info@tellmeyourstory.in
A Holi to Remember

About Aparna Mondal

Aparna Mondal was born and brought up in Kolkata. Presently she lives in Mumbai with her family. She always loved nature and that prompted her to study Biological Sciences. She loves to paint landscape and nature. Her other hobbies are reading, photography, travelling, making costume jewellery, acting, swimming. She has recently developed a special interest in putting her thoughts into writing. Making new friends and interacting with them make her feel loved.

View All Stories

Prologue :

 

The festival of colours called “Holi” is unique in its own way and is mostly liked by all. As a small girl, I too liked it like any other child and used to play holi with children of our neighbourhood. Those were the days when pure “Abeer “ or “Gulal” used to be smeared on one another during this festival. Abeer was a kind of colour which was prepared from flowers of trees like Indian Coral Tree and the flame of the forests which have medicinal property and those powders if blown in the air also used to purify the air during this spring festival. The colour used to be either pink or red.
Gradually with the passage of time , these organic colours were replaced by industrial dyes as the manufacturers of the Holi colours wanted to make higher profits. My skin was very sensitive and I started getting allergies from those colours and as a result, discontinued playing holi and prefered to stay indoors.
“Would you like to visit the Sunderbans during the forthcoming Holi?” Dad asked us once to which we immediately agreed. I was always fond of travelling and the idea of utilising the Holi break by visiting a new place seemed to be very exciting.

 

Part 1 :

During those days my father used to commute to office by availing the services of a chartered bus and the arrangement was managed by an association called “Jatrik Goshthi”. The members of that group were Dad’s friends and they used to visit us , so their children were also my friends. This group came up with the proposal of visiting the Sunderbans during the Holi break.

“We will be spending two nights and one full day on boat,” said my Dad. He also added that the Jatrik goshthi bus would pick us up from a common meeting point and drop us at Bashirhat and from there we would board a motorised steamer (launch boat). That boat would take us to the interiors of Sunderbans through the creeks and rivers till the Delta region. The very idea of staying overnight on board was something which we all looked forward to.
We had studied in Geography class that “The Sunderbans” is a vast stretch of coastal mangrove forest which is situated in the delta on the Bay of Bengal formed by the confluence of Ganges (Hoogly), Padma (Bramhaputra) and Meghna rivers which extends from the southern Bengal coast to Southern Bangladesh. It is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, rivers and creeks and is accessible by boats. The name Sunderbans (literally meaning, beautiful forests), is derived from the presence of beautiful trees called the Sundari trees (Haritiera fomes). There are several other species of mangrove trees. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The area provides shelter to terristerial, estuarine, aerial and marine creatures as well. Among the fauna of this region, the Royal Bengal Tiger is at the top of the chain. Besides these, there are chital deer, leopards, otters, monkeys, snakes, crocodiles, Indian pangolins, mongoose, various rodents, Gangetic dolphins and a wide variety of birds.

Thus, on the basis of all that we had learnt, we were all the more eager to visit the mystic land which is rightly called the kingdom of “tigers on land, crocodiles in the water and snakes in the trees.”

We started for Sunderbans by bus on the night before Holi. We the children , occupied the back seats of the bus.

“Hey, all you children!” Guru Kaku arrived and greeted us with his wide welcoming smile and took a seat in the row just in front of ours.

Guru kaku was a very popular member of the “Jatrik Goshthi” and immensely liked by the young and old alike. He was in his mid forties and was very fond of children as he had no children of his own. Guru kaku had an uncle who also joined us for our journey. He was a footballer in his heyday and had many stories to tell. He was as funny and jovial as Gurukaku was. All the children called him Machi dadu as he had a tiny moustache similar to the shape of a fly – and he had no objection to that.

Once the bus started, we started playing “antakshari” over an evening snacks of jhalmuri (Bengali Bhel). Elders too, including my dad, joined this session. Later on when we grew tired, Guru Kaku started telling us stories. The traffic was not very heavy, so we reached Bashirhat within no time. It was around 8:30 pm at night when we boarded the launch boat which became our home for the entire journey. The name of the boat was “Maa Gaurdashi” which was written in Bengali on the side.

We had to enter the boat through the upper deck area, which was like a terrace of a building. We had to then climb down a ladder which took us to the lower covered area meant for staying at night. There were long wooden benches which served as seat and bed. Although, we realised it was not a very luxurious arrangement, we all were excited about the forthcoming adventurous journey and were ready for any kind of arrangements offered to us and happily adjusted to the situation.

The driver of such boat is called a “sarang” and he was extremely friendly. He had an assistant called Poltu. Poltuda was like a guide who told us different stories of the Sunderbans. To the ordinary people, the complicated network of tidal waterways of the Sunderbans will appear as a complicated maze, but these two people knew every accessible corner of this mystic land like a back of their palms and were ready to answer all our queries.

The experience of travelling through the creeks leading to the heart of the forest was both exciting and scary. The feel of the forest at night and that too on a boat is something which is difficult to express. We had a cook travelling with us on the boat but for the first night the cooks had brought precooked food, which we had for dinner around10 pm. Post dinner we thought of settling down for a a leisurely chat.

“Put off the light”, the Sarang announced, “We are getting into an area which is a den of dacoits – they are more dangerous than the tigers,” he said in a worried tone. “Yes! even I could see a boat in the distance.” Poltuda added. “Okay, I am putting the lights off. It takes about twenty minutes to cross this area”. Actually it is easier for the dacoits to spot the tourist boats from afar if the lights are on and they were always on the prowl to attack tourist boats and rob them at night. We were a bit tired, so after crossing the area of the dacoits we all thought of going to sleep. Suddenly we heard a loud roaring sound of a tiger and got the fright of our lives.

Arrey this is another prank played by none other than Guru Kaku! It is nothing other than the roar of the tiger recorded from the Alipore zoo.” Machi dadu burst into laughter foiling the plan of our beloved uncle. We thus heaved a sigh of relief!

We ultimately fell asleep while chatting in the darkness.

 

 

 

Part 2

The first rays of light and a cool breeze outside the window woke us at the crack of dawn. It was a beautiful morning to experience on a boat in the middle of nowhere. A thin line of horizon was separating the water from the sky and no sign of land could be seen anywhere. The reddish rays of the rising sun glistened on the waves of the water. It was a wonderful scene to behold. Poltu da told us that we were about to reach the delta on the Bay of Bengal. We could see few sea gulls flying overhead.

We enjoyed sitting on the upper deck for some time and observing the vast expanse of the Bay of Bengal which we had only seen in maps, and never realized how beautiful it could be in reality.

We had Bengali’s much loved meal of luchi, sada alur tarkari, jilipi and bondey (puri, aloo subzi, jalebi and bondi) for breakfast.

“Let us play Holi now.” Both Machi Dadu and Guru kaku told everybody after breakfast with glee. Machi dadu did not appear like an old man from his high spirited ways and zest for life; he was as energetic as a young man of thirty. He was the one who brought abeer for everybody and spray guns for the kids. We played holi in a very organised way with the young people putting abeer on the feet of the elders and the elders smearing it on the forehead and cheeks of the young people. The kids, of course, played amongst themselves with the usual zest, spraying coloured water on each other.

It was a wonderful time for all of us. With the fresh air caressing our cheeks and rustling through our hair and with beautiful nature around us, we were playing Holi on a boat away from the maddening crowd of the city and cut off from the rest of the world. These friends seemed to us like close family and we were happily enjoying our time together.

It appears so strange when I look back! How destiny plays a role to bring people together and later scatter them away like twigs in the vast ocean. We all came close to each other, spent some beautiful time together and then, in course of time, fate took us to different places and we lost contact. But wherever we are, I am sure each one of us who spent that Holi together must be treasuring those memories as I am. I have no idea whether machi dadu is still alive or where Guru kaku is. I even lost contact with Papiya, Mohua and Moutushi who were my good friends at that time. I don’t know whether I will ever meet them again. But these happy memories and their smiling faces are still alive with me and etched in my memory.

Around lunch time we slowly headed back towards the shore and reached a small town called Gosaba. We were previously shown a village by Poltuda called Bidhoba Palli (village of Widows). This village was practically devoid of male population. Those people belonged to the clan of honey and firewood collectors. The menfolk were mainly killed by Man-eater tigers. Poltu da also showed us the idols of Bonbibi (Goddess of the forest) and Dakshin Rai (the demon who takes he shape of a tiger). The villagers pray to these two deities to have mercy on them and to save them from the man-eaters.

We got down at Gosaba for lunch and Poltuda lead us to a small hotel in town. The shore was very marshy due to an unexpected heavy shower the previous night and we had to walk through ankle deep mud to get to the hotel. It seemed to us that the hotel was run by a family and they welcomed us with a tikka of abeer. It was a simple lunch of broad grained rice, dal, tasty fish curry, mixed vegetables and a sweet chutney of tamarind pulp. The cooking was excellent – non -spicy, yet tasty. While going back to the boat, wading through the mud deposited on the shore, we could the see mudskippers from close quarters.

In the middle of the day we all were seated on the upper deck and we managed to see some chital deer, monkeys and a variety of egrets and herons on the shore and also some perched on trees. But none of the big cats showed up.

“They are still busy playing Holi inside the forest,” said Guru kaku to keep us in good humour. Slowly the evening drew near and we saw the sun setting down on the Matla river. Soon after sundown the weather suddenly changed and it started to rain heavily and the Sarang told us to get inside as the waves were getting vey rough. He however assured us that once we enter the creeks, things would become better. With the advent of night, it was raining torrentially and the tossing of the waves was frightening. We could see the angry dark waves rising to the level of the windows of the boat and we quickly shut all the windows. Once my dad and another uncle climbed up the ladder to inspect the situation outside. I too tagged along but it was frightening. The strong winds which threatened to blow us overboard. We immediately returned inside to safety.

Luckily the storm and the rain subsided after a while and the Sarang safely took the boat inside a creek. It was very close to the shore with no village nearby. That too scared us again as we had heard a number of stories about the Bengal tigers being excellent swimmers. And there are reported incidences of tigers attacking people on boats. Of course ours was not an open dingy boat but a covered secured boat and hence did not carry that danger. Our dinner was prepared by our cook on the boat and we did not have to go ashore for that meal. We had a good night’s sleep in the cool air and we reached Bashirhat the next morning. The Jatrik Goshthi’s bus picked us up from there and with heavy heart we headed towards home. Just as all good things come to an end, our journey too came to an end.

My father went back to this beautiful forest several times later to do extensive research on the flora and fauna – he later on wrote a beautiful article on wildlife of this mangrove forest (purportedly the largest in the world) which was published in a leading wildlife magazine. This visit also inculcated a deep love for the forest and wildlife within me. In later life, I studied Biological Sciences and visited the Sunderbans once again as part of our college study trip – I visited the crocodile park and some more places which we had not visited earlier. If I am given the chance to go back, I will surely visit that wonderful place once again.

During Holi we normally smear colours on each other’s faces, but on that day mother nature too doused us with varied colours of her beauty in a way that it created an everlasting effect on us.

The festival of colours called “Holi” is unique in its own way and is mostly liked by all. As a small girl, I too liked it like any other child and used to play holi with children of our neighbourhood. Those were the days when pure “Abeer “ or “Gulal” used to be smeared on one another during this festival. Abeer was a kind of colour which was prepared from flowers of trees like Indian Coral Tree and the flame of the forests which have medicinal property and those powders if blown in the air also used to purify the air during this spring festival. The colour used to be either pink or red.
Gradually with the passage of time , these organic colours were replaced by industrial dyes as the manufacturers of the Holi colours wanted to make higher profits. My skin was very sensitive and I started getting allergies from those colours and as a result, discontinued playing holi and prefered to stay indoors.
“Would you like to visit the Sunderbans during the forthcoming Holi?” Dad asked us once to which we immediately agreed. I was always fond of travelling and the idea of utilising the Holi break by visiting a new place seemed to be very exciting.

During those days my father used to commute to office by availing the services of a chartered bus and the arrangement was managed by an association called “Jatrik Goshthi”. The members of that group were Dad’s friends and they used to visit us , so their children were also my friends. This group came up with the proposal of visiting the Sunderbans during the Holi break.

“We will be spending two nights and one full day on boat,” said my Dad. He also added that the Jatrik goshthi bus would pick us up from a common meeting point and drop us at Bashirhat and from there we would board a motorised steamer (launch boat). That boat would take us to the interiors of Sunderbans through the creeks and rivers till the Delta region. The very idea of staying overnight on board was something which we all looked forward to.
We had studied in Geography class that “The Sunderbans” is a vast stretch of coastal mangrove forest which is situated in the delta on the Bay of Bengal formed by the confluence of Ganges (Hoogly), Padma (Bramhaputra) and Meghna rivers which extends from the southern Bengal coast to Southern Bangladesh. It is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, rivers and creeks and is accessible by boats. The name Sunderbans (literally meaning, beautiful forests), is derived from the presence of beautiful trees called the Sundari trees (Haritiera fomes). There are several other species of mangrove trees. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The area provides shelter to terristerial, estuarine, aerial and marine creatures as well. Among the fauna of this region, the Royal Bengal Tiger is at the top of the chain. Besides these, there are chital deer, leopards, otters, monkeys, snakes, crocodiles, Indian pangolins, mongoose, various rodents, Gangetic dolphins and a wide variety of birds.

Thus, on the basis of all that we had learnt, we were all the more eager to visit the mystic land which is rightly called the kingdom of “tigers on land, crocodiles in the water and snakes in the trees.”

We started for Sunderbans by bus on the night before Holi. We the children , occupied the back seats of the bus.

“Hey, all you children!” Guru Kaku arrived and greeted us with his wide welcoming smile and took a seat in the row just in front of ours.

Guru kaku was a very popular member of the “Jatrik Goshthi” and immensely liked by the young and old alike. He was in his mid forties and was very fond of children as he had no children of his own. Guru kaku had an uncle who also joined us for our journey. He was a footballer in his heyday and had many stories to tell. He was as funny and jovial as Gurukaku was. All the children called him Machi dadu as he had a tiny moustache similar to the shape of a fly – and he had no objection to that.

Once the bus started, we started playing “antakshari” over an evening snacks of jhalmuri (Bengali Bhel). Elders too, including my dad, joined this session. Later on when we grew tired, Guru Kaku started telling us stories. The traffic was not very heavy, so we reached Bashirhat within no time. It was around 8:30 pm at night when we boarded the launch boat which became our home for the entire journey. The name of the boat was “Maa Gaurdashi” which was written in Bengali on the side.

We had to enter the boat through the upper deck area, which was like a terrace of a building. We had to then climb down a ladder which took us to the lower covered area meant for staying at night. There were long wooden benches which served as seat and bed. Although, we realised it was not a very luxurious arrangement, we all were excited about the forthcoming adventurous journey and were ready for any kind of arrangements offered to us and happily adjusted to the situation.

The driver of such boat is called a “sarang” and he was extremely friendly. He had an assistant called Poltu. Poltuda was like a guide who told us different stories of the Sunderbans. To the ordinary people, the complicated network of tidal waterways of the Sunderbans will appear as a complicated maze, but these two people knew every accessible corner of this mystic land like a back of their palms and were ready to answer all our queries.

The experience of travelling through the creeks leading to the heart of the forest was both exciting and scary. The feel of the forest at night and that too on a boat is something which is difficult to express. We had a cook travelling with us on the boat but for the first night the cooks had brought precooked food, which we had for dinner around10 pm. Post dinner we thought of settling down for a a leisurely chat.

“Put off the light”, the Sarang announced, “We are getting into an area which is a den of dacoits – they are more dangerous than the tigers,” he said in a worried tone. “Yes! even I could see a boat in the distance.” Poltuda added. “Okay, I am putting the lights off. It takes about twenty minutes to cross this area”. Actually it is easier for the dacoits to spot the tourist boats from afar if the lights are on and they were always on the prowl to attack tourist boats and rob them at night. We were a bit tired, so after crossing the area of the dacoits we all thought of going to sleep. Suddenly we heard a loud roaring sound of a tiger and got the fright of our lives.

Arrey this is another prank played by none other than Guru Kaku! It is nothing other than the roar of the tiger recorded from the Alipore zoo.” Machi dadu burst into laughter foiling the plan of our beloved uncle. We thus heaved a sigh of relief!

We ultimately fell asleep while chatting in the darkness.

To Be Continued in Part 2….

The first rays of light and a cool breeze outside the window woke us at the crack of dawn. It was a beautiful morning to experience on a boat in the middle of nowhere. A thin line of horizon was separating the water from the sky and no sign of land could be seen anywhere. The reddish rays of the rising sun glistened on the waves of the water. It was a wonderful scene to behold. Poltu da told us that we were about to reach the delta on the Bay of Bengal. We could see few sea gulls flying overhead.

We enjoyed sitting on the upper deck for some time and observing the vast expanse of the Bay of Bengal which we had only seen in maps, and never realized how beautiful it could be in reality.

We had Bengali’s much loved meal of luchisada alur tarkarijilipi and bondey (puri, aloo subzi, jalebi and bondi) for breakfast.

“Let us play Holi now.” Both Machi Dadu and Guru kaku told everybody after breakfast with glee. Machi dadu did not appear like an old man from his high spirited ways and zest for life; he was as energetic as a young man of thirty. He was the one who brought abeer for everybody and spray guns for the kids. We played holi in a very organised way with the young people putting abeer on the feet of the elders and the elders smearing it on the forehead and cheeks of the young people. The kids, of course, played amongst themselves with the usual zest, spraying coloured water on each other.

It was a wonderful time for all of us. With the fresh air caressing our cheeks and rustling through our hair and with beautiful nature around us, we were playing Holi on a boat away from the maddening crowd of the city and cut off from the rest of the world. These friends seemed to us like close family and we were happily enjoying our time together.

It appears so strange when I look back! How destiny plays a role to bring people together and later scatter them away like twigs in the vast ocean. We all came close to each other, spent some beautiful time together and then, in course of time, fate took us to different places and we lost contact. But wherever we are, I am sure each one of us who spent that Holi together must be treasuring those memories as I am. I have no idea whether machi dadu is still alive or where Guru kaku is. I even lost contact with Papiya, Mohua and Moutushi who were my good friends at that time. I don’t know whether I will ever meet them again. But these happy memories and their smiling faces are still alive with me and etched in my memory.

Around lunch time we slowly headed back towards the shore and reached a small town called Gosaba. We were previously shown a village by Poltuda called Bidhoba Palli (village of Widows). This village was practically devoid of male population. Those people belonged to the clan of honey and firewood collectors. The menfolk were mainly killed by Man-eater tigers. Poltu da also showed us the idols of Bonbibi (Goddess of the forest) and Dakshin Rai (the demon who takes he shape of a tiger). The villagers pray to these two deities to have mercy on them and to save them from the man-eaters.

We got down at Gosaba for lunch and Poltuda lead us to a small hotel in town. The shore was very marshy due to an unexpected heavy shower the previous night and we had to walk through ankle deep mud to get to the hotel. It seemed to us that the hotel was run by a family and they welcomed us with a tikka of abeer. It was a simple lunch of broad grained rice, dal, tasty fish curry, mixed vegetables and a sweet chutney of tamarind pulp. The cooking was excellent – non -spicy, yet tasty. While going back to the boat, wading through the mud deposited on the shore, we could the see mudskippers from close quarters.

In the middle of the day we all were seated on the upper deck and we managed to see some chital deer, monkeys and a variety of egrets and herons on the shore and also some perched on trees. But none of the big cats showed up.

“They are still busy playing Holi inside the forest,” said Guru kaku to keep us in good humour. Slowly the evening drew near and we saw the sun setting down on the Matla river. Soon after sundown the weather suddenly changed and it started to rain heavily and the Sarang told us to get inside as the waves were getting vey rough. He however assured us that once we enter the creeks, things would become better. With the advent of night, it was raining torrentially and the tossing of the waves was frightening. We could see the angry dark waves rising to the level of the windows of the boat and we quickly shut all the windows. Once my dad and another uncle climbed up the ladder to inspect the situation outside. I too tagged along but it was frightening. The strong winds which threatened to blow us overboard. We immediately returned inside to safety.

Luckily the storm and the rain subsided after a while and the Sarang safely took the boat inside a creek. It was very close to the shore with no village nearby. That too scared us again as we had heard a number of stories about the Bengal tigers being excellent swimmers. And there are reported incidences of tigers attacking people on boats. Of course ours was not an open dingy boat but a covered secured boat and hence did not carry that danger. Our dinner was prepared by our cook on the boat and we did not have to go ashore for that meal. We had a good night’s sleep in the cool air and we reached Bashirhat the next morning. The Jatrik Goshthi’s bus picked us up from there and with heavy heart we headed towards home. Just as all good things come to an end, our journey too came to an end.

My father went back to this beautiful forest several times later to do extensive research on the flora and fauna – he later on wrote a beautiful article on wildlife of this mangrove forest (purportedly the largest in the world) which was published in a leading wildlife magazine. This visit also inculcated a deep love for the forest and wildlife within me. In later life, I studied Biological Sciences and visited the Sunderbans once again as part of our college study trip – I visited the crocodile park and some more places which we had not visited earlier. If I am given the chance to go back, I will surely visit that wonderful place once again.

During Holi we normally smear colours on each other’s faces, but on that day mother nature too doused us with varied colours of her beauty in a way that it created an everlasting effect on us.

Cover image is a painting by Aparna Mondal

12 Likes
288 Views

You may also like

15 Response Comments

  • Bishakham25/03/2019 at 3:13 PM

    Another gem from you Aparna di. Loved the way the story is getting unfolded. Its reminding me of my visit to Sunderbans. First part beautifully written looking forward for the second half.

    • Aparna Mondal27/03/2019 at 12:18 AM

      Thank you dear. I have my fond memories. Just got reminded and thought of writing it as it happened. I am glad that you liked it .

  • Sheela Bisht25/03/2019 at 6:45 PM

    Beautiful narrative Aparna… I nearly visited Sunderbans along with your story….lovely.

    • Aparna Mondal27/03/2019 at 12:27 AM

      Thank you Sheela for your kind words. It’s extremely satisfying to know that you could enjoy the story as much as I loved to remember and revisit the place while writing it.

  • Bishakham26/03/2019 at 10:33 AM

    As expected the second half equally beautiful and well narrated. My memories of sunderbans refreshed, the boat, the water, the surroundings and the overall experience is sheer magic. Loved it.

    • Aparna Mondal27/03/2019 at 12:27 AM

      Thank you Sheela for your kind words. It’s extremely satisfying to know that you could enjoy the story as much as I loved to remember and revisit the place while writing it.

    • Aparna Mondal27/03/2019 at 12:34 AM

      Thanks Bishakha for your kind words. Feeling extremely glad to know that you liked the story and my writing could bring back the memories of your pleasant experience of visiting Sundarbans.

  • Advait Berde27/03/2019 at 10:06 AM

    The simple yet elegant flow of the story did not plunge me into the writer’s world. Instead, it took me gently along on a trail of colours and happiness. Having never visited the Sunderbans, I am finally glad to have read a piece which gave me nearly the same experience.

    • Aparna Mondal28/03/2019 at 12:47 AM

      I am glad to know Mr Berde that you enjoyed reading my story. Thanks for your appreciation and nice review. Reader’s appreciation is the greatest reward for any writer. Thanks once again.

  • rujutakirtish27/03/2019 at 4:05 PM

    Beautiful travelogue. Took me on a virtual tour to Sundarbans. Sundarbans is now a must visit on my wish list

    • Aparna Mondal28/03/2019 at 12:53 AM

      Thanks for your kind words. I am extremely glad to know that you enjoyed reading my story. Your appreciation will inspire me to pen more stories . Thanks a lot .

  • NANDANA DASGUPTA29/03/2019 at 10:10 PM

    It’s been a long time i’ve read such beautiful travelogue! The whole story kept flowing like a peaceful river. And as I went through the story it managed to give me a kind of soothing & serene effect on my mind. So beautifully have you captured the scenery that we readers get to visit Sunderbans & enjoy its beauty by sitting at our homes. Thanks for such a beautiful piece, keep up with your good work.

    • Aparna Mondal30/03/2019 at 6:20 PM

      Thanks for your generous and encouraging words. I am extremely glad to know that you liked my story. This surely will inspire me to pen more stories . Thanks a lot .

  • Preesha Reddy04/04/2019 at 12:05 PM

    Like the colours of Holi the narrative was also very beautiful ❤️. Made me feel like I was in the Sunderbans. Keep writing such beautiful stories please♡.

    • Aparna Mondal05/04/2019 at 12:45 AM

      Thanks Preesha for your words of appreciation. I am glad that you enjoyed reading the story. These generous words are the incentives to pen more such stories from the treasured memories of my life. Surely will love to present many more stories. Thanks a lot dear.

Leave A Comment

Please enter your name. Please enter an valid email address. Please enter message.