The Last Problem

The digital clock read 11:56 pm when Gunjan entered the studio. It was drizzling outside. The program she hosted, titled ‘Mann ki Awaz‘, aired from 12:00 am to 2:00 am everyday except Saturday. The four minutes she had before the show was enough for getting some fresh air and putting up another stroke of mascara and lipstick. She walked towards the coffee machine at the end of the corridor to remove the lump in her throat. Cautiously taking the first sip through the steaming hot drink, she looked at the clock again. Forty-five seconds to go Live.

Gunjan walked into the audio room and made herself comfortable on the chair. She put on her headphones and switched on the microphone.


“Hello Kolkata!! You are listening to our show Mann ki Awaz in 95.7 Masti FM and this is your very own RJ Gunjan. Just like every day, I will be with you through these two hours, and solve your love problems. For now, let’s start with three songs, back to back, and following that I will discuss the first love problem of the day. Don’t go anywhere and enjoy the spirit of love in this romantic rainy season. Stay tuned!”

As she ended her lines, she scrolled some keys up. The three songs to be played was the romantic numbers ‘Moh Moh ke Dhaage’, ‘Bolna’ and ‘Kuch toh Bataa Zindegi’. She knew that she sounded as energetic as always, and was successful in hiding the choke in her voice and drops of tears streaming down from her eyes.

She used to advise her listeners in their love problems which mostly came to her via letters, texts and Whatsapp messages. Amongst the advice seekers, youngsters, high school students and collegiates occupied the major percentage. It wasn’t a tough job for Gunjan to find solutions for each of them as she was matured enough in the game of love. Gunjan looked at the huge glass-wall on her left which offered a spectavular view of the Ganges and Howrah Bridge adorned with lonely roads that were brightly lightened with halogen vapour lamps.


“Shouvik might be sleeping right now or watching some movie on his laptop”, she thought to herself but then immediately pursed her lips. She had decided not to think about Shouvik although she was unable to do it at any instance of time. Throughout the last five years, all of her thoughts had strong connections with Shouvik in some way or the other. However, it wasn’t the same for Shouvik, she believed.  In the past six months, Gunjan could not think of a single phone call that had durated more than a minute or two. Her texts were answered one or two days later along with an excuse of being busy. Gunjan had never been like those annoying girlfriends who expected every single detail of their boyfriend’s life. She had always respected Shouvik’s personal space and privacy, and thought that he also respected the same, vice versa. Gunjan sighed and picked up her phone. Her blocked contacts now contained ‘Shouvik’. She had cut all virtual connections with Shouvik making it impossible for him to reach her without being present physically. Her heart, however, wished that maybe someday Shouvik would come to meet her at her place or somewhere else.

Today she had six problems to solve, all by school students and college-goers. But the last one was a little different. The sender hadn’t written his name. Gunjan kept reading, “I love my girlfriend very much. But in the past few months, I was really very very busy with my office schedule. I admit I ignored her but I really wanted to surprise her with my success. But now I have realized that during this time she has become too distant from me and that’s entirely my fault. I didn’t give time to our relationship. I feel horrible now and I want to talk to her to seek forgiveness but she is neither picking up my call nor answering my texts. Please help!”


Gunjan sighed and continued, “Look dear, it’s not that all the doors have been closed for your relationship. It can never be. You should meet her somewhere physically as emotions cannot be always conveyed through calls and messages. Meet her, say sorry or whatever you want to say, let her shout and beat you up in anger, and then after she breaks down crying, give her a tight hug, a very tight hug. All the best to you.”

“This was the last problem for today. For now, I’m saying good bye and good night.  I’ll be back tomorrow, at the same time, to solve your love problems on Mann ki Awaz. Here goes four beautiful romantic numbers, back to back, only for you. Stay loved and stay tuned to 95.7 Masti FM.”

After the show, Gunjan completed some office formalities, left the compound and waited for the office cab to drop her home. She walked out of the main entrance and suddenly stopped in her path. Shouvik was smiling at her, a brand-new red Hyundai i10 parked behind him. He was looking stunning in the bottle green T-shirt and blue jeans that she gifted him last year on his birthday.


“So, the anonymous writer of the final problem were you!”, Gunjan exclaimed.

Shouvik smiled and came forward. Before Gunjan could say anything, Shouvik hugged her tightly, pressing her against himself.

“I missed you so much, Gunj” he said.

Gunjan couldn’t say anything but a “Hmmm”. The lump in her throat, that she was carefully hiding all this time, melted down from her eyes.

“I am so sorry”, Shouvik continued, “I just wanted to concentrate in my work. I just believed that you’d go nowhere and I would surprise you with my success as this was my first solo project. But when I succeeded in my endeavour, I found that you left my side which I never wanted to happen. Everything seemed so bad without you, Gunj. Please be with me forever, I promise I won’t ignore you ever again.”

“I am also sorry, Shouvik”, Gunjan murmured, “I should’ve understood. I am so sorry!”

“Will you marry me, Gunj?” Shouvik suddenly proposed out of nowhere.

“What!!!” Gunjan had never been so astonished before. It seemed as if everything around her paused for a while.

“Yes Gunj, will you marry me?” Shouvik asked again, tensed.

“Yes…” this was all Gunjan could utter.


Shouvik hugged her more tightly. The light fragrance of the cologne he wore soothed Gunjan’s olfactory nerves. “This car is a special gift from our client. They were so happy with my work!”, exclaimed Shouvik, “But you know Gunj, I hate driving alone. So, I have decided to drop you at your office and pick you up every day, after work. We will go for long drives whenever we like. So will you now forgive me for all the pain I have caused to you?”

“I love you Shouvik!” Gunjan whispered in his ears.

Shouvik’s hands around her waist tightened a bit more.

                            Debanjali Roy


Featured photo via


2 thoughts on “The Last Problem

  1. this is the cutest tale I have ever read on this website!


    1. Outstanding tale Debanjali Roy.


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