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CANCER (standard:drama, 5962 words)
Author: abhijit dasguptaAdded: Jun 14 2006Views/Reads: 1870/1152Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Abhijit Dasgupta, 46, has been an Indian editor with 24 yrs in print journalism. He dabbles in fiction and has been published in not-too-big publications. This story (attached) is about an Indian woman and how she is led into a devious trap by her onetime
 



CANCER 

By Abhijit Dasgupta 

+++++++++++++++ 

"Then die!" Suparna had blazed out of the room. Uddalok didn't even stir
as the door shut with a heavy thud. 
****************************************** 

At first, Suparna could not believe that this was the same Uddalok she
used to know in college. "I have cancer, Suparna. It's just a matter of 
months. The liver...it's wasting away," he said, slowly, deliberately, 
making the pain come out through his words. He had a stubble and as he 
lay on the bed, Suparna asked, "How are you managing 
things...medicines...meals...the rest. Don't you have a help?" 

"No. I manage. Anyway, I don't have the money for medicines. I have been
to the doctor only twice. When I learnt about the cancer, I just let 
things drift...What's the point? I eat when I can and sit on that chair 
on the balcony waiting for death. It doesn't bother me. Not as long as 
the pain becomes crippling. Then there would be only one way out. 
Suicide. I am prepared for that too," Uddalok said without emotion. 

Suparna felt like letting the tears go but she persuaded herself not to
cry in front of the man who had loved her since she was in college and 
even attended her wedding, doing all the chores that are expected from 
a best friend. 

Both of them knew that there was much, much more in the friendship than
just trust, loyalty and dependence. There was love. It burnt like an 
active volcano inside Uddalok while Suparna's was restrained, giving 
only that much that was required from a dear friend. Uddalok never 
demanded more; he knew he wouldn't get any more. 

Suparna kept her distance from Uddalok only for one reason: she was
madly in love with Subhajit, her classmate, whom she was to marry 
later. Otherwise, as Suparna later reasoned to herself, there was 
nothing that could have stopped her from tying the knot with Uddalok. 
The guy had everything going for him. 

It was just that Subhajit was better. More sobre, kinder and definitely,
more generous. 

" You have never kept a single word of mine. Now that we meet after so
many years and in these circumstances, can I ask you for one last 
favour? Promise you won't deny me that? I am a dying man and I have a 
request. Don't say no, Suparna. Na bolo na. I won't be able to take a 
rejection now." 

Suparna thought for a moment, adjusting her glasses in the moist, humid
heat of the small room. What could Uddalok want? What was there for her 
to give? She tried to focus as the noise from the office-going traffic 
filtered up two floors to the room. It wasn't a very healthy atmosphere 
to be in, she thought. 

But she still loved Uddalok, a friendly love which had suddenly been
rekindled in a strange fashion after she had heard that the man had 
cancer and would be dead in a couple of months. They had had great 
times with Uddalok at one time. 

"What's your request? Boley phelo. Tell me...But I can't promise without
hearing what you have in mind," she said, looking away from the man 
lying on the bed. 

" I want to make love to you. Today. Now. Right now. Ekkhuni. Tumi na
bolle ami morey jabo. I will die at your feet if you say no." 

Suparna was first stunned, then surprised and, finally, disgusted. " You
are crazy. I had heard cancer kills, didn't know it makes people mad 
too. How dare you say such a thing, Uddalok? How can you even make such 
a request? You haven't changed, Uddalok. You still are the same selfish 
man I always knew you were. But how, how on earth could you imagine 
that I would say yes? ?" Suparna's eyes were burning, a lot of it in 
anger but some of it with pure embarrassment. 


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