Published on Monday, May 11, 2015

Tania went into a cosmetics shop in the new market area in order to buy some tips. She was dressed in sky color jeans and a stripe shimmy. She sensibly started to choose some from a great deal of different color and shape of the tips with her finicky eyes. It kept her busy quite a long time. If she was not a stunning beauty and youthfulness, the shop owner must have been irritated by the time. And it is well known that every young girl spend rather much time to choose their cosmetic things, but Tania really exceeded every other girl of her age in spending time of selecting some tips. Anyway, in spite of the girl's striking attractiveness, just as the shop owner was on the verge of getting irritated, the girl showed the tips selected by her and asked for the price. No sooner the shop owner told her the price than without a moment's hesitation, she brought out a purse from the vanity bag hanged from her shoulder and then briskly drew out two hundred taka notes from the purse and passed on to the shop owner. As he put the money in his cash-box and searched for the change, she smoothly gathered the packets of tips and cautiously put in her vanity bag as if these things were very precious. Then she received the change and did exactly opposite as she had done at the time of giving the money to the shop owner. The shop owner articulated some smooth words to her so that she would come back in his shop whenever some cosmetic things needed to buy. Tania gave her consent by smiling sweetly and departed from the shop swiftly. She walked for some time and found herself just out of the market on a busy road flowing alongside the market, where many rickshaw had been standing waiting for passengers. She energetically mounted on a rickshaw that was just before her without making any bargain with the rickshaw–puller and directed him in an affable voice where to go.

Tania waked up from her sleep next fine morning at quarter past ten o'clock. After spending a moment in some idle movements on her bed, she at one attempt picked up the upper part of her body, and as a result the posture of lying down transformed into seated up. Then she headed up to the edge of the couch using her lower part of the body as the reptiles crawl in web form touching the ground. After two or three attempts, her hips reached the brim, and her feet touched the floor gently. There was a table by the head side of the bed with an empty glass and a jug half full of water upon it. She bent down over the table and poured out the water into the glass from the jug until the water almost reached to the rim of the glass. Then she left the room with her face down, rubbing the eyes with the back of her both fists and in some minutes returned to the room with some slices of lemon holding in her right hand. She, standing at the table and looking at the glass, squashed the slices one after another with her finger and the lemon juice fell in drops on the surface of the water into the glass. The gray colored drops of the lemon juice, just after falling down, dissolved into the water, and before long the colorless water gradually got gray colored but much lighter than the lemon juice. When something dark is mixed with something transparent, the former one is destined to lose its darkness. The more the quantity of the later, the more the former loses its density. Anyway, the girl finished the water of the glass at one gulp and then entered the attached bathroom so as to take a wash.

In the following afternoon, Tania and her friend Liza were seen on a rickshaw running to TSC area where she used to come often to join with some of her friends in order to have a jolly conversation with them. As they walked on to their accustomed place just after leaving the rickshaw, a boy, dressed in T-shirt and jeans, utterly unknown, rushed straightly to them calling out in a mirthful tone, "Wow! It's beautiful, splendid, superb, marvelous, wonderful, magnificent, glorious, and outstanding. I just can't believe my own eyes!"

At the complimentary words of the boy, Tania was so much amazed and at the same time so delighted that she couldn't even think how to respond. She looked at Liza and they exchanged their silent looks. They both didn't realize to which thing the boy got crazy and acclaimed in such a cheerful way, whether it was her clothing, hair style, bangles, her eyes, her nose or her lips.

After pronouncing these words in one breath, the boy gave a slight pause for a small breath and said, "There are two tips on your forehead, aren't? Small one is upon the big one, huh? She admitted that and thanked him for his praising comments. The right way, she turned her face about and made a gesture to move, for in such a short time these words seemed to her too heavy to bear though they were complementary.

But the boy was persistent and being indifference so as to their unwillingness to heed him any longer, said in an obstinate tone, "I have been following it for a while. How can you manage it? The colors of the two tips exactly match with your clothing's. The upper one is with your scarf and the lower one is with your jerkin.

Though she had been delighted subconsciously by the praising words, but now she felt disturbed beyond her patience and considered the boy as a vulgar. Therefore, she wanted to avoid the boy and said in a cordial tone, trying to suppress her disturbances felt in her mind, "Okay, thanks again. We are in a hurry; we have to go now, for some of our friends are awaiting us. Buy."

Thus they got rid of the crazy boy."

When Tania reached the assemblage, everybody present there also commended her tip in a pretty laudatory tone. She felt comfortably pleased by the extolling of her friends about the tip, since, unlike the boy they were close to her and even their words were not so crazy and didn't flooded her as that of the boy. As a result, she was more frolic and delightful to them than usually she used to be. The happiness grown up in her heart boasted her to fly high above into the sky, but it was not possible for her, for unlike the fairy she had no wings on her back to fly. But her mind could fly without the help of wings, so that she let her mind fly wherever it wished to go. Time passed by in jolly conversation, chattering, blabbering, and taking some cup of tea with her friends, and eventually the afternoon rolled into the evening.

At length, she came back her room at 10 pm in very jovial mood and with a smile hanging from her lower lips. She put her vanity bag into a wardrobe and then changed her clothes, murmuring Tagore song. Now she was in a T-shirt and trousers. She walked to the dressing table, seated herself on the stool, looked at her face in the mirror and caught sight of her tip. The smile which had been clinging from her lips now spread all over her face and then nested into her eyes. As she smoothly caressed with her finger the middle of her forehead, where the tip had been placed, she recollected the praising words of others particularly that of the boy. Now she felt that the time had erased the disturbance produced from praising words of the boy from her mind, whereas strengthened the happiness originated from the same thing. She forcibly tapped the tip against her forehead few times using the top of her index finger in order that the tip would kept sticking on the forehead for a long time.

A few moments later, standing opposite the looking glass in the bathroom, she again looked at her face, accumulated her whole attention to the tip and recurred the same thing what she had done some minutes before sitting on a stool at the dressing table. And this time her eyes were more luminous than before. Afterwards, she turned the knob of the tap with her pencil like finger, and in no time the water flowed from the mouth of the tap on the basin in gush; she put her two palms together into the stream of the water in a shape the devout Muslim form at the time of their prayer of begging their desired things from the Allah. Presently, the hollow place between palms become full with the cool water. She slowly brought up her two palms with the water close to her face and then pressed on her face under her eyebrows in a way, lest the water should touch the skin about the tip and as a result the glue of the tip should get weaken. She smoothly touched her forehead with her sloppy hand a few times, carefully avoiding the place where the tip had been laid since afternoon. She took a towel suspended from the hanger and pressed it gently against her whole face to sop the water up, carefully evading to rub.

For the next ten days the tip had been rested on the same place. She was so amused by the praising words of others to the tip that she couldn't even think of removing it for a single second. She wished she could have kept it on her forehead all over her life.

However, lately her friends started to suggest that she should have changed this tip with a new one. They opted as a quotation that it doesn't look decent wearing the same thing every day however beautiful it is.

One day, towards evening when she and Liza was in a rickshaw running along a busy road, at one point of their conversation the later one told the former one in a bitter tone, "You have been wearing the same tip for ten days! Have you gone mad about this tip? Such matter aren't expected from you, when you are familiar as a discreet girl to us. Oh, it's just boring. And moreover, in the meantime, it has lost its color and vividness. Now it needs changing to a new one. Don't you have other tips? If not, then tell me, and I will buy you some. Oh please change it immediately, I can't stand it anymore. As Liza articulated these words, her face became gradually sulky.

All the way home, the harsh words of Liza rang in her mind so boisterously, and she tried to throw away the resounding words from her mind but couldn't succeed at all. When she had reached her room, she looked at her face in the mirror of the dressing table seated on the stool and took a sharp view of the tip and, for the first time in ten days, it really looked worn out. Then, as she touched it with her index and middle finger, the bitter words of her friends articulated recently entered her ear like melted lead and took shelter in her mind. At those words, just as she thought of eradicating the tip, felt in her heart a fondness to the tip that had steadily grown up owing to wearing it nonstop for ten days. Her fondness to the tip and the bitter words of her friends took each other as their dreadful foe, came to a place between heart and mind and in no time involved themselves into a terrible fight. The fight went on and with time became more ferocious, which made her whole body shake and consequently exhausted. For long they continued their riot, but no one thrived. But at one point in the fight, due to an unknown reason the bitter words of her friends started growing stronger and on the other hand, her fondness to the tip weaker and accordingly at length the latter got defeated brutally. The consequence of the fight made her come to a conclusion that she should have removed the tip from her forehead. She tried to enter the thumb's nail into the place between the tip and skin so as to pinch it and then in a pulling to eliminate it. She failed to remove it because he couldn't even succeed to enter the thumb's nail.

At first, she thought that since the tip had been stuck for a long time, the gum became long lasting than before. So he kept on trying to eradicate the tip from her forehead by pinching and pulling it from different sides. But as before, he failed to enter her nail under the tip in every attempt. Failure make her crazy and at the same time hopeless, and she without any consciousness started to rub the tip with her index finger vertically and horizontally for a few minutes. Just after finishing the action, she perceived well that she had made a great mistake. Because of the pressure of the rubbing, the bond between the tip and the skin became more firm. Anyway, mistake pushed her to the awareness, and she mused over the things for a time. All of a sudden it appeared in her mind that the water and soap might come as a great help.

She stooped over the basin and splashed the cool water on her face for some time. She took the tube of face wash in her left hand from the shelf and pressed at the neck of the tube with her index and thumb, and presently, a blob of face wash poured out on the top of another index finger. She dabbed the blob of face wash around the brim of the tip very smoothly and after some seconds splashed the water over the forehead and thought that the face wash must have weakened the gum of the tip. At the thought, she tried to pinch the tip from the upper side and in no time it seemed to her that instead of dampening the gum, the water and the face wash together had strengthened it more.

She came out of the bathroom feeling more depressed than earlier and seated herself on the stool at the dressing table. She kept gazing at the tip maliciously for a while, took a bunch of keys and selected the strongest and sharpest one and held it in her right hand firmly. As she looked sharply into the mirror, pushed the tip at the brim with the key at first very slowly and then gradually reinforced the pressure until she felt some light pain on it. She became startled at the peculiar incident. Whatsoever, it couldn't be true; it was totally absurd and afar from any assumption. No creature in the world can feel the pain on something that is not the part of its own body or not included in its own nervous system. She came to a resolution that it had been the skin just under the tip where she felt the pain. She again shoved the tip with the key not to check whether she felt pain or not in the tip because she was sure about that owing her past experience but to remove it. However, this time also she felt pain in the tip more distinctly than before. Like everybody else, this sort of weird matter was totally beyond her imagination. She had never experienced such a queer thing or never heard this kind of things happened to others in her whole life. Although she had felt pain certainly, her instinct as a creature of the world and her lifelong experience made obstacle to believe the incident of feeling pain in something that wasn't included her own nervous system. Which one was to trust, whether it was her present feeling or her past experience? Now she fell into the bottomless pit of indecisiveness. In order to get rid of the doubt, she came to a conclusion to examine carefully with her whole attention if she really felt pain in the tip or not. Or it was better to say that she wished to prove that the pain that she had felt at the tip had been just nothing but an illusion. She scratched on the tip very smoothly with the sharp point of the key and then on the barren skin of her forehead. She felt the same sort of pain i both places. Then she lightly touched both places with the key. The result was the same, she felt even the touch of the key on the tip as she felt on the barren skin. She didn't know what could be the answer to this riddle. She mused over the enigma for some time and couldn't hope to get any clue to uncoil it. Since there was not even any expectation of getting any answer to the riddle, so that it became a great burden upon her. And in order to make herself free from this riddle, she very smoothly came to an easy answer to the riddle that somehow the tip became the part of her own body and absorbed into her own nervous system. And in no time this answer raised another riddle that how anything could be a part of the body of a creature from outside without going through metabolism. And this matter didn't seem to her at all scientific. She searched also for the answer of the later riddle within her mind. After some moment like everybody else she ceased to pursue for the answer since she had realized well that she wouldn't be able to find any however she tried. Therefore, in order to get her mind appeased, she thought it as an accident of the nature or a miracle and blamed her misfortune and her foolishness of wearing it for a long time and thus giving it a chance of becoming a part of her own body.

Having thought that something got stuck with her, and which would remain for the rest of her life, her heart throbbed violently, and she felt suffocated and fully lost. She couldn't help herself supposing the tip as a great load upon her head or walls of stone around her in a circle. She gradually lowered face and then placed on her open palms, and it seemed that getting so heavy, the tip had pulled down her face. After sometime, she stood up with her face still downward and holding it strongly with her two hands and started to move afoot to and fro about the room. All of a sudden she kneeled down and shouted, but no sound released from her throat, but just only her face looked like someone who was shouting with her whole might. She dragged herself laboriously to the stool and dropped herself on it. Straightway, she let her head fall on the dressing table with her hands suspended from the shoulders to the floor. In a moment she fell into a deep sleep.

Just as dawn waked up from the night, Tania turned her head up and felt it so heavy as though it was made of stone and opened her eyelids arduously. She touched the tip already absorbed into her nervous system and noticed that it was no more protruded but fully leveled with her delicate skin. And it appeared to her as soft as her skin. She discerned that it was no longer a bit of the tip, but only painted over the skin. Now she understood well that there was no way to separate the tip painted skin of her forehead without cutting it away. Having mused over the incidents happened before, she became afraid that if she didn't cut the tip out now, with time it would penetrate her skull, attach to her brain and in the near future it would change her mentality and cognition. As a result, she must have become the ultimate slave of this tip for the reminder of her life. In order get rid of the slavery of this tip, she would have to sacrifice her own life. She would be bound to choose one thing between two: death or slavery. At this thought, she came to a stern decision to cut the tip away, which had converted itself into the skin.

She lowered herself, opened a drawer of the dressing table and took out a cutter. She stretched the blade out of the cutter by pressing the button down with her thumb. She looked acutely in the mirror, carefully take the blade very close to the tip painted area and pressed the sharp point on her skin. Straightway, a drop of blood issued and then trickle down on her face, and her whole face manifested the sign of fierce pain which she got in consequence of the stroke of the sharpen point of the cutter. But the ache of her heart, which was more tremendous than that made her compelled to continue the process of cutting the tip painted skin away. In the meantime the blood flowed incessantly from the place where she was stabbing the cutter and rolled down on the face in torrents. In some seconds, she finished the task of cutting her skin around the tip painted area in a circle. As she gazed into the mirror at the injured place on her forehead, put down the box cutter on the dressing table softly. She made her mind ready to face the dangerous part of the ordeal. As a result, her body become strict and manifest a stern determination. Her right hand reached the injured place and in no time pinched the skin already cut around in a circle, she pinched the tip at the time of removing it from her forehead and gave a great hauling with her whole might. A few seconds later a shouting expression was visible on her face like the face of the mother at the time of giving birth a child but like before her lips issued not a single sound. After that, she placed separated tip painted skin smeared with blood before her eyes and cast a cruel look at it.

Tip*- One kind of ornament made of colored clothe, which Bengali girls wear in the middle of their forehead.

comments powered by Disqus