It was an ordinary town with ordinary people living their ordinary lives. The town was tucked away in the middle of a stretch of land filled with ravines and rivulets.
People bustled about scurrying for their lives in relentless pursuit of the unknown. They were soldiers of an eternal army that never stopped for a moment to consider the peculiar diktat handed down to them. They were to traverse this trail every single day from sunrise to sunset without a singular mark to separate them. They were identical in purpose and inimical in ignorance. They blended together into a solid dense mass of humanity which literally subsumed their identity into its foaming wake. Men, women, children and everything else were just swept along like flotsam in a raging sea.
One day the unthinkable happened and A jagged whiplash of lighting struck deep into this maelstrom and a winsome damsel stepped forth into the breach.
She stood slim, tall and graceful against the dark of the setting sun. Her name was unknown as was her origin. She had stepped forth from the abyss of the crowd and was instantly an island swirled around by streams of the humanity. But there she was like a mythical oasis summoned by the incantations of the high priest himself. The spell had been cast and it held everyone in her thrall.
Her lips were soft, full and brown. They lingered in her face like the vermillion sun at dusk. Tiny folds puckered as if to promise a future that only she could conceive. She coated them with small slivers of moisture brought forth by her delectable tongue. The very act of licking her lips was a gentle indictment of Mother Nature. The oval curve of her mouth hinted at a personable woman with impish desires lurking in the deep wellspring of her soul.
A smile started from her eyes and expanded in waves across her face until it was like watching ever creasing ripples in a limpid pool. It transformed her from a mere woman to an apsara of astonishing beauty and warmth. The red bindi on her forehead bloomed softening the contours of her face into a gentle rhythmic radiance.
Almond shaped eyes ringed by kohl glistened with amusement. Her eyes were warm brown with black flecks and lured people with a promise of affection easily given. Indeed her nose reflected her sobriety and her gamin nature in equal doses. It was pierced with a gold ring casting a small halo as if a celestial kiss once bestowed had stayed forever.
Coral shaped ears bedecked with small golden earrings that hid a diamond inset, glittered like tiny sparkles of morning dew. Her hair was a lustrous black starting from the top of her forehead, curving over her ears and falling with an inaudible splash all the way down to her waist. It was thick, black and shiny as it coursed down her back like a braided rope. A heady mixture of coconut oil and henna contrived to create a glossy pendulum of loveliness as it swayed with the movements of her head. The parting of her hair cupped her face while jasmine flowers adorned the back of her head clinging like bees in a hive.
Her slender neck swayed gently in the evening breeze adorned by a slim string of black beads threaded through by a strand of pure gold. The necklace circled round disappearing into the depths of her bosom.
A yellow round necked blouse clung to her upper body with a fierce and predatory love. The rounded orbs of her breasts curved the blouse in a seemingly breathtaking manner highlighting the womanly thrust of her senses. Her slim arms encased to the elbow ended in delicate fingers that were at once artistic and purposeful. Mehendi was a living mural in burnt ochre on her silken forearms, weaving intricate tales of her dormant passion. Bangles crept around her wrists like rainbow tendrils tinkling with the slightest of movement.
A saree of the most vivacious red snuggled close to her waist and draped itself languidly around her upper body. It fell away in modest folds that concealed her legs and thighs but left her ankles bare. The transparent waves of the saree teased with shadowy sketches of her dimpled midriff. The silky folds lovingly caressed her hips encasing the swell of her derriere like a lioness cradling her cubs. When she walked it followed her with languid grace of a gentle waterfall that sashayed down the slopes of a mountain it had loved all of its life.
Her skin was brown as if made from the finest coffee grounds found in the upper slopes of Coorg. It was lustrous and gleaming with sensuousness that seemed in such short supply everywhere. The sun lavished her like butter melting with intimate contact of her skin from her face all the way to the tips of her legs. A slim but ornate kolhapuri slipper could not hide the daintiness of her feet or the silver rings on her toes. The gentle aroma of sandalwood oil surrounded her as if to cleanse the air for her passage.
She walked like a graceful gazelle in unconscious cadence that had a rhythm of its own. She was a child of nature and her mother doted on her with a proud but prudent eye. The saree preened itself on her like a hungry red flame as she navigated the determined mob with feline agility.
Envy was sprinkled copiously across the women while lust suffused the minds of men. The children eyed her in awe and old ones with just disbelief. She was oblivious of the attention as she moved on down the road towards a small statue that adorned a fountain. The crowd thronged behind her wondering as to her intentions. She did not disappoint them for too long as she sat herself down cross legged gazing adoringly at the statue.
Legend has it that the statue was the builder of the town. He was made of bronze and was the avid likeness of a very handsome man. No one present knew the identity of the man and it was said that not even the old denizens remembered any more.
She closed her eyes and sank into a deep trance that affected the people around her. The mood changed to a somber contemplation and a hush blanketed her serendipitous admirers. Feet stamped, shoulders shrugged and the occasional loud voice disgorged their displeasure about the state of affairs. Yet she remained unaffected caught up in the rapture of timeless meditation. No one dared to interrupt her for it seemed sinful to preempt her divine soliloquy. In fact the people around her were so infected by the serenity that emanated from her that they closed their eyes in silent support. But when their eyes opened, it was only to find that she had disappeared.
The stench of desolation arose and they ran everywhere looking for her but it was not be. She had vanished as suddenly and the people were poorer for it. Strangers consoled each other while children could be heard crying with abandon. An eerie gloomy wind blew past the circle bringing with it the feeling of desperation. After a long while the crowd disintegrated into pockets of stragglers and eventually into nothing at all.
The next day she walked up at the exact same time and place. Her magic had not waned for people followed her like flocks of sheep. But to their utter dismay it ended just the same. The news spread like wild fire throughout the town and people gathered in large numbers. Every day the event repeated and each day the crowds grew bigger. Murmurs of divinity were on everyone’s lips and hence no one spoke with her.
Vasu was an uncommon man. His lust for women was inordinate and so was his disregard for social graces. He was overcome by the turn of events for he had grown quite tired of his conquests in this small town. Here he was presented with an opportunity so rare that he dare not forsake it. As fate would have it, he showed up in the heart of the crowd on the ninth day hoping for the return of the miracle.
She appeared as always and Vasu followed her as she walked away. He was deeply affected by her beauty and his heart raced madly upon alighting on the curves of her body. As soon as she reached the statue, Vasu sat down next to her and tried to speak with her. But her gaze was fixed upon the statue and there was no reply forthcoming. But Vasu was not one to cede his ground so easily and he grabbed her in his arms and attempted to press her lips with his. He gathered her lissome form into his coarse embrace emboldened by her stillness.
She did not struggle but tears ran down her cheeks and a collective groan reverberated through the populace. A virulent babble directed towards Vasu spread like wild fire. The incensed beings fell upon Vasu and belabored him until there was nothing of him left but pieces of flesh and bone. The madness that had arisen left them as suddenly when they realized that she had disappeared once again.
Days flew by into months and eventually years but she was never seen again. The town returned to its drumbeat with heavy hearts. Nothing had changed except that now the story of Vasu was part of folklore. The people of this town had been robbed of heaven and were part of a painful narrative. The story got told countless times and every child growing up was aware of the terrible tragedy that Vasu had inflicted. His name became synonymous with avarice and was never heard once more.
Morality had ascended to a place where there was no requiem.
Life stories are always about real life experiences which are collected from real people. Sometimes I do it myself and at other times I get it second hand. Names/places are generally fictitious so that the subject’s identity is not compromised.
In case you are interested in my collection of life stories, they can be found here: