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Oh! The Sweet Old Days

Updated on August 28, 2019
ARUN KANTI profile image

Hi,welcome to my Hubpages profile. I am Arun Kanti Chatterjee and live in Kolkata. My mission is to share experiences etched on my memory.

Striking friendship


“You are in the disgusting habit of harking back to the past when you write anything .You need to forget the past and start living in the present ?” I was advised by my fellow passenger in the train. ”But everyone has the habit of going back to the past to bring back sweet memories and draw good lessons for the future. Futher being older than you I have much more memorable experience.” I quipped.

Memorable past events


I had struck an acquaintance with the middle aged man travelling like me to Asansol, a coal mining and industrial metropolis and one of the busiest centers in India. It was about a four hour journey from Howrah by the mail train. Besides, since I was travelling alone I sought to strike up a friendship in right earnest with the passenger who was browsing through a newspaper. Looking closely at my laptop, he introduced himself as a Chartered Accountant who loved to read books and travel frequently. When he came to know that I was a freelance writer, he said “Oh: I have read your few essays. They are good but………” .

A game of the past

One sided dialogue

He rattled off criticizing my delving into the past but I , however, could not convince him why everyone looks back fondly on the events which are all past history. So instead of trying to waste my time on such a futile exercise I changed to another topic asking "You have a good job which is much in demand these days”. “You see , my grandfather had different opinion on my career. He was a barrister. He had lots of properties and also donated a lot. He had suggested I should take up his profession”. “So you have chosen your own career”. I chipped in.”That was another old story. My father was a very strict person and almost an autocrat. He insisted on my becoming a doctor since we have not many doctors in our close relations. You know what he did? One day when he had heard that I was not sitting for my medical entrance test he flew off the handle and wanted to oust me from his house.”. “So you must now be very happy with your chosen line of activities” I tried to console him. “There was a savior for me with my grandmother. She was so nice a lady that when she heard the evil news she at once called for my father and threatened to go on a fast for an indefinite period if my own choice was not accepted.” “You seem to be very rigid in your stance. Does this stand you in good stead?” I sought to change the topic. “Oh I have not yet told you about my mother. She was an ideal housewife and her grandfather had amassed huge properties in the city and country side but then robbers decamped with most of the valuable ornaments and cash. Subsequently they faced litigation over the properties and thus became penurious.” I was getting bored and in a bid to have a respite from his one way prattle I opened my laptop and logged onto Hubpages. “Your thoughts must now be beginning to drift back to the past times which are better forgotten. You will be busy jotting down some useless old tidings to write stories when you will be back home”. He tried to draw me in his one sided conversation.. He continued brushing aside my urgent business ”My mother, a very intelligent lady, accepted my father as husband who was a businessman. How he could get back some properties of his in laws was another story”. It was too much of a mental torment and I began to show signs of indifference and at last made a quick exit on the pretext of looking for a betel roll vendor. When I had to return to my seat ultimately he again began “Talk about betel leaf! I know many stories I have heard from my grand parents. When I was on the verge of telling him “Don’t nag me. Leave me in peace” he received an urgent call from his office advising him to immediately proceed to another destination by change of route.

Ultimate respite

I ultimately got a respite from his continuous chatter recollecting old events. When he bade me goodbye I thanked God telling him “Thank you for your pleasant company. That will make another good story in my next hub. Good bye”.



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    • ARUN KANTI profile imageAUTHOR


      9 months ago from KOLKATA

      Sanjib Talukder

      Everyone wishes to look back to the past and draw necessary lessons. The world is sadly becoming a place teeming with people submerged in self absorption without accepting others. Thanks for your stopping by.

    • profile image

      Sanjib Talukder 

      19 months ago

      Good Experience with a Stranger in a running Train

    • ARUN KANTI profile imageAUTHOR


      19 months ago from KOLKATA

      Thanks for your visit and positive comments.

    • ARUN KANTI profile imageAUTHOR


      19 months ago from KOLKATA

      Kindly go through my hubs and give your constructive comments on them.I look forward to reading your articles.Thanks.Wish you all the best.

    • ARUN KANTI profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from KOLKATA

      Graham-Moreover, while he does not like me to speak or write about the old days he has no qualms about delving into the past to narrate his own experience. They are more interested to foist their own opinion on others! Thank you very much for your wise comments. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Arun. It is so annoying to find oneself in the company of such a bore. As most of us do, you let him prattle on and smiled at the appropriate moments. At least you were left in peace in the end. You also made a hub out of the episode so all was not lost.


    • ARUN KANTI profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from KOLKATA

      @Livingsta -Thank you very much for your visit and such wise comments. I am trying to develop the skill of creative writing and I shall appreciate your critiquing the write ups.

    • livingsta profile image


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Arun, this is an interesting narrative! I do understand how it would have made you feel. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, in your unique style. Voted up, interesting and sharing!

    • ARUN KANTI profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from KOLKATA

      Joe-I really enjoy very much your comments which give me the rare scope to learn a lot while I am amazed at your incredible ability to catch every nuance of expression. My only aim is to write very simply and in a lucid style to reach the audience worldwide. Thank you very much.

      Aloha and have a wonderful week.

      Arun Kanti

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Arun!

      I really GET this insightful hub, my friend. What a creative account of a snapshot from a few hours of your day. On one hand, it is an account of a conversation, rather one-sided, and a good lesson about things that don't foster social sharing. On the other hand, it's a metaphor about what our world is sadly becoming...teeming with self-absorption, narcissism, social rigidity and expectations, ethnocentrism...basically, an unwillingness to accept others just as they are, attempting instead to mold them into selfish preconceived notions. While the style is different, the intent is similar to what Hemingway did with his "slice of life" short stories. I love the way you intersperse your reporting of the actual events with your inner dialogue. In that sense, you are our tour guide in this daily vignette. Aloha, and have a memorable day, Arun Kanti!



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