She tried to get up from her wheel chair. Thoughts of the previous day tormented her. Did everyone sympathise with her due to the fact that she was paralysed? Did everyone think that she would always depend on them? Yes. Brishti was paralysed for life due to the tragic incident that took place in her life. But she didn't want sympathy. She wanted love. True love from Rehan. Wasn't it possible?
Rehan dropped his bag and slumped on his bed. His cell phone was put to silent mode. He could feel its vibration in his pocket. Tasmia had been trying to contact him since morning but he wasn't in the mood to talk to her. He was exhausted. But more exhausting was the excruciating pain in his heart. Why did Brishti take his love for sympathy? He truly loved Brishti and there was no doubt about it. Then where did he go wrong? Rehan… it's all over. Brishti's words rang through his head.
Rehan and Brishti were childhood friends. In high school, Rehan proposed to Brishti and she accepted. Rehan was extremely good looking and intelligent and so was Brishti. They were considered as the 'hottest' couple in college. They were made for each other. One stormy night, Brishti and her uncle were driving home. Suddenly the car skidded off the road killing Brishti's uncle and paralysing her legs. In the hospital when she regained consciousness, she could feel Rehan holding her hands. She fell into a deep sleep then.
Then Tasmia, Brishti's cousin, from USA, entered their lives. She was unaware of the relationship between Rehan and Brishti, and fell head over heels for Rehan. But Rehan was never interested in her due to her snobbish and arrogant attitude. Then something went wrong between Rehan and Brishti. Perhaps Brishti was jealous of Tasmia as Rehan was hanging out with her too much. One evening, Brishti spotted Tasmia and Rehan holding hands at tje Café In. She was hurt and thought maybe Rehan's love had vanished due to her disability. But she did not know that Rehan had no feelings for Tasmia. He was only trying to comfort her. And now Brishti took his love for sympathy. And last night she called up Rehan told him the she was grateful for his sympathy but she didn't want it. And that it was all over between them.
Rehan got up from
his bed. Determined to clear away the misunderstandings, he called Tasmia.
Tasmia picked it up even before the first ring was over
Rehan picked up his cell again and dialed Brishti's number. She picked it up and in a hurt tone said, "Hey Rehan!"
Hearing her voice,
Rehan was overjoyed. "Hey Brish! How are
"I am fine. You?"
They were talking like absolute strangers.
we meet today? Please."
nice to see you again", Rehan said cheerfully as though nothing
had happened the previous day.
The words struck Rehan's mind again and again. He was shocked. He felt as though someone has slapped him hard on the face. The only words he could say or actually whisper were,
you do this to me, Brish?"
Rehan walked away before Brishti could stop him. She didn't have the strength to pull her wheel chair.
Outside the gate, Rehan bumped into Tasmia, tears streaming down his face.
"whoa! Rehan, you here already? I thought you were supposed to….Rehan, what is wrong? Why are you crying?" Tasmia exclaimed.
Drip, drip, drip. It started to rain.
"How could she do this to me, Tasmy? I loved her so much. I loved Brishti so much. Then why was my love mistaken for sympathy? Her disability wasn't her weakness, it was my strength. They why did she….Tasmy.....Tasmy wait!"
Tasmia ran down the street. Mascara mixed tears flowed down her face. Rehan never loved me, Tasmia thought. She had taken mere friendship for true love.
That night, Rehan, Brishti and Tasmia sat near the window. Outside someone was playing Quit Playing Games by The Backstreet Boys. Thinking, regretting and repenting in melancholy, the three of them tried to absorb all the things that happened to them in the past few days. Everything happened so fast that neither of them could remember anything. They only wondered why their love story was incomplete. Was it luck?
Or was God playing a game with them leaving them in an incomplete love story?
They were thinking about the fate that played such a game with them. Breaking three innocent hearts………three young hearts.
By Anika Bhuiyan (Nik)
Drugs : Fighting with life
Adense cloud of smoke scaled the air, and formed an impermeable blanket in front of him. Somehow, it seemed to delight him. It was as if the smoke would protect him from the conflicts of the outside world.
He bent down reverently as though in worship and inhaled with passion. Then he faintly remembered passing on the soul food to his friends. His mind registered nothing nowadays- only the thrill and the divine sensation of being lost…
Even a few years back, Rashed Chowdhury had had everything one could dream of. He was meritorious, diligent and smart. He was the kind of person who put up his hands to every question, asked by the teachers, in class. Even the ones no one else could answer. He worked hard to balance his grades with his social life. He was the invincible hero, the captain of the basketball and the soccer team, a fierce debater with a ready wit… and a smile that drove the girls crazy and made their boyfriends jealous.
It was sometime back then that Aleef, his classmate invited him to a party. There, in the back garden, he offered Rashed "a little heroin." At first, Rashed had been incredulous; he never even smoked, let alone tried dope. With a little coaxing, he had been invaded. All the doors were clamped shut behind him. There was no way out.
Rashed found it
increasingly difficult to keep up with his
Rashed continued to come down like a menacing avalanche. By then, he was failing almost every exam he was sitting for. The principal's counselling did not help. The coach was forced to, initially demote him from his captainship, and then, told him it would be the best if he dropped out of the team.
Gradually, his friends left him. Rashed felt trapped, frustrated, but on the outside, he showed that he did not care. He made new ones. They all had the same blood-shot eyes that glowed like neon lamps and the same greasy tousled hair. Looking back, he vaguely realised that these were the people he had loathed in his previous life. They were the ones who shouted out indecent remarks and hooted with laughter. Now, it was no friendship, it was comradeship, all that he had.
Exactly a week before his high school graduation, the principal told him that he was sorry and that Rashed was expelled. He would not be graduating…
Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Chowdhury were worried sick. They had discovered only yesterday, the reason behind the change in Rashed. The bua had been collecting laundry when she found a few packets of white powder under the bed.
A close friend of theirs, the Alams, advised them to take Rashed to a mental rehabilitation centre immediately. They knew a therapist named Dr. Joyanta Bose and made an appointment.
"Yes, Rashed. Come in and take a seat," Dr. Bose smiled, "And please close the door behind you."
Rashed sat down. He instantly liked the man; he was not like the rest of the world who reacted with either pity or contempt.
"Well, I'll leave the explaining up to you," He offered, "I just want the truth. So, let's hear it."
Over the next two hours, Rashed spilled out everything that was bottled up inside. He wanted out, and instincts told him that this man could help.
At the end of the first session, realisation dawned on him. He had already wasted away a vital segment of his life. He did not want to continue living this way.
It was difficult, but an important decision: either life or death. The two years that followed, Rashed rediscovered his ability to work hard, and applied it in the favour of seeing the light again. Side by side, he was a monumental source of inspiration for all the fellow patients. He proved to be a fighter, and nothing could drown his courage. With the help of his mentors, he rebuilt his life, block by block.
Even after the insurrection, Rashed had a lot in mind. He went back to school, and graduated the top of his class. That day, he didn't feel ashamed of graduating three years after his original batch. After all, he had something that the others didn't have… the love for living.
In his valedictory speech, he said "Life is a long journey, and the tribulations are inevitable. If you can live your dream, if you believe in yourself, and if you have pure faith, nothing can deter you. You will be insuperable, invincible."
Still, even after all these times, Rashed wakes up from haunting nightmares of the world so distant, yet so familiar. Smiling, he drifts back to sleep. Now, life seems lovely. And he loved every minute of it.
The most common response when asked if one knows Anne Rice is "Doesn't she write about witches and vampires and that kind of stuff?" Yes, she does, but to stereotype her books as books about the supernatural alone would be unfair. There is history, and geography and drama and literature and science and technology -whole other worlds of ideas tucked between the pages of her books that refuse to belong under any earthly label as one.
Rice started writing the chronicles in the 1980s, giving life to her legendary lead character of the Vampire Lestat and one by one the others who surround him in her intricate tales of mystery and magic, of human emotions and situations behind supernatural creatures. All her vampires have time periods and places and histories behind them and as they meet and intermingle, so are their times and places linked, woven like an intricate tapestry. Lestat is a French prince from before the revolution, transformed over the centuries, weathered and evolved into the modern day rockstar. Louis is from New Orleans Louisiana of the time of British colonies in the new world, born as a vampire to fill Lestat's loneliness. Pandora and Marius are from Ancient Rome, Armand, an icon painter from Kiev in Russia given into immortality during the Renaissance and the list goes on.
The Mayfair Witches series followed the chronicles in quick suit, revealing the secrets and ambitions of a clannish family of witches, eccentric and mysterious, with a legacy more valuable to them than money or gold. A legacy of deep dark secrets and their resident spirit Lasher whose whims and desires shape their lives, entwining them in lust, madness and murder.
Rice has come a long way from Interview with the Vampire. In fact, since the death of her husband, painter and poet, Stan Rice, she has decided to finally put an end to the chronicles. Her latest book Blackwood Farm is a prequel to a grand finale and one of those books where the vampires and witches come together. Quin Blackwood, owner of Blackwood farm and heir to its legacy of blood stained secrets and family ghosts has just turned vampire and seeks the guidance and help of Lestat in dealing with a companion spirit, 'goblin' who gets ever stronger and harmful to those around him. Lestat's powers paired with those of the Mayfair witches maybe Quin's only chance to save himself from his ghosts and demons and his doomed beloved from her own mortality. Beyond its deceptively innocent title, the story is entangled in a web of blood, deceit, destruction and fate pieced together by the author's lush storytelling, like a whispering voice from our childhood by candlelight that we strain to hear until the last word. A voice that holds us spellbound. Only the story has changed, transformed into something of a different time, a different place...into Anne Rice's Savage Garden.
| Issues | The Daily Star Home|
© 2003 The Daily Star