The Mirror

 

Goutam Bandyopadhyay

How come the mirror appeared from the garage loft? Animesh frowned. He had removed it from the wall before he left for Kolkata last Monday. He didn’t want it back in their bedroom rather he was planning to replace it by a painting or a photograph. But the mirror seems to have reclaimed its own place. The gold rimmed object shines brightly as before. Animesh can’t bear the sight of it; he takes his eyes off it.

Krishna, when are coming home?

Oh Animesh, you are home already! I am at Chandidas market, shopping. I’ll be home soon.

Why have you hung the mirror again just above our bed? I removed it last week.

Which mirror? I didn’t do anything with any mirror.

Then who brought it back?

Krishna felt a streak of anxious tremor in her hubby’s voice.

Animesh was transferred to Durgapur five years ago, now he wants to go back to Kolkata. He is yet to know whether his hectic lobbying will bear him fruit. He casts a furtive glance at the mirror to find it swinging at a regular pace on the wall. He sits at a corner of the bed and wipes the beads of sweat that have collected on his forehead.

Two years, quite a long time, before marrying Krishna he had thought. Now he is in doubt again. Sharmistha died of an accidental fall from the roof three years ago in this house. Animesh recovered her body from a pool of blood himself and took it to the hospital for autopsy. Even today Animesh can vividly remember the day. The mirror has started swinging a little. Evening is approaching rather fast; darkness engulfing the colony outside.  Animesh misses a beat. Suddenly from nowhere a gust of wind rushes into the room to mess up everything. In a moment the entire room is in total disarray but the mirror. It has stopped swinging. Animesh has an eerie feeling that the mirror is watching him intently. He can’t stand its sight any longer; he develops a strong urge of breaking it into pieces. Animesh goes near the mirror and freezes in horror. A stream of red sticky substance has appeared on the mirror. Animesh knows what the substance is. He knows, the blood stream will gradually form the contour of Sharmistha’s battered face. Animesh knows, Sharmistha will appear on the mirror to reiterate the entire episode of the bloody Friday, three years ago. She will tell him, she has not forgotten how a mild push by her husband endowed him with a fortune to come out of the debt trap. Animesh feels weak at his knees, licks his lips. Sharmistha looks at him, wearing a distorted smirk on her lips, her eyes bulging out. She gurgles huskily.

Animesh, how did you dare remove my favourite mirror from the wall?  Never ever touch it again. I want to have a vigil on you from the private corner of your room. I won’t spare you my dear. I am coming to you. Just wait for another few months.

Krishna finds Animesh lying limp on the sofa.

What’s the matter honey? I have good news to share I did not disclose before confirmation. I skipped periods for two months. Doctor Bose has confirmed the test to be positive.

Animesh feels a cold chill crawl down his spine. The mirror swings on and on and on.

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