A song of dolphin
With final exams being over, Gary meaning Gourik and Titli were getting bored at home.
So, this Sunday when Kamal asked the two to go for a drive to Diamond Harbour, they both instantly got ready, though they were pretty amazed, as it was only six forty in the morning.
Sulekha however only said 'why take them?'
'They need to see that for themselves...'
Kamal said, as he started talking with his boss over phone.
'Can you go with us too?'
Sulekha looked at Kamal.
'No...I will have to make arrangements for lunch here...besides got too much of laundry pending...'
Saying this she started putting things into a small folio bag for Kamal.
A torch, some medicines, water bottles, knife, phone charger, etc.
'But for how long? Dupurey ki baritey khabey na?'(will not have lunch at home?)
Sulekha asked, knowing Kamal must be going out for some work.
'Not for more than six hours...'
It was only seven in the morning when they got out.
Sulekha was insisting on their having breakfast at home.
'We would have something on the way...otherwise we would be late...'
Kamal brought out the car.
He seemed to be a bit grim and in a hurry.
Knowing Kamal, their dad's habit of going out for emergency works, like helping people or rescuing animals, specially marine creatures like turtles, tortoise, etc, they did not say anything then.
'What's the work dad?'
Titli asked finally when they had crossed Amtala. She could no longer hold back her curiosity.
Gary whose real name was Gourik, was as usual playing chess on a tablet, sitting at the backseat.
He had no other passion.
Chess all the time if he is having any time to spare.
Already got enlisted with a chess club of repute in the locality.
He being engaged with his game of chess, was actually not very much curious.
For him it was like an unexpected Sunday outing.
Kamal had already bought some snacks
Titli was munching a cookie.
'Once reaching we could have our lunch there...'
It was a fine winter morning.
Mild chill in the air.
'Yes...what the work?'
For the first time he opened his mouth to say something.
His eyes were on the digital chess board though.
'You will see for yourself...if we could arrive there in proper time...'
When they arrived at the spot a huge crowd had gathered.
Kamal pushed through the crowd, holding Titli and Gourik firmly in his grip by two hands.
Titli was about to say.
But what she saw once they arrived pushing through the crowd was unbelievable.
A fairly large river dolphin!
Was it alive?
For it was slowly moving its tail.
Kamal asked Titli and Gourik to stay there as he started dialling numbers in his cell.
'Yes... I am Kamal Dasgupta, yes...From dept of Marine Biology ... Send forces... And make arrangements so that the dolphin could be taken to the river and released...quick!'
Kamal was speaking with great reserve though Titli and Gourik noticed how much anxious their father had become.
Then he went up to the dolphin.
He sat beside its head and gently started moving his hand over it.
Sort of caressing it.
The creature made a strange sound.
A very curious one.
Suddenly there was a lull.
Those people who had gathered there and were shouting and yelling and thinking of killing the creature, suddenly stopped talking.
They never heard such a pain ridden yet beautiful cry of a dolphin.
The dolphin again did that.
Titli and Gourik had by then come there too.
They also started caressing the creature.
A local man, probably a fisherman came forward.
'Babu, amra otakey jodi kachi diye bendhey nodi te niye cherey di akhon...cholbey...apni bolen?'
(Sir if we can make arrangements to take this creature to the river by tying it with strong ropes, will it do? Tell us?)
The man said.
A group of local fishermen had come forward too.
'Amra eta dekhtey parchi na...kharap lagchey khub...proshashon kokhon ashbey ke Janey...deri hoye jabey...'
('We can't see this any more...feeling real bad...when will the authorities turn up no body knows...it could be late...)
Said a young man from the group.
Kamal looked at the crowd.
Not far away.
He looked at the creature.
It was still alive.
Chances are very much there.
He said, as he started opening his shoe laces.
'Going to the river with them?'
'Yes! We'll release it to the river...you two would be with me too!'
Kamal said, as he got rid of his shoes and socks.
'Bring a plastic carry bag from the car and put your shoes too into it...'
He asked Titli giving her the car key.
'But dad, how come you know that the dolphin was there?'
'Heard it on the radio in the early morning programme of local people reporting as amateur reporters of incidents happening in their locality...this programme I don't miss...specially if I hear anything related to marine Ecology...you know that, don't you?'Kamal said, patting Gourik's shoulder.
The fishermen and local youths had already arranged bamboos and ropes and boats.
They were working at great speed.
Many people had joined hands.
The crowd had grown.
But they were not yelling or shouting any more.
Instead a great sense of anticipation prevailed there.
As if they all wanted now the dolphin to get to the river.
The dolphin let out another cry.
But this time it did not sound like a morbid cry.
It sounded more like a yell of joy.
Just then a group of officials and local policemen arrived.
They started cordoning off the area.