It was in the year 2011; I had a work session in Paris.
By sheer chance, I met a young German woman. Her name was Rose. She had every reason to bear such a lovely, adorable name. We shared many ‘likes’- FaceBook, writing, reading and Indian food. Over a hot and spicy vegetarian meal, she confided in me that she was in love with an Indian guy. Unfortunately, the feelings were not reciprocal. The Indian guy, she told me, was the fox in the tale of St. Exupery. This is how the story unfolds-
“Once, a fox came down a valley of roses;
He approached a rose and gently whispered to her –
You are the most beautiful rose in the world!
The rose replied – No, sir! You are mistaken!
We are all of equal beauty!
The fox, blinded with love, went on his knees and mumbled inaudibly –
No! You are the most beautiful of all!
The fox was so very deeply in love.
In the whole valley covered with thousands of roses,
He had eye for only one rose; His chosen one!’
End of story”
I noticed big, salty tears running down the rosy cheeks of Rose and falling in her plate.
Rose! You’re crying! I exclaimed.
No! It’s the gravy! It’s too hot! She lied, wiping her tears. Anyways, she added woefully, I am not the rose of the fox. His rose is the most beautiful rose in the valley!
I nearly choked with unexpressed sadness but was unable to console her. I promised her from the core bottom of my heart that she will, one day, find her fox too. We parted.
As I strolled down Place de la Republique, these comforting thoughts crossed my mind –
Women are fragrant roses in the valley of God;
For every rose there is a fox down the valley
Who loves her more than anything in the whole world