Between the lines

Birokta, the Bengali word denoting annoyance, exasperation and irritation. It’s the word that comes to mind when you are interminably waiting for a train, a long day at work doesn’t seem to end, or when you can’t seem to catch a break from the incessant rains or the patch of bad luck. It’s a word my mom was fond of using especially when dad wouldn’t switch off the TV for hours on end or would keep telling her the same stories again and again.

One thing about stories that I have realised is that you have to read between the lines; what a person is not saying is just as important as what they are sharing. Dad can go on and on about his days working, travelling to places and stuff he has read in books but it’s those rare occasions when he talks about his strict parents and childhood that actually shed light on the real person and why and how he became the person he is.


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