Geometry of Nature with its borders haunt the three characters. Minds struggle to fathom their depths; minds flounder as they confront and co-operate. The story is about obsessions; a false sense of temporary control is felt over others by each character. A false hope of mastering their own desires drives their actions.
Triangles tell the whole story; Sindoor, Rahas and Anadhi are trapped in it. Life interactions among the three happen in different ways; individual Paradises are found and lost; do the paths follow the second law of thermodynamics : inevitable decay and descent?
Is Nature, and hence, are humans best understood only by ungoverned sexuality?
“We are energy, our being consists of the expenditure of quantities of energy; erotic life provides the clearest context for energy spent for its own sake, in forms that greatly exceed reproductive necessity.”
– in the world of Anadhi , Rahas and Sindoor.
“She has finally agreed to meet; only at the coffee café.” Anadhi confirmed to her research guide. This field study would enable her to complete her study project about why women walk the streets; her findings were startling and went against the usual reasons of failed families and economic compulsions.
The source was a ‘friend’ cultivated on a ‘dating’ site and with regular payments, she was treated to a reality that few would accept. Here was a girl who wantonly desired to be a sex worker; and there were many like her. Anadhi was certain this was a compulsive behavior, which would not be easy to stop.
The girl was in her late twenties and was comfortably dressed up in a tight fitting dress with light make-up. They had earlier shared pictures and like old friends, Anadhi was greeted with a warm hug. She was not alone; there were two other girls, similarly attired with searching eyes. As she went and introduced herself to Sindoor, the other girls looked her over and smiled, knowingly.
“Lucky you, Sindoor; tell her we are also willing” and all laughed as Sindoor pulled her away from the table and stepped out on the pavement.
“I should have chosen another place” and both moved towards the place where Anadhi had parked her car. They drove around and after Anadhi put a cover in her hands, she opened up.
“So you want to know about me, you said. I have a few places where I move around twice a week; its good money and I like it. For a quick one, I also wait at some corner streets and its usually the middle-aged guys wanting a bj in the car. Also, a few very young and inexperienced want to talk, hold hands and kiss in the dark corners. And they pay well too.”
“Do you enjoy doing this? Don’t you feel you should have someone regular?”
“I tried regular in my home city; was about to get married too. But then, I got involved with a married guy when there was a family wedding. We used to meet in this city often and I stayed in a hotel with him. He went back to his wife but I became friendly with the hotel owner. I kept coming to meet him and slowly learnt, he would hire out hotel rooms for couples. We would often watch others doing; he had cameras. And then I left home and stayed here sharing room with two other girls.”
“So, are you not afraid of strangers and cops?”
“I love strangers; you are one right? And I have nothing to be afraid off. I know what people want from me and that is available. Also I am careful; only with protection and regular check-ups. For other things, hotel makes all arrangements.”
That night, after dropping off Sindoor at her corner, Anadhi had a disturbing dream; dressed-up like Sindoor she was sitting in one of those cafes. Crossing her legs and adjusting her dress, she looked up anticipating the feel of hungry eyes seeking her attention. And she woke up with a start. The scene seemed too real; what had she become?
To Be Continued in Next Part….
“I am getting too involved, I feel.” Anadhi confided to her project guide, who advised her to do the project jointly with another, preferably a male to ensure personal safety. “I recommend Rahas, who also I mentor for his project. But his topic is slightly different; he is also trying to capture the contagious impact of one person’s behavior on another person.”
“So, you suggest we not only analyze Sindoor’s mind state but also someone closely involved with her?”
“He calls it the ‘rub off’ effect and has traced its origins to many cases where kidnapped person has later become the kidnapper; pastor engaging into sexual activity with his repentant flock; statesman negotiating peace turning war-monger. He is collecting evidence to propose a different way to treat people with addictive behaviors. Rahas strongly believes in Robotic Interventions and not involve vulnerable human psychiatrist for treating people with obsessive compulsive disorders.”
“Interesting. So will he study me along with Sindoor?”
“Ideally, yes. But there is also a controlled experiment way. You capture the conversations of Sindoor and your reactions and submit to Rahas for doing the co-relation. Over a larger sample period, you will find your pattern of thoughts converging or diverging from those of Sindoor’s; which way is the unknown part with lots of new learnings.”
“And would you be the master observer?”
“An observer, hopefully impartial like Rahas’s robot.”
The unsmiling face of Rahas was the takeaway of the meeting with Rahas arranged by the guide. The arrangement was to collect the data and leave it with him to dissect. There would be no sharing of process of interpretation as they all agreed, it would lead to contamination and bias.
The whole approach appeared professional as in a clinical lab; minds being mingled to measure its influences. Rules from physical sciences were blatantly applied to social sciences; simply speaking, Sindoor and Anadhi were chemical substances. Rahas would play the role of catalyst and the guide, like the human-aspiring-god, waiting for the outcome.
The stage was set and Anadhi introduced Sindoor to Rahas through her interview notes. He assumed the role of the ‘protector’; regularly dropping and picking up Anadhi and watching them from a distance. She considered him as her tacit bodyguard; unknowingly he was grooming himself as their accomplice.
That night Anadhi drew the first triangle. Two sides with the names Sindoor and Anadhi and on the third slope, she put the word ‘giggle’!
To Be Continued in Next Part…
Anadhi remembered bidding goodbye to the last of the teen digit and stepping out from school into the new world of girlfriends and their many boyfriends. She was conservatively family-coached, not to be enticed and be like them.
But young hearts love the challenge of the age old sermons; there was a special sense of guilt flouting that added magic to their lives. Anadhi became part of the whispering giggles of her powder room buddies as bolder stories were shared, prodding others to do more.
But there were few special ‘giggles’ which remained only with her; deeply closeted, safely tucked under her pulsating breast.
As Anadhi waited for Sindoor, she watched the two girls completing their juices and getting ready for the long night. They could not place her but smiled nonetheless; hoping for a customer rather than a competitor in her. She had wondered how such girls looked at their relationships.
And she drifted.
It was now six years from that evening when her night life underwent a change. There was a heated discussion among the various tenants, where she stayed with her family, complaining to the landlord about the shady occupants of the building next-door.
The families were shocked one day to see hotel like rooms being done up and every evening cabs would roll in with four girls in each; a few taking the elevators but many preferring to walk up to the allotted rooms.
There was a controlled environment in the hotel rooms. Initially the owners assured nuisance free business for mostly visiting guests. The a.c. rooms with shut windows aimed to keep the action within and the girls were swiftly driven away in the early morning before the street respectfully dawned.
The gentle tap on her shoulder brought her back before the smiling face of Sindoor.
“Dreaming about me?” Sindoor laughed at Anadhi’s discomfort. The words hit her hard; similar tone and words, one night she had heard .
At 19, reading for her college exam, she preferred the nights as the city slept. The reading of abstract theories was best suited when calm prevailed outside and inside too. Comfortably on her back or stomach, she would have no compulsions to a physical discipline of a classroom; the night garments also gave her the freedom in her private space.
The occasional gnashing of a vehicle or loud arguments of drunken late home-returnees, were avoidable noises to her and rarely disturbed her. But then that night there was a new sound; a ‘giggle’ emanating from the window room across. That much talked-about neighbor with girls hurriedly packed in that unapproachable ‘red light’ building.
Tonight, the window was wide open and a young girl’s face with limbs reclining on the window panes, was scanning for any life on the streets. Bored, looking up she noticed the reclining unaware Anadhi in her lighted room.
A giggle followed the two whispered words ‘not again’ startling Anadhi. Her first reaction was straightening her clothes and closing the window on the smiling girl. She had never noticed her thumping heart could be an intruder. That girl must be one of them. She went back to the window rechecking the latch and pulled it tight , mentally never to let in any such sounds.
That week she changed her study schedule; sleeping early and waking up at dawn to avoid the sounds. Little did Anadhi know about the girls who sleep only during the day time. That morning, the sounds were more colourful, intense; leaving very little to the imagination of even the untainted, novice mind of Anadhi.
So it became a habit; studies became secondary, as the bigger life lessons were taught to Anadhi, unintentionally by the expert girls. Her mind took over from there; she would see herself in that room and speak their words and learn their tricks. An unnatural way to learn the delicate desires of body; her mind was first to learn and mind has a way not to unlearn. She had learnt to create her own private paradise.
She had taken the first steps to know her mind and body. And then there was that awakening; a two month study where she met the couple who taught her things; a hand-holding to seek her paradise; a period she was reluctant to face and so kept buried deep down in forgotten layers.
The years rolled by and similar giggle awakened her.
“I’m curious about your dreaming today. You seem lost. Tell me about him or maybe her; enough talking about me till now.” Thehe chirpy Sindoor led her by the hand to the café door. “Tell her”, her mind spoke, How it all began with a ‘giggle’ and now she was reliving those scenes, years later through Sindoor.
To Be Continued in Next Part
Anadhi, Rahas and Sindoor – the triangle was formed and naturally, evolved. The researchers, grappling with their lives, were trying to fathom the complexity that was Sindoor.
Data poured in; Anadhi the recipient, Rahas, the balancer. Project Sindoor was progressing; but there were other undercurrents.
“You seem to talk more about the good things about Sindoor and not about the wicked things she likes and does.” Rahas commented.
They met every week at either of their locations and deliberated for hours, dissecting every aspect of ‘subject’ Sindoor.
“We are judging; there is nothing as wicked.” Defended Anadhi.
“Ok ok, I agree. But its unnatural.” Prodded Rahas. He wanted to know her mind; more importantly, her view on what was natural. He wanted to tell there was nothing unnatural; but was not sure about her reaction. Was she like most, who misunderstood the difference between nature’s natural and human’s natural?
“She has adapted to her ‘street’ life and seems to enjoy her independence; I almost envy her openness, continued joy for life and her choice conviction. She does not wait for life; life comes to her, in all its colors. She does not hesitate, analyse; just feels.” Anadhi spoke, meeting his gaze and for once, not quoting from her notes.
“I have felt such people,” Rahas seemed lost in memories of different types of street people. He spoke to Anadhi about them, in his own guarded way. He wanted to remember and also share some things; other things were savored sparingly by him alone; locked up deep down where his soul resided.
Sindoor became their point of self-knowing and the two lonely souls felt each other more as they discussed the life of Sindoor; her physical scenes and their mental play brought in curiosity, closeness and courage to experiment with each other.
Sindor became their binder. While they spoke about her, they became aware of each other. Each was hopeful; she thought she found purpose in their familiarity; he was wanting to bury a past and wanted to ‘fight’ those inducements.
It was waiting to happen and one late night, she came into his arms.
“She’s pushing me. I ran, today, when she, we, did speak, threesome.” Blurted the aroused but anxious Anadhi , who had dropped in unannounced after her meeting with Sindoor. Her lost look, heavy breathing, undone hair and broken thoughts told there was more afoot.
Crying, hugging, craving consent, Anadhi haltingly unfolded the evening’s happenings to Rahas.
Sindoor was opening up new doors for the eager documenter.
“Triangles are part of nature and inevitable; that is why I get more requests for threesomes in bed,” came the street wisdom which the researchers longed for.
“Some love challenges; others do to fill up gaps, don’t they?” was all Anadhi could muster up.
Sindoor opened up forbidden doors of her past.
She had always ascribed reasons for what she had consented with the couple in that brief encounter. It was pure innocence unfolding and courage of new independence. Only later, she realized and as Sinddor confirmed from her experiences, the triangles of nature are never straight lines but always tend towards the ugly and distorted. Relationships decay, almost always.
“I have arranged for a threesome customer today; want to join?” was the direct invitation by the pushy Sindoor.
“I want to know details but not as a partner; no way I will participate.”
“I can make you a provider of drinks, food; do you want to observe us three and take your notes?”
The temptation was driven more by buried curiosity and less by academic inquiry. And the inevitable happened. The innocence and newness of Anadhi was what the customer desired and she ran from the scene which was getting out of control. She realized Anadhi wanted her to join and be like them.
And she ran to the world she thought she knew and to Rahas, who she believed she understood. The project was put aside and the triangle rearranged. Rahas replaced Sindoor and the ‘giggle’ was buried under the ‘moans’ of the lovers.
To Be Continued in Next Part…
Months later, on a rainy day she sat and wondered in her balcony, in an apartment Rahas and she shared, what was Sindoor doing? The wind carried rain drops, reminded her of that evening when the two girls had shared one umbrella and got totally drenched. That night Sindoor had stayed over at her apartment and they had bared their souls to each other.
“I now understand, why you live your life the way you do. People come to you and share; physical intimacy seems only the starting point, to reluctantly open inner doors. I have never , till today, talked about my desires. I seem to do so with you, without being judged.”
“I need the touch to feel the person to bring out the true inner self.” Sindoor played with Anadhi’s straying strand, looking into her eyes, leaned and planted a friendly kiss on her cheek.
Playfully, Anadhi twirled her strands as she remembered the closeness of a woman she had begun with as a “project” and had become her true teacher of personal learning. Why was she missing her? Was she not happy with Rahas? They had settled down into a loving relationship – living, sharing, finding many things they liked doing together.
Maybe she missed Sindoor’s playfulness, her openness, her ability to make her laugh at the vulgar descriptions of her customers, for whom she was a release, a deliverance, at least for that moment.
It was months since she had walked away from that terrible “arrangement” of Sindoor’s planned threesome. And when alone in a safe room, far from Sindoor, she raised the question to herself again and again. How the evening would have progressed if she had not run away?
Was she missing that adventure? Her heart beat faster even now, as she remembered being introduced by Sindoor to the customer, giant of a man visiting India and looking for company. Her guilt-ridden heart, wrestling with the excited mind, had pushed her uncontrollable body to flee.
Today, with Rahas away for a week, she dug out the picture of Sindoor and her many daring poses on the social media. The weather beckoned her to try something different. Rahas seemed too involved with himself; she thought he was fighting something and hiding something. Or was it her mind finding excuses to restart the “Sindoor Project”?
Let me explore and if it happens, I will convince Rahas; he should not mind as it was their project.
And so her idle mind went on and she decided to step-out. She knew a salon where she had not been for a while. It was also incidentally quite near the place where she used to meet Sindoor. She had in a fit of disgust removed all the contact numbers of Sindoor. She had no need of her, anymore.
Yet, today she was going to that place. I won’t go there, she resolved. But come afternoon, she went to the salon. After a few hours, refreshed, she walked a bit away from the place she wanted to go but did not want to admit it. Hesitant, uncertain, half-heartedly shushing her tempting mind, her feet turned towards the already buzzing café, getting ready for evening entertainment.
She did not see Sindoor; she had hoped she would not meet her. And she turned, relieved and happy she could overcome her guilty needs.
“I waited for you every day, for last so many months. I knew you would not leave me.” The familiar, yearned-for voice of Sindoor brought them to paradise. Two arms encircled her from behind and Sindoor planted kisses all over her neck, shoulders and cheek. Turning, she hugged her tight and murmured, “Never again will I leave you.”
Small talk was not needed; broken words sufficed and plenty of touching awakened their suppressed desires. For Sindoor, it was being accepted for what she was; for Anadhi, it was a shelter from her conflicting self.
They fled from their respective worlds; as tourists they mingled among strangers finding joy, care and belongingness. A different love, promises and hope among many uncertainties.
“I won’t go back to my ways. I don’t need them as I have you now.” declared Sindoor, pledging at least for now. Little did she know the manoeuvrings of triangles. That night waiting for Rahas, Anadhi modified her triangle. It was now turn of the male, among the females.
To Be Continued in Next Part….
Rahas looked at the watch. 7 pm was not in a hurry to come. He fidgeted with his car keys, pushed the music buttons randomly and felt good within; excitement came only through anxiety. And it had to be indirect, uncertain and always unnatural.
He had chosen his psychology profession for a very different reason; deep memories drove him to find answers.
His “love” for Anadhi sprung from her profiling of Sindoor; he saw Sindoor in Anadhi. And now with Anadhi away for a while, he was excited, compelled to experience the real thing tonight.
He was driven by thoughts, observations, insights and emotions that would scare the ordinary. The lessons were all around him; learnings made for him. He remembered those early wanderings; people residing on pavements. That tall, lithe, mother changing in public; the day’s petticoat slung over the body with hands inside, sliding the private personal cloth.
These views were fodder to his erotic mind; those earlier impressions which he could not get over became the cause for obsession turned disturbances.
He would visit that street woman and capture all nuances as she did her morning chores. He observed her not meeting eyes with the onlookers. Some regulars, some passer-bys and the many of her kind, finding this public-private scene neither intimidating nor unusual.
Apart from the mother, there was her daughter and a young sister who tagged along. He tracked them too.
That tall, lithe, newly crossed into adulthood climbing over the iron fence; a shapely leg reaching out, torso jutting, head partly covered, piercing eyes gauging subtly; letting the onlooker know, “I have taken the leap; anyone there to bear me?”
And on another sight, the seven something daughter girl-child sprawled over her presumed father, clinging to his naked chest, breathings aligned, implied trust, undiluted morals to let her blossom into adulthood before she learns the devious ways of life.
To Rahas, this was knowing nature. His sexuality, stripped off pretences; it brought out the inhuman in him. For years he became their stalker, provider and the intentional exploiter; all driven by his physical urges. He knew every limb, pulse and skin texture. He had the benefit of three differing life-spans unfold : mother, sister and the child becoming the woman.
Obsessively he saw himself as the male, controlling the lives of the three females. This was his virtual, self-dreamt life till Sindoor and Anadhi took over.
He knew, one day he would have to face the consequences.
And he did penance, went to saints, pleaded, prayed, sought support, tried to change himself and in the process feeling guilty, depressed and angry. He cried every night seeing his transformation; but the tears hardened him. He cried every night and most of the time he was alone, remembering the scenes when he was a child at home.
He was 10 that year; his elder brother had just turned adult and acted as one, constantly asserting his rights and demanding recognition from their father who ran a large land trading business. Money bonds and breaks families; history recites. The elder brother had ideas, had a lover who prodded his maleness, wanted to compete with his father who made him appear impotent. The frictions grew; daily fights, verbal and physical. Others intervened and the father-son separated; calm prevailed for a while.
Each had reasons; each had convictions. The son had live-in relations with the elder lover; money was trickling-in and they needed more. Father was confronted to share his wealth; some settlement happened but son craved for more. Daily fights resumed; father visited more often, his doctor and his many not-so-straight accomplices agreed to “take care” of the wayward son. But the father said “no, not that” though he had indulged in such practices with other families while doing his business of land grabbing.
That night, Rahas was woken up. The elder son, half drunk, was demanding; his woman and a few of his friends wanted the “full settlement” right away. Documents were drawn up and the pen was placed arrogantly before the father as an ultimatum; knives were displayed by the friends helping-out.
Some nerve took over and the father looked at Rahas; spoke in a clear voice. “You are my only heir; you will follow my footsteps.” And with that he shot his elder son. The scenes of their mother holding the bloodied son, father being dragged away – his days alone with the mother torn between sorrows of her lost child and murderer husband. These were his legacy; he would wake up every night at that same hour and cry out in pain.
This was his first cause for opting for his career of a Psychiatrist. He looked for answers about what had transpired on that fateful day and more importantly how his mind had internalized those events.
The dimly lit bar was already overflowing ; Rahas waited in a corner eyeing the door. This was the meeting place that Anadhi had spoken; the hungry, half-awake faces, seeking Paradise. Some found it in flesh, others in drugs & drinks.
Rahas had a fair understanding of what he was doing. He could have been happy with Anadhi and scripted a life of love, family and goodness. They had settled down into a comfortable relationship but there was that missing urge. Project Sindoor, though abandoned for now, was always his secret driver. Maybe the real reason for his loving Anadhi.
Sindoor was the long-sought answer to his strange desires; urges to unmask himself in the process of unmasking others. He wanted to experiment, to go all the way.
And here he was, watching Sindoor enter, sizing up the evening’s potential. Their eyes met, saw sparks; smiles reaching out and latching onto their respective agendas. And she walked up to him, an invitation, too obvious and expected from all that he knew about her.
“Do you like what all you see? I felt you were waiting for me.” Smiled the ever observant child of the streets. Sindoor had tried, in vain, to remain faithful to Anadhi but her body craved for her usual quota of diversity. She would lie to Anadhi; promising to herself one day she would be in control and be faithful.
“I see only you; no other.” He had vast experiences, lessons from the three street females and Anadhi had made the circle almost complete. Sindoor was his inner, forbidden, unfulfilled urge that would make him whole.
Much was done physically that night. Few intentions to please; more display of skills. They played and played till the bodies said no; their minds were promised much more. And the time alone was exhaustingly spent by Rahas with Sindoor; both felt a release from their respective attachments.
Sindoor stopped walking the streets; she saw love in her relationships with Anadhi and Rahas. She thanked her faith for making this happen; her circle seemed complete; though she kept the two halves away.
Sindoor was the forbidden fruit for the two mind-researchers; their memories of “moans & screams” were no longer haunting them. They were now living their memories; guiltily though.
“You should forget the past and get more research materials from Sindoor; do meet and restart the Project S.” Rahas pushed after a lack-lustre lovemaking one evening.
“She would have drifted to other things; I would hardly be able to engage.” The lie came easily. Both were clinging to their common agenda for their own dwindling relationship.
“I wonder if she is tired of her way of life; wanting a permanency. Maybe she has found someone to like her.” prodded the manipulator.
“There will always be someone for everyone; in her case someone who does not judge. I don’t think men can accept her way of life.”
“You suggest she has a woman lover? She is used to manage men much better, as per your findings.”
“She is unique and unpredictable.”
The two in their own minds, understood how Sindoor had become an invisible bond that brought them together. Each evaluated and saw in Sindoor what they really wanted, yet not acknowledging to each other her existence. She was their door-opener; each were in her debt to see their true selves.
Sindoor had the two, literally at her call. She loved them both in her own way and now served them only. She felt they were more dependent on her, for their special needs.
“She needs to be tamed.” murmured Rahas as he made his way to Sindoor for his daily release. “She better respect me; I will not beg.” He said loudly while staring at her mirror.
Sindoor had called to defer their evening meet and Rahas had an engagement too.
She found the sides of her triangle closing in; there was no permanency. It was easy dealing with fantasies than people; she rubbed the names on the two sides of the triangle and waited, for something to happen.
A secret has twins – guilt and excitement and mostly, a short lifespan. Anadhi smelt Sindoor in Rahas one evening. It could not be a coincidence that the smell was from an expensive perfume she had selected for Sindoor. Suspicion became surety and she started the subtle questioning. Both her lovers had themselves become lovers but Sindoor was unaware of the relationship between Anadhi and Rahas.
Rahas was lying as she also was lying about Sindoor, to one another. The intellectuals claiming superiority were less authentic than the street woman.
“I am going to meet Sindoor today. A closure of sorts for our report.” Anadhi announced looking for a response. When none came she continued, “Do you want to meet her?”
“Maybe someday; you seem to handle her well,” the response came without the eye contact and casual calmness.
“Maybe you should ensure my safety, one last time and shadow me. I’ll see her around 7 this evening.”
The “maybe’s” in their minds continued, long after they went their separate ways to work. Both had known for some time, something was amiss in their relationship which was taken care of by Sindoor. Both had made up their minds, to call off their “thing” with the Sindoor project, now coming to an end.
That evening the two girls met at the beach; with their naked feet, entwined hands, hair ruffled by the breeze, they walked the shore amidst the gentle water and sticky sand. The usually shy Anadhi posed and clung to Sindoor, who never missed a chance of public display; unaware that today it was all for the benefit of Rahas.
And Rahas reacted. An onlooker would have been shocked at the sudden change in him.
He followed his two lovers, confident in himself, feeling in total control, thinking he had the final say, believing in Anadhi and Sindoor he had the best of both the worlds. He considered Anadhi his intellectual-emotional mate and kept Sindoor as his unavoidable, dark-side mate. He never wanted to mix the two and he had managed to hide them well, in spite of his earlier obsessions and indiscretions with the three street females.
And he watched in shock as Anadhi embraced, kissed and fondled Sindoor like lovers. Anadhi had dared to cross the line of control; he felt the familiar sucking-out feeling of that 10 year-old. He yelled like a mad man, throwing whatever he could lay his hands on and ran to confront.
“You bi….s , you both are mine” and the familiar phrases erupted; the screaming father lashing out at the son and other images of his, which he believed, never happened.
Just as it had begun, it ended abruptly; the smiling face returned; the mask came back and he apologised.
“I love you both. You should have told me. I would have accepted.”
“It’s our life.” Sindoor asserted, used to violence and abuses and now unwilling to go back to that way of living.
“We want to live only with ourselves.” Ended Anadhi and led Sindoor away before further public outbursts from Rahas; the crowd was already curious.
Rahas smiled at their backs and muttered, “They all do the same mistakes and never understand and then regret.” And he always wanted this to happen; he needed a reason to do what he craved to do; he liked to deliver life as options.
That evening he went back in his awakened sleep; reliving his playing god to the three females. The trigger was the mother’s sister, who had decided to walk away from him. And he remembered his words to the mother. “Either it’s your sister or your daughter; you decide.”
He had arranged for a special pilgrimage trip and trapped them in a secluded place. The mother chose daughter and gave up sister; in the wrong belief , that she would be able to live with that decision. There can be no witnesses; the mother had to go too. The daughter ended up on the streets, walking the nights.
That evening, he went to Anadhi with a request. And a similar request to Sindoor.
“I respect your choice; I still love you,” he begged, “let’s talk it out. At my place in the mountains, where we all have been often. We will find a solution that suits us all; I can’t be away from you.”
Unknown to the women, he had plans for them.
Sindoor and Anadhi were half dead from begging and Rahas had his paradise. He knew deep down, he never wanted a cure for his perversions; his lust for imparting pain, to the women he had pledged his love.
“I’m not going to face him alone.” Anadhi had earlier confided to Sindoor after the outburst at the beach. She was glad Sindoor would be with her; Rahas was angry and vicious.
“I don’t want to see him ever again; I know his ways and I fear his kind. I’m coming, to end it all and to see that you are safe.” Sindoor had taken the lead in confronting and closing the relationship with Rahas.
Sindoor had everything she hoped for in Anadhi. She would never do things that likes of Rahas wanted; those nights were now nightmares. Her love and care for Anadhi was what brought meaning to a life of compulsions and depravity.
Both had their unshared memories of the secluded lake house; a dwelling lost among trees and uncut grass; a place where only animals lurked. A bedroom with the glass ceiling was what the two women remembered most; passion at its zenith, unjudged and nature witnessed. They were reluctant to go that place where Rahas had made them do things they were later ashamed of.
Sindoor had shared all her secrets with Anadhi but not the ones with Rahas at the lake house; she had not imagined she could be made to seek such pleasures. Rahas had a way of creating brief paradises for others, awakening embedded selves, afraid to show their true colors.
Nobody to judge; freedom to experiment with wild thoughts, fantasy roles; they were seduced to go to unthinkable places. Now both were reluctantly back to face their perceived paradises.
“I wish you both happiness; begin your journey knowing each other, through me. What better way to end but continue in a different form of our relationships than to be with Nature; a harsh, unforgiving but never-judging environment at our forest house, Paradise.”
And the three arrived at Paradise; the last mile had to be walked to reach the stone and glass house with its abundant history. The house came as an inheritance from a distant relative who used to work for the local tribe; the relative, a doctor and his wife, spent his life among the tribals. Their work was later supported and continued by a charitable organization set up by a large corporate, who had profitable logging contracts.
Peace and Chaos are not required to be explained or differentiated in such an environment; that was Paradise. Each went his own way and nature hid, absorbed, digested all behaviors .
Rahas had made the house operational immediately upon arrival; minimum needs were met with advanced tools; there was no need to return to society if one had the will to live with nature. Each had come back to the paradise that they had created, aping nature, in this house. There were some memories that the two women did not want to revisit; they had agreed to bury the past and move on.
There were no controlled pleasantries once they settled down with a few rounds of alcohol. As happens in triangular relationships, there was jealousy, anger and accusations.
The two women had come as they still, foolishly, trusted Rahas. They were unaware of their spiked drinks till drowsiness took over.
“We loved you; and so we came; what are you doing?” Anadhi tried to appeal but slumped in his arms, faintly aware that Sindoor was already sprawled out on the bed.
“Welcome back, my love.” Struggling to focus, Anadhi was sharply awakened by Rahas’s face touching hers and feeling his hands all over her body.
“What are you doing?” auto-words were the only response as she found herself tied to the bed, in a manner she had excitingly agreed to in the past when she enjoyed doing such things with Rahas. He had half undressed her, the way he liked.
“You need to be punished.” again words, which once were arousing triggers, unashamedly spoken by them – people pursuing passion. “You should have told me about you and Sindoor; we would have done a three-some. We will now. But my way.”
Strange, throaty giggles were sending shivers as she was made to look at the adjacent bed where Sindoor was strapped, fully clothed.
Rahas lived for this; the thrill of control over others; his victims had only glimpses of his other side; till the end they would find him strange, unpredictable but never a predator. He hid his dark side totally but he yearned for it all the time waiting for excuses to let his true nature to surface.
“Tonight, you will be my true partner; sharing my thirst for the real. But first, let me show you what all your lover Sindoor and I did, what you and I did not dare to do.”
And what followed, in the video clip he showed, was bizarre. Things he would occasionally ask to watch with her. He had made Sindoor do all those physical things which would wreck minds like hers, but Sindoor had obviously survived.
“Years of her way of living on the streets has made Sindoor take the pleasure-pain; she is suited for more and the ultimate, today.”
“Why are you doing this to us? We who loved you once and still feel for you!” sobbed the unfortunate Anadhi, looking Sindoor frightened and waking up to the unreal world.
“Please no, not ever again. Anadhi, let him not do things to me, never ever, please.” begged the unfortunate, expendable Sindoor .
“Don’t worry; those were our love themes. Today we will bet on the life things.” murmured the evil mind, his voice had strangely lost its humanness.
Hours of patient devouring ensued amongst the night’s seemingly silent background. While the night animals outside toyed, stalked and ultimately satisfied their appetites, Rahas played with the bodies of the two women, evoking unwilling but unstoppable responses; bodies had their pleasure seeking independence and mind diagnosis was a thing to be addressed, later.
Ravaged, humiliated and mellowed, Rahas then let them recoup; they were moved around in collars and chains, fed like animals in cages and deprived of all hints of human softness. The week ended with many scars; many, she knew, would heal. But not the one which was carved deep down. That last night he made them perform love in the courtyard, under the stars. And he joined them, seemingly, forgiving all and starting their threesome world.
It was only in their final release, she felt the dying spasm of Sindoor as he snuffed the breath out of her. “Now, we are only two of us; totally dependent : two bodies but one mind.”
Anadhi stared at the picture of Sindoor; she also repeatedly saw albeit after a few months, the pictures of all three during the last days at the mountain house. She had run away from the city where all this had begun. Rahas knew she would. He had no time for those who could not face; his was a mind without guilt and remorse .
He had sowed a seed; at times nothing would happen; he knew enough of human mind to hope.
Work, new environment, knowledge that others too have struggled, kept Anadhi going . The images would come back; her mind struggled to see pleasure in pain. Conversations and normal thoughts would not enthuse; squeals, moans and shrieks helped to relax in slumber; a strange routine began. She would relieve every minute while putting herself to sleep; that gave her the purpose to continue.
That evening, she was asked to urgently fly to her old city; an inescapable step-in for a colleague. Work took up most of her time next day and she had the evening to herself. She was almost pulled to visit the place where she met Sindoor; reconciling to the deep urges, she entered the dim lit bar which had not changed much and took a corner table.
“What will you have, sweety? I’m Samina.” Mocking, expectant, all-knowing eyes looked her up, as the young, confident girl leaned on her table.
“I used to come here often; for now, I just want to be with myself.” saying this, she ordered a drink to keep the girl away.
“Oh sure, you might want to join that guy there; he has similar needs,” the girl spoke loudly, disappointed and a bit angry at not getting her converse.
The man turned; their eyes met and he smiled. Rahas had been coming every day at the same time for last so many months!
Samina made it up, for them…