Benign Flame: Saga of Love - 18
Continued from “Tentative Moves”
After siesta that evening, Sandhya proposed a stroll on the nearby Tank Bund and as they came out, Roopa suggested that they might as well walk all the way. Soon, when they ascended the adjacent staircase of Kattamaisamma temple and reached the top of the age-old structure, Raja Rao’s eyes caught the line of new age statues on granite pedestals. Wanting to see them all at close quarters, they walked past the row of life-size bronzes of renowned Andhras, and having read the inspiring inscriptions in gold on them, he marveled, ‘A great idea’.
“It’s NTR’s,” said Sandhya.
“That became controversial” said Roopa
“How come?” he said seemingly surprised.
“There was a minor row raked up in the local press about the advisability of spending millions on them, bringing the schemes for the needy to a grinding halt,” explained Roopa.
“It could be the mischief of the out-of-power politicos itching for political spoils. Even if one kid, who sees them, were to be inspired by the deeds of any one of these greats, then the value of that life for the humanity would countervail the cost of all these statues put together. But whither gone Srinatha,” articulated Raja Rao.
“It’s odd that kavisarvabhowma is absent,” said Roopa.
“When Thyagaiah is rightly accorded the pride of place, ignoring the most romantic Telugu poet is indeed puzzling,” said Sandhya in agreement.
However, in time, as they reached the statue of Sir Arthur Cotton, Raja Rao commented,
“It’s very thoughtful to treat this Englishman as our own.”
After a go around, as they relaxed on the lawns near the Nannaya’s, the topic turned to culture and literature.
“The hallmark of greatness is the ability to appreciate the virtues of other peoples and their cultures. You may know that Appaiah Dikshitar, the Tamil poet-saint said that to be born an Andhra and to be able to speak Telugu is a boon, which cannot be achieved without much penance. But normally bigotry makes people imagine that they are superior to the rest of the peoples put together,” articulated Raja Rao.
As it started drizzling by then, they thought of leaving.
“I love getting drenched,” said Roopa
“Me too,” said Sandhya.
“I’ll fall in line,” said Raja Rao, looking at Roopa.
Halfway through, having got caught in the pouring rain, in no time, they got wet to their roots, and falling behind them on purpose, Raja Rao went on devouring Roopa’s flowing figure at its back.
In her wet sari that tightly hugged her body, as though to squeeze itself dry, her provocative frame evoked passion in his groins. Her splendid back of tan exposed by the seeming dissolution of her brownish blouse induced in him a craving for showering it with his kisses. Her narrow waist, left part-bare by her sari, enabled him to envision the carnal character of her luscious form. The slit of her seat, discernible at every step, stepped up his urge for a ‘novel’ possession of her exquisite body. As if to feast his eyes with her wondrous legs, when she artfully hitched her sari to bare them, their enticing shape enveloped his vision. In that rainy setting, whenever she turned at street corners, the sight of her heavy boobs wetted by the Act of God whetted his appetite.
At length, as he instinctively turned his gaze towards his wife for an unintended comparison, he found her talking animatedly to her mate. Her exquisite demeanour made him envision the evocative charm of a bunch of grapes in the midst of the season. He felt that the smooth contours of her delectable form imparted waviness to the sari she wore. Then, as the skies were brightened by lightning, he visualised that his wife’s rosy face glowed even more by the radiance of her amiable nature.
‘Individually they picture contrasting charms but together they symbolize beauty itself,’ he thought as he went on analyzing his state of mind stormed by Roopa. ‘What a marvel of a woman! Imagine she’s infatuated with me! How sweet love is in its tentativeness! That’s the charm of it, isn’t it? But as the urge surges, so would the pain for possession in the pangs of passion. Only her soothing embrace can bring solace to my perturbed soul. Surely she’s enamoured of me but would she be inclined to bestow her final favor upon me? Regardless of her proclivities, still a liaison with her friend’s husband remains a big hurdle for her to cross, isn’t it? Whatever it is, my cup of life would be half empty till I have her as well.’
‘Why am I allowing myself to be distracted by her charms when my bride herself is so fresh?’ he thought in wonderment. ‘Why to start with its love at first sight, for both of us and then hadn’t Zola averred that love increases in proportion to the possibility of possession. That way, Tara is no mean a charmer either; any man would gladly put his soul on the line to win her favours. Yet, there’s no way I can possess her, but for which who knows, I might have been eying her as well. Thankfully, it’s all different with Roopa for her friendship with Sandhya might usher in our liaison, sooner or later.’
Even as he felt hopeful of having Roopa someday, her enamored eyes and suggestive glances that he reminisced, had only fuelled his passion for her possession.
‘Possession, to be meaningful, should be timely,’ he reasoned, as he increased his pace to come closer to the women. ‘When we would meet next time, who knows, she could be carrying, and shortly thereafter, holding her child in my lap, won’t I be left wondering as to what it would have been like had I possessed her before? Then, won’t it turn out to be a life-long regimen of seeing a bloated Roopa belatedly? Thus, with nothing left to inspire possession, and having gained to make it difficult, won’t she leave me pondering over her past contours in her rotund presence? And in time, won’t the hoped-for possession on a grand scale passion end up being a damp squib in a platonic fashion? It would be for sure and sadly at that.’
‘Won’t it be sexy having her now when her figure is at its curvy best,’ it crossed him as they turned the corner to reach home. ‘Besides, going by her hungry looks, she seems to be ready for it. What if I go to her on the sly after Sandhya falls asleep? Surely, she wouldn’t push me away even if she won’t pull me into her arms. But won’t that be the cue for me to press ahead over her sexy frame to usher in our liaison?
‘But that would make sense if I were put up here,’ he thought dejectedly. ‘In a one-night stand, I might barely taste her flavor to savor which takes the possession of a lifetime. Maybe the romance of a night might meet the demands of our urges but only a continuing union could fulfill the craving of our souls. Thus, even if I were to coax her into bed now, my prolonged absence thereafter might lead her astray in due course. Why having lost her inhibitions in crossing the marital line to have a fling with me; won’t she in time become vulnerable to the advances of some seducer or the other? God forbid, should that happen, instead of giving her the solace of love, won’t I become the root cause of her depravity?’
As he shuddered to imagine her moral fall, he resolved, ‘It’s as well that we moved in here before I begin wooing her.’
Soon as they reached home in that wet setting, Roopa goaded Sandhya to go in for a shower.
“Have you seen Pakeezah?” Roopa said with a sense of urgency.
“I liked it, what about you?” he said sensing some inference from her in that love story.
“I found the movie moving and the songs meaningful,” she said, giving an impression that she left something unsaid.
“Especially, ‘yuhi koyi, about a chancy meeting and thereafter,” he said, as though he understood what was unsaid,
“True, do you believe that marriages are made in heaven?” she said as though to convey more than she has enquired.
“Maybe, but why on earth one shouldn’t fall in love?” he said, as if he was clarifying their position.
“Why not one?” she echoed after a pause, during which she conveyed her approval with her gaze.
When Sandhya came out from the bathroom, Roopa tried to goad him into it, but as he insisted that he would shower later, she went in there disappointed. Nevertheless, after her fetish-less bath, about to clear the clothesline, she changed her mind and chose to leave her dirty linen behind.
‘Surely, he would scan my innerwear,’ she thought thrilled about the possibility. ‘That could be the reason why he insisted that I have my bath before him. What a clever lover! Won’t he size my brassiere for his grasp and smell it as well for my body odour? When it comes to my panty, well.’
At that, the thought of his fetishism involving her bra and drawer created a sensation in her body, which made her shiver expectantly. ‘Why not I confirm his doings by noting the arrangement,’ she thought mischievously and arranged her lingerie meticulously.
Thereafter, as he went for bath, she kept time. While she visualized him handling her brassiere, she felt as though he were squeezing her breasts, and when she anticipated him to smell the thing, she felt as though his breath had warmed her breasts but above all, the idea that he would be toying with her panty pulsated her frame.
As he came out of it, lying in wait, she rushed into the bathroom, only to return from there in a fulfilled manner much later.
When it was time to call it a day, Roopa addressed Raja Rao,
“I hope you don’t mind using the bedroom.”
“Why bother, the hall should do for us,” he said embarrassedly.
“I would rather insist that you use the bedroom. Though we’re fine otherwise, it takes us a little to accommodate our guests,” said Roopa.
“The need of any family could be a couple of chairs besides a cot or two as the occasional visitors can be accommodated on some spare bed or the other,’ he said as if to make them grasp the underlying irony of the so-called status. “So, a house is where we take shelter as we live and vacate as we die, but the paraphernalia we tend to acquire is meant more to announce our arrival on the social stage than to cater to our homely requirements. Thus, having put them in place at great cost, and with much compromise even, we won’t rest till we show them off to our acquaintances.”
“You make me feel at home in my house,” said Roopa in response.
“It’s the best compliment I’ve ever received from any hostess,” he said.
“You do feel at home,” she said in an undertone to him as Sandhya went in to have some water.
“When I’m welcomed,” he whispered to her.
Soon, Sandhya followed her husband, however after winking at her friend.
“Isn’t it embarrassing?” said Raja Rao as Sandhya bolted the door.
“Never mind, I’ll join her later,” said Sandhya reaching him.
Readily sinking into her husband’s embrace, while she felt that he seemed fonder than ever before for her friend too was fond of him, pressing her closer, he found himself fantasizing her friend’s presence, and as he made love to his wife, he began craving his lover’s embrace as well. So, even as he got ecstatic in their climax, yet he felt wanting in his fulfillment.
‘Won’t I need them both for my fulfillment?’ he contemplated after his wife left him to reach her mate. ‘Though my emotions for each are discernible, my love for them seems indivisible, and yet how well they fit in our love triangle? Oh, how they adore each other? Won’t that ensure they could be receptive to the threesome idea? But still, I need to prod them a little to help them overcome their inhibitions. But once drawn into the love triangle, won’t they find it fascinating to envision each other making love to me? Sandhya might feel fulfilled seeing the woman she adores gratifying the man they love. In turn, finding the man she admires at coitus with the woman she loves, Roopa could indeed feel fulfilled. Thus feeling beholden, won’t Roopa enlace Sandhya in all empathy as if to share her joy? If only Freud got it right, won’t their latent leanings lead them to the lesbian frontiers to feast my eyes?’
Soon in her daydream, Raja Rao sank into a deep sleep.
Roopa was in luscious wait as an ardent Sandhya reached her. Even as she was shedding her sari to merge herself with her mate’s nudeness, Roopa pulled her into her makeshift bed. After having yielded to her man’s passion, as Sandhya felt ecstatic fondling her mate’s frame, she could discern the duality of her desire on a differing plane. She felt that while the coition with her man affords her the womanly worth, her lesbianism with her mate ennobles her innate femininity. So, having comprehended the true value of the emollient variation of her sexuality to her life, she began to engage her mate with all lesbian with gusto. Moreover, the realization that she felt fulfilled by the male passion only sharpened her ardour to satiate her mate’s lesbian urge. As for Roopa, the very thought that her lover just coited with her mate sharpened her sensuality, and that made her feel as though she smelled him through his wife’s medium. Thus, as Roopa cuddled Sandhya, she could yet feel his masculinity in his wife’s body; and deep kissing her, she felt as though she tasted his saliva in her palate. Soon, so as to satiate herself, Roopa reached in her mate where her lover had mounted for his fulfillment, and then visualizing his manhood in motion, when she turned oral at the source of its lubrication, as if to savour the taste of his cum, Sandhya went into raptures craving for her man’s presence in her mate’s company.
With the mutual solace their lovemaking afforded them, as they lay languid in their arms, said Roopa,
“Now kiss and tell what’s like it with him?”
Whispering her reminiscences of her honeymoon for Roopa’s ears, Sandhya said,
“Somehow, even the vigour of his virility can’t subdue my urge for our mating. How I wished you came along with us.”
“I think my luck and love, are poles apart, if only I were single, maybe I would’ve begged you to take me along with you as your co-wife. What’s worse for me, you would be so far away, increasing my misery even more,” said Roopa melancholically.
“Now I too feel that we would’ve been better off living together as co-wives,” said Sandhya moved herself.
“I could divorce Sathyam for Act - 1 but having a wife like you, would your man be ready for Act - 2?” said Roopa half in jest.
“I’ll ask him,” Sandhya half-rose in mock seriousness.
“Leave that to me,” said Roopa, as she pulled Sandhya back into her bare arms, “but have you told him about us?”
“Not yet, though I was thinking about it all the while,” said Sandhya dreamily. “Anyway, our love doesn’t take anything away from him as our amour is not hampering my ardour for him. Though I find the associated emotions are so different, yet I see neither a conflict nor a contradiction in them. I’ve come to realise that my emotions for you and affection for him are nursed in separate corners of my heart. But how come you never talked about it to Sathyam?”
“As I don’t feel for him much, there’s no emotional hitch as such,” said Roopa dryly.
“But now it looks like you’re Ok with him,” said Sandhya.
“Don’t I’ve duties as his wife? I thought I’ve no right to make him feel wanting due to my disillusionment. Maybe, it could be risky to reveal it even to your husband, as he might not like it. It would be the death of me if he weans you away from me,” said Roopa looking vacantly.
“I love you for the way you feel for us but even if I tell him, I know he’ll understand. Yet I would wait though I told him about that city bus escapade,” said Sandhya, kissing Roopa.
“What’s his reaction?” Roopa sat up, as if to watch his feelings in Sandhya’s face.
“He made light of it all as no more than a small pleasure,” said Sandhya.
“I’m happy that you’ve got a confident man,” Roopa kissed her as if the gesture was meant for him.
“Good night, let me see if he gets up, you’ve made me need him all again,” Sandhya whispered.
“Good night and good luck,” said Roopa winking at Sandhya.
‘Why is life hard on some while being soft on others?’ Roopa contemplated after Sandhya had left. ‘The sastras would have us believe that it’s all owing to karma, while the philosophers stress that life is conditioned by a combination of circumstances. It could be true either way, but how does that help me in anyway. For all that, does life play favorites? But that’s unlikely, isn’t it? After all, why should it be partial to some when all bear its patent? Yet, some like me get condemned, all the time. But why is that so?’
‘It’s as though life has an obligation for itself as a whole and not to the individuals that make up the whole,’ she tried to probe into the proclivities of life as though to solve the puzzle of her predicament. ‘It would appear as if life feels a monotonous regimen would bore people to death, thereby bringing the creation to an unintended end. So, for the larger good of mankind, it could be constrained to contrive individual inequities to keep alive the general interest in it. Wonder how it prepares the black list for the fate to act upon! As all are dear to it were it not possible that blindfolded, it would go in for random selection with a sinking heart! And once fate gets hold of life’s blacklist, won’t weddings come in handy for it to impart misery in many wrong permutations and provide bliss in a few right combinations! Then is there nothing left for me to do than to regret my fate, all my life?’
As though her pain moved nature itself, it opened the skies to shed its tears, and closing the windows to avoid the spatter, she felt melancholic, ‘So that’s how I’ve got the rough end of the marital stick then. But why not grab the silken glove of liaison that is dangling before me now? Won’t that meet life’s innate need for variety as well? When it could impose a husband of its choice on me, why not I choose a paramour of my own liking?’
As it stopped raining as though on cue, opening the windows, Roopa felt nature too has seemingly desired her turbulence to end in Raja Rao’s arms.
‘Would it be fair to Sathyam?’ she tried to analyze as she was consumed by self-doubts all again. ‘But then, what could be done when fidelity imposes a loveless life on me? By the way, what’s this fidelity all about? Isn’t it man’s means to rein in woman’s proclivities? Though male-female attraction is the cornerstone of creation, yet man seeks to blindfold woman with the band of marital loyalty, never mind his own roving eye. Leaving that aside, what does a wife ought to give her man? Well, she should keep an amiable home for him to recreate and procreate, and as for love, she needs it as much as he, doesn’t she? But is love something of a recipe that a woman could prepare at her husband’s bidding?’
‘How can I help as he doesn’t inspire love in my heart,’ she wailed at her plight. ‘Is it not said that love is but a part of man’s life while it is a woman’s whole existence? Why, it’s every bit true! Sathyam is merry in marriage, enjoying all that goes with it, while I’m miserable, despairing for love. I can’t be happy without Raja, that’s clear by now, isn’t it? Then, don’t I owe something to my life as well? What’s the contradiction in leading my love life with Raja even as I cater to Sathyam’s marital needs? It seems to be the only sensible way to go about my life than to feel deprived all the while.’
Thus, having resolved to have Raja Rao for a paramour, she was at peace with herself, ‘But it would be unfair for woman to let the paramour father her child. Maybe, it’s the only thing unethical about adultery, isn’t it? A woman ought to take care that things don’t be mixed up in the process. Surely I would need Raja for my fulfillment and Sathyam can have his child if he could.’
Having resolved on a liaison with her lover, Roopa slumbered in expectation.
Continued to “Curtain of Courtesy”