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Some people look so bewildered when I tell them that I originally belong to Cuttack that I genuinely feel sorry for them. They ask, "Accha, woh kaha padta hai (Where is that)?” Some others react as if I said Winterfell, and yet others, fearing my wrath, retort behind my back, "Bengal's poor cousin!" So, yes, suffice it to say that I have serious reservations about the literacy rate projected in the 2011 Census.
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A major cause of worry for me these days is the rapidly dwindling percentage of unmarried people among my galaxy of acquaintances. When invited to the engagement, wedding or baby shower of an erstwhile friend, we, the miserable minority of bachelors and spinsters, survive the ordeal with weak smiles and high-octane mental bashing. I say <em>erstwhile</em> friend because we partially boycott those who get hitched.
It's Women's Day. Around the premises, I see women wishing each other happiness and strength. Feeling my eyes moisten, I leave my desk to withdraw to my Fortress of Solitude--the washroom. Locking myself in the corner-most cubicle, I pull down the seat cover. I feel warm tears rolling down my face as I sit. Before I can make sense of the deluge, the events of the previous evening inundate my head.