The Principal warned him again. That was the last time he got warning for bunking school. As usual Pritam was smiling. His eyes brighter than sunshine smiled cheerily.
What happened to you? You’ve made school bunking a practice. The class teacher asked.
Yesterday, it was reported that you went to pyarabagan… that slum area. The doorkeeper saw you coming out of that place at night. My boy, we hope you will get a rank in the school final. But not in this way… Well, promise me that you will not waste any more time.
I promise sir, I will devote more time to study.
Ok then… let’s do some arithmetic.
It was end of July. The sky already started pouring heavy showers and the weather had brought dengue all over Kolkata. It was the year before our school final. Our parents had been very conscious about our health.
Pritam’s parents being doctors ran an NGO which used to work to upgrade the health conditions of the poor and orphans. We heard that Pritam also worked there. But when asked he used to laugh. The answer would be a pretty smile. He never said a word.
The next week, Pritam was absent from school. His father informed the school that Pritam had been suffering from dengue. At the end of the week, the Principal called me at his room. There I was surprised to find a poor lady holding her 4-5 years old daughter in her arms and was talking to the Principal.
Rajib, can you help this lady to find Pritam’s home? She has been asking the doorkeeper for last three days. The doorkeeper informed me today only.
Pritam helped her a lot when this poor lady’s daughter was suffering from dengue. You know the address, don’t you?
Yes sir, I will take her to Pritam’s home.
It was almost evening when we reached the building where Pritam used to reside with his parents. I pressed the doorbell.
The evening sky just had shed all grey clouds and an orange light colored the sky. Five minutes past and no one answered the doorbell. I pressed the bell again. Another five minutes in the hand of solitude. And then the door opened, Pritam’s father came out.