Orgies of Love

Continued from “Humbling Reality”

“When Rajan joined Ruma, so to say, we became an extended family,” he continued his narrative. “I admired his sense of humor and he my sense of purpose. I always tried to excel at work though my fate laid my career low, and so I became adept at all that I dabbled with. If not, instead of becoming a project consultant, at best I would have been a frustrated worker, or at worst, booted out for being sluggish. I realized that in life, as in Derby, the colt that bolts last need not be the last one at the finish. When Rajan wanted to venture into the real-estate business, he wanted me to become his partner, but by then, I had seen how greed sets to break up such ventures; started in bonhomie to share, once it breaks even, sharing becomes a snare for the better placed partner. Why it’s only time before he eases out the other, and pushed into the doghouse what else the loser can do than to cry foul. But then the fact of life is that the winner takes it all.”

“Maybe but one cannot really prosper alone in the long run.”

“Call it selfish wisdom, but man is seldom wisely selfish,” he said managing a chuckle. “Once my father told me that he was ditched by his business partner, I don’t know why, for I didn’t seek the details from him; maybe I should have. So, I preferred to be Rajan’s employee but he offered me a share in the profits as a bonus for my services. Thus was born ‘Rajan Builders’ that majored into ‘Imperial Infrastructures’ later on. With both the women putting their heart and soul into it, how exciting were those budding days; operating from Rajan’s office-cum-residence, we stuck together, be it for work or for recreation, well; it was only in the act of procreation that we went our separate ways. Matching with her man’s business concepts that began to bear fruits, nature enabled Ruma to conceive, which thrilled Rathi no end; it was as if she felt that she herself was carrying. When I wanted Rathi to consult a gynecologist, she said naughtily that she was sure that sooner than later we would make it happen. When Ruma delivered a girl child how delighted we all were, and as Rathi missed her periods, coinciding with the little girl’s false steps, we were thrilled no end. Ruma hoped that it would be a boy in the offing, and said in jest that had she not jumped the gun with a girl, maybe we would have the pleasure of espying the lovers in the making.”

“Wonder how could you have managed to hide your enamored eye for Ruma from her man’s vision from such a close range?”

“Well I never ceased coveting her and if anything my passion to possess her only grew with each passing moment but then as I developed friendly feelings towards Rajan, I was thrown into a dilemma of dharma. So I kept desisting from my urge to seduce her wondering all the while if I were destined to have her at all. Oh, what a sweet anticipation it was.”

“It reminds me of Sathyam’s words in Benign Flame, ‘my dear fellow, money and looks are okay to an extent to lure women, but better realize that it’s the luck that enables one to lay them. Why, you can’t even screw a whore if you’re not destined to have her; your visit to the brothel would have coincided with her periods, and the next time you’re eager, she could have shifted out of the town itself’.”

“How true it is given my insatiate passions,” he said as his demeanor acquired a disappointed look. “Well, as Rathi was in the family way, Ruma proposed a trip to Ooty for all of us; she wanted us to relive our honeymoon with them as witnesses. I told her that she should have known that her friend made our marriage an unceasing honeymoon, and she said that it was plain greedy for in the relay race that is married love, Rathi should have passed on the baton of bliss to the newlyweds, who followed us in the tracks of love. Maybe for that foul, fate had contrived to pull out Rathi from the course of love with a head-on crash, which ripped the right side of the Fiat apart that was as we were returning from Ooty. While Rajan was at the wheel, Rathi, with his girl in her lap, was in the back seat right behind him, and as if to make her jest come true, fate had taken them together for a heavenly time leaving Ruma and me to continue our mundane sojourn.”

“Won’t her lighthearted remark about your raging time with Ruma make the tragedy all the more poignant?”

“Maybe it was a prophetic jest at its prognostic best to portend the worst for me,” he said. “Whatever, I felt that even as Rajan’s soul deserved the rituals of death, Ruma too needed the solace of her family but all had ignored my invite. Now I wonder why it does not occur to any that life is too short for one to waste it nursing grudges even against those who might have slighted us. However, Raju had prevailed upon my family to retain a hesitant Ruma to be a part of it all, and as he stood by me, I went through the motions for the salvation of the departed. But after the obsequies, as Ruma had shifted to her place and Raju and the others too had left, fending for myself in the void of bereavement, I had realized that women are more complete in themselves than men.”

“Maybe their completeness is manifested in their biology itself.”

“Could be”, he said and continued, “and as if Ruma learned about my predicament telepathically, she came back to my place to light the stove the next morning before sunrise that is. Well in the privacy of our tragedy, we began to console each other as we only could, but finding our outpourings were unequal to our feelings, we began clinging to each other to let our mutual empathy seep through our skins. What with that physical proximity in our emotional upsurge infusing a sense of oneness in us, we insensibly felt closer to each other and, maybe, moved by the effusion of affection our minds nurtured for each other, our hearts goaded us to unite our bodies for our mutual solace. So, we came to ‘live-in’ so soon after losing our spouses.”

“That’s why it’s said that fact is stranger than fiction.”

“Why not,” he said. “Fiction is but the product of an author’s imagination about the possibilities of life, but the course of life is shaped by human proclivities that are beyond anyone’s grasp. In her emotional upsurge in our coition, Ruma told me that she always felt attracted to me in spite of herself, and how hard it had been for her to restrain her desire for me to retain her chastity. When I confessed about my own weakness for her, she told me that she could nuance it from my awkwardness in her presence; and about her gripping sex appeal on me, she said coyly that she had a full measure of it in her fantasies. I told her that I had even conceived a perfect murder to make her mine that was before I became friendly with Rajan, and she saw the hand of our love in the coupe d’etat of life. While the ecstasy of sex kept our sadness at bay, we clung to one another to be solaced by each other, oh, what an unceasing sexual indulgence it was, nursed by my craze for her body and fuelled by her craving for my lovemaking. Oh, how during our live-in, we became oblivious of everything other than our post-mourning wedding, and in an ironic symbolism of mourning, she handed over Rajan Builders to me as dowry-in-advance.”

“It reminds me of Sugreeva’s mourning-period orgies with Ruma, his brother Vali’s widow in the Ramayana? What a coincidence that your mate is a namesake of that woman, and you, like him, sidelined your obligations in the pursuit of carnal pleasures.”

“Your analogy is appropriate but you got the name wrong. Sugreeva’s wife was Ruma and Vali’s widow was Tara.”

“Maybe losing our cultural moorings is a side-effect of the westernization of our education,”

“You lose something to gain some other thing don’t you?” he said. “But the poetic imagination in the epics is hard to find even in the fictional aspects of the best of novels; maybe the social restraints of our times wrap up novelistic ideas in our cultural folds. When we thought that it was time to get married for form’s sake, we broke the news. While her folk felt it was redeeming for her as we happened to be of the same caste, my people had no hesitation in blessing our union for the same reason; seems caste rules our heads and hearts alike. Our well-attended wedding gave her a sense of spiritual union that our liaison failed to afford her, and again, it was Raju who took charge of the arrangements though I failed to attend his marriage that Rathi had insisted we should.”

“If I got it right, you made it seem that she had a great influence on you.”

“I’m glad you are observant and that portends well for my memoir,” he said in some excitement. “You may know that in any relationship, it is the stronger willed that calls the shots. Won’t in some ways it explains why some men are henpecked, some women too are cock-pecked, well, the latter being a rarer happening. Whatever, how marriage gives a new dimension to man woman cohabitation; I felt a new sense of belonging for the woman whom I made my own for so long by then. Maybe for want of the cultural connect of marriage our live-in was bereft of a sense of spiritual union, which deprived us of the true sense of belonging in lovemaking without our knowing it. However, as we made conjugal love in our nuptial bed, from her spasms I could sense that she had experienced a rare kind of orgasm. Why, as I divined her visage in ecstasy, her spiritual beauty that I espied gave me a premonition of her conception, that of a son. Never before or after that, with her or another, was it a like feeling.”

“Don’t they say one is happiest in the newest love?”

“No denying that but I loved to retain Rathi’s affectionate memories even as I was obsessed at not losing Ruma’s passionate love, and that should give you a measure of my weakness for Ruma, and the hold she came to have on my life.”

“You loved both of them and it’s no dichotomy. Why, a man can love more than one woman at the same time, and it’s no less a psychological possibility with women either.”

“Is it not against the ‘one life one love’ poetic grain but life as you know is more prosaic that poetic,” he said. “That day, as I returned home chastened from Raju’s place, I could clearly discern the falsity of my life! Who outgrew whom, after all? What were the yardsticks by the way, if not material possessions then it must be mundane positions; but could they be life’s quality indices in any way? Why without them, didn’t Raju outgrow all? More so, he helped others to grow as well, though on a different plane. It was as if we were dwelling on two different planets, he, on the artistic, and I, on the counterfeit. How self-limiting are all the worldly attributes; can one grow, leave alone outgrow, with a narrow vision. Oh, the naivety of my vanity! Damn my inability to see beyond the self-built façade of opacity. Even now I couldn’t help but wonder what my life would’ve been like had Rathi not left me mid-course. It was as if such a thought process, after crossing the Rubicon would be inimical, the exigencies of office then put me on the beaten track of life. And that’s life.”

Continued to “Pangs of Remorse”


More by :  BS Murthy

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