From all the millions of reason for not liking Monday mornings, I hate one reason the most; I have to wake up at 6 in the morning and opt for a local train journey to come back to my PG so that I can continue with my professional life conveniently. Often this 2 hours long train journey serves as a vantage point to see and observe many things which stirs the tempestuous side of me. Yesterday was one such day for me. Unlike my punctual days, I was few minutes late today and was almost on the verge of missing it, but all thanks to the runner inside me, I made it. With a victorious smile, I made my way into the mini stampede of train. And, thus, started my sweat induced journey.


I seated myself opposite to a couple. I assumed that because they were holding hands and it is a universal truth that you cannot see brother-sister, friends or colleagues holding hands and sitting like that. So you cannot question me in that department. Both of them seemed to be in their early 30s. I was taking out headphone from my bag when suddenly the man stood up and started searching something; first in his pockets and then in his bag. Seeing him restless his wife/girlfriend couldn’t control herself.

“What happened? Whats wrong? What exactly are you searching?”

“Shit! Shit! Shit! I dropped the flat’s key somewhere while coming I guess.” The man replied

The woman’s face turned red. “What nonsense! How can you be so irresponsible? This is going to bring so much of trouble. Calling the spare key makers and letting the security man know, etc etc.”

This infuriated the man more. “Wait a minute yaar. At least let me think. I am losing my breath already.”

“Fine”. The girl took a break of 5 seconds before bursting out into a hopeful remark, “Hey, as far as I remember your mother has a spare key of our flat. You remember you gave her one for emergency purposes. She lives hardly an hour from our place. Please call her and ask for help or else when do you expect to find a key maker if we return from office at 10. Moreover, tomorrow is holiday for Poila Boishak (Bengali New Year) “

With this statement I gathered two things about both of them. One–the boy stayed away from his mother despite staying in the same city. Two–the couple were staying together in their newly acquired flat for some time now. Call me the inquisitive neighbour or nosy aunty, but I always have this habit to observe what the people near me are up to. You never know what may give an inspiration to pick up the pen and start writing. My calligraphy thoughts were interrupted with a grumpy look on the man’s face.

“No. I can’t call her. Let it be. It’s fine. We will manage.”

“Oh C’mon. You are not asking her for money or anything. It’s just a key. If needed, we can go to her instead of asking her to come to us. This sounds decent too. Right? The woman seemed hell bent to convince her man.

“You do not understand my point Poonam. If in these 8 months she didn’t find any reason to call me then even I don’t have the inclination to mollycoddle her ego. Besides, tomorrow is a holiday for Poila Boishak. We will go to Mohit’s place at night. Calm down” The man put his hand on her shoulder to pacify her. But she continued with a poignant face.

“At least one call from your end will give us redemption from all this helter-skelter pattern of the new year celebration. Remember we had so many cooking plans. And now you want to spoil it all by going to Mohit’s place. Think again.”

Finally she had to face the heat when he replied, “Okay. Cool. If you are so eager to do this then use your instinctive side and make the call yourself because I am not doing it.”

“Yes. I can definitely call her because I am not as cagey as you. Give me a second“. She took out her phone and started searching for a number.

“Hello. Ma. This is Poonam. Hope I have not disturbed you. Yes I am fine. Actually we are in a problem.”

The man gave her a nasty look at the mention of “we” and started signalling her to say just “I”. She grasped what he wanted to say and continued again.

“Oh I mean I am in deep trouble. While coming to office this morning, I dropped our flat keys somewhere and since tomorrow is a holiday it would get very messy to search for a key maker. I know you have a spare key. Is it okay for you if I come to your place and get the key? Only if you say yes ma.” She dropped the phone in a second and looked at the man.

He said with an unforgiving expression, “I told you not to call her. Now, she must have again said something awful about our relationship, or worst, she might have asked me to go to her place. I don’t know when you will start behaving wisely.” He continued to rant when his phone rang. His aplomb appearance suddenly changed to disbelief. “It’s Ma”. He said and picked up.


“Hello. Yes I am Amol. It’s Amol here. Yaaa..Tell me.”

He kept repeating “Ya” “Amol” and “Yes” for couple of seconds more. Perhaps he was too stunned to respond. It took him a minute more to respond normally, but I could hear only this much.

“Yes the same key. Poonam will come to you if you want or even I can come. What? Why will you? It’s fine. Don’t bother…………arrrr……………… remember? …….Okay office cancelled then I am coming to pick you up. Bye. See you in some hours. “

I was unable to hear what the person on the other end of the phone was saying, but I knew some kind of reconciliation was definitely on the cards. The curiosity of the nosy aunty in me was quenched when the woman started with her series of questions.

“Wooow. Finally you spoke to her. What happened? Is she coming to us or are we going to her? Tell me everything.”

For the first time in these 45 minutes I saw him smiling. “We are not going office today. Let’s get down at the next station. First, we will pick her up along with the spare key, and then bring her to home and celebrate the New Year tomorrow together. She is going to make payesh and biriyani for both of us.”

I saw a tear trickle down her face. “Seeeeeee..I told you that…………….” She wanted to say more, but was stopped by him, “Shhhhhh…lets get down first and then talk. Lot of things to say”

At the next station, they bid adieu to the boring office for a day and, I guess, headed towards something more concrete and indispensable.

Often, the intricate situations of life, makes it a notch harder to change perceptions and we tend to formulate a string of opinions –good or bad–about the people who are connected to us. The philosophy this ‘Spare Key’ trots out is suitable for all times. We ‘lock’ our feelings in a coop and throw the spare key in an ocean of pessimism and mistrust, negating all the good moments shared with the person in question. It took one phone call for Amol and Poonam to get back both the SPARE KEYS back- one for the flat and one for the admiration of his mother.


My station came. I got down. However, couldn’t cease to look for a SPARE KEY that could unlock the stumbling block of my psyche in every situation. Hope someday I will get a help for that too. 🙂


Disclaimer: All pictures used are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them.



  1. Akshit Choudhary says:

    Nosy aunty…….you surely pen up nice thoughts every time. Lovely read! Keep going. 🙂

  2. Mancy says:

    Wow Nosy Aunty, this was tremendously beautiful. Loved every part. 🙂

  3. Dipanjan Roy says:

    Just one word.. Awesome… 🙂

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