You knew it already, is it enough?
I can’t understand you. is it a Joke or Are you serious?
The young man could hardly believe that Raju meant something suspected. The girl could not be that emotionally, he thought. Women are not supposed to express their feelings in a society like ours. even if they dare to signal out the genuine uncomfortableness, men are not supposed to hear about them. Why can’t he endure her ways of living? though he, after all she know very well what she is doing and what she is saying and what she is thinking. She is not woman for nothing. she has a look of a comfort girl, voice of lioness, it is all right, he thought but at times she also has her heart, he thought. saying thinking to himself.
Don’t you love me? Do you really doubt my loyalty?
Are you serious?
Question after question kept pouring out of his mouth. while Raju’s face intensified its color her forehead wrinkled and her Jaw tightened. her burning eyes were glaring at him determined but spoke not a single word.
I cannot be hardened for that simple reason that she read me, he thought, after all she did not misunderstand me. Many a woman cannot do this. But I have a right to feel ashamed or apathetic and no one has the right to interrogate me about my moods except my wife, he thought.
One thing frightened him, if she was serious, I can only be serious not to retract mamas and that means a real seriousness for a family like mine that was recently restored, he spoke. a
Tell me now, right now, Are you murmuring literally what I understand at this moment of the hour. Say you his fist gradually took the shape of a spiral shell and his head shook in a very unusual manner.
You knew it already, she repeated in a exhausted voice.
you say that again. Say that. His angry thunder of words fluttered a newspaper lying on the table.
‘The game’ she was as cold as ice.
Suddenly the man began undressing. only with difficulty, he could undo his tie. Only eight months ago Chandra died leaving me and my daughter Malini alone in the world .not even a month would elapse friends brought Raju to me with a proposal taking all the prevailing difficult conditions into account, I married her. He recalled all this in a flash of memory.
There was a broken Malini and she had to be given a mother, there were my conservative parents and they had to be given a daughter -in- law and there was the watchful society that had to be shown longer and so I had to marry this girl of twenty two . when I was already forty two! he ruminated, was it good, fruitful and satisfactory? Was the marriage logical? These questions haunted him now and then. yes, it was nearly fruitful, he said thoughtfully. Malini got a mother, I got a wife, parents got a daughter – in – law and the society got a women married off to me. He thought, I also have got all that a woman is expected to give her man and a man is expected to get from his wife. But has he got all that a husband expects from a wife? not that in particular of course not, he thought. If not, why doesn’t she understand me. He asked himself.
Why don’t you understand me? Say that again quick. Say that again. He became louder once again.
The game, Dinesh. The Game, she seemed furious. She started uprooting her lovely hair and tearing off her clothes. She wept and slapped herself and pinched her own bosom. She was like a lioness gone wild.
Seeing all this Dinesh smiled a bit, and he returned to normal excitement. Raju was sobbing too, her position was normal. He looked melonholy. She looked like a perfect loneliness that seemed to welcome every soul for rest.
The man abruptly got up from his seat and in a movement full of self-confidence grabbed Raju and dragged her to the bed. He was like a hungry vulture getting a hold of whole corpses. Dinesh went deeper and deeper into the yet unexplored regions. She was a perfect loneliness, a solid peace. Soon one could near continuous mild echoes coming out of the loneliness out of the mysterious void.
You knew it already, didn’t you?
I had begun to understand you Wasn’t it a real beginning as far as you were concerned?
The young man could hardly believe if it was he himself who had ignored Raju’s burning fire. I should have known what difference it would make, he thought.
She did not marry me for nothing. I should not have worried about her individual accents and ways of living. he thought. I should not have to looked for something that was not with her. he thought. I should not have shut my eyes to things that were with her, he thought.
And the succession of his thoughts continued for a long time.
Papa! its a meal time. Malini says.
Malini’s voice suddenly interrupted his thought.
soon he was back again. I’m sitting here at balcony and thinking of thoughts that I should not think at least from the point of view , he thought.
Soon the time will come when Malini my only daughter, will grow up to be a beautiful youth and will be married off ,she may burn as ash with the fire of desire like Raju only to face disappointment, he thought.
‘Meal time Dinesh!’ it was Raju this time. He gave sudden nod but continued his business as usual.
Edited by Ellen Lafrankie