Bamboo Flower, a novel – Part 35
By Akendra Sana
“Bamboo Flower”, serialized here, is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to any actual person, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
contd... from last Sunday
But who was he to complain or ask for more food, he reprimanded himself silently.
By now, he had gently learnt not to say anything. She also had the same quantity of food. As if on second thoughts, she pulled out two cans of coke to wash down the food. Rajen thought water was better anyway. But water now; forget it, he nearly said aloud. With Nini, one never knew, she could be hearing what was not spoken. Fortunately, there was no response from her. At least, as yet.
Some water, please. Rajen could not resist any longer.
The food, however little and the sweetness of the coke, made him thirsty again. In fact, he had not really quenched his thirst the first instance.
Nini did not say a word. She only took out the bottle, undid the lid and took a huge gulp herself and certainly did not pass the bottle to him.
And when her mouth was again full with water, she effectively used sign language to convey that he should now repeat what he had done earlier from her palm. Yes, he understood her right. Only this time it was to be from her mouth. He now thought without hesitation, if she was behaving this way, so be it. He pressed his mouth against hers.
This was the beginning. Gulps of more water followed until they were both confused who was drinking from whom and from where.
Every drop of water was put to good use. There was no looking back. Drops of water were now there all over her body and he knew exactly how well he could quench the thirst.
Her exuberance of independence, the complete riot of imagination and of course, the physical appearance all contributed to make him realize once again, what meaningful physical fulfillment was.
After the exhaustion, more food came out of her bag. This time, there was no restriction. They cleaned all that was left for tomorrow would be another day.
For Rajen, it was now back to normal. The man in him returned. It must have been past midnight. He did not bother to check the watch. There was more urgent matter to attend.
The low fire was definitely effective. The slanting moonlight fell on her face as he turned to face her. His eyes moved along the lighted portions of her body. This time, water was not needed.
For once, the rats took a backseat. They did not occupy his mind now. He knew that it was after a very long time he was feeling normal.
Tomorrow he would tackle the rodents differently, with or without Nini, he told himself. Good, if she were to be of help. Better, if he could tackle them alone, he resolved.
With these thoughts, all on a sudden, he realized that it was necessary to catch up some sleep as he heard those soft faint snores by his side.
Surprisingly, he had good sleep. He, of course, did not know how much sleep she had had because when he woke up with the sound of birds chirping around and a little away from the smoldering fire with barely any clothing on, he found that she was not by his side.
As he trained his eyes a little further, he saw her a little away at another even portion of the flat hilltop. In fact, he could not guess that it was that flat and even when they reached the place the previous evening.
It took some time for him to register what he saw. She was in some kind of a dance, standing on her toes and twirling.
He said aloud, if this is beauty, this is it, knowing well that he could not find a more original expression.
And what was that she was wearing, he asked himself. He noticed that she had wrapped the light sheet they had used to lie on earlier, around her right up to the breasts barely covering the nipples. And there seemed to be the red scarf tied around her waist like a belt in that graceful dance stance with the first rays of light of dawn playing on her face and bare arms. The short hair also helped in revealing the full body form.
As he watched her dance, he thought if ever he were to write anywhere about this beauty he would describe it as ethereal.
The sight had left a very new pleasant feeling as he closed his eyes again. This was better than a Sunday morning; he could not help smiling alone. Or was he too reluctant to think what it must be like at home now, he wondered.
When he awoke the second time Nini was not to be seen around. It was now getting brighter and a little warmer with the early morning sun. These hilltops were the earliest to get the morning sun. Rajen smiled thinking that not many must have had experienced something like this. Nini, of course, was different, he knew. Lazily, he got up to look out for her.
He went to the other end of the flat top facing the portion they had climbed the previous evening and decided to move around.
As he moved along the edge of the raised flatland and had turned a little towards the left did he spot her in a mountain pond.
She had only her head above the water. She called out loudly that she was looking for a bamboo plant by the edge of the pond. She sounded natural enough but he was more than intrigued since there were a lot of bamboo groves around and on the way of their climb the previous afternoon. They were in fact amidst bamboo country and yet she said she was looking for a bamboo plant with her body in water. He did not know what was coming. He only smiled and waited where he was standing.
He also thought if only he knew that there was water so nearby, he could have come here last evening when he was desperately thirsty and saved himself of the humiliation. Should he still hold her guilty, he was, of course, not so sure now. Or was it a well thought out plan by her he could not help wondering. Now in retrospect, he did not, of course, regret the way he had to quench his thirst.
To be contd...
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