Crossing the Mirage – Passing through Youth, Chapter - 25
Continued from “Agony of Penitence”
With no response for long, Sathya held on to the buzzer a little longer. When Prema opened the door in her bathrobe, she found herself staring wide-eyed as Sathya remained speechless.
“Oh, you,” she welcomed him being the first to recover, “looks like its Godsend.”
“What a pleasant surprise!”
“What do you mean?” she said, surprised in turn.
“I find it’s all so puzzling,” he said trying to figure out the equation, “you, at Chandra’s place!”
“What!” she exclaimed looking at the gate.
“I thought it’s his house,” he said equally surprised.
“How long have you known each other?” she said having come to see Chandra’s good turn.
“We met only recently,” he said unable to make head or tail of the equation.
“Oh, I see, step into our small world,” she said in delight.
“How kind of him that he brought me to the threshold,” said Sathya smelling a rat, and went in behind her.
“I told him our story without naming you,” she said.
“Now I see,” said Sathya sitting in the sofa, “he made it two plus two after hearing my version of it. What a lovely way he made us meet!”
“I’m glad you still recall our saga,” she said, sitting by his side.
“Can either of us ever forget it?” he said and added in apparent hurry. “I’m dying to tell you something. When is Vasu expected?”
“He won’t be back till a week,” she said all smiles. “So you’ve all my eyes and ears till then.”
“Thank you,” he said smilingly, “but I won’t bore you for that long.”
“Hope you don’t mind if I engage you as long,” she said, going into the kitchen. “Let’s have some coffee first.”
“It is ages since I had anything from your hand,” he said, following her into the kitchen.
“Haven’t you got married?”
“I failed to induce any.”
“Don’t tell lies,” she said heartily, “you ladies’ man!”
“Don’t you know I’m unlucky in love?” as he said, his manner mirrored the sadness of his heart.
“Don’t be so mean,” she said equally affected by his manner. “Why don’t you say we’re unlucky in love?”
“I was blind to your beauty when you loved me,” he said as he sighed. “And when I could visualize your charms, you opted to get out of my sight, that’s the crux of my tragedy.”
“Don’t you realize the same was the case with me?” she said sounding sad. “I craved for you when you were tentative and shunned you as you were insistent.”
“To tell you the truth,” he began tentatively, “I realized only recently how my conceit would’ve affected your life. It took the meanness of a woman to make me realize how mean I was to you. It was a sort of poetic justice for you that made me cry in shame and regret all that night. Ever since, I was dying to tell you that fate had paid me back in the same coin. I hope you will care to listen, at least this time.”
“I’m sorry on both counts,” she said melancholically. “Don’t I know that not giving you my ear then was the cause of my ruin? How I rued that mistake I only know. Maybe, I owed it to my horrible fate. Barring that accursed time, I always felt your fortunes and misfortunes are mine as well. Oh, tell me what happened?”
As Sathya narrated the tale of his unrequited love, Prema saw the mirror images of her past agonies.
“It’s thus fate made it even for me,” he said in the end. “Now it’s up to you to forgive me.”
“Oh, your suffering was ethereal for its purity of love and the spirit of sacrifice,” she said moved herself. “But my predicament was all about hurt pride fouled up by spite.”
“Whatever it was,” he said, “you’d undergone what you’d undergone because of me. I seek your forgiveness if you don’t feel the same bitterness now.”
“I’ve always felt you’ve a heart of gold and the soul of a saint, in spite of that sin that is,” she said holding his hand. “I'm happy that my belief in you is proved right.”
“Your understanding is heartening,” impulsively he went on his knees to her. “But it’s your forgiveness that I seek.”
“Get it straight from my heart,” she said, pushing his head onto her bosom.
“You don’t know,” he said, resting his head on her bust, “how tiring it is forever losing in love.”
“I’m sorry for you,” she pressed him further.
“Have you forgiven me for my sin?” he asked looking into her eyes.
“Kiss me,” she said, lifting his head and reaching for his lips, “like you kissed the first time.”’
So to retrieve their lost souls, they found themselves digging with their tongues in
deep-kissing. And then, the phone rang as though to prevent a premature beginning to their momentous reunion.
“It’s Prema here.”
“Nithya calling, am I disturbing?”
“Benefactors won’t disturb,” said Prema joyously, “do they?”
“How’s the bonanza of love?” said Nithya, unable to restrain herself.
“Oh, what a dream Chandra scripted for us,” said Prema in the same vein. “Sathya wants to thank him.”
“Hi, Sathya!” said Chandra at the other end.
“Why, don’t I count anymore?” said Prema who still held on to the receiver.
“I know you’ve got your right count,” said Chandra. “I’m happy for you really.”
“Didn’t I tell you,” said Prema, “you and Sathya have many things in common?”
“Thank you for repeating it,” said Chandra.
“Well, Sathya is impatient,” said Prema.
“I am indebted to you,” said Sathya to Chandra, “for helping me to unburden myself.”
“What about crossing the mirage?” asked Chandra.
“I’m bogged down with tears.”
“Then let me speak to Prema.”
“Hello, tell me,” said Prema.
“Do hold on,” said Chandra. “Nithya says now it’s her turn.”
“Why not yourself lead him to the oasis?” said Nithya all the while sharing the receiver with Chandra.
“Well, my tears of joy are shaping one!” said Prema.
“Make it big enough for bathing in love,” said Nithya laughingly. “Good night.”
“I’ll tell you tomorrow,” said Prema coyly, “and good night for now.”
“Tell me about you,” said Sathya as Prema had hung up.
“Discourse after dinner.”
“I’m hungry for both.”
Prema after dinner bared her soul and detailed Vasu’s character.
“I thought marriage would’ve changed him,” he said feeling sad for her predicament, “and you could be happy yourself. I’m sorry for your misery.”
“Maybe, I deserved this fate,” she said in tears. “Oh, why did I reject you out of hand?”
“It was natural after all,” he tried to lighten her burden.
“I didn’t realize I was cutting my nose out of spite for you.”
“Now that we know our minds,” he said, “we'll be less bitter about it all.”
“Mud head,” she tapped on his head. “I think I’m destined to take the initiative when it comes to us. I’ve filed for divorce and hope to be single soon enough. Won’t you like to marry me after I’m free, and make me yours in the meantime?”
“Oh, really!” he said as he hugged her in ecstasy, “what a windfall to our love at your seductive best!”
As she melted in his embrace, he lost no time in making her crouch on the couch to enter the arena of her longing. At length, fulfilled, as she stretched her limbs, satiated, he lay outstretched on her.
“Oh, God, I now know the true meaning of sex for a woman,’ she said, smelling
Keo-Karpin in his hair. ‘Sex seems to be more real for a woman than all the pining of her love. Had you had me that first day, the latter-day aberrations wouldn’t have disturbed our equation. What a pity, all your loving entreaties failed to sway me away from Vasu for I had had sex with him by then.”
She kept mum as if atoning for her folly while he reminisced over the night of Kala’s advances.
“Strangely sex seems to affect the sexes differently,” she continued. “The more a man has a woman, the more he finds his urge waning. And woman’s attachment to her man deepens with sex though it’s a case of diminishing returns for her body. Oh, how men of lust tend women into sex as men in love long for their heart! It’s the tragedy of woman that if she gives in to the lusting, either she gets jilted to her hurt or lies trapped in a deadlock of wedlock.”
“In that case,” said Sathya in surprise, “with Kala was it not a wild-goose chase for me?”
“Why, you had your chance with her,” said Prema continuing in the same vein. “I’m sure you’d lost her the night you declined her final favor. Had you had her then, I’m sure you would’ve been in the reckoning in the crunch situation. Well, depending on how you appealed to her in bed, you would’ve weighed in her mind. But fortunately for us, it’s a case of two wrongs becoming a right, isn’t it?”
“Maybe, you’re right about her,” said Sathya, tapping her lips. “But what’s the feedback from you?”
“If you haven’t found it cold,” she said leaning onto him, “won’t that answer your question?”
“It’s like I was in a hot chamber.”
“Can’t I count on your coolant to curb its heat?”
“Won’t your charms keep up my supply lines?”
“Here’s my fresh indent,” she pushed her breast into his mouth as a prelude.
In their newfound love, reluctant to part with each other, they slept in each other’s arms at the exhausted end of that night.
Continued to “Life of a Kind”