Here’s an intriguing short story by Aparajita, exclusively in Different Truths.
Emotions add colour to old buildings, giving them the energy to thrive the blows of time.
The sundry weather was settling down under the cosy blanket of the setting sun, slowly dozing off to sleep like a wailing baby pacified by his nursing mother. My solitude was paused by a scathing intimacy of couples as they made love to each other under the broad daylight, their love, serving fodder for many a passer-by. Our senile Victoria looked at me with placid eyes, abashed to answer my ‘whys’.
A chronic headache in the morning and the on-going tension at home offered me a day-off giving me the leisure to take a leave on a weekday. The throng of couples in and around Mohorkunja, covering the lush green meadow and jheel intruding into the busy Tilottama questioned the credence of the boisterous traffic horns. I haven’t come to Victoria Memorial for quite a few years and things seemed to have changed, like someone’s heart, rolling, bouncing here and there and sporadically coming back to the centre.
Guilt feeling coloured their faces as they engaged in love-making and my unromantic self, as Mouri would often complain, found it gross, awkward and unethical. With the anchal and the orhnis trying to conceal the privacy, it was evident, they were noticed by the world. Drops of sunlight fell on the grass, resonating a wave, which drowned me in memories of my past. Mouri was never shy, rather she was the dominant one, something which I appreciated. She was different, like a violent thunderstorm and I bathed in her lightning. Which is why perhaps, I was attracted to her, unlike my friends, who often talked about treating their spouses like a sex-toy. But we had room, our own privacy. It was something between us, it was something special we could never share with anyone else.
Those bovine eyes, that slender body and the soul within! I felt she had everything in her, everything I would want in my woman. Men kissed their lady loves, looked around again and again, before going back to love making disclosing their gestures, their privacy, their flamboyance to the world. What’s so special about it, I wonder.
‘What’s so special about us?’ Mouri would ask sinking in my arms in the bath-tub.
‘Us!’ I would whisper in her ears, biting her silk ear-leaf.
‘I love the platinum earrings you gave me for Valentine’s Day but they are quite small you know. Some of my friends even dared to consider them as cheap silver.’
The grief camouflaged her face and I royally hate the solar eclipse.
‘Bigger, next time, I promise.’ I wrapped myself in a towel and getting into my shorts and tee, went out to the terrace for a smoke. Circles of black smoke pushed me back to my reality.
‘Could you please click our picture?’ A teenage girl, clad in yellow salwar and red dupatta flashed a smile at me.
‘Sure,’ I took her phone as she posed with her boyfriend.
‘Mouri, do we really need to click so many pictures when we have each other?’ My younger self was pleading the woman who meant everything to him.
‘Stop being so unromantic!’
I looked at the picture. The couple was pleased with it and left conveying thanks. They seemed happy, at least in the picture.
‘Unromantic!’ I chuckled. So many ‘un’s and ‘in’s followed the prices of her happiness….cars…expensive jewelleries but there was something I could not give her. The taste of another male flesh. That was something which I could not tolerate, to see her getting too close with my kid sister’s best friend, a lot younger than her. Holding hands, late night parties were too much to hurt my sentiments. Mouri was always understanding. Which is why she was the one who demanded the divorce.
I clenched my fists, sweat replacing my tears. I made my way towards the exit.
‘Aww, thank you for bringing me here. You are such a sweetheart,’ a familiar voice hit me like a thunderstorm. I shivered, trembling to face the reality. A tree stands tall till the last moment. She still wears her favourite rose perfume.
Photos from the internet.
#ShortStories #Fiction #Guilt #Unromantic #DifferentTruths