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Happy Candy Day

Happy Candy Day

By MD. RAFIQUL ISLAM MURAD Published about a month ago 6 min read
candy image

As soon as Abhi picked up the phone with sleepy eyes, a booming voice from the other end said, "Do you know what time it is?

What time?

Check the clock.

Uff, you... Why are you calling so early?

What could it be?

How would I know what's on your mind?

Wow... nice. Anyway, meet me today at 4 PM at the Collector's Corner.

Are you crazy? I have work.

And do you think I'm free?

That's not it, but... we'll meet on the weekend. Today is not possible.

Oh. So, today is just like any other day for you?

Why, what's special today?

Nothing. Bye.

Abhi knew the tone and the abrupt end of the call very well, so he quickly said, "Hey, please tell me what's wrong. I can't remember.

No need to remember. Sorry for bothering you early in the morning. You forgot today's day after all!... Bye.

Then there was the sound of a call being disconnected. Damn... said Abhi, throwing the phone aside. Sometimes this woman drives him crazy with her antics.

The office peon came and handed Palash a parcel. Seeing the colorful parcel, Abhi asked, Hey, what’s up with such a fancy parcel?

Surprise. If I don't take a gift today, my wife won't let me enter the house.

Is it your wife's birthday?

What? Did you forget what day it is?

Why? What's the case? My girlfriend also called and was very upset, and now you're saying it's a special day. What’s the deal?

Brother, today is Chocolate Day. If you don't bring a gift on this day, wives turn into witches. Haha.

Listening to Palash, Abhi became thoughtful. Yes, today is that Chocolate Day or whatever, but he never remembered Madhubani getting excited about Valentine's week! So what happened this time? Their wedding is next month; did the wedding vibes stir Madhubani's excitement this year? Who knows! Abhi scratched his head. He heard Palash telling someone that he had ordered special organic chocolates for his wife. Palash had managed, but what would Abhi do now? Who knows what kind of chocolate to give on such a day! The lady was already upset, and she wouldn't even answer the phone. During lunch break, Abhi went out from the office to look for chocolates in the nearby stores. No luck, all the stores were out of chocolates. What a mess! Seeing Abhi looking lost, Sumit approached him, Hey Abhida, what’s up?

Sumit had joined the office recently. He was a proactive guy, so Abhi thought maybe Sumit could help. He told Sumit everything. Sumit listened and with a confident smile said, "Why are you stressing about this! You should've told me earlier. What am I here for?

Will you get the chocolates?

Not just buy, I'll get the whole factory.

What do you mean?

My girlfriend is in the chocolate business. Handmade chocolates. I'll ask her to pack a special box for you with today's special paper.

You saved me, brother. Call her right now.

Sumit smiled and stepped aside to make the call. After some murmuring on the phone, he returned to Abhi with a slightly grim face.

Didn't it work out? Abhi asked anxiously. Sumit replied with a dry face, It's not that it didn't work out, but you told me so late that all the good boxes are sold out. Only one cheaper pack is left.

How much?

Just a small pack. A thousand bucks...

A thou... sand!" Abhi felt dizzy. Sumit, still with a bland face, said, What can you do? But it's the thought that counts more than the price. I hope Madhubani understands.

After spending a thousand bucks on chocolates, what else is left to understand! Abhi sighed deeply. Ugh, if this is the trouble before the wedding, what will happen after!

It's 4:06 PM. The chilly evening will set in two hours, and the Collector's Corner was bustling. Street vendors were busy attracting customers, and the stoves in the roadside shops were blazing with tempting smells of food. Abhi stood holding a thousand-rupee chocolate box, feeling the sting of his empty wallet.

As he checked his watch and was about to call, she appeared before him. Her face showed that Abhi's one message had melted all her anger, but she was still pretending to be upset, waiting for Abhi to try and appease her. Knowing all this, Abhi had no choice but to say, "I’m really sorry that I forgot about today.

At least you remembered eventually.

Is it so?


Thank you. Here, Happy Chocolate Day. Abhi extended the chocolate box towards Madhubani. Instead of taking it, she looked at Abhi in surprise. Abhi got nervous. Was Sumit right, even a thousand-rupee chocolate box is too cheap for today? Although Madhubani doesn't care about money, her mood was off, so who knows what she was thinking.

I’m saying the expensive ones were all sold out, so I got this thousand-rupee pack.

Before Abhi finished speaking, Madhubani's eyes filled with tears, You don't remember anything, do you?

Abhi got even more nervous, No, I mean, today is Chocolate Day. What else?

When did I ever ask you for chocolates or teddy bears? Have I ever? Have you ever given me any? Then why today... did you buy a thousand-rupee chocolate? Are you out of your mind?

Abhi realized there was a misunderstanding. If he showed weakness now, she would scold him more, so he said seriously, "Look, I don’t like riddles. You could have told me straight what you meant in the morning. I tried, but I can't read your mind. I'm getting irritated now.

Sorry for irritating you. Saying this, Madhubani walked away with big strides. Abhi was stunned. This was unusual; she usually reacted differently. But today, everything seemed off. Abhi saw Madhubani enter the Ahare Bahare restaurant. His eyebrows furrowed. He followed her. At the counter, Madhubani asked, "Are my packages ready?

Absolutely, madam." The counter boy placed a huge food-laden pack in front of her and said with a big smile, We’ve added two extra packets for you, madam. Since you’re taking this for such a good cause, those two are our small contribution.

Thank you, thank you so much. Today, a long-time wish of mine is coming true.

Standing a bit away, Abhi had witnessed the whole scene. As soon as he heard Madhubani's last words, he felt a big jolt in his chest. In an instant, he was pulled back into memories several years ago. They were in college then, and their love had just begun. On an evening like today, they went to a park. Sitting on a bench, they were chatting. A child approached them. The child had various candies hanging on a round wire on his shoulder.

Oh brother, oh sister, will you buy some candy?

No, no, go away." Abhi had hurriedly said no to the child. The child pleaded, "Just buy one, please. I’m very hungry. Because it's Chocolate Day or something, nobody bought my candy.

Before Abhi could say anything, Madhubani had handed the child a ten-rupee note. Then she took two lemon candy packs from him and stuffed a packet of puffed rice in his hand. The child looked at her in surprise, then ran off with tear-filled eyes to two other children playing a little distance away. Then Abhi and Madhubani saw how the three of them shared the small packet of puffed rice with great joy. Abhi had suddenly said in his defense, I don't like giving money to these kids. They spend it on drugs.

I don’t know. Maybe you're right, but what if they don’t? What if they genuinely need the money? You saw it yourself, how they shared the puffed rice. Even their parents don't look after them.

What do you suggest?

Can't we do something?

Like what?

I’ve heard many NGOs help them. If we could contact them...

Yeah, that could be done.

And Abhi, listen.


Everyone celebrates this week with many gifts and in various ways. But when we get jobs, can't we celebrate at least one day of the year with these kids?

We can.

Promise? You won't forget?

Promise. I'll never forget. We'll celebrate the first Chocolate Day after we get jobs in a way that makes you happy.

Thanks. Here, Happy Candy Day, mister. Saying this, she had giggled and stuffed a lemon candy into Abhi's mouth.

Today was their first Chocolate Day after both got jobs. And Abhi had completely forgotten his promise! No, he had made a big mistake. He must correct it somehow.

The western sky was painted with colors. The kids, having had their fill, had gone off to their own activities. Mrs. Madhubani Sen spread her saree's pallu on the grass, sitting beside her was her better half, Mr. Abhirup Sen. He handed her a file with a smile, Open this.

Mrs. Sen opened the file and was surprised. Inside was a laminated collage capturing the memories of the past thirty years of Chocolate Day. Her eyes moistened again. Mr. Sen held her hand, gave her a packet, and said, "Happy Candy Day, Mrs. Sen.

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