Benign Flame: Saga of Love - 30
Continued from “A Brimming Romance”
The Godavari Express, which Roopa boarded at Secunderabad that September evening, raced on the railway track as if powered by the pull of her passion even as the sound of its vibrations synchronized with the pounding of her heart beats. But, when the train came to a screeching halt at Kazipet, ending her two-hour long anxiety, it didn’t take long for her to jump into the waiting arms of Raja Rao.
“I was worried about your train making it in time,” she said after deep kissing him for long, unmindful of the surroundings.
“Why would I take chances? I was ahead by a day,” he said holding her.
“Oh, sorry for your lovely wait,” she said, not hiding her happiness.
“What is it before our year-long longing,” he crooned into her ear.
Then as they reached the first class bogie, pulling him towards the farthest entrance, she said,
“I’ve something to show you.”
“Can’t you wait till we get in?” he winked at her.
“It’s a special from the Indian Railways for us,” she said, and read aloud from the passenger chart pasted over there.
MR. RAJA RAO
MRS. ROOPA RAO
“You know how to feel love, and express it as well,” he said pressing her shoulder.
“Isn’t it a bold statement in bold letters?” she said clinging to him lovingly.
“Even small print suits our lovesick eyes,” he said lovingly.
“Of brave souls, that is,” she said looking at him admiringly.
“True,” he said looking at her lovingly.
“How are you dear?” she asked him, at last, when they settled down in the coupe.
“Yours eagerly,” he said winking at her.
“Let me see,” she felt him at the soured of her fulfillment.
“How are things?” he said holding her breasts.
“Am I not happy?” she said joyously.
“Say radiate but what about him?” he said taking her hand.
“He became homebody all again, well with the bottle for company; at last, I could make him feel at home in his home. Shall I tell him to thank you for that,” she said in all smiles.
“Never mind, I would befriend him,” he said with an apparent satisfaction.
“Why buy a headache?” she smiled.
“What could be worse than the heartache we’ve had, oh, how I shudder to think of those days,” he said squeezing her hand.
“What about these days?” resting on his shoulder she caressed his chest.
“Don’t you see that my cup of joy is overflowing?” he said reaching for her lips.
“When I heard about the new arrival, I felt as if I were her mother,” she said.
‘So, she’ll have a double protection against my pampering,” he said smilingly.
‘Before I forget, these days all say that I’ve become forgetful,” she began.
“Lost in love!” he said, interrupting her.
“But to regain myself I’ve paid an advance for your office as well as Sandhya’s Sweet Home, both in Himayatnagar,” she said enthusiastically.
“So, you’ve got the sets ready for my shooting,” he said pinching her crotch.
Shortly thereafter, the TTE had come and gone, leaving them on their own, and having bolted the door, Raja Rao opened his suitcase, and pulled out an ‘Intimate’.
“When you’re around, why do I need this?” she said, smelling it.
“Nothing is better scented than your body, it’s just to make it a witness to our intimacy,” he said, rubbing his nose all over her.
“You’re such a pet,” she said, running her fingers through his curly hair.
“I read your letter a hundred times for its romantic quality,” he said as he pulled it from his pocket.
“Thanks for your compliment, for my maiden attempt,” she sank into him coyly.
“Why don’t you read it for me?” he gave her the letter.
“Why do you want to embarrass me?” she said gazing at it lovingly.
“Having seen your love in the print of your hand, now I want to savour it in the tenor of your tone,” he coaxed her.
She smiled with satisfaction, but read with inhibition.
Believe me, for more than an hour now, I’ve been toying with my pen to picture the feelings of my heart so that you could feel them in my missive. If only you’ve been around, by now, we would’ve made love twice over. Is there any human expression other than lovemaking that is so full in its intent and content!
I wonder why I feel so diffident to find words to express that by which I breathe life, is it not our love that helps me live. Maybe, a woman prefers to preserve her love in the recess of her heart, as if its exposure, even to her lover, deprives it of its pristine purity. You know, I didn’t have any inhibitions turning nude that night, before your very eyes, that too on my own. So, isn’t it strange that I should struggle now to bare my heart, in spite of your command! It looks like the emotions of my love are closer to my heart than the feelings of my frame, if not, how could have I steered clear of all those temptations for the appointment with our fulfillment? Oh what a destiny!
Why, I’m annoyed with you still, for having insisted on my penning down my inner feelings, although I made you privy to every nuance of my emotion. Haven’t I conveyed my craving for you through my body, every time it was entwined with yours? But, as you know, I only live to fulfill every whim and fancy of yours.
All the same, I can feel your desire to behold our love in my hand, having seen it through my eyes. But be certain that whichever way you look at it, you will still find me fulfilled. If I could make you feel likewise, I would have a purpose to live, and a cause to die for. Don’t you pull faces (she paused to see his face and found it aglow) I know what our love means to you too.
Thanks to our union, I have a revelation, as I find it hard to relive the sexual ecstasy I’ve experienced with you; the sensual pleasure of your touch has come to stay in my consciousness. It is as though the softness of your skin has seeped through my flesh.
I’m in wait - to meet and mate.
Yours ever, by heart and soul,
“I’m eager,” he said.
“I’ll ablute,” she went about it.
“I’m thirsty,” he said in time.
“Let’s turn 69.”
“Oh, my Roopa,” he sputtered at length.
“Let’s roll over.”
“Don wants it,” he said pushing her away in time.
“Dame too craves.”
“Juicy welcome,” he said as she took him in.
“I’m going mad,” she groaned.
“Your spasms tell,” he crooned.
“I’m dying,” she cried.
“How thrilling,” he moaned.
“Your motions tell,” she was ecstatic.
“I’m coming!” he exclaimed.
“My orgasm tells,” she cooed in the end.
As they lay in embrace, she said,
“Lay me in the bed that I grew up daydreaming.”
“What a love rash you’ve?” he said in all admiration.
“If it’s a new coinage, you must attribute it to me,” she said happily.
“Done darling,” he said kissing her.
“Won’t laying the hen in its den be a big game?” she said lovingly.
“What next, my den,” he said, in jest.
“Imagine the possibilities, with the other one around,” she winked at him.
“How devilishly you love Roopa!” he exclaimed.
“A devil in the bed and an angel otherwise, haven’t you heard it said,” she said joyously.
“I’m coming to know about it,” he said smilingly, and added after a pause, “What of Prasad?”
“Are you jealous of him?” she said coquettishly.
“Has one loved without being jealous? Do you know of any?” he said holding her.
“I feel sorry for him that I made him waste his time in his fruitless chase,” she said.
“How generous you are, even to your adversary,” he said.
“But still, won’t he have a cause of action to claim opportunity costs from me,” she said in jest, only to continue reflectively, “Shortly after you left, he came to force me into surrender and I could clearly see that he came determined to drag me into bed. How intense was he in his intent then, and what a storm he created at that is beyond description. Oh, how he tried every tool in his lusty kit to wrench my resolve, why he even threatened to kill himself with my kitchen knife. Since I didn’t yield even then, he injured himself on his chest as if carrying out his threat to kill himself. As I remained unmoved after all that, he called me a frigid flirt, and angered by my stony silence, he left in a huff, never to return.’
“Maybe he too loves you,” said Raja Rao.
“Though he lusted after me like nobody else, he never came to love me; why, at the very outset my sixth sense forewarned me about it. If not, he could’ve had me much before you made me yours. Oh, you can only see to believe the intensity of his passion that day! Thank God, your August visit saved the day for our love and me as well; otherwise, I don’t think I could’ve mustered the required strength to resist him then,” she said reminiscently,
Then, as she hugged him with the relief associated with having escaped some danger, he held her with the feeling associated in retrieving a valued object before its accidental fall, and said,
“But would he leave it at that. What if he begins spying upon you?”
“I told Sathyam about it all, to take the wind out of his sails of mischief. Even otherwise, I don’t think we need to worry about him anymore. After all, the vanity of man makes him believe that if a woman shuns him, she would snub others as well, but, should man suspect that one is carrying on with someone, he would imagine that she could be an easy lay for him as well. It’s all because man tends to picture woman’s preferences through the prism of his fallacies, and not in the mirror of her proclivities,” she said coolly.
“Whatever, it’s the woman’s whim that prevails in the end, isn’t it?” he said
“You shouldn’t grudge us our only advantage, otherwise, are we not at the receiving end, in every way?” she said, picking up some bananas from her basket.
“I haven’t seen you reading this before,” he said, finding an Andhra Pathrika therein.
“I picked it up at the Higginbotham’s to keep my anxiety at bay,” she said, giving him a banana.
“Don’t I understand,” he said patting her on his head.
“I read a couple of stories, but I felt the characterization was poor,” she said in disappointment.
“Characters of fiction are authors’ children and critics’ neighbors, even if we perceive them as inadequate, nevertheless, we should appreciate the fact that they are the products of someone’s imagination, however limited that might be. It’s not often that you come across a book from which you could quote much,” he said enigmatically.
“I agree, but in these writings, I only find the phantoms of wishful thinking but not any products of imagination.”
“Do you have some more?” he asked her, having helped himself to a couple of them by then.
“It’s the last one,” she offered him the one she was about to have.
“Never mind, you have it,” he persisted.
“You know my preference for the one with the skin,” she pushed the banana into his mouth as a prelude.
Later, after they savored the meal that she brought along with the saada paan for them, which rejuvenated them for their nocturnal exercise so much that when the train approached Eluru at three, unable to part from one another, the lovers were still at caressing each other.
“At this rate you may be sending me to Sandhya’s bed just to rest,” he smiled in the end.
“She has one year lead over me that is after discounting the off days, so let me get even before you can be even handed,” she said winking at him.
After that journey of ecstasy, they reached the Kakinada Town Station in the morning that is after changing the trains at the Samalkot Junction, and for appearances sake, they went their separate ways - he in his in-laws’ car and she in a cycle rickshaw.
While a hiatus after lover’s union is welcome for sweet reflections, what is unwelcome is the painful separation that entails it.
While the rickshaw-puller was peddling her home, Roopa tried to speculate about his wife and their life.
‘Would their married chores be any different from the middle-class mores? Maybe, for want of privacy in the slum life, affairs could be but a handshake away. But then, won’t that dampen the pining of love and hamper the exhilaration in the union? How am I to know?’ she wondered.
“Welcome Roopa, how are you doing?” Ramaiah greeted her warmly.
“Naannaa, you know the face the index of mind,” she said joyously.
“Yes, you look happy,” said Ramaiah in apparent relief, as though her joy has reduced his guilt.
“Glad you’re relaxed,” she said noticing his mood, and headed towards the kitchen, shouting, “O, Janakammagaru. “
“You have it now, ever since Sandhya’s conceived, we had it from her on your account,” Ramaiah said to her in all smiles
“You can’t go back without a medical checkup; be sure about it,” said Janaki, as Roopa joined her.
“You better sort it out with your son-in-law when he comes,” Roopa enlaced her.
“Does he count at all, my poor brother-in- law,” said Raju teasingly.
“When you’re married, you would know about that,” said Roopa smilingly,
“But you look exhausted?” observed Janaki.
“Is it so?” she said smiling.
“Ask Sandhya, if you don’t believe me, I know that her words are the gospel truth for you,” said Janaki.
At the thought of her impending meeting with Sandhya, what with her guilt feelings coming to the fore, Roopa was tied her to bed all morning, rationalizing her affair with her husband. Scared though she was at the prospect of facing her friend with her lover around, however in the end, as her love for the former got the better of her guilt, she sprang up from her bed.
However, on her way to Sandhya’s place, she recalled her state of mind when Sathyam returned after Raja Rao had left,
‘How is it that I didn’t feel guilty then, but felt it odd to think in terms of loving him, though I gave my word to Raja? But with Sandhya it’s all so different, isn’t it? It’s her love that sustained my interest in life until her man turned me on. Won’t seducing her man amount to betrayal? Well, if I develop qualms on that count, won’t I end up in the doghouse of guilt? After all, I’m not for robbing her joy by grabbing him all for me, isn’t it? What’s wrong then, if I share his affection with her? Isn’t it fine, given our lesbian connection, won’t extraordinary situations call for extraordinary solutions? Why not we three engage our love in a round robin of ardour?’
Helped by that euphoric feeling, Roopa felt relieved by the time she reached the District Collector’s bungalow.
“What’s your secret Roopa that you look prettier than ever?” said Damayanthi in welcome.
“Surely you radiate! Sandhya is impatient for you; what a friendship yours is! Touch wood, may God keep it that way,” said Kamalakar.
As she began to climb up the staircase, Roopa saw it all in a new light.
“Sandhya might misread the cause of my joy, what if she suspects that I’m carrying on with Prasad? What a pity that I can’t clarify,” she thought.
When Roopa reached the threshold, she found Raja Rao cuddling his kid, even as Sandhya was hugging him from behind. As Roopa coughed to announce her arrival, Sandhya jumped for joy.
“Oh, Roopa,” Sandhya reached out to her with her outstretched arms.
“How’s our little darling?” said Roopa, fondly looking at the baby over her mate’s shoulders, in their smug embrace.
“Here she is,” said Raja Rao coming near.
Still enlacing Sandhya, Roopa pinched the baby, and said,
“So cute, she’s like her mother.”
“Seems she too welcomes you,” said Raja Rao, alluding to the cries of his baby.
‘Isn’t it my coercion that led to the outcome?” Roopa said to him in all smiles.
“Oh, how ravishing you look! You’ve never been better,” said Sandhya.
“I don’t know, but that’s what everyone says,” said Roopa, and taking a hard look at Sandhya, she said in undertone, “Why, you too look fuller in your fulfillment. Won’t those extra pounds come in handy to him and to me as well?”
“Won’t I love that,” Sandhya cooed back.
“What’s the secret Roopa?” said Raja Rao with the intent of making Sandhya get used to his closeness with her friend.
“I’ll tell you,” said Roopa winking at him, and then turning to Sandhya, she apologized, “I’m sorry for being so late.”
“Who’s she after?” Raja Rao sought Roopa’s opinion about the newborn.
“She has her father’s features and her mother’s charms,” said Roopa, looking fondly at the baby.
“Hope she picks up your diplomacy, as she grows up,” said Raja Rao in jest.
“So, our dream is coming true, how did it feel when he broke the news to you?” said Sandhya taking Roopa’s hand.
“Can’t you guess? I nearly swooned,” said Roopa reenacting the act.
“Thank God, she didn’t collapse then,” said Raja Rao.
“Well, to spare you the trouble,’ Roopa told Raja Rao, and turning to Sandhya, she said dreamily. “It’s dream-like lovey.”
“Lovey sounds nice, can I borrow that,” he said.
“Ask Sandhya for she has its patent,” said Roopa mirthfully.
“Have you made it easy or difficult for me?” he said smilingly.
“Know from her,” said Roopa.
“I thought of joining you by the month end but mummy won’t have it; she feels I won’t be able to manage the baby so early,” said Sandhya in all disappointment.
“Am I not on hand to lend my helping hand?” said Roopa.
‘Who’s for wasting your talents at baby-sitting, can’t we together contribute at his office?” said Sandhya,
“I love that but you know how touchy Sathyam is about my working,” said Roopa in vexation.
“Leave that to me,” said Sandhya.
“Let’s see,” said Roopa.
“He wants to make us both his business partners,” said Sandhya.
As Roopa started sobbing, for want of a better response, Sandhya couldn’t hold her tears of joy either. The euphoria of their love insensibly impelled in Raja Rao the urge to merge with his women.
“It’s fortune to partner your beautiful souls,” he said as they clung on to him as one, as he held them both in his arms.
“How concerned you both are, now, I can live in joy and die fulfilled,” said Roopa bogged down by tears of joy,
“Roopa, don’t get emotional,” said Raja Rao patting her head, fearing she might bare her soul, overcome by remorse.
“What would be my share of the investment?” said Roopa, recovering herself at length.
“Don’t bother about that; it won’t take much to get started,” he said.
“But still I would like to contribute. I can sell some of my jewels,” said Roopa.
“Do you need to go to that length?” said Sandhya.
“I don’t want Sathyam’s favour and don’t like to be a drag on you,” said Roopa.
“We better respect her feelings,” said Raja Rao to Sandhya.
‘So, as I hold your jewels in trust, we use mine as our common wear. Is that okay?” said Sandhya.
“Sandhya you’re a wonder,” said Raja Rao.
“She’s the fortune, of yours and mine as well,” said Roopa to Raja Rao, enlacing Sandhya.
“Being your beloved, is no less a fortune,” said Sandhya, taking Raja Rao’s hand.
“What a fortunate circle it is,” said Raja Rao holding Roopa’s hand.
“I want to keep her for us,” said Sandhya holding their hands together.
“I’ll be your love slave,” said Roopa, coy in the circle of affection.
“Haven’t you enslaved us yourself,” said Sandhya affectionately to Roopa.
“What about the little darling’s name?” said Roopa.
“Let him apply his mind,” said Sandhya.
“I welcome your suggestion,” he said to Roopa.
“I’ll second her stand,” said Roopa, leaning on Sandhya, as though in solidarity.
“As you’ve passed the buck to me, you both are equally accountable, and as the ball is in my court, I can’t avoid taking a shot at it. Thus the name derives by itself - Sa - Ro -(Ra) Ja, - Ra being silent, Saroja,” he said mirthfully.
“Lovely!” Sandhya exclaimed.
“Creative!” Roopa admired.
“Inspired by love,” he said, taking both their hands.
“I’ve to leave now,” said Roopa reluctantly, and withdrawing herself from them, she went up to kiss Saroja.
“Come for lunch tomorrow,” said Sandhya kissing Roopa in turn.
“We’ll come to pick you up uninvited,” said Raja Rao in jest.
“Are you the one to wait for an invitation, so don’t keep me waiting,” Roopa smiled.
Seeing Roopa so joyous, Sandhya couldn’t contain her joy, and thanked Raja Rao for enlivening her friend’s mood with his charm and wit.
On her way home though, Roopa wondered as to how to bring about a homely union with her lover. However, as she reached home there was a godsend for her in the form of a wedding invitation to the Ramaiahs.
Continued to “Living the Dream”