Benign Flame: Saga of Love - 29
Continued from “Night of the Mates’
The next morning Roopa woke up at nine as if from a dream, and found Raja Rao still asleep, looking at him fondly, ‘Oh, wasn’t it better than all my dreams put together!’ she thought ecstatically. Impulsively as she touched him as if to confirm that her fulfillment was in the realms of possibility, for once, as the softness of her touch failed to excite him in his slumber, he continued to sleep like a log.
‘Oh, what a night it has been!’ she thought, withdrawing her hand though without taking her eyes off him. ‘Didn’t I know that it would be marvelous with him? What a lover to have. Can’t he be the one in a billion or maybe even in a trillion? Wasn’t all that longing worth for this sense of belonging? It’s as if he had pushed out all my frustration with his very first thrust itself! Haven’t I experienced the feeling of lovemaking in his passion? Oh, how fulfilling it feels! What a joy being a woman! I wish to be a woman in every birth if only for being his woman. Well, but for Sandhya, I wouldn’t have met him at all.’
‘Don’t I owe Sandhya in other ways too,’ she fondly recalled about her friend, looking at their man. ‘Why, some associations bring in happiness, and some, nothing but misery! Well, to start with, how I hesitated to befriend her! Can I imagine life without her now! Won’t he cement that bond even more? But how would Sandhya take to our affair? Won’t she feel betrayed at my seducing her man? One cold look from her, and won’t I die of shame then and there. Why, she knows how I’ve been suffering for want of love, doesn’t she? What if I beg her for his love? Won’t she push me into his arms without second thoughts? Then, as I cuddle in his embrace, won’t she as well caress me for my comfort?’
‘Until the other day, all I craved was for a corner in his heart, and no more,’ she thought amusedly. ‘But now, am I not yearning for orgies with him and his wife. That’s what human nature is all about, isn’t it? The more one gets, all the more one wants, doesn’t one? Strange that my life is, who knows, that too might come true. Why, won’t he like to bring that about himself? Surely he would love to see his women crawling all over him and on each other as well. Oh God, how maddening it is to imagine it even. How lucky I’m that I didn’t give in to Prasad to spite Sathyam. I could have revenged myself on Sathyam all right, but how could all this bliss have been mine. Oh, negative emotions could aid to avenge, but it’s the positive feelings that end in fulfillment, don’t they?’
‘Won’t you get up my love?’ she crooned in his ears, as he stirred.
‘What’s the time like, darling?’ he asked drowsily.
‘It’s well past nine,’ she caressed his back, as he laid his head in her lap. ‘What about some bed-coffee.’
‘What a time we had Roopa!’ he said, enlacing her waist. ‘Oh, it’s like a dream come true, isn’t it?’
‘Now, I’m unable even to recollect my yesterday’s suffering,’ she whispered into his ears, as if to keep her feelings out of the earshot of her past. ‘How well you’ve wiped out my past with your magic wand!’
‘Promise you won’t desert me,’ he said earnestly. ‘Having got you, I would die if I were to lose you. How greedy you made me to devour your love! How I love to savor life with Sandhya and you.’
‘After all that waiting, do you think I’m mad to spoil my party?’ she said in all fulfillments. ‘I would be your Roopa Rao for the rest of my life. How our names match to make music!’
‘Oh, to the tune of our love,’ he pressed his self closer to her, ‘to enthrall our life.’
Having gone into the kitchen thereafter, she woke up to the surroundings, ‘Oh God, Yadamma could have come and gone, having got no response!’ she began to think. ‘Maybe, there was a load shedding before I got up. Or used as they were to our love-talk, her door knocks could have fallen on our deaf ears. But what would she infer finding him here tomorrow? I’ll tell her not to turn up for the next three days. But how am I to keep away Lalitha from peeping in? Well, I couldn’t care less about her. But isn’t discretion better part of valor? On and off, I should go to her myself to ensure that she wouldn’t come up calling on me. With that trespasser of a Prasad gone abroad, it would only leave Tara among the likely callers. Of course, it shouldn’t bother me even if she gets the scent of it. If anything, it’s welcome if she comes to knew of it, isn’t it? After all, won’t it feel nice if someone knows that I’m loved? Why not announce the arrival of my man to her?’
‘I was wondering,’ she said, serving him some coffee, ‘how we can carry on in the long run.’
‘Why worry, trust our passion for that,’ he said nonchalantly, ‘
‘How can we meet without getting noticed?’
‘Don’t I need a Personal Secretary,’ he said winking at her. ‘Shall I say more?’
‘Well, it won’t work,’ she said in disappointment. ‘Sathyam won’t like my working.’
‘Won’t Sandhya bring him around?’ he said taking her hand.
‘Oh you my little schemer,’ she said in all admiration.
‘Why not we eat out,’ he proposed, ‘and make it to a matinee too.’
‘How sexy,’ she said excitedly. ‘We do owe ourselves a party.’
‘Won’t I deserve to show my fortune to the world,’ he smiled taking her into his arms.
‘What a man you are,’ she said joyously. ‘How you excite me with your looks, touch and talk.’
‘What with your smell, skin and seat,’ he said pinching her bottom, ‘you’re XXX randy.’
‘Do you drink?’ she asked him.
‘Yes, a peg or two at times.’
When they had their bath together, she opened her wardrobe to him, and said coyly, ‘Why don’t you choose for me?’
‘You fascinate in any sari,’ he said, picking up light brown chiffon, ‘but ravish in brown and grey.’
‘Why our tastes match,’ she said taking the sari from him, ‘and minds as well.’
‘To fuse in our loving hearts,’ he said enlacing her
‘By the fortuitous hand of Sandhya’s angelic soul,’ she said smug in his embrace.
‘Oh, you said it darling,’ he said looking at her lovingly.
While mesmerically watching her wearing the sari, he said, ‘What reciprocity between your body and your sari! Can’t I see it gracing your persona while acquiring an alluring shape for itself? Oh, how you are bodily fashioned for lovemaking! To think that you’re mine is gratifying really.’
‘How your passion solaces my soul?’ she embraced him.
‘Though your hair is fabulous in its plait,’ he said coiling her hair. ‘I feel you turn a charmer in chignon.’
‘Don’t I look an aunty?’ she said aiding him nonetheless, ‘but I’ll be what you want me to be.’
‘With your nape too showing its teeth now,’ he said kissing her bare back that her blouse exposed, ‘you’re all the more deadly. Oh, how fascinating you are, my darling!’
‘Then, from now on,’ she said kissing him, ‘this is the hairdo of Roopa Rao.’
‘There’s no way I can describe the spell of your charm,’ he laced her ardently.
‘Can’t I discern that from your visage,’ she said coyly.
‘Won’t a chain of pearls glisten on you velvet skin,’ he said endearingly, ‘that’s what I always felt.’
‘What in your eyes would glamorize Sandhya even more?’ she asked him.
‘Can’t you imagine corals on her rosy bosom?’ he said dreamily. ‘It would be the day when I can adorn you together.’
‘Well, the measure of a lover lies in his ability to envision the nuances of his woman,’ she said in all admiration, ‘and how you measure up to be a lover of lovers. I’m sure Sandhya too would love that day when you have us both.’
‘You know how to flatter your man,’ he patted her, obviously pleased with her outpouring.
‘Let me see if Lalitha is around,’ she said, as they were ready to leave. ‘At my signal, lock the door and come down.’
‘What an irony of a honeymoon it is for us,’ she said, as he joined her on the main road. ‘We’re both one in bed but can’t make a couple in the lane.’
‘Confined to its sheath the cutting edge of love remains ever so sharp’ he said taking her hand, ‘maybe that’s the charm of liaisons.’
‘Could be,’ she said pressing his hand, ‘but I’d love to be known to the world as your woman.’
‘Let’s not be too greedy,’ he said cajolingly. ‘Why uproot Sathyam’s life? Do remember your promise.’
‘Sorry, I was carried away,’ she said apologetically. ‘I shall keep my word, and love you ever more for that.’
When they sat at a table for two at Blue Fox, she said, ‘How I wish it were for the three of us. Oh, you don’t know how I love Sandhya.’
‘You can’t make me jealous on that count,’ he said in smile, ‘can you?’
‘Why should you?’ she said winking at him, ‘isn’t our love all yours?’
‘‘How she has become a part of me,’ he said reminiscently, ‘her confinement is telling upon me.’
‘Can’t I understand,’ she said taking his hand. ‘Are you going to tell her about our meeting?’
‘Let’s mention it in the passing,’ he said as he started footsie, ‘to both of them that is.’
‘I thought as much when you got into your chappals,’ she said enjoying the sensual pulsations his touch had induced in her.
‘Had you modeled Marlene Dietrich’s legs would have been cut down to size,’ he said in all admiration.
‘I’m glad I’ve got a leg man for my lover,’ she said joyously.
‘Now, I’ll give you some legwork,’ he said, as he took his leg up above her calf. ‘Find out an office space that caters to the needs of our passion and a flat that meets the taste of your friend. You know it saves the bother if you find them both near your house.
‘With pleasure,’ she winked at him.
Having had a sumptuous meal, they hired an auto-rickshaw to go to Deepak for the matinee show. However, seeing some sari shops on the way, Raja Rao asked the driver to stop nearby.
‘Come, let’s get a sari for you,’ he got down.
‘Why now,’ she said hesitantly. ‘We can get it some other time.’
‘Isn’t time the essence of life,’ he pulled her out of the auto. ‘Why waste any more of it now?’
As both of them were scanning the sari in those rows of shelves, she picked up a brown Venkatagiri and began feeling it on herself.
‘Won’t it go well with me?’ she said at length.
‘And this as well,’ he handed her a grey Pochampally.
‘I’ll have that then,’ she dropped the Venkatagiri.
‘You have them both,’ he said.
‘If only you promise,’ she said to him in undertone, ‘that you would have both Sandhya and me together.’
‘Would I love that any less?’ he murmured in her ears.
After she had selected matching blouse pieces for those saris they came out of the shop.
‘How else I can thank you twice,’ she said coyly, as they walked towards the auto-rickshaw, kept in wait for them, ‘than by wearing them both together?’
‘To tell you the truth, you look the best with none on you,’ he whispered into her joyous ears.
‘And to reveal my mind,’ she said turning coy, ‘you’re alike handsome, within and without your jeans.’
‘Oh, thank you,’ he said, as she got into the auto declared, ‘I’ll join you in a minute.’
‘What’s that?’ she asked him when he returned with a packet.
‘It’s personal,’ he winked at her.
‘Is that so?’ she said reaching for it.
‘I feel so,’ he smiled holding it back.
‘Then let’s go home,’ she said feigning anger, ‘to lock it in your suitcase.’
‘Anything to do with you,’ he said, cajoling her, ‘is personal to me, isn’t it?’
‘Well?’ she said looking the other way.
‘Some colorful thirty-sixes for you,’ he crooned into her ears.
‘Good memory,’ she smiled, thrilled to the core.
‘Haunting one,’ he whispered, ‘of our spheres of love.’
While she rested her head on his shoulder, as though made heady by his love, the auto took them to Deepak Theatre. But by the time they got into cinema hall, the matinee was already under way. And no sooner they settled in their seats than their legs sought partners for footsie. By the interval time however, while their legs got weary, their souls craved for fusion. So, as their looks conveyed longing, their legs signaled exit.
‘Pick up a few of those,’ she whispered as they came out of the theatre.
‘How many?’ he said heartily.
‘As many as you could wet,’ she said coyly.
While she waited at the exit, as he went out on her errand, and soon, as she saw him returning with a Vanilla large picked up at the nearby Kwality, she guessed his intentions and followed his coming in all eagerness.
‘Are you fond of ice cream?’ she said all the same, feeling his pocket.
‘It’s for you to blow hot and cold,’ he whispered leaning onto her.
‘What an imagination,’ she ruffled his hair in admiration.
‘It’s all your inspiration,’ he squeezed her waist.
Soon they reached Domalaguda by an auto-rickshaw, and as though to shed part of her fear, she asked the driver to take them right up to the street corner.
‘I’m sorry, but you have to come behind me,’ she said as she went ahead of him.
‘Why, isn’t there the precedent set by you last night?’ he said making her shy, ‘
When she gave him the green signal, propelled by his passion, he increased his pace to reach her place. Then, closing the door behind, he overwhelmed her in no time.
‘Oh Roopa, in spite of her love,’ he said, as they lay satiated in each others arms, ‘life without you would have been empty, How lucky we could make it.’
‘Give me the credit for enticing you in the end,’ she said in a fulfilled tone. ‘I can’t tell you how desperate I was for your fill.’
‘That’s why, I owe you even more,’ he clasped her hand.
‘Raja,’ she said, kissing his chest, ‘the more you explore my body, even more I’m coming to know about my soul. I never knew love would mean so much in spite of my craving for you.’
‘Even if I spend a lifetime on your frame, full time,’ he said, fondling her, ‘I’m sure it would still have nuances left to thrill my senses.’
Soon they had their nap as though to refresh themselves for the time ahead and as they woke up she said, ‘I’ll make some coffee for us.’
‘Make it a little hotter,’ he said winking at her, ‘for better effect.’
‘Why not,’ she winked back at him, as she went into the kitchen.
‘See how it differs from those ice-cream jerks,’ he said even as she returned with two cups of steaming coffee for them.
‘With you I’m a game for anything,’ she said enthusiastically.
‘Oh,’ he shrieked in time, ‘you are a marvelous woman.’
‘For the marvel of a man,’ she sputtered.
‘I wonder whether the latex would lacerate for you’re so hot here,’ she said, condoming him at length.
‘Oh! Roopa what a dame are you?’
‘I’ll let you know now,’ she said, as she mounted.
‘Oh, my bitch,’ he cried in ecstasy.
‘Abuse me even more,’ she moaned in joy. ‘I love it from you.’
‘What a randy for me,’ he said, as he took his turn in their lovemaking.
‘What a bully to boot,’ she said, satiated at length.
‘Roopa, I’m coming to see the commonality between sex and sport,’ he said resting on her belly in fulfillment. ‘Basics being the same, it’s the players who raise the bar.’
‘Oh, how true,’ she said caressing his chest.
When they bathed together in the evening, wanting to have him there too, she made him want her even more, and after bath as she started wearing the new Pochampally, he ogled at her, as if she were new to him.
‘I’m sorry that you’re caged here,’ she said apologetically.
‘Why feel bad as its Cupid’s own nest,’ he said taking her into his arms. ‘What a sexy captivity it is.’
When she got into the kitchen to prepare dinner for them, he offered to help her in the kitchen chores.
‘Why get tired here,’ she took away the kitchen knife from him, ‘when you’ve got to exert elsewhere.’
‘Will this do?’ he said in smile, as he squatted on the floor, leaning to the wall.
‘That’s fine,’ she said, assuming the posture of a monitor with a ladle for the stick. ‘But don’t dare stir out from there.’
‘If you don’t mind,’ he said hesitantly, ‘tell me what went wrong with you and Sathyam.’
‘Won’t I make my life an open book for you,’ she said. ‘But why spoil our party with my problems.’
‘Didn’t I tell you I want you to be happily wed-locked,’ he said concernedly. ‘Let’s see if we can improve things between you and him as well.’
‘I’m happy you care,’ as she said, she went up to him to kiss.
While she prepared their meal, she narrated her life and times, and said in the end, ‘I’ve only to blame myself, for I never made him feel wanted.’
‘I’m sure,’ he said, caressing her affectionately, ‘on his return; he would come across a different wife.’
‘To be honest with you, I could never love him the way I dreamt of loving the male,’ she said, cuddling herself in his embrace. ‘I shouldn’t have married him at all. That was the blunder of my life. It’s in a void that I lived till you swept me off my feet on that fateful 6th of June. Having got you after all that craving, I should have cared two hoots for him. But as you’ve opened my eyes to the real meaning of our love life, I shall open my heart to him as well. Now, I’m full of hope as your love has given me zest for life.’
‘I would love to see,’ he said reaching for her lips, ‘that day dawning soon in his life.’
‘Raja, I’m really proud of you,’ she said hugging him tightly as he released her lips. ‘I’ll bring that about, if only to prove the power of our love. I thought about what you’ve said and realized that it makes sense. As you’ve pictured the sentimental aspects so clearly, I could see the practical utility of it all. After all, adultery could be a double jeopardy for women, as liaisons wouldn’t address the marital irritants that push women into alien arms. To make it worse for women, affairs induce a feeling of guilt in them, pricking their conscience all the time. So, while still having to endure that which made them adulterous, women in liaison find themselves carrying the cross of infidelity as well. Besides, in time, the fear of exposure, imparts dullness to their sense of excitement, and that robs them of the thrills on the frills. When in the end, the inevitable desertion is on hand; won’t women wonder about the futility of it all? And it looks like your idea could be a via media. Oh, how I feel enslaved by your intellectual love.’
‘I’m proud of you Roopa,’ he kissed her ardently. ‘How nicely you’ve analyzed it all. I couldn’t delve that deep anyway.’
‘With all that rubbing we’ve been having,’ she said joyously, ‘a little of your intellect could have seeped into me.’
‘Add that to your charms and love, won’t you enslave me,’ he said in admiration, and added in jest. ‘But do spare me for I’ve to serve her as well.’
‘Don’t worry, by lending my helping hand, I’ll help you serve her better,’ she said as she winked at him, and thought, ‘How unique my life is! Isn’t it thrilling to have a man and his wife for lovers without the other being in the know? Oh, how exciting it is, being in the eye of the love storm.’
‘Let me see your course material,’ he said, as they came out of the kitchen in the end.
‘I know from your letters to Sandhya that your pen carries the beauty of your hand,’ he said, as she showed him her notes eagerly.
‘How can I ever show you,’ she said leaning on him, ‘the volume in my heart that I’ve penned with your name. Know it’s my Rama Koti of love.’
‘Oh Roopa,’ he said, hugging her, ‘How I would love to have your letter on hand, as I reach Delhi from Kakinada.’
‘After all this, nothing else is going to interest me anymore,’ she said coyly. ‘So my boy, I would have nothing to write to you.’
‘Why,’ he said, ‘surely you can picture your reflections of our union for one.’
‘As if you haven’t seen them all,’ she sank into his lap.
‘Being unlucky in love,’ he said reflectively, ‘I never had any love letter to read. When I saw Sandhya, I wanted her in my life well before love entered my head. With you, as you know, I lost my heart to love at first sight. In a way, you’re the first woman I loved and had. If you feel it’s not risky, we could correspond till we come here.’
‘I’m happy being special to you but I feel sad that you had to wait for so long to love-mate,’ she said cajolingly, and added in disappointment, ‘Yet, I don’t want some postal mishap ruining our love.’
‘All the same, you can write, if not receive,’ he said, and added in jest, ‘If you fail to post your letter, I’ll send you a reminder.’
‘Blackmail,’ she smiled.
‘Lovemail,’ he laughed.
‘Okay boss,’ she said in all seriousness, ‘but tell me how I can assist you at work.’
‘With your presence itself,’ he said thoughtfully. ‘I’m really hopeful that we three could make it work. Your general abilities and her creative capabilities should do wonders for us.’
‘With two women backing your genius,’ she said in all admiration, ‘I’m sure we would succeed.’
‘Don’t be lavish in your praises,’ he said unpretentiously. ‘If only something goes on smoothly for some length of time at least, can one say that some genius is at work there. Well, we haven’t even started.’
‘I’ve a hunch that our sufferings are behind us,’ she said exuding optimism. ‘I’m sure that a rosy future awaits us.’
‘But what of the present,’ he said ardently.
‘Well, it’s in our mating, isn’t it?’ she said amorously.
In the ecstasy of their lovemaking quite a lot of midnight oil was burnt that night as well.
Waking up at his honeymoon time of nine, Raja Rao tiptoed into the kitchen to surprise Roopa. When he laced her at her back, she lay smug in his embrace for long.
‘What’s for the day darling?’ he crooned into her ears at length.
‘Why not a Lambretta ride,’ she said as she had an agenda on hand, ‘all the way to wilderness.’
‘It’s an idea,’ he got excited, but said on second thoughts. ‘What if Lalitha gets wind of it and alerts Sathyam?’
‘I couldn’t care less for once,’ she said nonchalantly. ‘If it comes to that, won’t I make up something for an explanation?’
‘Oh, what a perfect ten you are!’ he said, watching her wear the brown Venkatagiri sari
‘But Sandhya is ten plus one,’ she said. ‘Well, I mean it.’
‘You’re the passion of my life providing the life-force,’ he said contemplatively. ‘And she sustains that to solace me in life. Oh, how you complement each other to make it a meaningful life for me.’
‘Why not a ménage a trois then,’ she said enticingly.
‘Not that I want it any less that to happen,’ he said taking her hand into his, ‘but what I seek more is that you succeed with Sathyam.’
‘Though I would love to live with you,’ she said, moved no end, ‘I would try to make myself more eager towards him, if only as a tribute to our love.’
When they stepped out of the house and got onto Sathyam’s Lambretta for a ride into the wilderness, riding the pillion, as they crossed the city limits, she enlaced him eagerly.
‘Oh,’ he said, without turning back, ‘how pleasantly hard it is.’
‘It’s my dream ride,’ she hugged him closer. ‘Take me to some no man’s land.’
When he finally stopped the vehicle near Shamirpet, she spotted a place yonder for their rendezvous. Spreading a bed sheet under a banyan tree, they sat for a session of sweet nothings, and having eaten some rotis with dalfry bought at a dhaba on their way, they settled for siesta. No sooner they woke up than she goaded him to move around the place ‘like grazing cows’.
‘You’re crazy really,’ he said.
‘Am I not in love?’ she walked nonchalantly ahead of him.
Soon spotting a mango grove, she ran towards it, dragging him all the way and as they entered the grove, leaving him perplexed on the ground, she climbed up a well-grown tree. When she perched herself on a low branch, and invited him to join her there, he obliged her saying, ‘How you amaze me!’
‘Oh,’ she said cuddling him in delight, ‘how you brought out the real me.’
‘Roopa,’ he said holding her dearly, ‘even in the wildest of my dreams, I haven’t imagined anything near this.’
‘Oh, how I feel the animal in me coming to the fore now,’ she jumped down, pulling him along. ‘Couple with me the animal way.’
‘Now I’m feeling,’ he said lovingly, ‘that you’ve become truly insane.’
‘True, but then, I am a woman in love, am I not?’ she said excitedly. ‘I want you to lay me at every place where I’d craved for you. Maybe, it’s the only way I might be able to erase those painful memories of pining for you. How I wish you stayed put in me. Why has not nature made it that way?’
‘Oh, to be wanted like this,’ he said, as he followed her bidding, ‘is divine indeed.’
In the end, as the sun was all set to cross the horizon, they rushed back to the city, as if to beat it at its own game. But once they reached Paradise, they stopped for a cup of Irani chai that they shared by the roadside. Thereafter, having loitered on the Tank Bund for a while, on their way back home, he picked up four bottles of King Fisher.
‘Are you going to gobble up all that beer?’ she said surprised.
‘I thought we might share,’ he said tantalizingly.
‘Does it help me too?’ she winked.
‘Yes, to take the stuffing out of me,’ he said in smile.
Reaching home, they were relieved at finding a padlock on the landlord’s door.
‘Seems my bad-luck is a spent force now,’ she said, touching the door before she opened it. ‘Touch wood.’
‘That should auger well for our love life,’ he said repeating the ritual.
Having stuffed the beer bottles in the fridge, they went together into the bathroom for a shower. Though they went in together as if to save time, yet they took a long time coming out of it, to settle down on the bed readily for three cheers.
‘Isn’t it bitter,’ she said after the first sip.
‘You would feel better,’ he said in encouragement, ‘after a gulp or more.’
‘I know it would be better for me,’ she smiled, ‘even without me drinking it.’
‘You are impossible,’ he said.
‘Like Sandhya, you mean,’ she said, smiling.
‘Did she tell you she likes her peg having my peg?’ he said with a glint in his eye.
‘Why should I betray her secrets,’ she said in mirth, ‘even to her man.’
Soon as she lay in his lap, she retched, and he had his hands stretched.
‘Oh, I’m sorry,’ she said in embarrassment as he wiped her mouth clean, he having cleaned his own hands before.
‘Why, haven’t you taken all my cum?’ he said, cuddling her in his embrace.
‘If not for that what for a woman is made?’ she said smiling, looking into his eyes as he sought her lips eagerly.
While he made love to her, she readily surrendered her soul to him while her body sought him even more eagerly.
While she was at preparing meals for them, enjoying his drink, he kept her company in the kitchen, and as if the beer tasted better from his glass, she began to share it with him. Well, having been rejuvenated after dinner, they indulged themselves, as if there would be no sex life left after that night for them.
When Roopa got up the next day, finding Raja Rao staring at her longingly, she felt as if she woke up from a dream.
‘Why stare at me,’ she said, getting closer to him, ‘as if I’m new to you?’
‘I’m not able to believe that all your beauty is mine,’ he said, blowing into her navel.
‘Worried about the void you would leave in my life,’ she said pensively, ‘I couldn’t sleep for long.’
‘Won’t I be back in your arms before your love bites would lose their traces,’ he said baring his chest.
‘How I wish I were a vampire,’ she said biting him to the bones ‘to live on your blood till then.’
‘Oh, I’m sorry.’
‘You know Sandhya’s delivery time is nearing,’ he said still in pain. ‘Don’t fail to make it to the barasala at Kakinada.’
‘If it were with you in a 1st Class coupe for two,’ she said, and got excited about it, ‘while make some coffee for us, think how to go about it.’
While preparing the coffee and picturing their togetherness on the train, she recalled her weird experience in the coupe, and as if the milk on the burner too shared her urge to narrate the episode to her lover, it boiled itself in double quick time.
‘That’s what life is all about, stranger than fiction, as they say,’ he said at her recap, trying to figure out the embarrassment she might have felt then. ‘Do check below the berths before all else.’
‘That is all about once bitten twice shy,’ she said eagerly. ‘But do tell me how we get in there in the first place.’
‘Book a coupe for us in the Godavari, party joining at Kazipet,’ he explained as they had coffee. ‘You ring me up so that I too can book my ticket as well. Since, Sathyam would be with you till the train moves out, you book another ticket for you by sleeper class. Then at Kazipet, we would move into the Cupid’s Corner.’
‘What a love on wheels that would be!’ she hugged him, spilling the dregs on him.
‘Haven’t you made it memorable even before we got started,’ he said rushing into the bathroom.
When the clock struck eleven, it occurred to her that in its forward march time would abet her lover to leave her for his wife’s place that evening, and that made her morose.
‘Cheer up Roopa,’ he said at last, ‘If you sulk, that would only make it worse for me.’
‘Maybe, you can measure my love on the scale of your misery,’ she sighed.
‘How true,’ he said, hugging her.
‘You can’t separate love and anxiety in a woman’s heart,’ she said, tightening her grip on him.
‘That’s why love is painfully sweet,’ he kissed her tears, ‘and salty too.’
By the time they reached the Secunderabad Railway Station in the evening, Roopa began to see Raja Rao’s impending departure as a necessary evil to their forthcoming togetherness.
‘As you make love to her,’ she whispered to him in the din of the arriving train, ‘give my love to Sandhya.’
When the Godavari Express languidly pulled out of that railway station, gazing at him lovingly, she waved at him furiously. If only her sense of longing for her lover had acquired a physical dimension, probably the train, in spite of its diesel power, wouldn’t have moved an inch forward.
Continued to “Euphoric Forays”