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Flash Fiction

Desire

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Tarabari is a small but vibrant village in middle Assam inhabitated by mostly rich cultivators. The PWD road leading to the  big village Islampur passes by the side of Tarabari. The two villages are separated by a stretch of woods abundant by bamboo bushes. On the opposite side of these woods one can notice a small thatched house where a beautiful woman lives. For the purpose of this story, we may call her by the name  Anamika. Some village people call her a prostitute while for some others she is a social worker. Anyhow, she entertains people for money and has a definite clientele. Her personal life is not known. No one is interested in her past which is shrouded with mystery. Her present body is her asset and people love it.

It was a cold December night. Not even stray dogs roamed. The entire area was covered in a thick blanket of fog. The estranged son of a rich and politically powerful man, defying the spine-chilling cold, visited the house of Anamika. A school dropout, the 18 year old boy wanted to test his masculinity for the first time. In the process, he was restless and almost dragged her to the bed. The boy was a good football player with a well-built body. It was pitched dark inside the room as the kerosene lamp was put off by Anamika. Her house had no electricity and she had to use a kerosene lamp. In the evening, she used to lit an earthen lamp  under the Tulsi plant on the eastern side of her house. In her childhood days she witnessed her mother lighting up an earthen lamp under the tulsi plant. She loved the fragrance of burnt mustard oil.

A knocking on the door. Anamika pushed the young man to her kitchen and asked him to wait. Then she opened the door. There was some delay.

A man stood outside.

“Why were you so late?’’ The man was visibly annoyed.

“Sorry, sir, please come in. It’s too cold outside.’’

The middle-aged man is the President of the local Panchayat and very wealthy.

“Why is it so dark inside the room?”

“Let it be dark. I love the darkness. Please come to the bed.” Anamika led the man to her bed.

The man under 50 has a beautiful wife. Yet he frequently visits her in search of extramarital bliss. He has enough money and some people dub him as corrupt. Being a member of the ruling party in the State he use to exercise political power over the poor villagers. These people occupying high positions in the society fear to visit her in day light. They come only under the cover of darkness. In darkness she could see the darkness of these people. What else she could do? She is a caged pigeon only to obey their commands.

Anamika jumped out of her bed. Someone else was calling her name. Who else could it be? She dragged the man on bed to her make-shift dressing room and asked him to keep quiet. Then she opened the door to welcome the guest. “Sir, please come,” said Anamika.

The old man around 74 hesitatingly asked, “Why it’s so dark? I simply hate darkness. Make some arrangement to light a lamp.”

“Don’t worry, I will help you to come to the bed. I simply love darkness. My life is full of darkness all around. Darkness helps me to feel the brightness of light. Only in the darkness, you can see the stars in the sky. Isn’t it, sir?  You are maintaining a robust health even at this advanced age. What is the secret behind it?”

The old man said, “I start my daily life with chanting of ‘OM’ 21 times. The magical word drives away all negative thoughts from my mind instilling a positive outlook necessary for leading a happy and healthy life. I use to  perform some easy yogic asanas followed by pranayams. In the early morning, first thing to do is- drink 3 glasses of lukewarm water to flush out the toxic materials from our body. You will feel lighter and energetic. Your BP will come down. Eyesight will also  improve. Diabetes will be controlled, if not cured. Make it a habit to drink water. Water is the elixir of life.”

Some moments of silence inside the room. The old man and the young lady on the bed. The poor old man was quite unaware of the presence of two other persons in the room. Suddenly the erotic silence was broken. An owl hooted nearby. She came out of her room and tried to see the owl in vain. Nothing could be seen even at a close distance. The old man kissed her as usual and left, followed by his middle-aged son and  his school drop-out  grandson. What a wonderful scene! Three generations in the house of  Anamika in search of bliss.

Anamika smiled in the darkness.

 

 

Sarat C. Neog

Sarat C. Neog is a retired District Judge. He has written articles in Assamese and English and is the author of juvenile adventure novel- Adventure in Pobitora

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