For a while both were quiet.
Jonh broke the silence “ Now I will ask you a puzzle”
Anjeni approved with her eyes.
“ Number zero appreciated number eight. What it would be?” John asked.
Zero.. As John mentioned about zero, Anjeni’s face became gloomy. Cheers and naughtiness disappeared from her face. John realized, he should not have mentioned about zero.
“ I am sorry..” he patted on her back.
She didn’t respond, simply steered the hook in the water.
“ Really I am sorry... I didn’t mean it” He apologized again.
“ It’s all right...” She tried to control her emotions, “ I quit... you tell”
“ How number zero would have appreciated number eight..” She tried to be animated again.
John kept quiet
“ Come on...” She turned his face towards her.
“ Gave up! so easily” John smiled.
“ Yes... Now come on tell me quickly” She said eagerly.
“ Zero appreciated number eight...oh Nice belt!” John revealed.
“ Wow ... really nice” both cheered.
Again some time passed in silence. Both were busy steering their hooks waiting for the fish.
“ Can you cook fishes?” Anjeni said slipping closer.
“ Nope” John checked, pulling his heavy hook.
“ Then why are we catching the fish?” Anjeni asked.
“ Of course for our lovely dinner” John said with astonishment.
“ If it is so then it’s useless” She said.
“ What do you mean?”
“ I also can’t cook fish”
“ What?” he said with surprise.
“ It’s okay if you want to eat them raw” She said jokingly.
“ You also can’t make? ... Okay no problem... we can try?” He suggested.
“ And if we fail?”
“ At least we would not be required to eat them uncooked..” He said.
Suddenly Anjeni realized that her hook was heavy. She checked it by steering. Probably the fish was hooked. She started bundling the thread. One white fish with brownish shade was floundered and came to her with the hook. She gently unhooked it and kept in the basket, which was kept beside her on a rock. She released the hook again in the water, as she was now ready for the next fish to catch. When she was releasing the thread something like butterfly stumbled with her nose and fell in the water. She cleared her nose, tucked behind her ear a strand of hair, which was kissing her face, and continued releasing the thread. Suddenly john burst out laughing looking at her.
“ What’s wrong?” She asked, looking at John.
“ Where is your fish?” he asked.
She looked behind in the basket. The fish was missing.
“ Where is it?” She looked around, “ How can it suddenly disappear?”
In fact she was enjoying the moments.
“ It jumped in the water... stumbling with your nose” He laughed again.
“ Oh ... I see.. it was fish.. is it?” As she realized, she touched her nose and laughed to join with John.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Mugdha Apte