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The Frontier Lake


THE FRONTIER LAKE "The Frontier Lake" is a tale written in 1986, inspired by the book "Çaturanga" by Rabindranath Tagore, indian author, Nobel Prize in Literature (1913).

Tagore (1861-1941) was a brilliant poet, writer, philosopher, musician, composer, painter and educator.

The story is told through a series of letters written by Damini (central character), portraying their feelings and the ways of his forbidden love for Purandar.

"Because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West." (The Nobel Foundation)



June, 12, 1890

Dear Purandar.

I always write you a letter, but I’ve never sent you one of them. It’s just like my life. Some times I think about our feelings and the way we deal with our Lord.

If Lord really exists I do place the blame of my pain on him. If such a pain exists, that’s just because Lord doesn’t exist. If there is really a God, He is responsible for all of my dreams which have never come true. Probably you will say that is too easy to guilty Lord or to doubt His existence. But that’s the way I’m feeling today. And that’s the way I’ve been living…

- Am I married?

Yes I am. Marrried to your brother, Satish, Purandar. Fate awaited him!

Lord uses different past ways to prove His supremacy.

There were so many times that I did believe in everything you told me. Being atheist is much better than having to account for everything to someone else worrying about going right or wrong is simply waste of time. I remember these words of yours, my dearest Purandar. And is the time really worth or are we here just to obey its wishes?

When my memories come the frontier Lake up. I imagine what the future would be if there weren’t a path time? What my calm and gentle past would be if there wouldn’t come up this disturbing moment?

- But that’s the way we live… you would say: - Taking along the way with you, not only the luggage but the carriage too. Otherwise Lord will not be pleased. Our Sir’s last letter startled me, Purandar. Shiva, your brother, even with his gentle eyes, frightened my soul, trying my dignity out and wish of living.

Sometimes he seems not to touch the land while walking in his dignified way, although his feet carry the dust away… He is such an understanding person dressed in so humble clothes…

- Shiva, what are you doing here?

- The jewels… I need them.

I feel as if he owned my soul. Shiva breaks into my life, my days, as if they belonged to him, Purandar.

I refuse saying:

- Anyway, Shiva! My father has given me these jewels and I’ll give them back to him.

-These jewels are of no use to your father, Damini.

- He’ll live his last days, his last sighs, with everything he has conquered. Jewels have nothing to do with Gods or Goddesses made of clay, adored by the men.

- If He reads the souls, Damini, also knows that the pain of the body will not be covered by gold necklaces.

- And if souls want to be covered by gold, Shiva. Why not let them?

Sometimes, Purandar, my pleasure is in doing the master of Shiva stop and ask their paths and decisions. The Master has changed Shiva’s mind.

- And if souls want to be covered by gold, He, in his mercy, will understand that I tried to get rid of the error and of the poverty that we struck. It would be the eternal pit of remorse if I could not then save men from starvation, just because I did not modify their values.

- Poverty, Shiva? If life were more beautiful, I would praise the madness of the death seven thousand times.

- Would it be worth to die seven thousand times, Damini, in front of the wonder which is your life?

- Do not mock the luck to which you destined me, Shiva. The real beauty of the world you never dared to show and prove to the villagers of the village.

- You think that the hand of the Lords or my hands are always on your madness, Damini. In fact, you know a little about yourself, and of the acts committed against yourself.

- Oh, dear Shiva, with the same steps that you raise the dust of the village when you drag your slippers, the master follows dragging the sand, casual, erasing them. Only you do not notice them.

At any moment, people charge me for not corresponding to the love of Satish, dear Purandar. The worst is not knowing if the terror is found in not living the love that you love, or that one that ignore us.



Were times in 1888, long before Shiva …



Dear Purandar,

Satish see in me what I am not. Perfumes, movements ... Refuses to accept life as much as life refuses to accept him. The same comparison when he was a boy, remember? Be what you love or be what does not reside in itself? Devoted and foolish. A lover and warrior himself. I confess that sometimes it is difficult to reject him for being too easy to love someone like him. Sometimes, so detached that I am, I feel that Satish begins to resemble himself. Especially when he bursts into my room in my fragile and gentle times with his eyes wet with sorrow:

- It is better not to rub your eyes from dust, Satish.

- I was just noticing you ... People tell me that I should be different with you, not tolerate your ways, Damini ...

- It's better then, still do not respond to the words that surround you, Satish.

- They talk about you, Damini ...

- The slander is my treasure. What they say about me, I do not care ...

- ... You mean that they are words that do not speak to the soul?

- No, Satish. They are not liars.

- I do not understand! Why do you play with me, Damini? I always try to be condescending with your attitudes, and …

- ... The liars do not exist, Satish, because they do not even believe in what they say. I barely need the words of the villagers or the response of their attitudes, to influence my behavior.

Sometimes, It is also easy to hate him, Purandar, because he is such a follower of absurd and mediocrities, which underestimated the limits of his own intelligence. On another occasion ...

- Your obsession, Satish, is which is pulling you by the ear. Not me. Your attitudes are your doubts.

- My life is the law of this village.

- Your abnegation is the law of your life.

- You are an unbeliever, who believes in the indifference of life, refusing even itself. You refuse to marry me for futility of the soul.

- Marry!? Me?! What a nonsense, Satish. My Lord is different, is That one that can be seen.

- We will not marry the Lords, Damini, but us.

- Your love is your Lord. Your law is the master of Shiva, your brother. My law is like my Lord: I do not need to defend myself from her.

- But your father is dying, Damini. You will be alone. The villagers will be your guardians if you do not marry. You will be of everyone and anyone.

- The master is already my guardian, Satish. Didn’t you notice it? Although it will be through you. From the dark possession of my father, I find myself today in the domain of Shiva. The master has already chosen you for me. If you were only not so dedicated to him, my suffering should be smaller and the hope would be viable.

- You search for paths without doors.

- The paths Lord traces, He is the only one who understands them , my friend.

- Lord does not write your mistakes. You are the one who repeat them.

- Me, Satish!? You are looking for a mistake to depart me from the fear of your disbelief.

- I'm not an atheist.

- Your absolute belief is pure atheism, all to forget Noni. Your loyalty exists to not allow you believing in a pagan love, from a worldly, a whore.

- Noni has nothing to do with it. Noni loved my brother, not me.

- Noni did not love Purandar. Noni loved the life she had, which was imposed on her to live, and you did not have the courage to follow your tracks and not even to forget her. You love everything that Purandar loves.

- I have never loved Noni.

- You would never admit to love a whore. Let me tell you, that many times, I wanted to be Noni. A whore, but eternally satisfied with herself, until knowing Shiva’s domain.

- Shiva has nothing to do with the paths Noni drew. If the infamy became at least, the shame tolerable for the villagers, everything would have been different for her. And my proof was becoming increasingly unbearable, Purandar. The steel and the fire passed me by throwing me to the side as if my value and respect never come into existence. But I insisted on pushing it ...

- How far do we have to succumb to the wills of the men in this village, Satish?

- Until reaching the wire that does not exceed the limits of dignity. You are assigning the same Noni´s ending to you. You do not even deny this sick love for my brother.

- ... Yes, Satish ...I love Purandar. I loved his violence, his lawlessness, his aggressive since the beginning. I loved the storm that lived in him. I know very well what he wanted from me. I also know that probably I would become a mundane as Noni. Still, he respected me, and not these values misrepresented by a mask of absolute truth of the Master Shiva.

- Would you become a prostitute?!

- A thousand times the death than the renunciation of life that live today.

- You do not believe in anything. Not even in yourself, Damini.

- And because you only believe in masters, you are who unknown the second reason.

- I have always been a follower of masters. Everyone in the world follows the masters.

- No. You always needed arms propping you up.

- Even to abandon everything and travel, Damini, we need to be confined to something or someone. That's life. We can barely turn it into its essence. No one crosses an ocean, if you do not have a ship. You can think of everything, but if you do not know how to calculate the tides, it is no use. Ideas are like wine: the more you take, the more they will add to the head.

- My ideas have never got drunk, Satish. You were the one who took me out of Purandar, ditching him from my life.

- I did it to give you honor and a name.

- But know that you united my life with the edge of death.



Mid-1889 ...



Dear Purandar ... My father died of the fever brought by the war.

Lord made men a sharp instrument, terrible and cold for my soul. It took me out of my father to give me to Shiva. The master took me out of you to give me to Satish. And Satish gave me back to the master, as if delivering a dog to its owner. I miss Noni, Purandar. You are my tool of faith. You accepted all the burdens of sin, every infamy and shame, giving your life for your love. For her love to you and respect to your brother, she committed suicide. Taking his own life is more difficult than surrender it, isn’t it Purandar?! What I live today do not prove my love?! Every time I find myself distracted, the master is watching me:

- Learn, Damini, that the revolt is not an effective weapon, but treacherous, he said quietly.

- I do not want to learn anything from your veins, master.

- I will still see your absolute surrender. Whenever in your essence or in appearance or in strength of time on the acts.

- If you live appearance, Master, I will give you a mirror, then.

- Nothing reveals the sarcasm. See my disciple, Satish: he sees the petal fall and be thrown away by the wind. Sad, but resolute. Note: you can not break the image of the "master".

- What do you want from me, Shiva?

- Your darkness make me cry, Damini.

- Darkness?! Set me free. Allow me to go. Give me up..

- You do not belong to me so that I designate your footsteps. You belong to Satish.

- I do not belong to anyone. Satish is afraid of me.

- Satish suffers for you.

- You gave me to Satish.

- Only he can give you the peace that you so desperately needs.

- Peace!? From Satish?! Satish makes me crazy with this unhealthy obsession about you. What peace can give me a man that does not exist alone? What kind of peace you can give me? Let me go. I love Purandar.

- Purandar ...

- Yes. Purandar. The one you admired. The one you could not convert to anything that above all did not give life.

- Purandar barely knew what he wanted.

- Stop with this nonsense. It is no use to confine myself to this village. Know that here I am digging my own death.

- Why death is your obsession, Damini?

- Because perhaps my life is only in it. Perhaps it is easier to find Purandar in it.

- But Purandar di not understand you, he loved only your beauty, as much as Satish.

- Maybe I prefer men who do not mix between the fine and the grotesque. Satish does not know what he wants.

- Satish is your refuge, Damini, but you do not give the proper value. Satish is actually your instrument to hurt us. The villagers want you to go away, as our reason never prevails. They say that you are an emissary of the illusion.

- Illusion? Satish wants me, this is not an illusion. You want me at his side, this is not an illusion. Your truths are fragile, this is not illusion. The villagers are afraid of desire, Shiva, this is no illusion.

- I do not get rid of the boat, Damini, just keep it afloat.

- Is your helm strong enough to operate the stream?

- My helm is my belief, Damini.

- Even you, master, has a secret desire for me.

- It was not me who has launched the illusion in my hands, Damini.

- I did not come by my will. Everyone knew of my lack of faith. Why try to arrest me in the enclosure of devotion?

- It was not given no exit to me.

- If I came to give pleasure, I give, master. Just do not expect me to enjoy it. Do not pass your bale to those who have less condition to carry it than you.

- I committed myself to your father, Damini.

- Father?! I've never been daughter, Shiva. How do you expect me to be obedient?

- You had a home, properties...

- ... And you in exile us in the 'Frontier Lake', taking everything that belonged to us. When we did not have any good, you forced my father to deliver me, as one who bargains with the merchants of the port, and pleased him. I had my peace, and you took me the respect, compassion and belief in my life.

- The values for which we had to take some actions have been processed on behalf of the war, the needs ...

- In the name of reason. The same that supported my life and told me it could not sustain the whole weight of life, the same that was proved as a bottomless pit, the same that I rested my conduct, and you said no one could be the only support of yourself.

- They are burdens for which we have to go ...

- So it will be this same burden which will save me. Lord will only come to me by my way, Shiva. I came from slavery to freedom.

- Move closer to Lord, Damini.

- The more I go to meet your Lord, the more He seems to run away from me.

- Forget Purandar.

- I can not forget the one who gave me life.

- Sorry, Damini ... Purandar no longer exists between us.... he died of fever two days ago.

For a moment, Purandar, life seemed to be clear and Lord a little more friend. The master never understood that his death became my belief calmer and I was happy to know he was dead.



Letters that never arrived became absurd confessions of a time that never existed. I pursue the death so much, did not realize it was going in his direction. That was when Satish asked me to choose: leave the village or to marry him. Between the loneliness of exile and the submission by the lack of choice, I accepted. Satish has changed since then. To save me from past sins, he punished himself.

I locked myself in my world, in the village that leads my blood and after a long time without the heat of the sun, I went out of my refuge. The moist earth made me ill. Then I had to leave the villagers in search of health.

Although weak and dismayed, my soul smiles to pass again by the 'Frontier Lake'. Satish would be in peace with his penance. The escape is possible only with the permission of Lord, isn´t it Purandar? If Lord at least, had diverted his gaze to the two of us ... who knows?



June 13, 1890.



Dear Purandar, I write to you but I never sent you a single letter.

It's like my life. Only now it's too late to gather the debris, to break barriers and to waste time arguing with Lord. My secret wealth is that one I carry with me as a triumph, for it is the one will save me.

I needed cold air and good food. But there was lack of hunger and thirst that fed my will is gone. I'm closer now, my love. I gather the dust on the feet and carry it with me. It was all very soon. Today they cry for me. But the light that illuminates the soul is not theirs. It is that we will be only one in our next birth.

Extinguished the flame, all light disappears, suddenly, as if it has never existed.










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