Fiction: THE DOOR BELL

Rumki Mitra

Rumki Mitra


It was a chilly morning of the 8 December of 2014.  
The doorbell rang, “Who comes so early in the morning to look for someone!”.  The first thing came in my mind, “Is there any emergency? It doesn’t seem so, then, the army four-digit telephone would have ranged.  There must be someone who is looking for Biswajit”. 
Biswajit is out for his regular morning exercise.  
I could barely see the first light through the window. Last night we had a party in the Officers Mess of an Ordnance Depot.  A formal official party; somebody was dined in or out, I could barely remember now.  We came back home late at night.  I was carrying a child of 8 months and could barely sleep at night.  It was difficult for me to turn over other side on my own while lying on a side for a while.  
My husband helps me to turn over other side.  My two and half year’s son is sleeping beside me.  I was telling to myself, “No matter what, I am not going to get up and answer this door bell”.
The person should go back and try to contact Biswajit on his mobile phone.  After two or three minutes the door bell was again rung.  I was wondering lying in the bed under a cozy quilt why this man has come at my door step in this chilly winter morning.  Then again, the bell was rung for the third time.  
I got up from the bed in disgust, wrapped up myself in a shawl, switched on the lights in the drawing room and walked towards the door. I opened the door and found the Mess Havildar standing with a bunch of lovely flowers and a card with a broad smile on his face.  
He handed over the bouquet and the card and wished me, “Happy Birthday Madam”.  
I replied with a smile “Thank You”. 
We briefly exchanged the greetings. 
I enquired the well-being of his family and child.  He replied proudly that they all were doing well during that time. Then he went off toward the Mess to do his regular duties.  I was looking at him holding the card and the bouquet in my hand while he was moving back.  
A wave of guilt washed over me and a purest of pure joy filled my heart which I still remember as fresh as the dew of the morning.
It has been 15 years of my association with the army and I have never missed any door bell on 8thof Dec. 
Those hustle messages on the card written by the Officers and the fresh flowers in the morning left no stone unturned to make my birthday special and enhanced my sense of belongingness to the army.
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Bio: Rumki Mitra is a singer. Being an army officer’s wife and due to the transferable job of her husband, she taught many schools in India. She takes an avid interest in Indian Classical Music. She publishes regularly her write-ups on online sites and manages her blog.

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