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She writes… "Annals of Time"

June 30, 2005

He couldn’t remember exactly when it had all begun. She was a vivacious young girl of nineteen, and he was twenty-seven, far too old for her. Or so he thought. But she had something else in mind.
For Aravind, it was love at first sight, or more accurately, love at first flight. One languid afternoon nineteen years ago, Kamala slunk into his garden and, under his amused gaze, stole all but two of the guavas from the lone guava tree. While she was thus occupied, Aravind ambled across, unobserved, to stand by the broken fence.
Turning around to make good her escape, Kamala froze when she saw Aravind. Debating on whether to stand her ground or flee, she made a quick decision and shot by Aravind as fast as her slim legs could carry her. But she wasn’t fast enough—Aravind’s arms encircled her as she passed him and he easily carried her, kicking and screaming and scattering guavas like confetti, to the verandah. His eyes twinkling with silent mirth, he admonished her in a grave tone. Held captive in the iron grip of his arms, Kamala quit struggling and stood still, a belligerent expression animating her features.
Kamala was a willowy girl, with long raven hair, alluring eyes and a nose that was acknowledged by all to be unlike any other. Her deceptively soft look hid a razor-sharp mind, and her fragile frame housed an independent spirit. Born of the mountains, she was part girl and part magic. But Aravind didn’t know that. All he knew was that, with a single flutter of her lashes, she had captivated him—she was Eurydice, his muse, come to life. Drawn by impulses beyond his understanding, he tilted her chin upwards and bent to touch her lips fleetingly. Pupils dilated in surprise, a flame was kindled in the brown eyes. He bent to kiss her again, this time with passion, and she met him halfway. Then, like mist before the rising sun, she was gone before he could collect his scattered wits, down the garden path, through the wooded land and into the unknown.
Day was turning to night and the sun bathed the snow-capped peaks in warm tones of lavender and rust. The earth reflected the glow of the fire raging in Aravind’s heart. Kamala captured his poet’s imagination and filled him with inexplicable longings. After months of moving in a creative vacuum, his mind was in a frenzy. Hands shaking, beads of sweat lining his brow, he took up his pen and wrote his first words since Bandhini’s departure.

Tendrils from raven tresses
rest on flushed cheeks.
Softly contoured,
in the spring of youth,
her cherry lips soundlessly speak.

Pools of intensity and intrigue,
wild and turbulent,
windows to her soul—
kohl-lined impish eyes
make a bold statement.

The image in my heart,
sculpted and fashioned,
stands before my eyes.
I must be blind, and a fool,
to not be impassioned.

Maybe a fool, but not blind,
I touch the cherry lips,
gently at first, with fingertips;
then, sure of my welcome,
with my own impassioned lips.

Startled, surprised, no response,
then shyly compliant;
then, spurred by my desire,
she demonstrates her need,
no longer content to be just pliant.

……………………………………

He did not dare proceed, for he could not foretell the events of the future, but of one thing he was sure—unlike the others, this ode would have an end. His Eurydice would come back from the unknown, into his waiting arms.

—–

Wind-blown hair, eyes bright with excitement, an unsure smile playing on her lips, Kamala sat on the grass knoll thinking of Aravind. The moonlight washed over her in a nebulous burr. A moon-child this, filled with mysterious longings and unnamed fears, trembling joy and unshed tears. She thought of the arms that had held her so tenderly, the voice that came back to haunt her dreams, the eyes that had reflected her inner turmoil and hidden some secrets of their own. And she thought of those lips that had awakened strange and new stirrings deep within her. The moon-child had, in that one instant, metamorphosed into a woman.
Alone that night, Kamala was intensely aware of the change within her and the reason for the change. Knowing she was courting danger, yet unable to stop herself, she made her way to where Aravind lay tossing and turning, desperately seeking to alleviate the fever gripping him. She stopped just once near the fence, shielded by the night, when she saw Aravind stepping out into the verandah. Silhouetted against the light from inside the cottage, Aravind’s tall frame filled the doorway. Shoulders bared to the midnight wind, Aravind was the very picture of masculine strength and grace. Yet, there was something disturbingly vulnerable about the set of his shoulders, something touchingly sensitive about the deep sigh she heard him emit as he sat down on the steps. Her decision made, she stepped out of the shadows and moved towards him, all feline grace and feminine charm.

—–

The rustle of leaves caught his attention and he lifted his gaze, slowly, to find a pair of nimble feet moving towards him. His gaze took in the swish of her skirt, the sway of her hips, the curve of her waist, the swell of her breasts, the lingering smile on her lips, and the promise in her eyes. His Eurydice had come back from the unknown, into his waiting arms.

—–

Seven years had passed, and they had weathered many storms together—parental outrage, social ostracism, a struggle to make ends meet. Through it all, they had never questioned or doubted their love, till that chilly November day when the shadow from Aravind’s past eclipsed their happiness. Bandhini, once Aravind’s life, came back to claim him as her own. Construing his reluctance to confide in her as lack of trust, Kamala was shattered. Love didn’t seem enough now, as Bandhini plotted a deliberate campaign to win Aravind over. He was, after all, an acclaimed writer now, finally worthy of her, Bandhini’s, attentions. But she underestimated the magnetic pull that kept drawing Aravind and Kamala close inspite of themselves.
Four miserable months apart only heightened their longing for each other. A chance meeting on the street, and she couldn’t stop herself from running into his waiting arms. Eurydice had found her Orpheus, and accessory pitfalls could not stop them from finding together the magic they had always dreamed of, their own blend of paradise. Not time, nor temptation, could keep them from their destiny—a love so sublime, it scents the annals of time.

—–

Twenty-nine years have gone by, and their brood has flown the nest to find their own destinies. They have more time now, for each other and for themselves. Aravind had, over the years, lost none of that sensitivity and vulnerability Kamala had been drawn to, only growing more placid and calmer as time passed. Kamala was not so willowy anymore, nor as haughtily independent. She had come to depend on Aravind for much more than just emotional security. They had grown together, their love only deepened by the shared ties of children and responsibility.
Aravind gazed tenderly at her as she stood by the window, a woman grown more lovely by the daily cares of running a family, and a publishing empire, as she never failed to remind him with a teasing smile. He thought back to that first night in the mountains, and the ode he had left incomplete. Somewhere in the last few months he had added another stanza,

Eurydice and Orpheus found
a love so eternally sublime
it widens the portals of sound
deepens the perception of sight
and scents the annals of time.

But the secret that had eluded him all these years revealed itself to him now, as she turned to look at him. The ode would never be complete. It would live as long as their love…………and scent forever the annals of time.

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