance of dry papyrus and fresh ink, hereâ€™s the delicious â€˜A wipe, a walk, and a kissâ€™ of life.