That night there were some weddings in the far-away palace floating on Lake Pichola.
We circled the palace by the boat in the evening and the boatman stopped there in the middle of the lake until the sunset happened. The gorgeous red that slowly turned into a color of fire fell on her face and I know it was nothing but the "Bride Kissed Light."
After dinner, she with your hair open wearing a lacy nightdress and a Cashmere Shawl stand at the window looking at the Aravalli range, with its huge silhouette of the night, below which the lake, the palace, and on the shore in a very old Rajput Haveli turned into hotel stand we, close as in that freezing winter night we needed warmth from each other.
At that moment the firecrackers painted a rainbow on the sky. She trembles in happiness. She holds me tight, kissing me and saying in exciting air, "Look Subho, look! It's for us! How lucky we are! Thanks for bringing me to Rajasthan! "
I kissed her deeply and later with lights switched off, only the tender soft glow of the night moon witness our lovemaking.
She was beautiful like a Goddess, her body was like an adventure into those untouched contours of the earth where I was the only person who got the passport to land. I found in her the horizon, a fountain deep down which ends at sea. It is the journey and each time I loved her I believe that the affair would never end. It was a journey to eternity, to those fragments of time where even if we don't exist, our love will exist like a spirit from a different world, a wind that becomes scented whenever it touches us, a special moon and a full sky of blinking stars present a palette only for us.
In those nights perhaps we became a story itself, folklore lost yet alive amidst the thousand other love stories of the Rajput land.
That night no one slept. Our love was never-ending and under the blanket, there was a fire lit in both of our bodies and the firecrackers like a remembrance of a special wedding night still burns at moments. Or maybe it was our hallucination. Two young souls surrendering their bodies to each other and in that cloth less naked warmth of the bed we crossed our borders of giving and receiving..that night became surreal and our love glow like the verses of Rumi touched and colored with an aura of something divine.
When we both were exhausted, outside the sky changed color and became faint we closed our eyes. She was immediately asleep. I can't.
I knew I will never have a night like this again in my life.
I knew I have to go.
Far far from this guiltless night where love and all of our dreams float with a magnificent burning of candles somewhere near the heaven..or the galaxy where we will never reach. But our loved souls must have reached that phase of total surrender which often Sufism told about.
That night we both hear Rumi in us.
But I left her within a week coming back to our own city.
I have to. I have my own promises and dreams.
A dream is a small word. I have to step into that dangerous secluded road of life where you can walk alone but never dare to bring the woman you loved most to suffer.
After eight years as an established writer with numerous published books when I found an invitation from a literature festival in Udaipur, I took the opportunity.
I just returned from Italy.
I am successful. Not rich.
I never want to become rich. But to live the dreams for which I was born.
After the festival, I slowly booked the room in the same hotel and I with my recognition got the same room made for lovers, for honeymooners.
I want to stay in that same room.
Lie down in the same bed where we made love.
Stand at the window where she stood.
I want to suffer.
I want to feel that every pain I took and gave her, leaving them alone.
I have become a mature middle-aged writer, I had plenty of affairs with women, I am known as a womanizer.
I love beautiful women.
But somewhere in that very secret world of darkness, I lie made stripped by guilt and a question.
Which I can never ask anyone.
I often speak with shadows. The room becomes me. Me the room. Van Gogh, Ray, Tagore, and quotes of Hemingway's passes through my body as if to say something abstract, like sentences of Kafka...filled with light but what I can see is darkness.
I let myself slip away into that darkness. I become nothing, no one in the night.
The temple bells ring, the pilgrims chant hymns, the sound of passing boats and splashing water slowly fill up the vacuum of my senses.
I do a strange thing one morning.
I write a letter.
To her. The woman whom I loved like a mad person as if there was no tomorrow as if we were the only man and woman on earth at that moment.
I said to her :
"I wanted to give you everything I have. So that if you think myself a betrayer, an abscond a cheater, you will tremble for a while thinking of that night which somewhere still like the first poetry of midnight, like the first rain of summer, like the first green leaf after winter was preserved in you.
And in me.
Like those letters which we wrote to each other. You burn them not to make them see by your mother. And I kept them, store them in my secret box of first youth in a blue room filled with bookshelves and the antique bed of my grandmother.
Do you love me still?
I know you do. As you terribly hate me.
In each of your gaze at your naked body in the bathroom mirrors, in the damp wet pillows where you cried at night, in those shivers of scare in the night of thunderstorms while watching those classics of Indian cinema like "A Lonely Wife" of Ray or "Ijazaat" of Gulzaar or the poetry book of Joy Goswami, you pause with your beautiful footprints.
Like footprints of a Goddess. Those pauses those sudden silence are those tender petals of me that you were never able to cut off or remove.
You often take shelter in them. When at nights you become lonely or severely afraid of your own body lying in a cold bed, your hands searching somewhere the known warmth of me.
I know you love me.
As I know I love you and until my last breath, I will do that.
I sit in the same room at Udaipur beside Lake Pichola and write this letter to you.
We were no more virgins.
We were no younger.
We were no more the couple standing at the university gate letting pass busses one after another, turning our back to the clock.
But we are lovers.
I don't care if you have slept with any other men, why shouldn't you? You are a blood and flesh woman, not a hermit.
I never know if you love anyone now, you may.
I just don't care to know anything about you.
But one truth.
Like the full moon that slowly travels now outside the window where you stood once.
It is a silent night.
There shouldn't be.
Footsteps from the Lal Ghat, the music of jazz from the nearest cafe, broken dialects of French, German, Spanish, Russian, English, Hindi visit the air.
Please, just come once.
Forget the world, forget damn everything and take the earliest flight and come.
I will wait here for ten days.
Then if you don't come I will come to you.
As you know, I have nothing to lose.
I have to meet you once before everything gets over or I finish everything.
I stand on that very edge of everything now in my life where I confess and prepare myself for any punishment you give.
Woman, I know you will come.
I will wait every day at the bus stop here in Udaipur, where one dawn you stepped and in the cold you collapsed until we grab an auto and knocked the hotel door and shouted, "Garam Chai!"
I will wait for you there in the middle of the lake where each Sunset brings you back in every ripple of the waters that the boat creates.
I wait alone in that bed where we once gifted out innocent youth our sacred dreams our untouched bodies to each other?
Before the clock runs out, time gets over, shadows take on I should say you the reason.
The reason why I left you.
Subhadip Majumdar is a writer and poet from India. He is certified in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa. He was also a long-time editor for a reputed Bengali poetry journal. Subhadip has also written a short novel as a Tumbleweed writer in Shakespeare and Company in Paris, France. He has written two books of poems. His debut novel is currently under publication.