January 22, 2018

The Desire of a Matchmaker

short story



The Desire of a Matchmaker

-Shahinur Islam

Never in my forty year life was I so excited- so desirous! And whenever I ran into her at her own house just to find an exact match for my next-door nephew, I found myself in a dilemma- in a quandary. So clearly- so sweetly she could speak; so engagingly she could cast glances and, so beautifully she could give smiles that I could not but get attached to her emotionally. I felt something from the bottom of my heart had made me bound to feel intoxicated, to get lost in myself with her.

The only flaw she had was with her teeth- a fissure in between. But that too complemented her beauty. Whenever she said something, it seemed all her beauty was oozing out of that fissure and overshadowing the spots of her left chin, and at the same time, and, later on, it set me thinking of her invariably.

Thus there was no way out for me to look back as I thought she was the right woman to make up my lack. Gradually but entirely, she occupied my mind, preoccupied my thoughts, and converged all my imagination towards herself. Many a minute wore on without her; but no moment went by without thinking of her.

And it made me restless, insolent, and desperate. I became blind with one eye. I thought recurrently that I must satisfy my desire by any means without pondering over the way out. Desires I had in my mind; the desiring object I had before me; but ways and means had I none in my hand as I could not share my feelings, sensations, and obsessions with anyone till then.

Eventually I was totally oblivious of my family; and the consciousness I had centred only on her. Since I could not express this hidden but strong desire to anyone, I began to figure out what the ways might be. Many times I mused over; but no way out came up. Oh! Yes! Yes! I was able to concoct a way at last.

At first, I went to Kazi and talked him into my design with a big amount of money. Then, I turned to a matchmaker forgetting my professional jealousy and managed him as well at the cost of repeated insistences and, surely, with a handsome amount of money. Besides, I also talked three men into giving me some unqualified support.

Then I felt overjoyed thinking that my dream and desire were coming true. The men I managed acted to my instructions. So no obstacle of any bigger sort cropped up. I was sitting down on the dais wearing the typical groom garb of the Bengalese. Kazi Sahib and Moulobhi Sahib solemnized the wedding ceremony.

The dream night came. Yes! It was the dream night because I had never relished such a night before, though I passed the first night of reality fifteen years ago. I said to myself, “I am now the happiest man of the world. Yes! I am truly the happiest one.”

Early next morning I had got up with sweet memories of last night and ruminated all by myself before my lady woke up. Whole-heartedly pleased I entered the bathroom and crooned a soft Rabindra sonDesire2g-, which I heard frequently on the radio but never sang- Aami tomaar preme hobo sabaar kalonkobhagi … Getting out of the bathroom, I saw my lady still sleeping. So I wanted to go out to take some fresh air and have a walk.

Slowly, very slowly I unbolted the door so that my lady might not feel disturbed. I just paced one step outside the door and, all of a sudden, I could see some people thronging at the courtyard. A moment later when I looked carefully at the crowd, I could see my old lady as well with her eyes rolling up.

All my pleasure evaporated in the twinkling of an eye; panic gripped me tightly; and abuses began to shower from all sides of the crowd. I felt ashamed for the moment. Besides, my old lady as well as others punished me; fined me, and separated me from my dream and desire.


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