My first translation attempt...
English translated version of my short story "Tere", published in "Readoo kannada"..
"So.. what next ?? ... ", I asked Kshama sipping coffee. She was absorbed in greenery of the institute. She talked... Her voice came to me as a whisper of standing lush green trees echoed by sleeping mountains. "Lets see... I want to go abroad .... " , she trembled as she uttered these words. It was as though, she was in search of something which was lost since ages. " I have asked my prof... for reco letter,... ", she resentfully remembered her work, which had gulped her from an year and half. Those eyes... which I saw an year back ...those impish eyes... were in search of some divine thing which, probably, didn't exist in the world in which I lived. Her voice had lost that ebullience it possessed, the warmth it encompassed. ' Is it the same Kshama ... whom I wanted ... ?? ' ... thoughts started to rush up and fill my mind. " What is this.... ??? ... gown !!!! ", she laughed impishly as she spoke. Those words caught my immediate attention and I looked her, thinking her voice retook her usual path. She kept on staring my eyes having a packet of wafers in her hand. She slowly, effortlessly took a piece and pressed it on her shiny lips. I replied, " I don't like this flavour ... ", unknowingly English peeped in our conversation. It generated odium in me, for me, probably, trying to attract her. She may not understand this. But I felt, I am drowning in the same old trifle marsh. It had been an year since she rejected my proposal.. proposal to have her as a companion of my dreams. Nevertheless, a tiny hope still lived on inside me. When I couldn't talk my heart out in the right sense, I leaned to this turpitude and try to win her.
Silence embraced both of us for minutes.That meeting was auspicious to me and I was meeting my dream-mate. Those parrot-fashioned sentences which I mugged up to articulate in front of her were burned into ashes by acumen sight of her cold eyes. Those words started ringing in my ears... through which she rejected my place making my words meaningless. My mind would not have turned so turbid if she had rebuked me... with anger, irritation. She placed my proposal away from her life silently, in cinema-tone saying, " You are a great friend of mine dear... " . Those words came and hit me again and again. I became diffident by thinking, ' Am I playing her character in my life... ??? ' . Words seldom got chance to traverse between us these days. Its through emotions that I tried to weigh her inside me. I opened up to her as a seashore which gets itself unfolded by staggering blow of mammoth waves... I leaned towards her... I spread out... But, she started to fold up and tried to live in the warmth of introversion. She blossomed silently inside the warmth of her own world. Now, she is sitting in front of me as a one who is in search of something ethereal.
I continued... " Bought it from Khaadi Bhandar... the kurta... " . These words relentlessly flowed. I started to justify my social stand to make her feel that I am not trumpeting to attract her. I spoke against Mall-culture. I started unfolding myself as I went on speaking. " These are the ones responsible for empty tummies of my fellowmen... They use petty shopkeepers, farmers as steps to climb up.. literally stepping on them.. their life... and they grow big ... ". After uttering this small portion of political speech, I cautiously looked her face presuming she might think as, ' This guy is obscurantist... knows nothing about freshness... odour of life... '. But, her face was unmoved. It was the same emotionless one with bright eyes. Straightly, she arrowed me saying " I am not politically oriented... " Wombing the sigh of poor farmers... shopkeepers... , I saw her shiny 'bright' "Reebok" jersey , whose glare masked clothes of my poor countrymen.. Khadi.... I unsettled thinking that the gloating of these companies weighed more in the hearts of people. All of us hang to pretension... we pretend everywhere... everyday.. in front of neighbour, mate, stranger, beloved, enemy.. finally even in front of conscience, which questions our deportment.
'Did I played her part of acting in the play... in front of my conscience... ?'.... This question started haunting me. I knew the answer, but was not in a position to accept it. I masked myself again. She seemed to stand far away from me waving her hands... I looked down.. saw my watch... It was six o'clock .. Sun had already left the western sky strewing behind the red hue. "Let's start.. you bus will be here in 10 min.. ", she stood up saying so. I just nodded and gulped the last sip of coffee. We stepped out of the coffee outlet together. I asked her, " Marriage... ?? " thinking, ' This, probably, will be our last meet. She will fly away from the tree which gave her the warmth of being home. Can I put an end to the drama which is going on unstopped?? Can I kneel down infront of my conscience and confess... ?? ' .. Lot of questions started dancing around me. I was not in a position to cast them away. " If I dont get admission... it will be in December... " She replied. We came out of the institute walking, stepped in and sat in the bus.
Bus was about to start. " I have to look after a reaction ... good luck... ", whispering these lines, she calmly stood up and stepped out of the bus without even listening to my reply. All those words , which wanted to get liberated stalled deep inside my heart. My lips trembled. I riveted my eyes to her back and watched her till her light blue coloured dress was absorbed by the darkness of night. I started trying to mask the void created by her absence. Again the same drama... me ,Kshama, conscience ... Conductor got into the bus and shouted, "Majestic... ". Bus started moving. Institute started to appear as if, it is moving away from me. My vision blurred. Night spread a veil on daylight.