“ What are you doing ?”
“ Shhhh…. I’ am writing.” He forefinger continues to draw an elaborate curl and some loops, stopping with a thumb imprint on my naked back. “ What did I write ? Tell me.”
“ I don’t know. Write again. I was enjoying the tickling sensation.” I think the last letter was a ‘U’ and then a thumb imprint which may be ‘ full stop’.
“ Be attentive. Do not spoil my efforts. Concentrate.”
“ OK, baba. I think the last letter was the numerical ‘3’ and then you pressed your thumb. Was it a full stop ?”
“ Am writing all over again.”
I turned on my back to admire her breasts. Immediately I get slapped pay fully on the side of my buttock. Her heavy breasts were round and swollen , drooping a bit, their nipples dark. On the side of her nipple of her left breast there is a mole. She is determined to make it easy for me, and her fingers move in a flourish, pausing after each letter to test my attentiveness and understanding. ‘ 1’, I say and she nods excitedly. ‘ S’ – no 2..then ?’ I was at a loss trying to break the concentration and taking the easy way out in pre-empting her thoughts. She was making it difficult now.
“ Its only numbericas. Thats the only clue I will give, “ she said.
Now I am laughing too much as I am tickled by her unsympathetically making me obliged to concede quickly, ‘ 4. I got it.’ Her finger draws an extended arch that starts on my right shoulder and then a loop and then her finger cross my anus to end a bit up on the side. ‘ 3’.
“ So, it is ‘143 ‘?”
“ Let me see. 1 for I, 4 for Love and 3 for You. Its an acronym in numerical.”
“ My God. You could have made Euclid proud. Do you know about the Golden Triangle ?”
“ Yes, Delhi – Agra and Jaipur.”
“ No, not that one. Forget it.”
I turned around and tightly embraced her , our bodies entwined. Two naked bodies with her flabby belly resting on my protruding stomach. I was sure it did not make a good picture but then when you are enjoying adultery, one does not care much for scenic creativity.
“ I have a message for you also, but I will not use my finger, “ I said.
I turned around to change our position and placed myself on top of her. Relishing her silky taste of body , I trace the lines with the tip of my tongue across her softness. I use her mid riff to create my ‘ 1’ . This is easy and she animatedly nods. My ‘ 4’ begins with the mole on top of her right breast and ends on the bulge of her left hip with the cut through her cleavage. The loop of the top of ‘ 3’ ends at her right nipple and then the second loop takes in her navel. I don’t stop here and make another ‘3’.
She is enjoying , her eyes closed in blissful peace. She uttered , ‘ too’.
I bury my face for sometime in her soft pubic hair and then look up again at her. The sun is coming in a streak through the narrow gap of the two curtains. In Calcutta morning starts early and there is a lot of noise outside. Various people talking simultaneously and in loud voices. Sound of utensils being washed, broom sticks, buckets and overall the sound of water. There is a phobia here around water.
We were lying , our bodies entwined and looking at each other. The only sound was that of breathing. I was trying to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. Soon I have to leave her as my time for flight back to Delhi is approaching.
“ So, your are all set for dropping her and leaving for Delhi, then ?”
I turned around at the question and looked. There is a crow which is sitting on the glass pane of the bathroom and asking me. Calcutta crows are ominous. I had gone to the washroom to relieve myself .
“ Guess, you did not like her in bed much.” The crow said.
“ Too much of sentimental stuff. This is the problem sleeping with middle class Calcuttans.”
“ But you still like the thrill, old man.” The crow was deriding my age. I came back and entangled Anasua again.
I had met Anasua six months back. It was raining that day in August, 2012. I had gone to their office in a by lane of Tobin Road. Tobin Road is a crossing on the BT Road in Calcutta and the serpentine lane on the left side of the crossing is forever clogged by taxis, auto and cycle rickshaws. The name Tobin is an English surname, a derivation probably of Tobias, Hebrew for “God is good.” Associated with the now forgotten missionary school along this road. Once you enter the lane, you get into the galis of North Calcutta. The time has stopped here. It is still stuck in the seventies when growth stopped the precocious city.
Srijeet, Anasua’s husband had been running a small medicine distributorship from this office with another partner, called Indrani. Anasua was plain looking with no make up on her youngish bespectacled face. Once or twice when she got up to serve tea, I could figure a Rubenesque woman behind the simple salwar kameez. Runu had taken me along. Runu alias Ronodeep Majumdar is my childhood friend and is a common thread between all the names named in the preceding sentences. What a terrible waste he has been till now, but paradoxically contended.
Whenever I go to Calcutta, Runu comes to know. He had tried introducing me to various of his friends with insane ideas of starting variety of businesses ranging from fashion photography to travel agency . Srijeet, being different, had a clear concept and knowledge of pharmaceutical products and had been interacting with me for more than a year now. We spoke on various models and products, did some research and finally started off last year by forming a partnership organisation. Anasua, his wife became the third partner in the tripartite partnership, as I had the uncanny feeling of getting someone in between myself and Srijeet . We had one more meeting before forming the firm in November, 2012 when I taught Anausa the formats and content required in the weekly, monthly and outstanding reports, which she took down in spellings that were wrong. This lack of understanding of English started forging the tenets of our intimacy. We started talking everyday and slowly in every half of the day leading to almost every couple of hours, being drawn by the exuberance of creation of a venture. Our sms s changed from professional requirements to commonplace happenings and then on to more sentimental ones. I once sent a string of sms s which started undressing her to gradual intercourse. She loved it and reciprocated . The game was on.
A baul song comes to my mind while playing with the curves of Anasua.
বাগানে পাঁচজনা মলী,
যে যাঁর ঠাঁইয়ে বস্যে আছেন,
পাঁচ মাথার মোড় আগুলি !
The fact that all the gardeners are endlessly sitting is predestined, like the event of today.
“ Now tell me your story,” I remained still for a moment while being within her. I had managed to lift it second time in a matter of couple of hours. No mean achievement and I wanted to prolong this.
“ Ah ! Why did you stop ? What story ? “
“ Your life story .”
“It is such a simple one, that you will laugh at me. There is no story. ”
“ There is a story hidden in every mundane nuance of everyday life. So many stories get formed with ‘ and’ ‘ so’ ‘or’ ‘ but’ and some of them are very interesting.”
“ Come on. I cannot tell you my story in this posture. I have never heard anyone telling stories while having intercourse.”
“ I remember a scene in a Ray movie where the guy looks at his watch while having sex. This is something similar. Unless I distract I will come. ”
“ Stop this now. Are you out of your sense ? Enjoy the moment. Push harder, please.”
I never thought Anasua was capable of making sounds while having sex. Here she was trying to arouse me by entangling her legs on top of me. Imploring me to pound her. Quite against the archetypical Bengali middle class bahu image. I managed to withdraw at the nick of time and exploded into her in a moment of forgetfulness. The withdrawal technique has been perfected by me over the years. Once I had come on a new bedsheet while making it out with Alka, my cousin’s wife. She had reprimanded me for it and told me that I should have showered on her stomach. After that I have always ejaculated on the stomach of the woman under.
I could hear a telephone ring. I get nervous for a moment. Today in this city, my presence is unknown to anyone, even then, hearing a ring , my first thought for a fraction of a second was that the telephone was calling me and in the following fraction of a second there was a relief of knowing myself excluded for the moment from every call, unattainable and safe. I laid down in a state of contentedness by her side and started immediately to play with her left breast. I was trying to figure out whether her sizes are symmetrical and trying to grasp both of them intermittently. Her right one is now crushed against my body making my fruitless experiment difficult.
There is a sense of uneasiness in our lying together. Anasua broke the silence and started , “ My father runs a variety store. We are originally from Srirampore where my father had a joint business with my uncles on construction parts. It was started by my grandfather. Upon his demise, my uncles separated and we sold our house and moved to Shyambazar. My father bought a house and I grew up in that. I studied in a school nearby , no use of telling you the school name as you do not know Bengali medium schools in that part. The house had three floors and I have a brother who now runs the store with my father.” She wrapped a thin blanket to cover part of her nakedness.
“ Is he married ? ” I tried to uncover her again.
“ Yes he is. They have a son, who is now ten years old and a bit mentally retarded.”
“ No conflict between his wife and your mother ?”
“ What a mind you have ? Not at all. They peacefully co-exist. In fact my relation with his wife is better than with him. She is very nice. Now don’t pull my blanket. I am feeling a bit chill. ”
“ How did you meet Srijeet ?”
“ They came as a tenant to us. My father vacated the ground floor and gave it on rent. We moved to the top two floors. Srijeet’s father was a renowned freedom fighter , he was the recipient of tamrapatra. Srijeet is elder to me by more than ten years.”
“ That’s what I thought. Your age gap is almost fifteen years.”
“ Thirteen , precisely. He used to do a small business in plastic when he came to our house. I was in school. It was me who fell in love with him. I used to go to his house and spend time with him. He writes and reads poetry very well .”
“ A man of many talents , I see.”
“ Like you. Why don’t you come inside the blanket ? I used to meet him after school. Then I was in Class XI. We used to go through the lanes of Baghbazar and roam on the side of Ganga.”
“ What a romantic setting ! The areas smells of excreta .”
“ Are you ridiculing ? Anyway, you will not understand that love.”
“ Well, Madam, I have also gone through that phase in my life.”
“ Cannot believe. You are so cut – throat in everything you do. But you are very honest and sincere.”
“ Those are values which are no longer in demand today. Lets continue with your story.”
“ Srijeet and me kissed and embraced though we never slept before marriage. He has a very sharp mind and used to meddle in Leftist politics. While in Class XII, I told my mother about our affair. She also liked Srijeet but we never briefed father . She told father when I was out of Class XII. I was never a good student, did not like studying. But I can cook very well and understand a bit of business after watching my father.”
“ How come you never slept before marriage ? I thought that’s a ritual in Shyambazar.”
“ Ritual ? Bengali women don’t sleep before marriage. It is against our values. When father came to know about our affair , he was mad. He was mad at the age difference and mad on my refusal to do higher studies. I did not join college and sat at the shop of my father in the mornings to help him. We used to talk and my father used to tell me the need of self-independence of females in India. At that point I hardly used to listen to him, but now I can understand. We eloped one day – Srijeet and myself planning tol marry after Kali puja. I pressed him into it though he was a bit hesitant. His mother did not like me much but his father treated me like his own daughter. I waited one evening, when father was in shop and my brother had gone out of station. Being elder to me by some years, he had started meeting the suppliers. I waited with one packed suitcase and hoped in a taxi which Srijeet had hired. We went to the marriage registrar, who was intimated before, with couple of Srijeet’s friends. We married and went to one of his friend’s house where we stayed for almost a month. Father was furious and went to my in-laws on ground floor to give them a piece of his mind. My father in – law tried to act as the peacemaker. We shifted to a rented place – Srijeet and myself to start our new life.”
I got up and lit a cigarette. Being naked seemed natural. I made a silent promise to flatten my stomach by doing regular abs from now on. I think the crow outside was witnessing our erotic act changing to a life-story. Tell us something about yourself ? This is how most interviews start.
“ Quite interesting. The type you see in movies, Bengali movies of 60 s and 70s. So, you got happily married. When did the first chinks happen ?” I was egging her. Through the thin gap in the curtain, I could see the potted plants of the opposite balcony being watered by the housewife wearing a nightie. It is obvious she does not have to go out for work.
Anasua rested her chin on her hand , “ Much much later. Gradually peace ushered in. We started going to Srijeet’s house. My father quietened down and accepted Srijeet. My brother still do not give much value to him. My brother got married thereafter. We had our son whom my father adores. I pushed Srijeet to buying this flat where we are staying now. It may be small but it is our own. Srijeet changed his business to pharma line but capital was a perennial issue. He joined a job and was transferred to Delhi and we shifted to Delhi for couple of years.”
“ You should have called me when you were in Delhi.”
“ I did not know you then. Delhi was very hot during summer but what I could not stand was the chilly cold of December end and January. We used to stay in Lajpat Nagar.”
“ That’s full of Punjabis. The dames are very beautiful till they are married.”
“ We had a Marwari neighbour. Three brothers living together with their wives and children.”
“ You mean one brother with another’s wife and one more with yet another ? And the DNA of the children all mixed up ?”
“ Stupid. They were very conservative. The wives always had their heads covered. Their mother used to sit outside and I have myself seen the wives massaging her foot by turns. The younger wife used to come to our house but never eat anything as we were non-vegetarian.”
“ They survive on milk and ghee. Carry on.”
“ Srijeet got transferred back to Calcutta. This apartment was ready for quite sometime and we moved in with my in-laws. Life was steady till Father – in law had a stroke and got paralytic. I used to nurse him throughout. He died inspite of our rushing him to a hospital after his second stroke. Now mother in-law is in bed for last one year. She hardly moves. I am nursing her though we have kept a day nurse”
“ Hard life for you. Florence nightangle reborn, I must say. Don’t you get bored ? ”
“ Yes, I do. But I cannot leave her. My mother in law started liking me after some time and now after all these years she does not eat at night unless I feed her. That is her level of dependence on me. Srijeet started doing a small business in pharma in parallel with his job. You know about that as he met you after he had started it.”
“ Yes, I know. He was losing money on that business. “
“ He started the business because of Indrani. She was his colleague in office and a good friend of his. They became partners and he used to manage this business during evenings. Sometimes he used to pull me in, to keep records of the business. The relationship went beyond professional lines and they were pretty close. Still are, I think .”
“ You mean Srijeet had or still has a sexual relationship with Indrani ? Is she beautiful ? “
“ Beautiful ? My foot. She is fat, dark with blunt features. Her height is medium and is plump – much more than me. Her face looks aged and she is almost at the same age as Srijeet. Her husband does some odd jobs and she is dependent on Srijeet to run the business. Srijeet also had another girl friend – Dolly. Dolly works in another pharma company and is very fashionable.”
“ Lucky guy. Sleeps with two at the same time.”
“ I don’t know whom he sleeps with. But he used to go on tours very often and one day I found scratches on his back. Scratches that happen when a female draws her long finger nail in ecstacy.”
“ Thank God, it will never happen to me as your nails are clipped.”
“ I have to nurse my mother in-law and long nails gather dirt. I questioned Sri jeet on these marks and for the first time he was evasive in his replies. He used to carry on talking at night on the terrace, so that I cannot overhear.”
“ Did he sleep with both ? Dolly and Indrani ?” I was feeling envious.
“ I questioned him, grilled him and fought with him. H He did not tell me with whom he had an affair. I think he first started with Dolly and after the business with Indrani developed, he slept with her too. Indrani emotionally blackmailed him in running the business.”
“ Why did he leave the business with Indrani ?”
“ He still helps her in her business though he withdrew from the partnership as that was one of your conditions for investment. I also guess that he is a bit tired with Indrani and this new venture, you gave him a convenient escape route. You know, I had a great fight with Indrani once.”
“ Fight as in WWF ? Why did you fight with that dame ?”
“ For snatching Srijeet from me. He was all mine and I supported him all throughout and even bore his son. But what ungrateful men are.”
“ I think all men are the same. After sometime love and sex should be separated. You can have sex for fun and not love her.”
“ Not everyone thinks like you. I know you are having sex with me for fun , though I have come to love you. It is only one-sided and I have accepted it.”
“ My love for you is different. You are so simple and that’s the reason I love you. “
“ I know you have slept with lot of females in your life. But I want you to promise me one thing .”
“ What ?”
“ You will not sleep with any other female .”
“ For how long ?”
“ For one year.”
“ And what do I get in return ?”
“ What do you want ?”
“ The new business to be successful, as of now.”
“ Done. I will ensure that your business with Srijeet returns your investment in one year.”
“ Means you are talking of break-even in one year.”
“ Yes, break-even.”
“ That’s not simple in today’s economic condition for a new business, which is hardly three months old.”
“ Don’t sleep around for one year and it will happen. I will love you so much that you will forget other females.”
“ You are in Calcutta and am in Delhi. How do I get you all the time ?”
“ Stay here. You have a house here. Otherwise come every month.”
“ Lets see.”
“ Srijeet and myself have been sleeping separately for five years now. I cannot share my love with any one else.”
“ A difficult promise for me to make.”
“ Come on. You already told me that you do not sleep with your wife anymore. You are more like brother-sister.”
“ That’s true. But I do have two girlfriends in Mumbai with whom I sleep occasionally.”
“ Don’t go to Mumbai. No , you have to promise.” Anasua clasped my penis and her lips were dangling inches from mine.
“ OK, for a year. But then you have to get this business to a break even level.”
She kissed me. A long drawn one. I learnt to kiss endearingly on the lips from Anasua. First suck the lower one for long and then the upper one and then press your lips on to hers with a subtle pressure with your tongue playfully longing on her tongue. The languid sensation spreads to my lower half, like a liquid floating to the surface. From where the hell, did she learn to kiss so well ? The crow was silent outside.