Sudipto Nag writes the story of a virtual sister who arrives India to meet her virtual brother. Sudipto is a former MCJ-student of EFL University, Hyderabad. He also had MA in Film Studies from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
"Our world" is a story of complete different taste and international in nature
by Sudipto Nag
Ratankaku gave me a strange look- Korean sister? Are you kidding? You must be joking.
-No I am not.
-But-err…..but how can your sister live in Korea? Is she studying there?
I wanted to finish this useless conversation as soon as possible. But Ratankaku pushed
me more deep inside it.
I said- I…I mean she lives in Korea. That is her country. She is first time coming to India.
Ratan kaku’s cigarette fell down from his mouth – what? What did you say?
He paused for a moment and I tried to escape but he caught my hand in a flash and fired
another question- you mean you have family in Korea? But your mom and dad live here
-Err….kaku…I’m getting late. Her flight will arrive at 12 AM.
Kaku smiled and his eyes were sparkling. It seemed he discovered something, may be a
top hidden secret. He said- I know why you are hesitating…tell me she is from your dad’s
side or mom’s side. Trust me I won’t spread this secret to anyone.
I shouted in anger – what the…then stopped. I even can’t use abusing language in front
of him. He will definitely report it in the whole locality. Then I looked straight to his
sleepy eyes – see, my mom or dad had no external affairs or relations. She is not a sister
from the birth right. But she has accepted herself as my younger sister.
Kaku tapped my back in excitement – Are you serious? Is it the second part of the
‘Japanese wife’ is a recently released movie where an Indian villager falls in love with
Japanese girl through the help of letters. They marry through letters. They never meet
as the villager dies all of a sudden. But that was a story and its reality. She is my sister
and I’m going to meet her. It is not a very strange thing for me. She has become one of
the closest persons and these useless geographical barriers don’t make any sense right
now. But I had the same kind of experience with my family. They are behaving like an
alien is coming to meet them. According to my dad we’ll realize that our relation is a
fake thing when we’ll meet and interact directly. My mom thinks it is nothing but
madness. She suggested me- get a girlfriend. That’s normal. I have never heard a person
making someone his sister and caring so much for her. If you go on like this you’ll end of
being a saint.
My friend krishnendu came out after a long session of combing hair. He thinks he is
good looking and always tries to prove it in front of the girls. But sadly his crushes list
increased but he didn’t have a single affair till now. He looked at me and we started
walking towards the taxi stand. We got a taxi and I felt that he was
impatient to meet her. When I first time told him about her his disbelieved eyes asked –
are you serious? I don’t believe all this. I can only believe if she comes here and meet
you. But sadly that will never happen. Today he lost to the bet and she is finally coming.
I pinched him- Relax dude…..Why are you so tensed?
-Err…why am going with you? I can’t speak Korean. Is she really coming? It seems like
we are dreaming. Are you sure?
I gazed at his nervous face. Even if I win a Nobel Prize he would have been not so
surprised. I assured him- It is not us. She should have been nervous as she is coming to
an unknown land alone.
But I know her, she is not. Shame on you. Even you are elder than her.
He licked his leaps- lets speak in English….otherwise I am not habituated.
We reached the crowded Dumdum Airport at the right time. We rushed inside the
airport. We stood on the queue and I gave the placard to krishnendu. He somehow held
it but his hand was trembling in
excitement. I shouted- Can’t you hold it idiot? Make it straight. Why are you showing
towards me? Anyway no need of these things. I told you we can easily able to recognize
He pleaded- I…I ..
-I…err…one minute…..urgent call….and he rushed to the ladies toilet.
I hung my head – Oh shit!!! It is my fault to bring this dumbo with me.
After a short embarrassment he finally went to the men’s section.
I shift my look from him and saw someone is staring at me. A sweet smile in her face. I
smiled her back and came near her. She stretched her hand for a hand shake then
stopped and hugged me.
Well, it is bit weird for me.As am not used to it.But even I was not feeling like a formal
shake hand. These days hugs are common thing in india.No body bothers. Krishnendu
was watching us from the corner of the toilet.I raised my hand and called him.He came
and shook hand with her. It seemed he is now completely out of his mind just obeying
my orders like a robot.
Steph said – Hi, I’m steff.
-I…I know….your dada told me. My name ...my name and he paused…
I pinched his back- forgot your name or what? Please wake up and stop dreaming….try
to be normal.
He replied with the help of my painful tonic – my name is krishnendu. I’m his friend.
Please talk to dada he is impatient to talk to you.
Steph strangely asked – Why is he so nervous?
Krishnendu replied- exams… I mean…
I stopped a taxi and put the entire luggage in the dicky. Then requested her to sit inside.
Taxi was running smoothly. I took a fresh breath of air and came back to the topic- So
krishnendu…..Your exams are going on and you are having fun here?
Krishnendu mumbled and stretched his hands –No ….I mean it is over today.
I laughed loudly then turn towards steph- dear, actually he is afraid of you.
-Scared of me? Huh? Am I dangerous? Lol.
No you are not. Do you know what fear is?
-Unknown things……but we fear more when we know half of them. The half mystery
scares us from inside.
Steph tapped my shoulder – But what about you or me? We are not scared at all!!!
I smiled- Yeah….because we may not know each other by face to face but
psychologically we know each other.
The driver was strangely looking at steph. I put my hand on his shoulder and asked in
Bengali –Haven’t seen a foreigner before?
-Yeah….I mean….err….is she your friend?
The driver never thought I can attack him this way.
I winked at krishnendu and replied –no my sister.
The car was passing over second bridge thankfully we didn’t feel down straight to the
He puts his hand up from the steering in excitement and shouted-what? Your sister? A
car almost rammed us. Krishnendu shook him- Are you mad? Hold the steering.
The rest of the journey he didn’t ask anything. I mean he was not in a condition to ask or
think further about it. May be it was a high voltage shock for him but I liked it.
I never thought that Ratankaku had bunked his office and was waiting for us. Some
people are too excited about spying on others. Ratan kaku is a very good spy in the
campus. He knows all the things about the campus and gossips about them. Apart from
his boring job it gives him some kind of excitement and pleasure. So already he got all
the information about me and Steph from my father within these two hours. The way he
looked at steph she stopped and curiously her eyes asked me – who is this guy and why
he is looking at me this way. I read her eyes and my eyes signaled her not to worry then
I smiled at rattan kaku and asked – are you waiting for us?
Ratankaku didn’t reply. His eyes are fixed on steph…and the situation is very much
awkward now. Before I try to say anything……Ratankaku opened his mouth…I mean he
asked her something in pure Bengali – tumi ki korea theke ele?
She asked me – hey dada, what is he asking?
Ratankaku bit his lips and said – oh my god….why am speaking Bengali……I mean are you
Rattan kaku’s accent is too bad.
So I repeated his question and she answered him.
Ratankaku sighed and commented – hey sudipto, she just speaks like foreigners.
We all started laughing. Ratankaku didn’t realize that he has created a sophisticated
joke but he felt embarrassed and left after a few words.
My mom and dad was sitting in sofa. My mom can speak fluent English because she is
never nervous and she had experience of performing English dramas in her college days.
My great dad used to speak in English with his buddies in his engineering days. But I only
heard that. After my birth I never found him in that mood. I can still remember when I
introduced him to a friend of Afghanistan in my university he asked-how are you?
-I’m fine……sudipto…….I mean…… And he stopped. My heart became frozen……will he
be able to finish. And he finally successfully finished it….after a few jumbles. Me and my
friend finally felt relived. But strangely no one will believe that his writing English and
vocabularies are more than me. It’s just
that he has lost the habit of speaking in that language. So I was bit nervous about his
and Steph’s introduction.
I hold Steph’s hand and stood in front of them- Steph, this is my mom and dad.
She bent down and touched my dad’s feet. Now we are all stunned. She looked at my
face and smiled – Before coming here I read something about Indian traditions. My dad
put his hand on her head and said – This are only regulations…..no one follows….I
I completed his sentence- actually steph no one follows them from heart. This world has
become very mechanical. After saying that I felt ashamed. After 3 yrs online and phone
connection she finally came to visit me. Why? Is there any reason? No. No reasons. I’m
the only Indian she knows and she knows
very less about my country. Can anyone really believe that she only came here to meet
me. A stranger who has become a part of her life and family. In this long three years
several times we were busy, but whenever we are free we wrote each other about our
dreams, about our personal life, about our emotions. We called each other and slowly
get used to our accents. From a mechanical relationship we have landed to a very close
one. when and how we both don’t know. We started
avoiding unwanted people because we came to know that we care for each other. More
than a real brother and sister. I can remember the day when I promised her that I’ll be
in contact till am not losing the connections or am alive. I never thought that she’ll also
promise me the same, and yes several times we wished that we want to meet each
other and finally we are here today. We wrote
and repeated the same things again and again. If someone read those messages he’ll say
we are fool. But only we know how meaningful and touching they are.
Today my mom had cooked fish as I told her that she likes fish. We were all sitting round
in the sides of the table and eating. My mom asked her- what is your dad?
My face became pale. She told me before that her dad died when she was only eight
years old. I have never discussed many issues about steph with my parents as they
never think of our relation seriously. Steph replied- sorry….actually my dad is no
A broad silence suddenly trapped us like a hurricane. My parents never wanted to hurt
her. But mistakenly asked about a sensitive issue. Now I have to manage the
situation…..I said- steph….please don’t mind….I mean….
She tapped my back- don’t worry dada…..I’m not unhappy. I know he is very happy in
heaven and there are so many people who care about me. I know if not anyone you are
always with me…..isn’t it dada?
Oh! no… Will this girl bring tears in my eyes in this happiest day of life? I don’t know
how I can help her! But I have just promised her and I really want to. But can emotion
really has the power to break the barriers of the cruel world. I don’t think praying is
enough or giving someone a false promise is completely a crime. So why did I promise
her or she promised me? No logics. May be a mad venture toward an impossible. Who
knows……may be we’ll really able to do it by the help of god. The philosophers say that
nothing more is powerful than will-power.
Krishnendu pointed at his plate – hey steff, you are not eating properly.
She smiled – It’s enough for me…..I don’t eat much. I poured some fish fries in her plate
and replied- well steph……you must know that our Bengali family
thinks cooking and eating is an art and if you eat less then we insist you to eat.
-what? Ha ha…but dada……am not Bengali.
-I know…..but you are my sister…….so you are learning from today and before finishing
my words I placed some sweets in her plate.
My dad finished his lunch, wiped his face and asked- So, what is your plan? Gallu (my
nick name), show her the famous places of Kolkata.
She said – I want to go wherever dada’ll take me.
I washed my hands and smiled- Yes I’ll take you somewhere………it’ll be a surprise.
My mom said- come on…..tell us.
Dad suggested- take her to Indian museum or Nicco Park. Have fun.
Mom stopped dad-no…no….I know my son. He can’t think anything else than movies.
He’ll surely take her to movies.
Krishnendu thought that he should suggest something. He said – how about taking her
to zoo. I laughed- see, I don’t think she’ll like to go there. Already a monkey is sitting
-who? Am I a monkey? Krishnendu jumped over me and shouted – I’ll show you how
violent monkey I am.
Steph looked at me strangely- dada why did you take me here? We were standing in a
small ground. Some small bushes were around us. For long days nobody has played in
this field. One small boy is playing with a ball in the road side. I smiled-Steph, histories
are endless and most of it speaks about power and the civilization. Sometimes I feel like
it’s not the true history which we read in the books. You know that our family or world is
small. That is why I don’t want to show you my city. I want to show you something
which is related to my childhood history. Look at this ground. I used to play there cricket
when I was small.
Today nobody plays here. But whenever I come back my home in my vacation I lie down
in this ground. The grasses whisper in my ears- hey friend…..how are you? Why did you
left me? We are old now. We have lost our greenness. We miss the every sound, laugh
and innocent smiles. Now nobody shapes us or spreads water. Then they stops making
me speechless. Steph hold my fingers- dada…I can feel it…I can feel it too…
She hold my fingers in an unknown excitement. I pointed towards right- look at that
broken bus. I don’t know how it came here. We found it broken from the beginning. I
used to sit in the drivers sit and imagine that am driving. Once a black boy of my age
came and kicked me from the bus. That was the beginning of our friendship. He was my
first friend and now he has changed a lot. He never speaks to me.
-why? How can be?
- it is very natural steph. He or me we are not kids anymore. We are changed person.
But all the memories of happiness are inside this broken bus. Who knows how much
memories are hidden inside it?
Now we both started walking. In the road people are strangely looking at us. Steph
requested I want to have some tea. Please tell me what I should ask in the shop.
-what do you mean?
-I want to ask in your language.
I punched her hand and winked-go ahead and ask-cha hobe?
She practiced three times then smartly walked toward the shop. I was watching from a
long distance. She asked and came back with two cups of tea.
She smiled – strange!! He didn’t understand that I am foreigner!
-Ha ha…..great. But it is not strange. As you asked in Bengali he thought that you are
from north east of India and you are leaving in this city for a long time. So you have
learnt Bengali. We began to walk again. We finished the teas and sat near a small pond.
Dirty smell was coming inside it. Nobody takes bath here. The water has completely lost
its colour. She put the handkerchief and asked- It’s very dirty
here. Why did you bring me hear?
I put my hand on her shoulder- It is my favorite place.
-what? Are you kidding???? What is so special about it.
I smiled and looked at her innocent eyes-I have shared my teenage here. Many times
pain came without any indications and the immature sensitive mind was not ready to
tolerate it. Whenever I was sad I came here and sat in the steps of the pond. Silence
spoke all my sufferings and pains to the pond. I left all the pains here. So it’s dirty steph.
In this clean world only people’s minds are dirty.
-Oh dada! You are so philosophical.
-this pond can be dirty, smelly but steph it has a pure heart. That’s why it carried all of
my and other loner’s pain and still silent. Steph hold my hand, tears in her eyes. She
said-dada, let’s pray something. Let’s pray that we’ll be brother and sister in the next
birth and live together. She closed her eyes. She is chanting something and holding her
locket. I saw the mysterious shadows of us in the water. No camera can capture this
moment. This moment will be hidden inside this pond and nobody will remember
except this dirty pond and us.
I’m standing inside the air port. Within half an hour my sister will leave me. Will we
What will we do if we lose the contacts?
She tapped my shoulder- what happened dada?
-I know dada…..I am also feeling the same.
-Don’t worry steph….it happens…..but don’t worry we’ll be in contact.
She said-sure dada, it is so nice to see your world.
I hugged her- steph I’ll also come to your country to meet you if possible. Give me a call
after reaching there. Okay?
We heard the announcement…….now she is leaving…..slowly disappearing from the
sight. After coming outside the airport I saw the flight was going away. I kept watching.
Finally it was lost inside the clouds. I took off my glasses and wiped my eyes. But still
everything seemed hazy.
After coming back home I suddenly found a handkerchief in my table. It was Steph’s
handkerchief. There was a letter inside it.
-Hey dada u told me everything about your world. So let me show you a piece of my
world. This handkerchief is my first friend.I have played with it in my childhood, I have
decorated it when I was bit old and today I have wiped my all tears before leaving my
brother. So please keep it. Now it’s not only your world… now it is our world.