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Published by Kousik Guhathakurta
A short story about a cab driver in Kolkata, India who discovers new meanings of manhood. The story unfolds through a series of events involving the driver, his wife, wife's lover, a call girl and her escape.
A short story about a cab driver in Kolkata, India who discovers new meanings of manhood. The story unfolds through a series of events involving the driver, his wife, wife's lover, a call girl and her escape.

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Published by: Kousik Guhathakurta on May 11, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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MARAD(MANHOOD)By Kousik G7uhathakurta
Finally it was possible. Allarrangements had been made byMahaveers cousin at Kolkata.Mahaveer will now rule the streetsof Kolkata as a cab driver. There wasonly one hitch-Manchi, Mahaveer’sManchania. Mahaveer looked for agood pair of saris- she needs a goodbribe! That he was a driver at Chhapratown gave Mahaveer a unique statusin his village. Naturally, the villagegirls used to steal a glance at himwhen he used to be back at theweekends. All except one. She usedto be standing alone with her headdown. Mahaveer once jokingly askedher whether her heart wasunderground! She just raised herhead- those eyes changedMahaveer’s life forever. For weeks,their love grew in silence. One dayMahaveer picked up the courage tobring a pair of bangles for Manchi.But once he got there, he lost hisnerve in front of Manchania’s fatherand left in a hurry leaving behind thebangles. The string of laughter thatrang his ears made his heart beatfaster. That night Manchaniasmother came with the proposal to
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Mahaveer’s mother. The marriagetook place without a hitch.Life after marriage was a dreamcome true for Manchania.Mahaveer’s status put her on top of others. She loved her man dearly asalso the city cosmetics and the newmovies at Chhapra that she nowcould watch .She never dreamt of her hero destroying her dreamworld. No amount of convincing onthe part of Mahaveer was enough forher. She was dead sure that inKolkata there are vamps inabundance who will rob her of herhero. Finally, with promises opresents galore Mahaveer left asobbing Manchania landing onemorning in search of his new addressat the city of lost addresses.“Beta, did you decide anything aboutBahu, I mean she’s alone here, nochildren, her antics these days arealso...Asmani Chahi was full ocomplains. Not that Mahaveer tookthem seriously. But one thoughtdisturbed him. Manchi was alone. That night as he proposed toManchania to come over to Kolkata,Manchi broke down in tears. All thepent up emotions burst out and thenight was spent in sweet dreams of great times ahead. Next room,
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Asmani Chachi after a long timecould sleep in peace.Skeletons of buildings, bright lightsof Park street, high rises, squadronof cars, beggars crowding thepavements, the vast expanse oMaidan, People thronging at Kalitemple, slums beside open drain- theinitial daze of diversity andcontradiction over, Manchania slowlysettled down. But soon the gloom of city life started eating her. As shebegan missing her open skygradually she became withdrawn.Mahaveer saw everything – got herchecked for fertility- there was noproblem. Mahaveer did not knowwhat to do. He was too busy driving,trying to save enough to buy a taxifor him. Just the Rasik arrived in their life.Rasiklal Karui- a sickly thin fellow.Worked in goldsmith shop. And theirlife changed. Rasik was full of life,became friends very soon. Mirth isinfectious – soon Manchania startedchattering. The snacks that Rasikbrought, the jokes that he cracked-Manchania enjoyed all. One night asMahaveer came back from work heheard Manchi singing. He wassurprised- he never knew thatManchi could sing so well. Thehappiness that gripped Mahaveer
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