Kalamarica, I’ve been looking for you for so long. I’ve climbed thousands of hill and tread on this land of Java. I look for you everywhere. While massaging and twisting daggers with my thumb and index finger as my father taught me. To give it to the people who’ve helped me on the journey. To stab it to the people who threatened me on the journey. Forty two daggers already, twenty of them are covered by blood, since we met. I think I almost reach the end of my search.
If only you didn’t leave that night. My heart wouldn’t scream like this. For so many times I felt like I wanted to stab this dagger I made, to my own bosom. So poignant, dear. Looking for you lie this, after that night you folded my subang cloth and you tucked your dagger in it, for me. Jasmines on my bun scattered on the bed. Vivid scent of them woke me up that morning and I didn’t find you. Why did you leave just because we have became one?
Was I wrong for loving you, so you had to leave and never come back?
My tears have dried and I feel nothing. Why don’t gods kill me, because this torture is beyond the fiery lash of Shiva. My world had been broken since a long, long time ago and never return.
I’ve scraped my heart until I have nothing left. My life now is left to just seeing you, just one more, please. So that I will reborn and my karma in this life will be over. You, Kalamarica are a karma that was born, that I have to carry and makes me walk this life just to find you, then look for you again. What a complete waste! But this is the path that I’ve chosen and through. if it’s not my forty two daggers are supposed to be stuck on this body.
I met you in a hermitage. You’re the most obscene man I ever met my entire life. But I started to make my first dagger since the first time I saw you. You stood by me when I made it. It was finish and I allow you to be the first to hold it. You kissed me after so suddenly, asked me to made a pair for it. It took me to finish three pairs of daggers, but I did not manage to create your pair. I did not understand it myself. I was lost.
After that night I did not sleep even for a second. I tried to shape the pair for that first dagger, for you. But I always failed, I always felt that there is something imperfect. I decided to do a fasting ritual for seven days and made a vow to finish the pair of the dagger in forty days.
I repeated everything again from the start. During forty days and night. I felt I went back to the first time I created my first dagger. Full of anxiousness and that time I made it with no rest at all. Because I didn’t just reveal my feeling for you, but carved the shadow of you in the dagger.
The fortieth night; I haven’t went out for days because I almost done the dagger for you. You knocked on the door and entered. Watched me work on the final seconds of finishing. Once finished, with two of my hands I presented it to you. You brought a white silk, observed and wrapped the dagger, then tucked it in your waist. I didn’t realize that I was so messed up and I was embarrassed immediately. Secretly, that night, Kalamarica, you took me to a bath near the hermitage. After i bath, you asked my permission to comb my hair then you picked fresh jasmines and pinned them to my bun. you took me back to the hermitage and along the way you held my hand. Lucky us, it was at dark, that only you and me who saw the two of us walk hand in hand. You walked me to my room and excused yourself. The dawn arrived and at the first rooster crow I finally fell asleep so soundly.
I woke up when the sun was so high. You asked someone to bring me some lunch and a bowl of fresh jasmine to change the overnight’s jasmine. I pinned them on my hair bun right before the evening came and you knocked my door. You entered quietly and softly. I sat on bended knees in front of you and you stroke my cheek. Kissed my forehead and before embracing my lips you said:
“Ah, Pramesti, you drive me mad.”
Ah, Kalamarica, it was you who drove me mad. The sun sank and you sank in me. You rested comfortably in my darkness as darkness crept outside. And by the time the night was over I was at the end of universe that burst again and again from your eyes into mine. Until the last burst and I fell asleep. Between your arms and chest.
Dawn had yet to appear when I lost you. You went away quietly, after folding my subang cloth and tucking the dagger I had made for you inside it. You left no message, no trace. All I know, you took away the pair, the dagger which my heart belongs to. I haven’t even named them, until one time I found a name for the dagger you gave to me. Sumbro is her name, because she lost her other half and later people will remember me by that name.
Kalamarica, I’m looking for you everywhere and I am mad. I stopped at a temple and want to rest forever there. I want to reincarnate as a stone so that I won’t be tortured to find you or waiting for you to come back. I still remember you and if I have to stay like this, I will never die. My body is old and tired. My spirit is at the end of every single prayer. For the sake of gods, will I ever see you again in this recent life?
Answer it, Kalamarica?
Have you gone and I am just in vain?
Sumbro was so close to my bosom when you showed up at the court of the temple and it’s almost dusk. On the same dusk, Kalamarica, I smiled happily and turned into stone.
Because my love for you is no longer unworthy though it petrified as my body. When you came and hug me tilll all the things vanish from the world.
* The text has been modified from the short story “Kalamarica” for reading performance at UNBOX Festival, Beat Repeated at British Council, New Delhi on 4th February 2012 collaborating with Abmi Handayani