The village of sunset

I Love You!

By Kotsolyani Daejeo

Re-translated from Hindi

It was difficult to win Rosy. It was the time when cows begin to walk back to their shades and I was standing near the corner of the street waiting for her. Rosy was standing at the grocery shop at the other hand, playing with the rubber with her white little fingers. During those long hours of waiting, I used to wonder that the dark shadows of crouching night make her weary like the moon whose light gives rise to the birth of fairies in fairytales.I wanted to awaken the woman inside Rosy. In the beginning I used to play some cheap romantic tricks, like gifting her strawberry flavored chocolates and the things like that. And then I used to pour honey in her ears with my sweet talk. And sometimes touching her hands with my shaking fingers so that I can wake up that stone hearted fairy in her. At last she said what I was long waiting for-

I love you!

These words hit the roof of my head like a hot missile. In every room of my house, these words were laughing endlessly like a maniac. The guitar hanging on the wall suddenly started playing old tunes of love. On top of it, Grand pa who was hanging on that cheap frame stuck on the wall suddenly started smiling. I thought the moon could not sleep the whole night, because he heard her saying those beautiful words.

She came again, the next day. She removed her hat silently and looking at the other side of her eyes, said

I love you!

I used to wait impatiently for her home comings. That little girl’s every little talk was like big news for me. In fact she was also surprised that she was happy. Whenever I used to hear her talking to me, I used to feel as if sirens are playing Beethoven in my heart and fire brigades are running down the street with their loud bells ringing.

Soon the chilly winters got over, I naphthalened my overcoats and changed the heavy curtains with light cotton ones. Finally the spring sprang on the courtyard around my house. I was expecting something different in this changed season. But Rosy kept on saying the same words-

I love you!

I do not have a very powerful stock of words, but still I can say in plain words that she was faithful girl. It was good feeling to be loved by someone. But I started avoiding these meetings. First I gave the hints with my polite letters that I have to go for long journeys-to
Australia, Madagascar and beyond. But she kept coming. One midnight, she came and lied on the sofa as if it belonged to her own house and kept staring at the fire place. I asked what is it. She said

I love you!

I said, I know that. Say something else.

Rosy tried hard, coughed but could say nothing other than those three words. I said- Rosy you are a fool. Go back to your house!

Next morning I received a thick letter from the courier company. I was convinced that it will hold the key for our break-off. But in that letter, only this much was written in big bold letters-

I love you!

My head was spinning. These sacred and lovely words which were so beautiful in the beginning had now taken the form of a big devil ordering me to toe the line. Like an emperor, it had destroyed everything of mine. These words had entered my furniture, books and clothes like a cheap perfume which does not leave very easily. Wherever I went, I found the same dreadful words. On my sofa cover, handkerchiefs and so on. It was all gifted by her.

Finally to get rid of this dreadful situation, I had to change my address. I secretly found a house at the other side of the city and started living there. I was having a quiet life, away from those dangerous words.
Reading books lying on the sofa alone. Rosy had vanished. In fact summers had arrived, then something happened which shook me from the bottom.

One day the lady who did my laundry, brought my clothes at my house and handed me a bag full of small chits. When I took them out, they all started flying in the wind like spirits. In each chit, the same dangerous words were scribbled-

I love you!

It was her hand writing. I knew it. My heart was thumping and I came out looking for her. I was scared. I could see her every where. Hovering all over my house. On the trains. On the roads and in the coffee shops. My old fear had gripped me again. She was there-everywhere!

Soon she sent a big stale cake on which my name was written with the same ordering words. I cried. This is hell!I was silent. I was waiting for a miracle to happen.

One evening when I was coming back from work, I saw her standing at the railing. I hesitated but then succumbed to the urge of inviting her inside. I wanted to throw away those bloody logics, tricks, and the stupid known behavior of all males and then throw Rosy out of my house. Throw those deadly spirits as well which I Had invited on my own. She was silent. But her silence also meant an order for me- to speak. I started speaking.

Rosy didn’t utter a word. I asked, what has happened to you? Why your heart is beating so fast? Why your eyes are wet?

She finally sat on the sofa. Her lips were simmering with pain as if they want explode with pain. She was pressing her lips hard. She suddenly got up and started looking at me. She was dumb founded. Looking for words to share her loneliness. I helped her. And finally she said with tears rolling out-

Yes I love you!

I said, I know it. Say something else!