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by Arun 

Posted: 26 February 2004
Word Count: 2233
Summary: A petit novella, about love in middle age of a successful woman with all its ordeals and the added futility. Anannya has been nursing love for Sashwat for past many years. One fateful night, she confesses her love to him. The admission follows all the conflict.

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Where are the songs of spring
Ay, where are they?
Think not of them
Thou hast thy music too.
John Keats


It was three a.m. My entire family was asleep. The husband was snoring with my little son. The elder son and the daughter were in their room, blissfully lost to the world at that un-earthly hour. The dog too was comfortable in his bed, with his legs turn upward and the neck turned towards the wall, he too seemed to be dreaming, some dog dreams. It was only me and my keyed up love for you, who stood in that familiar darkness of that familiar room, holding the mouthpiece for more than an hour, whispering sweet nothings in those wee hours of that beautiful night, when first in my life I was certain of your love, as brazen and unabashed I cascaded out my helpless heart to you.
To avoid any one noticing, I always pre-fed the number in the memory of the phone so that in that dark of three a.m. I just had to press the redial and the rest was taken care of. With dry mouth and something round sticking deep in my throat, with trembling hands I pressed the redial. Much before the single ring could complete, you picked up the phone. Your resonant, evocative voice came floating over the phone, soothing down from my ears down the heart and the legs, rocking me deep into my womb. I was tremulous still more. The heart was going bumpaty-bumpaty-bum! I began to cry and was soon shaking with hysterical sobs, trying to stifle them between my pursed lips. I heard my own voice echoing my helplessness. In jumbled up staccatos I was telling you “ I am confused! I do not know what to do! I cannot leave you nor can part from you. You are my only reason to survive. Without you I wither! On the other hand, I have my family. They all are dear to me. I cannot betray them, more so, my husband in particular! At the same time how do I live with him, while loving you so passionately and being so very possessive of you I cannot part with you? Meera could not do this nor could Radha, albeit both were married, yet both could not leave Krsna. It is totally another story that Krsna left poor Radha. I do not know how She must have survived parting from Him, but for me parting from you would be the end of my life! The very thought to part from you would kill me. I am in a terrible catch-22 situation. Whole night I have strongly mulled over suicide, by jumping in the lake or throwing myself over the Sultan Point, from where once Sultan Bukhari had ended his life by jumping from that point and that was for unrequited love! In my case there is no such thing as unrequited love. My love has been amply reciprocated.
I do not know, what has become of me? I just do not know how would I face my children if they go against my wishes or do things not conforming to the tenets laid down by our oppressive and demanding society, when I myself have faltered thus. Or, have I really? Did Radha faulted; did Meera faulted? I cannot think life for a moment without you! At the same time I cannot part from my family and cannot suffer for a moment the idea of betraying my family. What has become of me? Why this has happened to me, and that too after so many years of virtual chaste and upright life? I never knew love, till just the other day, when I so helplessly confessed the same to you with all the vulnerability, intoxication and the trepidation associated to it.”
Till the morning I was under the mortal fear of severely infuriating you. I just knew that I had signed my death warrant and had to wait for your fury to shred me into an emotional wreck. Nowadays, when I reflect back the way you so openhandedly accepted me as your love, I am really at a loss for words to describe your romantic thoughtfulness and your caring and your generosity.
Where do I go from here? In all my forty-four years, the thought of love never crossed my mind even for a second. I was blissful in fulfilling my wifely duties and deluded myself as if I was in love with my husband. Was I really ever? What an illusion I have been nursing! And now I am so powerlessly in the vice like grip of your love. In truth, I love every moment of this most desired captivity, but there is a trembling fear lurking around me since then. It makes me quiver like a tender, fallen leaf and I become breathless, just pondering over all this, which I do not understand well at all and my heart goes into the palpitation mode. There is the violent thumbing of Granite Mountains being piled deep to their core.
You have made no demand upon me. You are so very kind and compassionate and caring. According to you, I am totally free. How very noble of you to respect my freedom and the right to my own space in my life, of which I was never ever in control, till I lugged you in my life to take care of it. You have made only one avowal and that is you.
Undeniably, I could not agree with you more that it is better to live a moment of total true love than a lifetime of hypocrisy. That would be pretence, a charade, a sham, and a façade-----the life I have been so fervidly lionizing, knowing very well that it’s the dishonesty of the worst kind I have been living through and dragging my life through its monotony, yet never conceding to its reality and always fighting for its fake fame and for the defense of the same.
I really miss you and miss you as I never missed anything else in my life! I miss you spiritually! I miss you emotionally! I miss you socially! I miss you physically! And in missing you thus I remember you all the more in the void of my chaotic life. The limpid brightness of my eyes, the leaping flames of my lips, the churning fulfillment of my breast, the heady aroma of my deep recesses, all unified, create a symphony of a sacred eroticism, fill me with the restless calm of an insane mind.
Your touch brings me alive, as must have happened when the God must have touched a heap of dust and Eve must have leaped out of it! Now, my whole is a whole, so long it is the celestial part of your divine soul! I am amazed why you have showered me with your privileged predilection. Every favor of yours is a blessing to me. No one asks why the blessings. Suffices it to count one’s wondrous miracles. You have placed me on the exalted alter of your love by consecrating your penchant, your proclivity to me. I love you! I love you as a lost child loves host of loving people; I love your cuddles as a tigress loves a forest; your million kisses make the sheet sing! I am filled with the sound of the music, which must have taken birth when the God was creating the universe. Now I cannot restrain from reaching you any time and every time------ then it does not matter whether it is two a.m., three a.m. two p.m. or six p.m.
If I remember well, it must have been for past several years that I had began to carve out a very private, personal niche with the sanctity of my love for you. You indeed were gloriously ignorant of it. Why you, there was no soul on this planet who had any inkling of my insanity for you. I would often ask my husband that how come the man is so very caring, respectful to all and honest but he seems to be very dry with in. He does not seem to have any romance in him. You appeared so un-romantic to me all those years. The more I thought of you as a very caring man, so very concerned for peoples welfare and your great respect for all living things that I began to think more of you. And that too just like this as a matter of fact, till one fine day, like a bolt from the blue, ton granite hit me straight on my face and I suddenly realized that I was in love with you. I felt like just thinking of you and you alone and nothing but you. Even when my husband would make his usual insipid plowing, and I would feel the void of my abdomen filled with the apprehension of barrenness and legs trembling and would feel so very weak that I would pray it to end as soon as possible, but that time too I would receive strength to suffer that inescapable, agonizing, obnoxious ennui, from your beautiful thoughts. Oh, that too was, to be precise, nearly two years back. Or was it rather more?
But the other day, if I remember well it was Saturday, the 18th. of May 2002. I just could not control myself anymore and with all the trepidation, I so very shamelessly poured my heart to you. I told you in no uncertain words that I loved you and loved you very passionately, making it very clear to you that I could not live without you and would commit suicide or die of shock if you left me or refused your love to me, if you spurned my beseeching in any way. Immediately, I could not interpret your thoughts, though soon I was filled with all the foreboding of some refusal and severe censure. I was trembling. I knew now it would not be long before which you would haul me over the coals and admonish me in the nastiest manner I well deserved.
No, nothing of that kind happened. Your response was far from my worst fears. I do not remember any man in my life ever behaved with such respect and dignity, such love and care, such sincerity and dedication, not even my husband! It reminded me of my father who did come very close to what you have so lovingly showered upon me. I think every woman has in her mind a father figure. On the ‘Father Figure’ scale of ten, any man who scores the most is favored the most. You have scored the perfect ten!
Your first kiss was truly the celestial touch that opened the floodgates of the heaven of happiness. It was then I well realized that I was truly a virgin till then, albeit married for more than twenty-five years. Till that moment, I felt that all the connubial touches, which had reached me, were like abrasions from inanimate scraps, which left both my body and my soul bruised and bleeding. It was even on the moment of confession that I was nursing the idea that I loved my husband, knowing fully that it was nothing but the falsehood I had lived with all my life. As I mentioned, it was nothing but fulfilling of my wifely duties to the hilt. Is it not amazing that we can live with such illusions all our life and thus glorify our so called counterfeit life, which in the real sense is nothing but a big and ugly existence, covered with its tattered raiment of deceit.
Alas, I am still rather confused. Whenever you are away from me, I keep promising to have all the happiness from you when you would be in my arms. And when you are really in my longing arms I just get befuddled. My heart screams to abandon myself in your arms, in the volcano of your love and then there is the doubting mind of mine. It just does not know what I should do or should not do. Mercifully, the heart wins and I find myself offering not only my fiery lips with their leaping blue flames and my aching, yearning cantaloupes to you, but my entirety to your unbridled love. My body melts in your sturdy cuddles, as the ersatz resistance of my confused mind thaws and I begin to flow like a river in spate, in your arteries and veins, moaning like a groaning wapiti.
Indeed, I do not doubt you, but it is a pleasure of a little girl, with which I pamper myself by teasing you for such unfounded allegations. And it is a sight to see, you blushing on each of such accusations, as if you have been caught red handed with a crime, which you have never committed. I presume these are the little pleasures women are prone to lavish upon themselves. The truth is I trust you more than I trust myself. I cannot imagine doubting you for a moment. You too know this. No woman would ever submit herself to any man, so wholly, solely and completely, whom she doubts. If she does, then it is out of sheer compulsion, just the way it is between my husband and me.

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Comments by other Members

Anna Reynolds at 15:12 on 26 February 2004  Report this post
Arun, there are lots of really intense, passionate, almost spiritual passages here- and it begins very strongly, the image of the sleeping family all unaware they are being betrayed by the mother whose thoughts are only of her lover. Some parts seem incredibly poetic, both in language and rhythym. But- there are also lots of places where I think you could really benefit from reworking this. Lines like 'my aching cantaloupes' and 'the ersatz resistance of my confused mind', 'moaning like a groaning wapiti' are slightly overwritten for my taste- because the whole tone, style and emotion here is so strong and almost overwhelming, that you have to be careful the language doesn't become too overheated as well. For instance, the beginning is quite simple and precise in its language and that really works well.

Also, there are places where I'm simply confused- the passage about Meera, Radha, Krsna for example. Unless you've introduced them in an earlier chapter, it's important that we know who they are and why they matter to our heroine.

What stage are you at with this? Is it a much longer piece, is this the beginning? (you say in your intro it's the admission that follows all the conflict.) I think you might also need to look at some of the way your language is structured, before sending it out to people, if that's what you're intending to do. Do let us know more, and if you upload more, please, please do so in a bigger type size as it's really tiny at the moment!

Nell at 20:50 on 26 February 2004  Report this post
Arun, I have to confess to a weakness for novels by Indian writers, it's that glimpse into the different, the exotic, the other, that I find incredibly enticing. There is much passion and emotion in this piece, and you delve so deeply that one cannot help wondering if it's autobiographical, and I loved the idea of the narrator being an older woman rather than the usual heroine of the romantic novel. You've made Annanya really come alive in this, the intensity of her feelings is almost overwhelming, and one has a sense that no man can possibly be worthy of such love and trust, so there is a foreboding of less happy things to come.

I like the way she compares their situation to that of Radha and Krishna (the adorable), in fact it occurs to me now that Annanya's lover is equally adorable in her eyes, and I'm suddenly wondering if this is perhaps intended as a modern version of, or a parallel to that story.

I'm intrigued by this, but I did get a sense that perhaps English was not your first language, as although I found your writing easy to understand, the structure would benefit from some attention.

Looking forward to reading on,

Best, Nell.

And welcome to WriteWords!

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