Benign Flame: Saga of Love - 7
Continued from “World within the World”
That Sunday morning, the picnic spot at Gandipet, on the banks of Osmansagar, was crowded with holidaymakers of all descriptions. When Sathyam and Roopa reached the place on their Lambretta, the gathering found their bearings for reveling.
“Mrs. Sathyam is marvelous,” admired a middle-aged man within Roopa’s hearing.
Though the compliment pleased her no end, the allusion startled her. Soon she was galled at the inevitability of her social identity as Mrs. Sathyam, and thought in despair,
‘Mrs. Sathyam could be the prop of my public stance but who would know about my private reconciliation for accommodation.’
However, the admiring looks of the males around, and the eagerness of the females to befriend her, enlivened her mood, Roopa didn’t fail to discern the amorous glances of men who loitered around her, though the not so forthright appeared casual, camouflaging their craving. When someone proposed a round of rummy, and produced three sets of unopened packs, as if to seduce the fence sitters, Sathyam, who was amusing himself with some children nearby, was summoned. Roopa too was roped in for a quorum.
“Five rupees a count,” proposed a regular clubman.
“If it were for stakes, I’m not a game for it,” Sathyam tended to withdraw
“A card-game without stakes is like an amorous exercise with the incapable; only the hands ache as the libido gets no relief,” remarked the regular.
“Why spoil the party; any way, you’ve the sidekicks at the club for your kicks,” said his friend.
Seeing Roopa adept at the game, Sathyam asked,
“How come you play so well?”
“We used to play at Sandhya’s place,” she said declaring yet another deal.
“Mrs. Sathyam I think you would make a fortune if only you turn into a pro. You’ve got the skill and luck in the required measures to sweep the stakes,” complimented the regular.
“Lucky at cards and unlucky in love, so why bother her with your proposition,” said his friend.
After scooting the next deal, Roopa looked up, as if on cue, and found a youth perched on a low branch. Sensing that he was looking down at her, she realized her pallu had loosened its guard on her assets making her readjust her apparel to block her enticing valley to his probing glances. Blushing nevertheless, she seemed pleased at his enterprise and experienced a sense of romanticism underlined by his eagerness.
After the brunch, when the group gathered for a round of bingo with gusto, as Sathyam missed the house narrowly, commented a wag amongst them, “With a wife like his in his house, where’s the need for another house.”
Spending the day in mirth and merriment, and having agreed upon the need for future outings, the gathering dispersed towards the evening.
“I hope you’ve enjoyed; how everyone sings your praises! I’m really proud of you,” said Sathyam as she got onto the pillion.
“It’s a nice outing,” she said fondly glancing backwards as they proceeded homewards.
While the euphoria of the event cast an infectious spell on Roopa, synchronous with his spirits, Sathyam switched into the top gear.
As though to bring Roopa back to her humdrum routine, the next morning, Yadamma turned up for work past nine.
“Why so late?” said Roopa in irritation
“I was held up at Taraamma’s house,” Yadamma began her harangue by way of an explanation. “I was helping her pack up for her journey. Don’t worry amma; she won’t go out much, may be once or twice in a month, and that too just for two or three days, no more.”
As Yadamma got on with her work, satisfied with the explanation, Roopa busied herself with the lunch-box for Sathyam. However, when the buzzer sounded that afternoon, breaking the monotony, Roopa expected the postman, and finding him, she experienced a sense of excitation.
“Have you moved in recently?” asked the postman handing her a couple of envelopes.
“My father is a Post Master at Kakinada,” she said, and seeing that the letters were from Sandhya and her father, she felt that it was bonus post for her.
“So we’re baradaris; I’ll treat your mail as our family mail,” he said as he left.
Closing the door behind him, she opened Ramaiah’s letter first, not wanting to get distracted from the bliss of Sandhya’s missive later. As she culled through her father’s letter, she gathered that all was well at home, and felt glad about that. But as she fondly gazed at her address in Sandhya’s hand, her eyes glistened with fondness. When she pressed the envelope to her bosom, her breasts started heaving as though to synchronize her emotions with Sandhya’s anticipated feelings. As she unfolded the letter at length, her eyes became antennas to transmit the spasms of Sandhya’s heart to her soul.
‘Roopa, my Lovey,
I couldn’t think of a better way of addressing you than the one you thought for me, moreover, you are to me what I am to you, aren’t you?
In our separation, I feel as though the vitals of my body and the essence of my soul were wrenched out from me. I have come to realize that your body is but an extension of my soul. I can feel your line like the flow in my veins - I’ve carried my body leaving behind my soul in your frame. Now I know, more than ever, that we are complete only in our togetherness. I pray that after I get married, we might become neighbors for all our life. Until then, we have to bear our separation and bide for the time.
Sorry for having kept you waiting for so long for my letter. Well, I was at a loss for words when it came to writing to you. Believe me.
As Roopa read and reread the letter, her innate longing for Sandhya wrenched her every nerve. Thus at bedtime that night, having shown her father’s letter to Sathyam, she said, “I want to go home.”
“What’s the hurry? We would be going there for the dasara,” he said softly.
“Dasara is far way, then we can go together,” she tried to persuade him.
“It’s not even a month since we’ve set up our sweet home and why sour it so soon,” he said in smile and tried to take her into his arms, as though to whisper the prescription for her ailment,
“Dear, you’ve to get over your homesickness.”
Dodging him, she turned her back on him.
“Don’t behave like a kid,” he said affectionately, and tried to turn her to his side.
“What have you got to do with a kid?” she said as she resisted his advances.
“You know that I didn’t mean it that way,” he said softly, cuddling her.
“Never mind, I prefer being a kid,” she said withdrawing from his embrace.
“I am sorry if I’ve hurt you,” he said pleadingly.
“If you are really sorry, let me be alone,” she said, and pulled a blanket over her head, signaling curtains for him.
The next day too Sathyam had to contend with a morose Roopa, and during bedtime, as if to preempt his move, she pretended headache. Unable to bear the tension born out of her regimen, that plagued him for a couple of days more, he gave in.
“Look, I’ve a surprise for you,” he said that night.
Though she smelt victory, she feigned indifference.
“You can travel this Saturday,” he said showing her the reserved ticket.
“Thank you,” she tried to appear casual.
“Now at least you can bring your bewitching smile back onto your fascinating face,” he said, taking her into his arms.
Having enfeebled him into setting a precedent, as she was not averse to giving in, she said enticingly,
“Switch off the light.”
Roopa’s arrival that Sunday morning took her parents, still at ablutions, all by surprise.
“What’s the matter?” said Janaki apprehensively.
“Oh, don’t imagine things, I’ve come to have some fun,” said Roopa heartily.
“Still Sathyam should’ve wired about your arrival,” said Ramaiah in relief,
“If you’re not pleased, I’ll go back right now,” said Roopa making a mocking move.
“Stop it now, how’s your husband?” said Janaki holding Roopa’s hand.
“He’s fine but where are our devils?” said Roopa looking around.
As though to answer her query, Chandrika emerged from the bathroom and Raju came from the vegetable market.
“So, Raju gives you a helping hand these days,” Roopa said aloud before whispering to him.”What’s the commission like my boy?”
“How is my poor brother-in-law suffering your nagging?” Raju said in jest.
“What’s the news from Suguna?” said Roopa.
“She’s doing fine with her family,” said Janaki with that sense of satisfaction mothers derive at the well-being of their married daughters. “But she complains that you don’t write to her.”
“Ask her if she ever wrote to me,” said Roopa.
“How parents wish that their children develop a strong family bond that binds the coming generations but sadly these days even the first cousins are not on familiar terms,” said Janaki stoically.
As Janaki went back to her kitchen chores, Roopa and Chandrika closeted over coffee to exchange confidences.
“Won’t you show me the progress card?” said Roopa eagerly,
“He’s on the lookout for a job in Madras. We want to move out of here to save embarrassment to our parents. Hopefully the decks would be cleared by December. You know he’s eager to meet you,” said Chandrika holding Roopa’s hand.
“It should be a pleasure meeting my brother-in-law in the making,” said Roopa.
“I hope, your fears are but liars,” said Chandrika hoping to hear in the affirmative.
“When hopes are duped what’s there to fear? Maybe, it’s in the nature of marriage that one learns to fall in line,” said Roopa resignedly.
“I’ll know that any way but you should know without you Sandhya is like a fish out of water. Oh, how she loves you!’ said Chandrika.
“If not for her love, there’s no hope left in my life,” said Roopa closing her eyes as though to picture her friend.
“How I wish I too had a friend like her,” said Chandrika.
“Roopa, why don’t you have your bath,” yelled Janaki from the kitchen.
“I’ll have an early lunch and go to Sandhya’s place,” said Roopa to Chandrika, picking up her bathrobe.
“I know you would be restless till you meet her but tell me, how you are managing your home?” said Janaki in smile as Roopa went into the kitchen on her way to the bathroom.
“You’re welcome for inspection,” said Roopa smiling.
“Why won’t we come after you settle down,” said Janaki
“I hope you’re making the best of life,” said Ramaiah joining them.
“You should know how your father is worried about you,” said Janaki to Roopa.
“No need for that as he looks after me famously,” said Roopa thoughtfully.
After bath, in her eagerness to rush to Sandhya, Roopa joined her mother in the kitchen to pressurize her to speed up the cooking. But hardly could Roopa eat what her mother so fondly served her in time, and rushing in a rickshaw, she reached Sandhya’s place only to fumble in greeting Damayanthi at tête-à-tête with a guest.
When Roopa began to hop up the steps to Sandhya’s room, Damayanthi in concern sounded caution, and told her guest,
“She’s Roopa, Sandhya’s friend, looks like they are born for friendship.”
Storming into Sandhya’s bed without a word, Roopa overwhelmed her in a cyclonic embrace and buried her head in her sharp valley and excited by her touch for which she was craving, Sandhya wanted gratification for her soul as well with the timbre of Roopa’s tone. However, even as Sandhya parted her sensuous lips to initiate a dialogue, Roopa in all eagerness to savor them, closed in on them for deep kissing, and even when her lips were set free, Sandhya couldn’t give vent to her feelings past monosyllables as Roopa went on probing her labia with her craving tongue. But when Roopa’s clamor rent the air as Sandhya plunged her tongue into her surging vulva to savor its flavor, they both had gratifying feeling.
“Oh! It’s as if it were ages,” said Sandhya in embosom with Roopa.
“You make me die for you!” crooned Roopa into Sandhya’s ear.
“I’m going crazy craving for you,” said Sandhya longingly.
“Sad, we failed to make it before I was trapped in the wedlock,” said Roopa fondling Sandhya.
“But still so much life is left for us,” said Sandhya fondling Roopa.
“What if your ‘would-be’ won’t turn a blind eye?” said Roopa in apprehension.
“Shall I marry a blind man?” said Sandhya in jest.
“Jokes apart, what if he spoils our party?’ said Roopa in speculation.
“If it comes to that I would walk out on him,” said Sandhya mirthfully.
“Won’t it be far better if I too give myself to him,” said Roopa mystically.
‘That would herald our fulsome threesome,” said Sandhya dreamily.
“Given our love, no doubt about that,” said Roopa heartily.
“By the way, how’re things with you?” said Sandhya
“There’s nothing wrong with him but nothing goes right for me. That’s the irony of it all,” said Roopa as though grasping the reality.
“Why this emergency landing?” said Sandhya in seeming innocence.
“Haven’t you posted the wings for me to fly into your nest,’ said Roopa looking at Sandhya endearingly.
“Lovey, for our love’s sake find a groom for me in your locality,” said Sandhya.
“Good idea, but I’ve come to believe that I’m born unlucky,” said Roopa pensively.
“I swear that I’ll do everything to make you happy, our ménage a trois included,” said Sandhya overwhelmed.
“Know it’s your love that keeps my life going,” said Roopa, touched by all that.
“We’ll keep it that way, come what may,” said Sandhya, signing the kiss of contract with her lips.
“I know we would at any cost,” said Roopa, grabbing Sandhya’s lips to seal the agreement.
Buoyed by Sandhya’s commitment to their love and accompanied by Raju, Roopa called on her in-laws that evening.
“We’ve always felt you would make a good daughter-in-law,” said a satisfied Durgamma, after an hour-long enquiry. Taking leave in the end, Roopa promised to stay with them for a couple of days before she left for Hyderabad.
“The waiting is killing, bunk the post-lunch sessions,” Roopa said as she nestled into Sandhya the next evening.
“Is it to let all the tongues wag,” said Sandhya in jest.
“Thirsting for your wag,” said Roopa protruding her tongue.
“See how dry is mine,” said Sandhya showing hers.
“I’m all wet for that,” said Roopa shedding her sari.
“Your figure dear is flowing to perfection,” said Sandhya fondling Roopa in their embrace.
“Thank the change of the climes for that,” said Roopa naughtily.
“Don’t be mean, give credit to whom it’s due,” said Sandhya teasingly, squeezing Roopa’s breasts.
“Ok, let me debit from your account now,” said Roopa reaching for Sandhya’s crotch.
“Oh, how I feel wanted!” sputtered Sandhya in time.
“You make me live,” continued Roopa.
Next day, when Roopa went to Chandrika’s office, she saw her with a man of about thirty, and felt that he could be her beau.
“This is Roopa,” Chandrika introduced her to him.
“I am Anand the ever grateful,” he said folding his hands.
“Please, don’t make much of it,” said Roopa in embarrassment.
“Your gesture is love-saving for us,” he said nevertheless.
“I’m glad you’re happy, but how are you sure that I didn’t have an axe to grind?” said Roopa as though to shed part of her guilt.
“Even then, it doesn’t lessen our gratitude,” he insisted.
‘I don’t deserve it, though,’ she thought, but said, “I wish you all the best.”
“Thank you,” he said as he left them to exchange notes.
“How do you like him?” enquired Chandrika eagerly.
“He has got good features, you’ve chosen well,” said Roopa shaking Chandrika’s hand in congratulation.
“Coming from you, it’s a compliment,” said Chandrika in elation
When it was time for Roopa’s departure, the mates felt wrenched from one another. Neither was Janaki satisfied. ‘You were hardly at home,’ she complained. Seeing his daughter in a happy frame of mind, Ramaiah, however, thought she got reconciled to her situation at last and felt relieved at that. However, the three days she spent in her in-laws’ house, with the constant reference to Sathyam therein, made her experience the effect of his presence more in his absence, which made her feel that she was in the annex of her own home.
Continued to “Threshold of Temptation”