A golden scar
“Keep your eyes closed!”
She pleaded as she neatly folded the ochre satin cloth into the desired thickness. With one hand gently covering his both eyes she now turned to his back, holding on to his bare chest, her fingers as if humming a note on his heartstrings.
“Few more moments, just keep them closed” she whispered in his ears, standing on her tiptoes.
He stood firm yet apprehensive. The mask must be worn at all times, his mind chided his heart.
Her heavenly beauty danced in his eyes, even with closed eyes he could still see her standing behind him, half smiling half simmering in the monsoon wind. Her wavy black locks swaying and her slender arms clinging to his skin. The peacock feathers intertwined in the wild creeper stem which adorned her forehead did little to keep her hair flowing wildly. Gently she put her head to his bare back, her one slender arm raised up to cover his eyes. He could almost feel her dainty silver nose-ring piercing through his skin and just an inch below two luscious lips kissing his back. Her bosom touched his lower back and he could feel the velvety softness of her fur bodice and swirling gown.
He tried hard to resist his feelings.
Her lithesome body touched his and he felt a stir somewhere.
It’s not the time; a voice in his head was trying to calm him down. Determined not to give in, he clenched his fists.
“Do you promise?” she was on her tiptoes again as her mellifluous voice filled the moist air around them.
“I do”. He said as he made another promise in his heart of hearts.
“…that?” he could hear her almost giggle.
“…that I will never ever break your trust”. He replied calmly, fighting a thousand emotions bubbling in his heart to break free and turn around and hold the woman tight who loved him more than the world. But one must overcome lust.
Her laughter filled the forest around, the swirl of dark green around them as if came to life. A Peacock screamed in a distance awakened.
“All I wanted to hear is you will love me like this forever…” She murmured and fell silent. The wind howled through the towering tropics that engulfed the tribal village which was fast asleep, oblivious to its chieftain’s daughter’s nightly strolls through their coveted forest.
Since they had met, almost every night, after everybody was fast asleep, they would sneak out to the same spot in the forest where they had first met, the tribal princess and the handsome stranger, holding hands and revelling in each other’s silence.
Strange, a silence can be a signature of submission, yet a mask of treason.
True love, that’s all she had ever wanted of him. What he wanted of her was beyond her wildest dreams – until the night before.
“I love you” he said and tried to trace her hands on his back still keeping his eyes closed. All he could see now was a bright blue light, beckoning him.
All she could see now was the silver moon, rusted, yet gleaming through the dark clouds. A love, however incomplete, still is the purest of emotions. She smiled, she was surer than ever of her actions.
She held his outstretched hands and gently kissed his palm.
“Of course I know, my love”. She took the satin cloth and gently tied it across his eyes.
Then she held his outstretched hand, took his palm and guided it all over her face, sucking his thumb for a moment and then let it go. He held her shivering face with both his hands, gently undressing her as she slid into his embrace. Her hands unfastened his waistband and they swayed down falling onto the wet grass.
All his restraint was washed away in a flood of passion that soon engulfed the young couple in the cold wet night.
The skies as if to commemorate their union let their doors open as they both lay, naked and embodied into each other on the forest floor. The only piece of cloth that lay on their bodies was the satin blindfold on his eyes.
This is not what he had hoped for when they had started towards the forest in the middle of the night. Not a romp and lust filled rendezvous! He had his mind on things far more superior, far more coveted!
This is all she ever wanted , to give him everything she had, everything she owned. Everything that was dear to her. A night of love, submission and devotion. She had only one thing on her mind, a love conquering all the blemishes on the moon like stranger from the dark nights she had fallen in love with.
It seemed as if a lifetime had passed. The rains had stopped and the moon peeked from a cloud. The leaves were dripping and it seemed that all that resonated across the heart of the forest was their sighs of fulfilment. Lying by her side, he gently caressed the contours of her body; the wet forest ground seemed emblazoned with marks of their love.
“Pardon me I had to blindfold you. Never judge me by my actions, my feelings are pure like the wild stream that gives us life. I have bared open my heart, my body and soul in front of you… “
He curled up on her glowing body and let his lips explore hers in a tight embrace.
“I know you would understand, there is a love which is far greater than ours. But I just want to tell you, nothing is more important to me than your happiness” She said as tears flowed down her temple.
She sat up calmly, dressed herself in her wet clothes and helped him dress up. Holding her blindfolded lover’s right hand, fully aware of the consequences that she was bringing upon herself and her tribe, she led him through the dark wilderness of the forest. All for a love which seemed greater than anything else.
As if to prove that he is worth their ancient secret, she had ensured there will be nothing else secret from him, she willingly offered her heart and body to him , for there truly was a love far greater than theirs. To realise that supreme love, her own love for him must be the stepping stone. Even if it meant her love for him makes him much more trustworthy than he probably was.
After all, she was about to trust him with her, her father’s and her tribes’ biggest and oldest secret.
The Blue Mountain.
As they trudged along in the darkness on the uneven path, their feet wet and muddy and occasionally pricked by the wild grass, a smile played on his face. Finally he would reach the destination he had been chasing for so long. It didn’t matter what he put at stake in his journey – a lonely pining wife he left back at the kingdom, an innocent and devoted tribal girl whose trust he had broken – every time he proclaimed his love. As she gave her love a new meaning that night, he consummated his greatest treachery. Of making love to someone he couldn’t yet love more than his royal task at hand.
His left hand slowly turned away from her shoulders and he gently rummaged through the little pouch hidden under his waist band. A pouch filled with tiny black mustard seeds. He took it out gently and let it open through his clenched fist; the seeds dropped sparingly on the wet ground on the secret path to the tribe’s ancient temple – nestled in a cave in the elusive Blue Mountain. A secret that was only known to the tribe’s chieftain and his immediate successor. Until now.
As they reached the blue mountain and the cave where stood the core of the holy form they worshipped, she took the blindfold off him.
They stood there in stark silence, soaking in the bright blue light that emanated from the formless deity, hidden away from rest of the world.
Their eyes filled with tears.
His with unbound happiness, of a joy he found after months of struggle. A love he had been chasing that was the greatest of all.
Her tears were of a love so pure that could overcome the truth of her lover’s true identity. The night before while folding his clothes away, she had discovered a letter. It was a letter from King Indradymna of the Kingdom of Avanti, neighbouring kingdom of Udra-desha, with his royal seal. The king sought an answer from the high priest of the kingdom on the progress of the task assigned to him. The letter read
“Revered Chief-priest Vidyapathi,
His Royal Highness King Indradyumna and Her Highness Queen Guṇḍicā send their kindest regards your way. The task you have undertaken for the kingdom and in God’s own name would be written golden scripts on the pages of our glorious land Udra-desha’s history.
It has been six months since you left and the sacred burden of the mission you have willingly taken on your able shoulders await your ultimate endeavor. The finale in the chapter of your sojourn in the tribal dwellings await for your signature.
The King wants to remind you again of the divine dream that he had once seen, a dream where the supreme God Lord Vishnu himself had expressed His desire to bless the people of our land in a temple. The deity for this sacred temple was to be found in a secret and impenetrable location. A riddle that has ever since held the King in deep ponder:
“Blue ripples meet and dance in joy,
A land unseen and two hands held high!
In the blue caverns of its mighty walls,
I lay in peace, my sapphire heart!!”
The King demands to know how far have you succeeded in finding the deity’s form that would adorn the sanctum sanctorum of the proposed temple.
From your last message, the King understands that you are still pursuing the quest and the halt at the tribal village is merely a step towards your final goal.
Please enlighten the King of your progress and summon the Senapati (commander-in-chief) in case you need any further assistance.
This is also to inform you that your wife and son are hale and hearty and await your return with equal vigor as the King and Queen themselves.
Awaiting your speedy home-coming on accomplishment of your mission,
His Royal Highness
It took her no time to realise how all the coincidences in her life in the last few months have in fact been a well-planned trap.
In the central-eastern forests of Udra-desha, lay the confluence of the three rivers, revered by her tribe – Mahanadi, Kusumi and Kuanria.
Blue ripples meet and dance in joy
By this sacred meeting place of the three rivers stood the mighty tall twin mountains, Brahmadri and Niladri, untouched and unexplored.
A land unseen and two hands held high!
In a dark and secret cave of the blue mountain of Niladri lived and regaled the ancient secret, their tribal legend, the Blue-God.
In the blue caverns of its mighty walls,
I lay in peace, my sapphire heart!!
The King had sought Vidyapathy’s response with respect to progress in getting the “Blue-God” to the kingdom.
The much married high priest Vidyapathy, has been faking his love to her, the gullible tribal princess Lalita, quite efficiently.
A month passed; the rains showered their bounty on the secluded habitat of Vishwavasu and his tribe’s people. With each passing night, Lalita’s love and trust grew a little more; while Vidyapathy’s anxiety reached its peak.
It didn’t take long for the rains to give way to the winterly chill. And one such early winter morning, her worst nightmares came true.
Vidyapathy was nowhere to be seen. While her father Vishwavasu was concerned of his sudden disappearance, Lalita knew she would probably never see her love again. Unable to control her emotions, she ran howling and weeping like a little girl whose sandcastle was destroyed by waves of an inevitable destiny. Sobbing and wailing she finally reached that secluded spot in the forest where she had once met her handsome stranger. Crest fallen, she scrambled through the grass, the mossy stones as if to find a trace of him.
He was nowhere to be seen. Yet he was everywhere, the trees, the flowers, the stream all knew him, who had been witness to their love.
Then a flash blinded her sight as she looked at the secret path to the Blue Mountain between the two Mahula trees.
A golden path, hitherto unseen.
The secret path was marked with a swaying abundance of golden yellow mustard flowers. The trail of the mustard plants had as if erupted on the forest floor to mark a journey months back they had taken together hand in hand, with trust and love as their guiding force. As if enchanted, she followed the golden trail, wiping her tears, with each step her apprehension and fear reaching a near crescendo.
And there it stopped at the footsteps of the Blue Mountain. As she entered in the cave, she knew for sure, her love and her devotion were as real as her tears.
The empty cave just amplified her sobs.
She ran back, as if part of her soul was taken away from her. Lifeless and devastated, tumbling over on her tired feet she fell flat in the sea of mustard flowers.Was it her love that had blossomed? Or was it just a golden scar on her wounded heart? She would never know. Lalita’s tears didn’t stop. She knew very well that wondrous rainy night what was coming. Yet she knew what was her becoming.
Love, conquers all. She couldn’t let her love down. She knew, Vidyapathy would understand her one day.
If not, the Blue God will.
© “And Life Unfolds” and Subhendu Mohanty, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Subhendu Mohanty and “And Life Unfolds” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.