Friday, February 17, 2012

Installed desires...continued 8

Dhritiman and Ritwika were meeting frequently by the time Mithya landed in Delhi. Dhritiman generally used to catch up with her over lunch and they ended up discussing lot of random nonsense on life and things mundane and dull, otherwise. The possibility of anything further than talk was perhaps sabotaged by the fact that they met only and briefly over short durations unless Dhritiman asked her out to check out his business venture at Noida. Once while he was passionately discussing the possibilities of private entrepreneurship and government coming up together to build up a model plan on augmenting the economy to better heights, Ritwika had shown her interest at that time and for the first time in how Dhritiman wished to work on the same. And today he had asked her to accompany him. Which meant around four to five years of being together on an otherwise free Friday for Ritwika.

She liked he guy. He was sensible, mature, a visionary and above all an honest soul. But she kept thinking if she really deserved a man like him. Ritwika was a very contented soul. She did not seek many ambitious plans and successes from life. She desired a happy, small, calm home for herself. She did picture a man in her life. She did see the possibility of a caring and loving home maker in her but she could never really relate to this 'i-will-present-a-great-model-to-the world' game in life. For her simple things in life mattered more. Like eating at least one meal with the family together. Having a cosy, warm bed to come back to after each day's work. She did not dream of ten plots around India and one in Bali. She was more of a girl still stuck in the great tradition of the great Indian middle class dreams. When she heard Dhritiman talk feverishly about investment ventures and vulgarly associate the whole to the circular flow of money in an economy, and therefore augment the entire rung of the socio-economic classes towards greater mobility and development, she felt sick and tired and drained. Not that she did not like the drive in him, she was merely preplexed at how people could actually live and believe in a world so naive that they build for themselves? About how people actually saw life as this balanced chemical equation measured and quantified in proportions as precise as these? About precisely how they could manage to be so immaculately innocent in their hypocritical optimism?

"Hey, is everything ok?"

Dhritiman asked Ritwika after ten minutes of this silent drive.

"Yeah..yeah i am. Just that...mmmmm...leave it."

"Tell me Rit..can i call you Ritz?"

"Yeah. All my friends call me the same."

She smiled.

"Ritwika, all i wanted was some hours with you. I want to know more about you. I want you to know more about me."

"Dhritiman, have you already begun to love me?"

At this he could merely look at her for a few seconds without saying much. The next thing Ritwika realised was Dhritiman leaning over to caress her hair spread over her eyes and say, "If you think, i shall kiss you over, i would not, despite the fact that i am tempted to. Does it answer your question, lady?"

Ritwika could merely smile at this. They drove to the plush design of a corporate office half-made.

"We got this land long time back. Maa and Paa got it only to invest in some cash. But when i got in here, i realised that this can be put to use in a lucrative business idea. I don't know why the fuck did i care to sit for civil services?"

"Because you wanted to have the ease and comforts of luxury with power is what you told me. Is there more to it?"

He laughed at this and added, "It was also ego. And lot of it. The Bihari in me did want all of that but that was not enough. It was more of this sense to prove that i am still one among the leads which kept me going. I was pretty young and flushed with energy then. Trust me, had they posted me somewhere in a remote corner in Andhra, i would not have joined. But as luck goes, i am here to stay."

Ritwika abstained from saying, "This is what i like about you. Your honesty." But she did not.

"May i ask you a question, Ritz?"

"Yeah sure."

"Do you like me? I mean i get this feeling that you do. But then you never seem to not like anyone. You seem so stoic and calm that it is difficult to discern why you actually turn up for these hang outs. I mean, i ask you, you never refuse. You never deny me any will. But you never ever want to take call, even once. Not that you are you are rude ever. But you are not here despite being here. You are as sweet as you were the last time i met you. So how then do i know?"

"Dhritiman, what do you wish to listen?"

"Whatever you wish to say."

"You just said that i do not have anything to say to you or anyone."

"Do you know that you are irresistible? But then at the same time, you offer no resistance to anyone who wishes to succumb to you. Sometimes i wonder if you can be owned by anyone ever? And i wonder if i should every try doing that to you."

Ritwika laughed.

"Dhritiman, what are you talking? How did this business guy suddenly turn philosophical? I don't know what you mean, but i guess we should have something to eat. I am starving."

He joined her in her laughter and then the rest of the day went - he explained the designs and plans of the venture and Ritwika managed to add a couple of intelligent questions here and there.

On their way of return to the city, Dhritiman asked her, "What if i proposed to you tonight, Ritz? You look lovely right now."

He inched closer to her and smelt her hair. She let his fingers touch the contours of her neck. He kissed her on her lips. She did not move even an inch. It seemed as if he could do anything he wanted with that beautiful body and leave without regret.

"Damn you, Ritz! If you love someone else, i deserve the right to know at least."

To be continued....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Installed desires...continued 7

"Hello Aunty! How are you?"

It was Mithya's call from the US. Ritwika's mom had picked up the phone.

"Arey Mithya Beta, such a pleasant surprise! We are good. How are you doing?"

"We are very good Aunty. Wanted to talk to Ritwika. Is she around? Her phone is unreachable."

"Oh! Right now she isn't. But i shall i ask her to get back to you when she returns."

"Thank you, Aunty. And take good care of yourself. I am coming to India on the 22nd next month. See you around then."

"Alright beta. Will cook your favourite Malpua then."

Mithya could chirpily add a "Love you Aunty" before she hung up.

Mithya and Ritwika were the closest buddies in college. They shared this beautiful chemistry of understanding each other's state of mind by just hearing each other's voices on phone. They were the most daring among the gang when it came to taking up challenges on 'Truth and Dare' and the most out-spoken of the lot when it came to abusing those Romeos on road who tried to act too fresh for their age. However, this 'we-are-so-outspoken-unless-we-are-home' image that they boasted off with elan was a shared fakeness they had inherited in their individual lives. Harshika, on the other hand, was this dreamy, introspective girl with ideas to see herself change the orders around her, move out of the luxurious comforts of her inherited South Delhi life and do something 'meaningful' with her life. Each one among them was learning to search and hunt for 'their' meanings, their definitions, their adjustments before time parted them yesterday.

Mithya could not fight it out enough. She agreed to marry the NRI in US after she broke off with her guy. It seemed like Anuvansh and Mithya loved each other a lot. But as the romance post-college life dies at the first whiff of reality, so did the chemistry between them. Further, the strict decorum of the Ahujas who sold their souls in promises and alliances made were too strong for Mithya to break.

And anyway, love is all about a safety nest, all about a comparative degree of mental, psychological, emotional compatibility of an individual with the other. Things like romance, depth of feelings etc etc follow once the guy in question is rich and mature and the girl sensible and sexy at the same time. This manufactured romantic love is more often than not a fidel slut who tries to be virginal each time a new, true affair falls in place unless the tiredness of the same old things repeated all over again makes love a boring exercise to be fulfilled. If at all there is an emotion it is respect, and nothing fancy and dreamy beyond that. Anuvansh taught Mithya to love but the subject of her love for the rest of her life socially and culturally was to be Mr. Kaushal Wadhwa, a leading entrepreneur in the NRI community settled in the US.

Harshika finally broke off from her comfort zone. She moved out of Delhi, lived a few months in Chhattisgarh and saw lives at the Salwa Judum infested areas, a few days in the Kashmir valley, wounded and festered with the hoarse cries of 'hum kya chahte, azadi' and a few more in Manipur, waking up each night with the shrill cries of the bullets and women. It was then that she decided she would work in the education sector. She joined an NGO and had been working as a sahayika in various part of the country ever since.

Ritwika settled for the first central government job she got in the education sector. She desperately needed to settle with a career to shut up voices pitching out from all fronts criticising her family's moves to allow a girl to study so much. She had seen her parents being so passionate about her studies that they left their society, relatives - almost everybody they called their own, at the cost of even snapping up familial links with some to stand firm on their passion and resolve. Ritwika owed a job to them to help them answer some of their well wishers.

Vihangam could not fulfill his dreams of getting into lecturership because at the time of his PhD degree he was hinted to grease the palms of the HoD to assure a seat in college. He was this principled man who believed in merit and did not compromise on renting it out on lease. In front of his own eyes he saw his brother-in-law, Neena's brother, Chkradhar Pandey rising up the educational business ladder by shelling out a couple of rupees to get into lecturership and later grab the position of the HoD. He even married the daughter of his guide in lieu of the strong favour the latter did in setting up favourable contacts for Chkradhar in the department of sociology.

As it turned out, his guide was of the same 'illustrious' brahmin caste who was pretty jihadist when it came to settling twin scores - one with his romance-stung daughter and the other with a bloody bhumihar who could dare date a brahmin girl. Apparently she had run away with a Bhumihar guy and married him. How could his daughter decide for herself who she wants to marry? He had already maimed one of them when she got pregnant with one of his students,a brahmin guy again.

But the very fact that a girl could decide for her own self was too much for his male ego to take. The prof along with this favourite(brahmin) student of his searched and hunted the couple and asked the student almost at gun point to marry her. In turn, he assured him his job and thesis as done things with lots of dowry and property around the fast developing areas around the university. Chkradhar Pandey, the brother-in-law, could ask for nothing better in life.

So when Ritwika gained a position in DU as a lecturer, it was like Neena's answer and a tight slap to her natal family who had for long jibbed at her and her status as the wife of an unemployed researcher, merely a school teacher. In that part of Bihar, a person who isn't in government service is unemployed and socially poor, however accomplished he might be in terms of his intellectual capital stock or however sound he or she might be in their entrepreneurial ventures. Nothing except a 'lal batti wali gadi' is the best for them. Ritwika's parents too suffered from vestiges of this colonial and feudal hangover but thankfully, to her relief, were not as drunk as his other relatives were.

After college, life took complete U-turns for all the three girls. Between years in experiments and observations and inferences they could merely figure out one thing. Life was too short for any stable relationship. There was always a time to move on and out with bondings and emotions. And so did they in their own individual ways. On her bachelorette, Mithya spoke all she had festered inside her for so long. The gin and vodka had taken out the honour about the Ahujas. Harshika had talked teary eyed about her own harassment by her own brother at her household. Ritwika had broken down at her own accord realising how lucky she had been being the only child and having had the luxury of a small and modest building that she could proudly and safely call a home.

Life moved on and so did theirs. All that was left for them were aromatic whispers of these memories they shared inside. Ritwika was returning to India after seven years in the US.

"Hey Mitthu! Waasup ya? Maa said you called. How are you? When are you coming? I need to talk Mitthu. I will go mad with the vortex around me."

"Hey hey hey! What happened, Ritz? You are so not ok. Are you alright?"

"Mmmmmm...ahaan! Yeah i am. Just that was too happy to hear you would be back. Could not control myself."

"I might shift base to India."

"What? As in? Oh my Gosh! You guys are coming back Mithya? To settle here."

"Well, i am."

"What do you mean?"

"Ritz. I need to talk. This is just not working out. I tried for so long. But as it goes, i failed."

"Oh honey! You sound so miserable. Of course things are not ok. But what is it?"

"Ritz, i am coming back on the 22nd. Meanwhile, can you arrange for a job for me? I don't want to stay with my family. I do not even want to see them."

"Mitthu you come first. Job and such like are secondary issues. Looks like we really need to catch up."

"Take care, Ritz. And just hold on till i am there."

"Yeah. I will have to. I am so so lonely Mithya. There is none i can talk to and share all of this. You too take care."

They hung up. While Ritwika wondered if Dhritiman was as good as he appeared and if she deserved someone as good as him, Mithya wondered if it was wrong for a woman into seven years of an abusive marriage to call it a day? What was to happen to the commitments she had made for her own self regarding monogamy if Mithya walked out now? Divorce and a society to answer to? How will they take it? How will Mithya justify this to her past now? Is there a language the world could create about explaining things like these to a soul already wrenched apart to different calls of value systems? Is there no balance at all?

To be continued....

Installed desires...continued 6

It was a warm Wednesday. After a two hours long lecture on her favourite poet, Keats, Ritwika was unwinding with her coffee on the parapet. Vihans walked upto her and asked her if she had anymore classes for the day. Ritwika could merely mumble a no. He asked her if she wanted to accompany him to Humayun's tomb. She looked at him with a questioning air. He merely gazed at her for an answer. In a helpless yet careful response she said she had to meet Dhritiman, her new suitor. Vihans nodded and gave her a squeeze on her shoulder.

They sat there sitting for hours on a stretch. The sun had cast a soporific opiate on the senses by now. In the yellow, red, orangish, brick vision of the grass from the parapet one could see the February sun melt and mould the morning mist on the blades of the grass into a moistened expanse. The college was busy with the annual fest. The parapets were abandoned in want of serious mugging up sessions during exams. Vihans sat with Kafka on his lap while Ritwika drank the dewy wine of the nightingale's voice in the Keatsian ode. She looked up to find Vihans immersed in his world. May be he was looking for K or searching for a meaning in the Kafkaesque prelude of the funnily ordered universe. May be he had already mounted on his existential sojourn into the hundred years of damned love/lust/affection/romance. The stubble on his gaunted cheeks looked green and inviting.

Ritwika leaned in and said. We can go for a short drive around the city before i meet Dhritiman. Vihans nodded and they moved out of college. In the car neither of them spoke. The song 'Bawra mann' floated around this strange yet familiar air between the lovers(once?). Each word in the song seemed to mock and tease and tempt and cajole the girl sitting near the window. Her kohl had spread around her almond eyes. Ritwika could only feel her incessant tears wet her face. She did not know for how long she had been crying. All Vihans could say was a sorry. On descending down the roads on the outskirts of the city, Ritwika gently pulled him towards herself and kissed him on his lips. With each delicious touch of her tongue on his skin, he could almost feel her detach herself in these intense and passionate gestures. Each nibble on his chin and each caress on his bare hands and shoulders make him almost frightened by her insanely cold conclusiveness. It seemed as if in each of these deliberately calculated moves she was articulating a finality, signing a good bye note.

This woman at once seemed too unfamiliar to him. Vihans had once told her that each word she breathed became a delicious feast in her mouth. He said her voice had that velvet, silken quality that lisped and relished each word to articulate all she wanted to convey in her deftly controlled intonation. At the moment, in the here and the now, he could almost see that savoury language unravel itself to him. But when have words been fidel to what they ever wished to convey? Ritwika spoke and unspoke at the same time. The hot flush of blood on her cheeks, the thin, almost translucent veins on her wrists, the crevices on her neck and shoulder blades drew Vihans in and by the end of their passionate love today, he was convinced that Ritwika had made up her mind in this act of her allownace. He was convinced that he had lost her in the very act of possessing her like this.

He kissed her and asked her to take care of herself. He said he would wait for her as always, and that he was always there for her, mumbling a sorry yet again in a choked, apologetic voice. Ritwika could merely give a mirthful, full throated laugh.

She said, 'Vihans, you were an awesome lover until today.'

It was already past two when Dhritiman and Ritwika met at the UCH in Connaught Place.

To be continued...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Installed desires...continued 5

The long drawn college holidays seemed to jolt Ritwika out of her complacence. Yes, she was professionally settled. But could she actually rest in peace? I mean, yes, she taught batches after batches, year after year(if she would continue to) of the elite families of Delhi, by and large, how patriarchy has been to women what economy and state have been to the proletariats and some such surface analogies but is this what she had set out to do? Did she have even the requisite drive in her to leave this comfort zone here and set out to discuss the same theories, say in the very same land of Vidyapati whose enormous oeuvre she had proposed to explore for her research? Could she take that risk? Would she do that? Isn't she not an elite by the very fact that she has two decent meals on her platter everyday? Who is a feminist? She who is succumbing to the pressures of her family to marry a guy of her parents', and by extension society's choice, or her maid who ran away with her boyfriend to conclude her romance very amicably in a musty, dusty government's office?

While these questions continued to haunt her, the very same questions made her resolve to search and add meanings and layers to the lives she had cursed herself to embrace. This was the day when Dhritiman and his family were expected. The D-day when she will have to become an object of scrutiny for the guy's parents and the guy for her parents. How she had hated this entire business! But it was really sensible on the part of her parents to not involve any of his masis and buas and what not to come over and be a voyeur to this quasi-drama.

She was still sunk deeper in reading the poems of Mithilanchal when her mother announced her usual panic stricken mode.

"Ritwika, why can't you just dress up in something presentable enough for the family to come? I mean you do know, don't you, that they are expected at lunch? It is already past twelve thirty. They can be here at any moment now."

Ritwika moved out of her slumber, nodded a yes and promised to join Neena in another ten minutes.

"And what are you wearing?"

"Maa, stop fussing. I shall not be downstairs in a pair of shorts and spaghetti. Better still, you choose which kurta i should wear."

"No Beta. Wear a saree. How pretty and elegant you look in them."

"Maa, that is your problem! You always tend to get overboard. I shall come over in a churidaar and kurta. That's it. No saree and all. And please, go now."

Neena could just smile at her half-triumph at looking at Ritwika's not so vehement a denial with the dress up thing.

"What! Now why are you smiling? Look, don't goad me into taking a drastic step downstairs. Now go!"

Neena aksed her to hurry up and shut the door behind her, almost laughing by now.

Ritwika and her gang were the most careless one's in college when it came to dressing up and acting pretty. No, they were not tomboyish and did not try their hands faking up an ultra cool image of being like 'one of the bindaas guys'. They were sensible dressers and one of those who made liberal fun of faked up, made up girls and dandyish guys in campus. The branded chiknas who made a conscious flaunt of casual wear by allowing their Puma butt to struggle to peep through their Adidas jeans, the ultra sexy sirens who were carefully careless to allow their bra straps to sneak out of their slinky Madame top were their constant source of bulk entertainment when they moved out to have some fun at Chatel Pest and Akmal Nagar, the students' favourite and nearest hangout zone. How much fun did they manage to have at the crowd's expense was beyond any recollection now! Half of the time they were together, this is what they did. Experiment, observe and infer - the three cardinal rules they were taught in school science laboratories. Experimented at talking out to random strangers regarding random things, observing a mix of emotions on the random faces and inferring that everyone including them were a crazy bunch of lunatics in their own special ways.

Ritwika could not suppress a smile while she recalled that iconic episode where she was asked to do the 'dare' of walking upto the guy who had a crush on her for some time and asking him to kiss her. And all this was to be spoken in hindi. She denied first, hurling the best of abuses on her gang but later finished it off with elan. She walked upto the guy sitting with some weird friends of his(please remember the 'breed' that kept falling for Ritika!)and cornered him. She asked in chaste hindi to give her a 'chumma' with a very straight face and a very very strict expression. The guy was shocked. He could merely mumble, "Kya hua?" when she raised her voice a little further looking straight at him with blood curdling looks. The guy apologised for his 'emotions', confessed to having stalked her with unknown numbers and promised her that he would not repeat the same. Ritwika walked back, somehow controlling her laughter and the gang burst out in explosions hearing the dramatised version of the same.

Ritwika picked up a maroon kurta and a black churidaar, fixed up her hair in a loose bun, and moved down.

"No jwellery? No make up? And look how carelessly have you done your hair! Beta..."

Neena was about to explode into her 'you-don't-have-to-embarrass-us-like-this" mode when Vihangam pitched in.

"It is okay, Neena. Our daughter looks lovely the way she is. We don't have to show off anyway."

He looked at Ritwika with a knowing smile, immediately extolling himself as a saviour for the appreciation starved Ritz at the moment. Ritwika flashed her teeth in a deliberate grin and hugged her dad.

Dhritiman looked like a miniature business tycoon with his his spectacled looks in a suited affair. He resembled less of a bureaucrat than an entrepreneur from a corporate world. She was to learn later that the guy was a pass out from IIM after his engineering from the prestigious IIT (yes again!) who wished to contribute towards policy making in the government and do some good for his beloved country at large. Till date, Ritwika could never understand why did engineers realise it so late in their lives, after almost 25 springs of their lives, that they wanted to serve their motherland via the corridors of power which anyway made them more powerless than the opposite. To leave the potential of moneyed entrepreneurship to optimistically hope for a personalised revolution - funded, guided and 'practically' almost forced policy implementation and execution seemed more of an optimistic hypocrisy for her. And in this case, that Dhritiman's parents were already high up in the bureaucratic ladder and that he had already planned to set up a fashion store in Noida, made things almost clear to her. However, she still gave the guy a chance.

Ritwika had so much tried to avoid this Bollywood drama when the guy's mother chimed in. We saw a beautiful painting hung on the front wall of the entrance. Dhritiman is very much interested in art. Where did you get it from? Mrs. Trivedi neither missed the clue to ask Ritwika to make him look at her collections nor the opportunity to brag about her daughter's very refined, very sophisticated tastes in music, sculptor, paintings...almost anything which makes a lady more feminine and softer with her creative skills.

Ritwika led Dhritiman to her room. Before she could utter anything, Dhritiman said, "Ritwika, look, i like you. But this life being discussed is ours and not just mine or yours individually. Please feel free to ask or discuss anything. There is no need to being formal."

Sensibility Quotient: Plus One

Ritwika said to herself.

"Mmmmm...and what makes you think i shall be formal? It is you anyway, who has dressed up as an upcoming tycoon?"

Dhritiman flashed his comeliest of smiles, poised and controlled.

"You know how family matters are! But you look casual and fresh. I so envy your comfort at the moment." He said.

"Oh please! Feel at home. You can remove your coat if you wish to." She offered.

"Well, i don't wish to be spotted as undressing on the very first occasion of meeting with a prospective."

It was time for Ritwika to smile. At some other occasion, with some other company, she could have hit on the statement with her wit and panache, but all she could feel was a warm blush descend on her already flushed cheeks by now. She asked if he was happy in the government.

"When money speaks with power, there are few who would resist its potential. Ritwika, i am not a greedy guy. But i like luxury. I am being honest about it. You may ask me why not stick with the high package elsewhere. The obvious reason in my case being ease. My dad's there. My mom's there. I have connections. I will rise up soon. And if my fashion store works out well enough, it shall benefit the masses in the long run too. There is enough room in entrepreneurship to augment economic benefits to the lower rungs by the trickle down effect. So, you see, it is part comfort, part money, part satisfaction, part social responsibility."

Ritwika had major issues at what was just said. Still...

Honesty and clarity : Plus three

"Hmmmm...i see the critic in me trying to deconstruct the theory. But i can't deny there is a strong argument in what you said. Though must say, i liked the honesty there."

She smiled her genuine smile for the first time.

"Thanks lady! May i take the opportunity to fix up a coffee for our discussion later sometime?"

He grabbed the chance like a pro.

Ritwika could not but laugh at this and breathed, "Good going Dhritiman! Damn! You are a smart chap! Yeah sure! Without making intiatives harder and opportunity-based for you, here is my email id and my contact number.

They both got down to join the families and later followed a typical departure session of the guy's family, fresh out of some blingy episode from a daily family soap.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Installed desires...continued 4

The sliver of heat that melts down your skin with each twist and turn in the warm quilt is too intoxicating to be left for any damn urgent lecture and any damn literary exploration early in the Delhi December morning. Ritwika strained her neck out of the blanketed quilt to check out Wednesday's schedule. Aaaargh! It was Shakespeare again. She had already bunked a couple of classes and today had an Internal Assessment meet with the same prof who took them up. She slid further below knowing fully well the inescapable bait of the warm recessses of the winter bed. Just then her phone rang. It was Mithya.

"Ritz you are dead? Did you get the flowers for Harshika?"

"Shit dude! No, i didn't. But i will. Where are you right now?"

Ritwika jumped out of the bed. She could not control that 'ouch!' at hitting the icy floor barefoot.

"At adda. And where are you?"

"In the hostel. Just coming over....mmmmm...and will ask the Chatel Pest guy to make a Carnation bouquet. Give me fifteen minutes flat."

Slipping into the easiest possible jeans within her hands' reach she could merely mumble through her phone.

"We aren't attending the morning class, right?"

"Of course not. Despite the fact that i have a tutorial with that female, we can't afford to. Where is the birthday lass?"

"Harsh is on her way. She would take another twenty minutes. Madam's car stuck at the usual red light at KG."

"Alright. Off i go for the flowers. See you soon."

Ritwika hastily brushed her teeth, splashed some water on her face, smudged some kohl on her still sleepy eyes and rushed down with her bag, tying her hair in a loose bun.

Chatel Pest was this classic place for students' jugaad. You could get the cheapest possible xerox shops, thesis producing machines, cigarettes to condoms, food to liquor, call girls to the tharkiest of guys...everything under the sun. Ritwika's gang had a full time fun checking out 'items' here for all sorts of ISCs(Interesting Sample Cases). Decent, chocolaty guys who were of course an NSP(Nayan Sukh Prapti)material but were better if they kept their mouths shut, the 'i-am-so-hot-and-you-are-so-lucky-looking-at-me' type absolute losers who kept bumping into them often. The 'Madamji-i-lobes-you' type breed who managed to find Ritwika anywhere and everywhere she went. The 'please-don't-ignore-my-itchy-crotch' type despos who somehow always hit on Mithya. The 'i-am-lost-in-the city-please-help-me-while-i-liberally-check-you-out' types who accosted Harshika all the time while the others from the gang were being visually raped, simultaneously. The girls had with time begun to ignore the 'male chauvinism in the larger patriarchal world order' of their feminism drunk classroom and had made themselves chummy with the Chatel Pest world of murky fun at their addas. How listlessly the afternoons spent themselves in the shady backyard of the college! Their adda was the definition of their debates, fights, raucous laughter and lots and lots of vision. Endless packets of maggi were liberally consumed, samosas thrust down the already choked oesophagus in competition, coffee mugs collected to count each day's quota deficit. How all these years would go back and make them misty eyed every now and then!

It was the last birthday that the gang would celebrate together. The last one before life would decide for each one them if the world is small or large enough for their endless dreams and commitments.

"Madam, one hundred and ten rupees."

Ritwika placed the money in his hands, smiled and left off with a thank you.

At the adda Mithya greeted her with the choicest of abuses at being late, at looking awful, at missing the time yet again and at being so so utterly obnoxious with her ways. Ritwika gave her a nastier look at realising the paucity of time on them, and together they hastily transformed the otherwise dirty looking place into the citadel of their celebration. Finally, they managed to give Harshika a decent surprise and themselves their last birthday celebration together perhaps. They hugged each other and watched the sky bloom into the cosy February sun, relishing the delicacy of a bunked classroom and the luxury of sips of vodka, smuggled from the security tests at the metro stations in their water bottles.

College had been so much fun! Ritwika could barely avoid a smile while she walked past the corridors of the same college as a lecturer today. Today was Mithya's birthday and she could feel each moment making her heart lump up with choked nostalgia as she longingly looked at the place, at their adda.

Mithya lived in a joint family. The atmosphere belied everything that could be called happy. By some false notion of and around the Ahuja's family name in the quarters at being the happiest big middle class family, the family had agreed to stick together by the simple logic that intense hatred bound each one of them. There were no communication except cold rivalries around property shares and personal grudges. Absolutely no references to each other except when the time came to pose for family pics at the senior Ahuja's strict instructions to do so. Mr. Ahuja was bedridden for sometime. All the two juniors could think off was to see him rest in peace forever so that they could share the plot, business and money among themselves and split at the earliest. The bone of contention was Mrs. Ahuja senior. She was a history in herself. More of her later.

The first son in the Ahuja family, Hrihant, bore a son who was settled in the US now, married to an Armenian Jew there. Mithya was the second son's daughter. According to the big, happy family, she was just at the ripe age to be gotten married. What more to a girl than a graduation degree from a branded college in Delhi? Despite her protests, they had managed to get her engaged to this guy settled in US. The guy's dad was Mithya's dad's business partner. Mithya's bua, paternal aunt, was also married off quite early too, when she was merely thirteen years of age. Thus, the Ahuja's had established themselves as not just a flourishing business family in the area but as an epitome of Indian family value systems and culture in a fast depleting age of the fast catching western models of life.

The Ahujas were into the garment business. Mr. Ahuja Senior married a rich, pretty girl of his station while he was only in the first year of his college - quite at the right age in the early eighties. It is said that his wife was diagnosed with cancer immediately after the delivery of her daughter, the youngest kid in the family. She left for her heavenly abode leaving behind two sons of sixteen and fourteen and an infant daughter. Mr. Ahuja did not intend to remarry until he was proposed and forced with tears to do so after six years of his wife's demise, by a poor family, who wanted to get rid of one his seven daughters. Mr. Ahuja was in his forties by this time. The girl he was to marry was merely twenty two. He agreed after a few deliberations, in the hope of helping the poor family wade through a crisis-ridden situation.

Mrs. Ahuja II, Swarnima, walked into an affluent house to be greeted by two grown up men, as her sons, almost equal to her age and a very quiet daughter of six. The only condition laid out to her was to keep adding to the glory and fame of the virtuous name of the Ahuja's. Rest was all to be managed by her as and how and when she wanted.

Swarnima was a very talented home maker. Within days she managed to get the household in order. She worshipped her 'sister', Mrs. Ahuja I, each morning before entering into the kitchen. Like a doting daughter-in-law she heeded to each command laid by her aging in-laws. She kept her daughter happy and prim with her motherly affection and love. No one ever raised any finger on her for her being a step-mother. She was the exemplum of motherhood and feminine love.

However, she craved to experience the joys of her 'own' motherhood, out of her own womb. She tried all possible ways to conceive with no results. Each month her tears washed away her hopes with the onset of cramps. The bloody sheets each month and with it the lost potential of her egg carried her to try almost every possible method to help her get that one surge of pregnant pleasure. Every night she suffered between the sheets. Every night she sensed her body repulse and recoil instantaneously by the old man's violent attempt at love. Every night she could barely muster her drained energy to wriggle herself free from his fat, hairy clutches. She bore all of this with the simple hope that one day a child shall free her of these abuses each night. One day she shall have the reason to stay away from this man under the pretext to nurse a baby, her own flesh and blood. That one such new life would promise her a temporary yet a blissful sojourn into a world much better than this dark night punctuated by her tortured moans and hurtful thrusts.

It was only after three years of afflicting all kinds of hormonal abuse on her body that she realised that Mr. Ahuja had had a vasectomy done much earlier. The emergency years and Mr. Sanjay's experiments had managed to make a lab rat of Mr. Ahuja too. Mr. Ahuja pleaded Swarnima to keep it a secret from her family in lieu of saving the family honour and name which could be maligned with the acknowledgement of a man in his forties of his inability to create endless mass of progenies with endless women he is supposed to and allowed to sleep with.

Swarnima was not just hurt. She was outraged. But she wasn't the one to give up. She wanted to have her revenge and have it within covers. And she did it. She bore the seeds of the Ahuja family via Hrihant, the eldest of Mr. Ahuja's son.

To be continued....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Installed desires...continued 3

"Did you get that green bandhani saree from the laundary, Maa?"

Ritwika asked her mom who was peeling potatoes for dinner. Each peel fell like a limpless mass on the floor.

"Yes, i did. Must be lying right there in your cupboard. Take a closer look. And you are meeting Dhritiman this Sunday. We have invited the guy and his family over for lunch."

Neena chirped in with an expectant smile on lips, faint wrinkles surrounding her excited eyes.

"Maa, can't this wait? I am very scared, Maa. What if the decision is wrong? What if we are not meant for each other? I am shit scared of this whole marriage thing. And anyway chances of success rate of marriages in cities like these are so flimsy. Look at Sagarika aunty, Mahesh uncle. Can i not be unmarried and still be the same happy girl as i am today?"

Neena drew her daughter close to her and let her head rest in her lap. She caressed her forehead and said,"It is only because of all this literature shit that you have managed to become so sceptical and cynical in life. Look at Paa and me. Aren't we happy? And Ritwika, we are not asking you to marry the guy. Just meet him. That's it. If you like him and he likes you, only then we shall consider anything ahead. Besides, marriages are made in heaven and i am sure our lovely daughter will never be cheated for all her good deeds in life. You are unnecessarily getting apprehensive, beta. This happens. It happens to all of us. But it is not as bad as you imagine. And remember, Beta, however happy you seem today, you will need someone at some point in your life to share your happiness. Besides, these are pre-marital worries that all girls go through. Don't you worry. See how happy you would be after you meet that dashing Dhritiman! Did you know that the family has already read your books and articles? They are mightily impressed by your profile. I just wish things turn out fine. Dada and i also wish to finish our responsibility at the right time, beta. Afterall, we don't have a son who would take care of us in the old age. We want to settle things before it gets troublesome for either of us in later years."

Neena kissed her child on the forehead and watched her lovingly. How much she has grown! One never realises how daughters grow up till the time they are there at home. By the time they register their presence each day as temporary guests one realises how much of a progress they have made in the years to have fled past. Only yesterday it seemed she was handed over to her in the hospital. A mass of faint red rose and transparent flesh she looked. So fragile and vulnerable. The nurses in the hospital exclaimed over the bulky mass of hair she had at birth. Jet black. She was the same Ritwika today. Same jet black hair. The same transparent, don't-touch-me-and-dirty-me skin. How vulnerable and fragile she looked even today! She looked at her daughter with affection and motherly love longingly.

The pressure cooker whistled from the kitchen. Neena left Ritwika with a peck on her cheek.

"Maa, switch off the light and shut the door when you leave. I will come down for dinner after a nap."

Ritwika lay limp on the bed. Nothing seemed to soothe her. She felt like crying her gut out. She felt like scrapping each nerve, each tendon in her body and demolishing each bone in her. Her body ached so much. It seemed heavy with the very feeling of an inexplicable loss. Of some unexplained pain - the magnitude of which she could only feel and crave. How much she missed Vihans at the moment. She looked at the clock. It was half past eight. She should not call him up. No, she would not not call him up!

She let those tears pour out on her pillow, mat her hair and moisten her face. She imagined herself as Angelica and Ophelia and Juliet and Radha. But amidst all these, she did not feel wronged. And she did not feel wrong. That at once pleased her and stung her at the same time. How better it would have been had she been raped or cheated or both and had the luxury of feeling helpless! At least she would not have had the choice that she made for herself. How much better it would have been! Moments later she suddered at her own thought. She kept thinking and debating while she fell into a slur of sleep - still crying but in muted moistures now. Her hair strewn all over the pillow, cheeks red from the flush and the kohl melted all around her big, almond eyes. She let her hands hang loose and tried to take a short nap.

Vihans sat in his room watching the news on the revolution in Egypt and Libya float freely in the drawing room. His wife, Kritika, 35, a woman of slim and petite frame, lay knitting a rose-colored sweater for their first baby girl, Pihu. Kritika was a primary school teacher in Vasant Vihar. Vihans and Kritika's was a love marriage. The two Pahari families were instantly ready for the match. They couple had had their share of romance at college before Vihans realised that this was the woman who can fulfill him in all the respects. She was passably pretty, unassuming in her good manners, moderately sociable and cheerful. She was averagely good at communication but withdrew in her calm, listening mode around Vihans and his group's heavy ruminations around so many important things in and about the world. While for her the daily menu for her family, her dad's thirty first marriage anniversary etc mattered more, Vihans could only appreciate and find fulfillment in her stable and calm company. She knew that he would be the happiest to claim a soft spoken, not-to-eager-yet-educated girl as his wife. They tied the knot and had remained fidel till the last year when Ritwika happened to Vihans.

Not that Vihans did not love Kritika. He did. In fact, quite a lot. But while there was a bit of reverence and calmness in his love for her, there was an urgency and an impulse for this woman called Ritwika. The first time they shared the paper and the time table, he knew that the precise, to-the-point manner of the woman who smelt so delicious all the time was irresistible for him. And the fact that sex has no morals kept igniting the stealthy chemistry between them each time she crossed his path. Her open smile, her unpreventing manners and her free innocence about her own beauty announced her charms for him. In her chaste ways of even holding a cup of coffee mug oozed a sensuality beyond the typical feminine vanity he experienced all around. She had an air of unknowing and unaware charm about her. Something that did not know the implications on the hearts of men like Vihans.

And then it was that seminar on postcolonial studies. The joint paper that they worked on made them come far too close for the comfort of his primal desires for the taste of her skin. Ritwika looked at him while he explained the premise of his argument. And all the while he imaginatively kept exploring ways in which he could nibble at those innocently sensuous lips. She tried to explain what her take on Bhabha's theory was when he did not realise he had asked her out for coffee.

Ritwika gave him a quizzical expression. And the next thing he realised was his lips on hers. At first she resisted but later yielded herself onto his desires like a woman who knows her mind. Her hands felt the sinews on his shoulders and the veins on his arm while he explored her mouth and left her gasping for breath. Later, he could almost feel each pore on her bare, hot stomach and back become alive with his meandering hands inside the mauve cashmere kurta she let herself (un)wear for him that moment. The empty staff room and the dim twilight of the January sky hesitatingly curled in the room, washing the air with a mist- white sheen, a foggy film. Ritwika had tasted her first kiss and Vihans his first transgression post-marriage. After a few moments of an actual acknowledgement of this encounter, they could merely look at each other and after a while stare at one another with blank expressions. One laced with fulfilled guilt. One with a mixed apprehension. But both no longer unaware of the desires that had nursed in them for so long.

To be continued....

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Installed desires...continued 2

"Ok, one thing we can do is, perhaps finish off this affair. It is enough Ritz. You have a whole life in front of you. Why should you stop when i didn't? Why should you suffer when i choose not to? See the guy at least. May be he is good. And may be we can keep having our delightful visitations in this liberal and pre-lapsarian world of no-knowledge-of-good-and-evil till we agree that many such binaries exist even after you are married?"

At this quasi-prof like chant, he gave her that drunken eyes, husky voice chill down her spine and winked at her mischievously.

"Vihans, get serious ya! This time i can not say no. I have to see this guy. Atleast. May be i shall say no later. But he kind of fits the bill my parents look for and i myself can't pin point an error too. I am absolutely helpless this time around, Vihans."

Ritwika's almond eyes glistened as she spoke and Vihans in no time cupped up her face in his hands.

"Do you trust me?"

"I don't know. I shall better be going. It is getting late. And besides, if at all i have to leave, it should begin by learning to live away from you, from now on itself."

She knotted her hair in a lazy, dishevelled bun and left the place, drowning Vihan's friend's flat in a musky air of her lingering smell.

"This woman is irresistible." Vihans smiled and slid himself in the blanket further, watching her descend down the stairs in his half shut eyes now. He imagined her immaculate, pretty hands opening the door of her car, her fingers unlacing the keys of her room on the side board, her naked feet and toe ring touching the accelerator, making the whole machine vulgar and her sexy in exactly the same measure as her love for him and his lust for her made their romance click till date.

Ritwika tiptoed in her father's room.

"Hey dada! Wassup? Reading??"

She laced her arms around his neck and prompted her cheek for the customary, cute peck. Mr. Trivedi ruffled his angle's hair and asked her to wait while he finished off his last sheaf of copy corrections. With a typical school-girlish frown, Ritwika propped herself on his dad's bed and flipped through the Frontline kept there.

Mr. Vihangam Trivedi was a school teacher in Bihar before he shifted base to Delhi to see their only daughter through her education after her plus two. Ritwika was his dream, pride, investment and everything he could save and spend in his life. He wanted her to do all he couldn't. The first day Ritwika took her first baby step, he wrote in his diary, " One day with the same feet my daughter shall walk upto me clad as an IPS officer and take my blessings. Feeling a proud dad today."

Mrs. Neena Trivedi lost her fertility after Ritwika's birth due to some infection that spread to her ovaries and rendered them useless. She had to get operated quite too early at 23 years of age. There were talks about remarrying Vihangam to be able to produce an heir for the family. Neena cried the whole night and asked Vihangam later into the day to agree to marry with a smiling face for she knew that he loved him and that she would not mind another sister in the family. Afterall, Dasartha also kept three wives to get four heirs. Mr. Trivedi categorically told Mr. Trivedi Senior that he would commit suicide if forced into any such drastic step. Kidnapping men and marrying them were a common phenomenon in Bihar then. Anyway, all that was past. The today had changed so much.

Neena loved Ritwika but always yearned for a son. Always. Someone who would have carried her ashes to the ghats in Ganga after she died. Someone who would have given her a pind-dan after the Trivedi couple departed into the other world. But she was a liberal lady with a very wide mind who allowed her daughter to study so far, who took pride in her daughter's erudition to talk so enchantingly in any company, anywhere, anytime - in English, and establish that the Trivedis had left no stone unturned in creating the only lady professor in the family after her own snobbish mayakewala lots. She was prouder at the thought that this daughter of hers was the most "cultured" among the other host of girls in the family who never had any boyfriends, any affairs, any male contact. Neena waited for all and sundry family functions to see her daughter outshine everyone in the family and establish her pride much further. Afterall, Ritwika was the only 'nidhi' she could produce from her womb.

"Dada, i am sleepy. Tell me to go na if you have lot of work. Why do you still work,papa? I guess it is enough for us to live on my salary. After the Sixth Pay, the money is good, paa. Besides, who wants more money?"

With this, she came closer to the table and snatched his red pen. Mr. Trivedi smiled and be led by her hand to came down to the dining room.

"Beta, you know i love to work. I can't sit still. Till yesterday it was my duty to work and see you through your education. Today, it is my soul working to fulfill my ambitions in the many Ritwikas around. Do you know only yesterday one of my students Niharika called in to inform about her selection in the CSE as an IRS officer. See, if i stop to work,i would lose all of this."

He smiled and added, "You are 26 darling. Take a chance at the prestigious exam. You have like four attempts and the precise age on you. Who knows, with your talent, you might just get through!"

Ritwika gave him a puzzled look. "Dad, i guess we have already discussed this. I have immense respect for the profession. But i am not cut out for the same, paa. And besides why waste time over it when i am happy in this profile and am doing much more creative stuff here. You know dad, my PhD topic on Vidyapati has been approved of. Do you realise what a service it would be to our land when i actually finish it off? Dad, you do realise, don't you, that even a researcher can do a lot in unearthing social flaws and presenting to society a vision?"

"Yes, yes. I know it. I was merely suggesting that. Do not take it to heart."

He smiled and the father-child cried in unison for food before Mrs. Trivedi emerged with piping hot rice and rajma.

How Ritwika wished this moment seized and never ever let her crash on the concrete floor of realities! How she wished there were no frills that had gathered around her life! How she wished there were just the three most lovely creatures in her life! No one else and no one less. How she wished!

"Ritwika, beta, there is this IAS guy in the Home Ministry here. Junior in the ranks but most probably will stick around here for he has lot of family connections with the political class and bureaucrats. His dad and mom were civil servants too. They have really really loved your profile and wish a calm, mature and homely yet working and beautiful wife for him. Beta, this is someone you would not say no to. We know it. Just say yes to meeting him at least. May be he turns to be of your wavelength. May be he is too good to be true, Beta. Just say yes this time."

By this time Mrs. Trivedi had acquired more of an entreating tone. Ritwika could see her eyes looking at her daughter with expectation and tears welled up in them by the time she finished off.

"Maa, please stop this. I have just begun to work. Let me breathe a little. I also want to live life. And why are you guys stuck on this arranged thing? Why can you not consider people beyond our goddamn caste and community and what not? I am not saying that the guy must be bad or something. But why so much of hurry and why at all this fuss with the stupid limits, maa."

"Do you like someone Ritwika?" Cried her mom in shock.

"Maa, i am in love and with a married man! Come on, Maa! You don't have to be in love to put forward a point. Try to understand what i am saying".

In her usual mock tone mode of half denial, half acceptance Ritwika got out with her secret and yet concealed it just as correctly.

It was her dad this time.

"Beta, i respect your point of view but just have a look at him. Meet him once. You will have enough time to breathe and live your life. Noone is going to confine you to a slaughter chamber. All we are saying is meet the guy. Nothing more."

Ritwika dug her spoon deeper into the rice and could merely mutter, "Damn this world!"

The Trivedis exchanged triumphant smiles at this.

To be continued......

Monday, February 6, 2012

Installed desires...1

She thrust the last napkin of this month in the already choked dustbin in the washroom. Another month passed and with it the unfertilised egg. And with it grew her mother's frowning tension in the creasing folds around her eyes. Ritwika emerged out of the shower to be greeted by her cousins and a host of other family members for another of her birthday celebrations. Oh! How she hated each 'her'-centric celebration in the house these days. Each of these formalities meant prying eyes of her relatives on how old she had been this year, very curious onlookers into her career prospects and hence relevant matches in the 'lustruous' brahmin community and all the more ravenous eyes smelling some meat into her absent love affairs. The non existent love in her life was a way for the free her to explore more on life and for the homely her to be deified into the cocooned world of her relatives and family as this 'oh-so-virtuous' daughter of the family in the rapacious metropolitan city.

Ritwika made it to the prestigious college in Delhi as an assistant professor. Amidst the Shakespearean 'to be or not to be' and the Keatsian sensuality she has still been struggling like Sisyphus to pronounce that one affirmative to Vihans in her department. She could and she couldn't. How could she openly say yes to an illicit dynamic with a married man? How could she resist his charms in her world almost smitten by his smells all around? While she taught Romeo and Juliet, while she discussed Gordimer's serious flirtation with extra-marital equations, while she immersed in the world of many of her friends' woes, fun and the pains in 'double-timed' romance, all she could sense each time was the fundamental impurity of love. Did it matter in the long run if Radha was an unchaste woman of the Hindu mythology? Did it matter if Ahalya could not resist Indra's sexual charms? Did it matter if Draupadi shared her bed with the five Pandavas and still served in the royal house during the chhadmvas? Did it matter as long as all of these women ultimately accepted marriage and its representation in the husband figure as the sole meaning in their respective lives? Just one touch of vermillion in the parted hair and all the transgressions, all the deviant traits vanish as a heated knife does in the cesspool of hardened butter. Curling and twisting around the corridors of history and mythology while she taught and studied and debated and saw realities all around, all she could feel was an abyss of her lost self - lost in so many different roles, so many different dimensions and in so many different dreams and desires that she at times cursed her birth in the Brahminical, bhadralok of the very 'cultured' and 'educated' family of her lineage?

"Oh! Look how pretty and fair our Ritwika is! How can anyone say no to marrying her. And now that she is posted in such a respectable position in such a reputed college, i am sure Sushant will never be able to say no."

As usual it was Hema Masi yet again pushing forward that NRI, IITian dying to come back to his motherland and settle in delhi.

"He says he wishes to serve the nation and not slog in America all his life. And this is when i thought he was so much in tune with our Ritwika's world of social commitments. Ask Pahun ji to say yes and let us fix the engagement soon enough. There are so many families after the guy. Each day delayed would only harm us in the long run"

This was masi's further nudge.

Ritwika touched her mausa ji's feet and sat beside her dad, well aware that the conversation in the kitchen was merely to inform her of what was transpiring in the drawing room between mausa ji, her dad, her uncle and the other patriarchs.

She asked his cousin, Prabhav, digging into his vada sambhar, "How is life at IIT, Mitthu? Must be placed, huh?"

Prabhav looked at her, "What di? No good prospects this year ya. Very few American companies offered jobs this year. Coupled with the whole economic slump thingie, the OWS has anyway taken a toll. Yahan log wapas aa rahe hain, aur aap placements puchh rahi hain. By the way, you look so cool in this kurta shurta di. He he.." He looked up and winked at her cousin.

If there were any sensible creatures in her family, they were Ritwika's cousins and one of her Buas settled in Canada. She hi-fived at him stealthily.

"Papa, i have an appointment with the international seminar participants today. I shall come back a little late. Hope you guys do not mind my absence. She planted a kiss on her dad's cheek, rushed in to hug her mother in the kitchen and mumbled, "Ask Mitthu, the Amreekan guy is only a loser to be coming back. Ask him to open an NGO at Telhara in Bihar than settle in some posh Civil Lines area in Delhi if he wishes to serve the downtrodden of his motherland."

By the time her masi could gather any word in her mouth, Ritwika had sped of in her modest car out of the apartment.

It was already past three. No sign of Vihans. For the Nth time she called him, his phone was answered by the answering machine. She had had her share of wait. She picked up her bag and was about to move out when suddenly the restaurant dipped in pitch darkness and from one end of the private cabin, emerged a soft musical light. Vihans with his guitar and then the candles all around....the details later just left her in a swoon. She could only feel his tongue slid deeper into her mouth and his hands assure her of his unending love all over her skin in the hotel room late in the evening. For the Nth time she had succumbed herself to the Grecian body of her Miltonic Adam in the Edenic bliss of this forbidden fruit, sinfully chaste in the endless desires of her still virgin body, all this while.

To be continued....

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Here, you and i

I am too close to be a dream for you.
Between the ether and the vapour,
the shhhhs and the dead silence -
are the many pins and nails
that lay under your head.

Turn softly.
I am here beside you -
nowhere far -
lest you hurt
your already bleeding head.
Or is it heart still?

The halfmoon kiss
that feverish breath of your name
Could any of my seamless whispers say
i am here -
in the now.
Much closer than you could ever desire?

You ask too many questions
expecting no easy answers
expect no words.

In the excuse of a home
i just say
i am here.
Not gone.
Not going.

At least for the
here - for the now.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sold and bought in continuum

What does one say
after a night of raw passion?
Sleepless and smitten
when moments are spent
in some form of slutty fidelity
to just one idea for so long.

Having slept over/with it -
all over again
demanding a much higher price this time
when one seems unsatiated
still hungry
still craving
for another sliver of that dirty flesh..
What does one say?

It has been nights now
days also at times
playing the same role
the same game
of mutilated ambitions
of desires lived in the mould
of dreams letched and discarded.

Nails that bit deep into the shoulders
tongue that licked the tiniest crevice of the pores
fingers that caressed each possible skin on the bone
still unsated
What does one say?

How long to remain a fidel prostitute?
For how long this faithful allegience?
Will you let me transcend?

Offer or i leave...

Lying eyes....;)

Between the idea and the dream

between sheets of guilt and shame

between you and me

lie these eyes...

Between unsaid words

and unexpressed syntaxes

between the days and these daylights

succumbs the victory...

I thought you made me win

or that i let you lose

but between this and that

lie our bodies...

Entwined and curled

all along the smoky curls

of time and moments

frozen and at once fluid

lie endless deceits -

these lying promises....

Between you and me

lie these ever-lying eyes...