In the Quest of Love:Encore-A Love Story of Reincarnation (to be contd.) - ZorbaBooks

In the Quest of Love:Encore-A Love Story of Reincarnation (to be contd.)

In the Quest of Love: Encore

A story of reincarnation

First Half


As the Ganges in the form of Hooghly river meanders its way to the Bay of Bengal, it takes a unique crescent moon shape. Along the quiet west bank are a string of towns with a slice of European heritage. Chandannagore, a charming little former French colony is one of these waterfront towns where the love that blossomed between a French lady and a Bengali man during French colonial rule resurfaces again later through reincarnation.

It was in the 1730s when Joseph Francois Duplex was appointed governor of Chandannagore. It was one of the best times the town had ever experienced. It was the main European entry to the Indian subcontinent. Art and culture was being promoted by Dupleix. The town was brimming with exuberance. 

Till 1756 Chandannagore was the main centre for European commerce in Bengal.

After that there was war with the British. The British won and Chandannagar witnessed a dismal period. Then again the French recovered Chandannagore. Life started in a new way once again. Rabindranath Tagore planned to stay here in Patalbari for a long time-some of his best compositions were done as he wrote overlooking the Ganges. The Brahmo society was gaining momentum. Often the Patalbari was graced by a long file of distinguished visitors. 

In such a backdrop enfolded a romance in the 1880s.



Overlooking the Ganges stood a beautifully crafted stately mansion of a French dignitary Monsieur Andre with a beautiful garden. 

His daughter Angelique woke up in the morning and opened her eyes like the petals of a soft blooming pink lotus. A beautiful sun- kissed pastel morning presented itself with new rays of hope. The artistry of nature and the sweet innocent beauty of Angelique-the delicate features of her face , her shapely slim figure adorned in a light yellow pastel dress made a beautiful chemistry when she stepped out to greet the spring morning with open arms and a fresh mind. The birds chirped and the morning breeze played with her hair. 

A pleasant smile subtly lit up her countenance. She stood in a shade on the Strand-the handsome riverside promenade viewing the morning and beautiful reflections on the deep waters of the vast expanse of the Ganges.

She was accompanied by Marie, her maid in a floral dress with a yellow umbrella. The maid was sweet and gentle and admired Angelique. She served Angelique whole-heartedly and loved her sweet mistress a lot for her gentle and polite manners, the way she acknowledged her sincere efforts and rewarded her sweetly on many occasions.

A new unexpected encounter – subsequently a new chapter in life unexpectedly enfolds.

 We often feel like life is going on in the same way and there will be no change. Days go, months go, it is the same-the same way, the same problems, the same frustrations with which we try to come to terms. Often we by ourselves have to be instrumental to bring changes in our lives-creating happiness with our own effort, making good things happen going upstream with our own effort.

 But suddenly without any notice if a change comes, that too very welcoming, the suddenness and the beauty of the change overwhelms us with sudden magic and make us fall in love with life in a special way.

Angelique stared at the Ganges as if her eyes were thirsty and the Ganges seemed to smile back to her. Little did she know what surprise the Ganges had in store for her- a new wave of change.

The waves of the Ganges came lapping towards the shore in a uniform rhythmic pattern, creating ripples. But suddenly one wave, bigger than the rest disturbed the synchronized orchestrated movements and hit the shore with a force. 

Angelique, who had a sharp observant eye for detail noticed the wave and got startled. She was plainly gazing at the bank. Now she lifted her eyes. She was welcomed by such a sight that her eyes got riveted.


A beautiful barge was approaching. On the barge stood a young Bengali man………….she had never seen a man so appealing.

The man was tall, around 6 ft with very handsome features. His fair complexion, slender frame and beautifully chiseled oval face with prominent masculine jaw-line, intelligent yet dreamy eyes, the pleasant smile, the French cut beard maintained with lot of style, the wind flirting with his curly wavy hair, his manly wrist and hands gave rise to surging waves of powerful emotions in her. He was attired very stylishly in a well-ironed dhoti and Panjabi, the pleats of the dhoti being done with lot of care. 

There was a gust of wind which removed her veil from her face. At that moment he also looked up. Their eyes met. 

She stood still, but her eyes betrayed her underlying feelings that did not go unnoticed by him. He was mesmerized by her sweetness and innocent charm. The gravity and seriousness of his manly features instantly melted into adoration and softness. He lovingly gazed at her intently, as if he wanted to cuddle her as a baby. 

He was smart enough to eventually break the stillness. He smiled and waved at her. She was very delighted and waved at him. She was blushing like anything and not understanding what to do next.

Marie had been observing the interesting developments with excitement. She also waved at him. He had a good sense of humour. His smile broadened and he also waved at her while the barge was trying to get properly stationed at the bank.

Certainly, humanity is a race and human emotions transcend cultural and regional differences. Angelique was taken aback by this unexpected instant connect. All this happened so easily and effortlessly without any element of discomfort. She was reserved and never did anything without a second thought. With strangers she maintained her reserve. But today what happened? How could she feel so comfortable with a stranger?

She had started discovering herself in a new light.

He alighted gracefully and came up to her.

“Madam, it is a pleasure to meet you. I am Rajatshubhro Chakraborty from Calcutta. I have come here to spend some time in my grandfather’s house which is quite nearby. I will visit the Patalbari as well. I have been invited in one of the meetings of Bengali intellectuals. I will come again during Jagadhhatri Pujo.’’ 

His deep manly voice struck an instant chord with the pretty feminine Angelique.

Angelique smiled and replied, “It is my privilege to get introduced to you Chakraborty Saheb. I am Angelique, daughter of French dignitary Monsieur Andre. I know a bit Bengali also. I love the language and am trying to learn more properly. We live here-(pointing to her house).If you have any kind of need do not hesitate to contact us. ‘’

Rajatshubhro :“Sure.’’

The rare sweetness of her voice generated ripples in him. 

After pausing a bit, he continued, “ I belong to a Bengali traditional zamindar family, but I do not accept many traditional social practices and beliefs. I live life on my own terms and am very much influenced by modern developments in the Brahmo Samaj and Western society. I look forward to meet you later and know more from you about your culture. ’’

Angelique was a liberal young girl with independent decision making ability. She could resonate with him. She assured him, “ I appreciate that. You are more than welcome. See, each and every culture has positive points and drawbacks. We can all have inter-cultural exchanges and craft our lifestyle with social elements we like. The Indian culture, the Bengali culture seems fascinating to me in many ways. ……and I am such an avid reader of Tagore…..I can understand little but am learning the language to understand more. ’’

She continued, “Marie, I will go home after sometime. You go with Saheb and see where he lives. Then I can contact him when required.’’

Marie nodded excitedly.

He was enamored by her beauty.

“ Enchanté Madam, you are very different from all the ladies I have met so far. To be felt appreciated, that too by you Madam, is a very special feeling indeed.’’

“Why do you think I am different?’’

“Sweetness and innocence are very rare attributes of a person. You have both. I live in a world full of complexities and orthodoxies that I don’t like. I am getting so much peace and happiness by looking at you, talking with you Madam I have never experienced before.’’

He gazed longingly and meaningfully at her. 

Never had a man regarded her with so much respect. 

His voice had softened. Never had she heard a manly voice loaded with so much tenderness. She had never looked into the eyes of a man so directly.

Both of them stood looking at each other, not being able to tear themselves apart. 

She did not know what to say in return. Of course she meant to say, “I have never seen anybody like you before. ‘’ 

Her eyes- mirroring her feelings generated from deep within the heart, feelings she did not know how to express in words spoke volumes to him.

Marie was standing at a distance, giving space to Angelique.

A beautiful flower in front of Marie had just started blooming, and at a distance she could see the blossoming of a beautiful relationship.



Angelique sat in front of a big oval mirror with a beautiful ornamental border.

Maybe she was searching for some outward signs of the inner transformation she was experiencing deep within. 

Her thoughts were full of him, and only him. Staying alone and thinking about him seemed to be the only thing she was enjoying.

She loved swans and their graceful dignified style of love-making. Swans were so loyal. 

In her flights of romantic fantasy, she had envisioned the love-making of swans, a beautiful sky with an interplay of delicate soft pastel shades of blue, green, pink, magenta smoothly blending into one another with touches of pristine white and lovely flowers of different shapes and textures blossoming and caressing each other. 

She was now having these visions, and he kept resurfacing in her mind again and again. She was standing in front of the mirror, sometimes sitting spontaneously in graceful postures. Her back was a bit bare, a blue silk dress gently caressed her. She was envisioning him gently touching, kissing and caressing her back and neck. She closed her eyes as she deeply contemplated the situation and the sensations, and when she opened she could almost see him standing behind her in the reflection of the mirror.

There was a beautiful flower vase in her room. The vase was of dark blue colour, and the flowers, leaves and stems peeping outside seemed to smile so happily.

Suddenly she felt that for a long time, she was bottled up inside a vase. She could picturise herself sitting in a wistful face on the surface of the vase, surrounded by dark blue darkness and mystery. Now she could see her bright smiling face amidst the upper floral profusion. The image was like a surrealistic painting.

Such is the life of everyone, she thought. We get bottled up, then emerge in a new light, then again bottled up, then again……….

The vase did not seem to be inanimate to her. Why did she love the vase so much? Someone else could have been the owner of this vase. Why she?

The vase seemed to her to have eyes, as if the vase was watching her like a trustworthy and secret confidante of a princess in her secret dream chamber.

The chandeliers seemed to light up and the gentle evening breeze seemed to usher in lilting Waltz melodies. There he stood like a handsome prince. She joined him in a dance of ecstasy, moving effortlessly in smooth and gliding movements, holding him closely, feeling no weight at all.


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