Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Endless Well of Wants

Preeta couldn't help but smile at the images being played out in her mind. They evoked the sensation of Rahul kissing her, caressing her and loving her -again and again. Her body shuddered involuntarily as the fantasy played out in great detail in her mind.

The pull of the Brazilian wax ruthlessly yanking out the hair at her armpits brought her back to the parlour. She grimaced at the beautician, who smiled apologetically at her pain and continued to apply the wax. No matter for how many years women have been  pulling out their body hair by the roots, the ouch factor never goes away, especially when the underarms are waxed. Preeta never failed to wish she had the guts to just flaunt her hairy armpit in sleeveless. But somehow, today, the torture ritual didn't cause her so much grief.

Her mind took her back to their first tryst -the very first time they kissed in a darkened movie theater...and how they ended up making out all night at the hotel room she was staying. It was a night of self inflicted punishment. The fear of guilt stopped her from going all the way. So they just ended up rolling all over the bed, kissing and making out. Rahul left after 3 hours. Poor fellow, he just couldn't take it anymore, and she couldn't give him anything more that night.

But that night cleared a lot of things between them. They both agreed to the helplessness of the situation. The absolute, raw physical attraction between them was so strong that a mere look could turn them on. It was like as if their bodies communicated on their own -inspite of the mind and intellect screaming against the arousal. The feelings and needs that Rahul evoked in Preeta was completely new to her. She has never felt something like this before. More than half her universe was full of men -even handsome ones at that. But none so far made her want to devour them whole, with just a glance.

As an external consultant who was working on another project in her company, Rahul and Preeta first met 2 months back, and went out for dinner that same night. They didn't have to talk much. Neither was there a need to do so. They were not too interested to actually get to know more about each other. The sexual tension was already there and both were busy dodging it and trying to ignore it. They met again -twice -thrice -ensuring that not even their hands came into contact, afraid that even the smallest physical interaction will cause a spontaneous combustion. By their fourth meeting, they were rolling in bed together.

Had anyone told Preeta that such thing was even possible, she would have laughed at their face and told them such things were possible only in books and movies. All she had had for the past 5 years was just a steady staple of boring marital sex. One that scratched the itch every now and then. One that was always an after thought, when either of the partner was not too tired or too distracted or had nothing else to entertain them. Sex was never hot or urgent or all consuming. Something that saddened the newly wed Preeta who, like all girls, had grown up with the fantasies fed by cinemas and books. Samarth was her only partner and lucky him, she didn't have anyone else to compare his performance with.

After the first tryst with Rahul, Preeta was waiting for the guilt to come and drown her in waves of self loathing. Well, now even after almost a year, she was still waiting for the waves to come, even after doing the full physical deed with him, multiple times in multiple ways. And now, she was waiting to meet Rahul tomorrow -a stolen three hours in the middle of the week, during his monthly review with the team he was consulting.

"Ma'm, how about a facial? We are having a 20% discount on our summer special facial" perched the beautician eagerly. Preeta came back to that parlour again and looked irritably at the beautician. "I have no time for all that. Please get my bill ready." She snapped and started changing hurriedly out of the waxing gown to her regular clothes. As she pulled down her kurta, she ran her palms over her breasts, cupped them and smiled at herself in the mirror. She just couldn't wait for Rahul to do all those wonderful things that he does to her body. She sighed and stepped out of the room, paid the bill and rushed home. 


Preeta hurriedly chopped the green chillies and tossed them with the stewing tomatoes. A little salt and turmeric and a bit of tempering with mustard and bengal gram finished up the side for the dinner. She set the non stick on stove and rushed out to bring in the clothes left to hang dry in the morning. By the time, the tava had heated up to the right temperature. She made herself two thick dosas, having no patience to make three thin crisp ones. Hunger was killing her and she could hardly wait to devour up the dinner. Another reason why she hated going to the parlour. Takes so much time! Preeta felt more like herself after eating the first dosa. By the time second was settled in her tummy, she felt energised enough to start folding the clothes and putting them away. 

It was now 8.30 and the long day was catching up on her. She dialed Samarth's number and asked, "Where are you?".  "I will be home in 10 minutes ma. What's for dinner?" he asked. "Dosa. Have also made tomato gravy" she answered before he can question her about the side dish. She turned on the TV to a music channel and started making crisp dosas, just the way Samarth likes it.

Samarth entered home at 9, after fighting the daily battle with the traffic. Tired and drained after a long day at work, he collapsed like a deflated balloon on the bed. Physical exhaustion is a pleasant thing in many levels. There exists a satisfactory feeling and the mind actually feels fresh and energised. But mental fatigue that comes from staring at a screen all day till the bum goes numb is a different ball game altogether. Preeta followed him into the room and took him in her arms. They lay quietly, snuggled into each other. A ritual perfected over the past 5 years, this part of the day was like resting in the shade after walking in the hot afternoon sun for too long.

Samarth folded Preeta tight in his arms and kissed the top of her head. She snuggled even deeper, enjoying his warmth. Their universe shrunk to encompass only them. Content and loved, Preeta closed her eyes in bliss. The rumble of hunger from Samarth's stomach made them both laugh out. "Come, eat." she said and laid out his dinner. Samarth changed into his shorts and shed his shirt. He picked up the plate already filled by Preeta and settled to watch a 1990 cricket match between Australia and England. Preeta went to the room, turned on the AC and was fast asleep the moment her head hit the pillow.

6th dawned at 5 am for Preeta. She wanted to reach office earlier than usual, as she will have to leave early today. She hurriedly finished her Surya Namaskars and started cooking. By 7, her phone started ringing. Supporting offsite, especially APAC regions is such a curse. Phone in one hand and spatula in another, Preeta made an easy lunch and decided to just make omlette for breakfast. She looked at the clock -7.30 already! She kissed Samarth awake and hurriedly started dressing for work. "Getting ready already?" Asked Samarth. "Yes honey. A bug is detected and we need to get it resolved today itself. Project is going live in two days. And oh, I will definitely be late coming home tonight. Don't wait up for me." She said, while applying her eyeliner. Samarth patiently waited till she finished and hugged her from behind, nuzzling her neck. "You look pretty, sweety." "Just pretty? How boring." She smiled back at him through the mirror. "Have packed your lunch and the breakfast is in the hot pack. Make sure you hang out the clothes to dry and clear out the dishes before you leave. I don't want to come back to a messy house." "Ok ma, I will take care. You get going." Told Samarth and started brushing his teeth. Preeta pulled his cheeks and kissed his nose affectionately, picked her bag and stepped out of their home.

"When can I start? My work is done", Preeta whatsapped Rahul. Their texting was largely restricted to planning the rendezvous. Sexting turned Preeta off, and it was risky too. After the initial night together, Rahul and Preeta established some clear ground rules. No expectations, no strings attached. But, deep inside, Preeta knew the real reason she didn't want them to keep too much in touch was because she will then start expecting Rahul to pay more attention to her. And when that expectations creep in, she can never be happy. She knew she will constantly be checking her phone for a message from him, and Preeta didn't want to get into that irritating phase of the relationship.
"Start now. Am already reaching the hotel." came the reply. Preeta shut down her system and rushed out and fell straight into Rahul's eager arms.

Preeta didn't even want to think of the consequences of getting caught. Her life with Samarth was almost perfect, and above all, she really really loved him. Preeta long ago gave up the desire to understand her own behaviour. If she loved Samarth so much, then why is she having an affair with Rahul? And why the hell was there no guilt? She didn't feel like a vile villain or a selfish pleasure seeker. The more she thought about it, the more confused she felt. So, she stopped trying to understand why she is doing what she does, and simply accepted it.

"We will always get only the best of each other you know?' murmured Preeta against Rahul's neck, after of their hot, sweaty session. "Why do you say that?" asked Rahul. "Yea, because am sure we will never fight with each other, we will always be well groomed for each other." She said laughingly. But then, when his gaze held hers, his body pinning her to bed and his face looming over her, Preeta suddenly sobered up. "But, I don't know how long this will last. We may soon get bored of each other. Or, you may find someone whom you love and will not feel like continuing this." Rahul gently kissed her lips. "You know what is the problem with you? You think too much. Stop thinking now, sexy." He said and proceeded to kiss her neck and continue downwards.

They surfaced again after an hour. Ravenous and exhausted. "But you know what? I am so glad for what we have. I am happy to have experienced this Rahul. When we are really old and can't do it anymore, I will look back at our times together and feel happy to have atleast known what it is to be ravished....You will remember me even when you are old, right?" asked Preeta, and hated herself for sounding needy and clingy. She suddenly realized how much she started needing him and how slowly things are shifting from purely physical to something emotional.She immediately rolled off him and started dressing. Rahul didn't stop her, but continued to watch her. Her eyes filled with tears. She felt her heart starting to care for Rahul, and she so didn't want that. She combed her hair and straightened her dupatta. With a heavy heart, she stepped out of the room, without turning back to look at Rahul, hardening herself against the possibility of never seeing him again.

She headed home for good.


aswin jayaraman said...

It definitely is a gutsy attempt ! Does reflect a modern thought. Keep it going !

Praveen said...

Good read..What happened next ?

роородி (GS) said...

Well written Aruna.. Sensitive subjects pose a different challenge to the writer and to tread the path well gives a great satisfaction.. I hope you are experiencing that now

Marlin Jar said...

Long after reading the story, my mind again and again turned to the question, 'What does Rahul feel about her walking away?' Did he also develop feelings (like Clooney in 'Up in the Air')? Did he want to take those feelings somewhere or did he move on without blinking?

Anyway, a fascinating and novel narrative. Novel because the adultery is not oh-so-predictably attributed to the indifference of the spouse or exhaustion of marital affections, but to raw attraction.

PRK said...

You should have a part 2

PRK said...

You should have a part 2