Her father Suprotim Roy, a retired Government officer and her mother Sharmila, were getting increasingly concerned about Sonali’s marriage and career. Sonali was a shadow of her former self, from a smart outgoing convent educated girl to a depressed loner. Kolkata was bringing her nothing but more and more grief. First her boyfriend Michael left her to continue his adulterous lifestyle and then the loss of job. Both the incidents happened in quick succession and Sonali a “Generation X” girl, with a happy go lucky attitude found it difficult to carry on.
Albeit reluctantly, her parents finally agreed to send Sonali to her friend Deboshish in Mumbai. This was the first time Sonali was moving out of her “quite” hometown; Mumbai was like a 10,000 watt electric dance floor which never goes off.
Although Deboshish worked with an advertising firm, he was much grounded. His equation in life was Mumbai = Money so let’s not waste time.He wanted to make enough money to go back to Kol and start something of his own. Sonali to him was a childhood friend; he took her around showing the city 5 Gardens, Rani Baug, Nehru Planetarium, Juhu Chaupati, Haji Ali, and Gateway of India finally they came to the queens necklace. The breeze got strong, as if to blow away the dark clouds surrounding Sonali, she was smiling again.
Sonali too got a job in an advertising firm and moved into a sharing apartment with her office friends. To her advertising industry was a giant sponge absorbing everything, nobody wanted to know about her background, her failed relationship, her age, income etc. It seemed her whole existence was refreshed, rules, limitations, inhibitions were shattered, after a very long time Sonali was free!
Experimentation with joy
Once in a blue moon she would run into Deboshish, her constant complain was people don’t hang on for long. They party and leave. Unsure of what she meant Deboshish would often avoid this line of conversation, but Sonali really wanted to talk; Deboshish didn’t have an option but to play along.
I have a guy in my life said Sonali, you always have, retorted Deboshish. No No this one is serious I think I will settle with him continued Sonali.
Aha.what’s his name? Smarty pants, Commando or Peter Pan (Sonali never mentioned the actual name of the boys in her life.
Friends call him Kelawala, I call him Mr. K. So on record this is your fourth guy in a year minus the mild flirtations asked Deb.
Don’t worry Deb said Sonali, I can take care of myself. My life is full of excitement and there is no reason I should stop.
Sonali’s life was a joyful song where each prose had a new character.
But things changed, they always do. Sonali could no longer go out for parties; she was missing office and was almost always unwell. Sore throat, headache and fever had replaced her previous companions. The doctors (yes more than one) would treat her for flu or viral infections. Over a couple of months Sonali’s immunity also dropped, this looked like a bad phase but then again this too will change.
Shock & Withdrawal
She had also applied for a medical insurance policy, which got rejected. Ah’ another thing not going my way thought Sonali but then this was serious. Her insurance was declined as she was HIV+ (yes they do all tests possible). Sonali could not believe this; no no no…this can’t be happening to me. It’s not true, it’s a bad dream, and maybe I am not awake. Her mind was sorting all the guys she had been with, who could it be; they all are very descent guys. Her head started to spin, she dropped on the floor
Weeks passed in a daze, rage had taken over the redness of tears. Sonali was at crossroads deciding which road to take. Her heart yearned for revenge but her mind was numb, there was no emotion but a sense of purpose (something she never had)…What should Sonali do? I leave Sonali in the good hands of you my reader, help her out with the choice she should make…