12:00 AM, May 15, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 15, 2010

Short Story

Kiss from a rose

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Mahamuda Rahman

“No one's going to believe how days passed away…how things happened; faces changed…how I took my chances…”
She lives the day feeding on the sea, staring at the waves that come twirling from the end of the world. She keeps mulling over the ripples formed by the retreating tides. They have a strongly familiar pattern. She saw this pattern before --- on the scales of fishes, on the skin of reptiles, on the hard shell of tortoises…
“ Nature has its own identical codes scattered everywhere. Codes with similar patterns. Nature, unlike man, likes uniformity… man always goes for individuality, tearing all the social norms and bonds, breaking the communal threads of morals and taboos.”
She is on a chance tour with a middle-aged man. She met him one year ago when she was working for an NGO as a freelancer. She slowly got to know about him. His loneliness attracted her. His insomnia gave birth to a lullaby in her heart. And his childlikeness hummed back the mother in her…again.
“He lived a life of an idiot; still believes in ideals, mystical ideals of purity! Ideas of abstinence can still allure someone! Hah! Ascetic life still means something elevating to him. He relishes his life where there is no bodily pleasure. His pride gets swelled by his sacred senses only nourished by books and work…How pathetic!” She smiles to herself indulgently. She loves his innocence. She fabricates his innocence. Every time the very thought of a man being so innocent makes her insides feel warm. She glows with genuine fervor for the man as if the man is one of a very rare, extinguishing species. He is adorable because he is not like others in the city where one cannot see the face of the moon and the breezes are always caught moaning at the close glass-windows. In the city where man lives to earn and the only pleasure he is left with lurks in flesh. “A man with transcendental ideals. Spirituality. Ha ha ha….even today, you can find a man like this!”
She is here with him to cause his fall --- the fall from innocence. She is here with this man to teach him how to kiss a woman.
A few days after she met him, she started to feel “I like him”, first. Then the “I like him” melted into a bigger pot; some more colors of ardor and obsession added; and it calcified into something totally abstruse and unintelligible- indefinable. But it definitely glowed with more zeal, burned with more heat than- “I like him”. She let him in. She let him hold her hand in a dark-red evening. It was not meant to have a goal. It was all for the moment. Yet, she let it happen.
Spring is on the verge of passing away. They start for the sea. She and the man…
In the clear privacy of the cheap hotel room, she first teaches him to kiss. He is a perfect amateur. She smirks. She closes her eyes. She waits. She lets the flood come in. She lets the whispers sing. Her hair reclines against her fair visage like dead leaves. She waits happily. The thing he seems to be fond of is her breasts. At a point she starts to get irritated. Yet, she lets him- out of pity, out of sympathy, out of that indefinable emotion. She lets him there like a mother who loves to pamper her child. Her tenderness mushrooms as he lets her go when she starts fidgeting.
Out of the hotel room is the sea. The gust of breeze. The silence of the vastness. They walk together side by side, treading on the soft, wet sand of the beach. They hold hands. She loves to be treated by the local people as his wife. They are Man and wife. She and her man.
She is happy to the bones. She beams with secret pride and profound contentment. “Ideals are out-of-date in these days. None believes in them anymore… People now hanker after the gain of the moment. They do not cling to anything. He is the only one like an ancient cave, protects the ancient carvings with a primitive enthusiasm. He is protective. He is sincere. He sticks to his faith. He has faith. He is not like inhabitants of this damned post-modern world.” As she continues ruminating over this thought, her whole being inundates with unadulterated bliss for having him by her side.
All morning, noon and afternoon pass playing with the glitters before. The tiny sparkles… innumerable glimmers giggling in the bosom of cosmic beauty. The whole world seems to be dipped into pure ecstasy. The man is sitting beside her. She pats him on the back, kisses his fair forehead. She is the mother, the woman; the one who will teach him, love him, lead him closer to the mystery of the nature…of the forbidden nature, sanctified nature.
She and her man, the man who is different, who is not like others, get down from the bus in the morning. They are back to the city. Away from the cuddle of the loving sun, the shimmering blue, the zephyr, the god of eternal love and tenderness. They climb down in the city with dust, lust, filth and hypocrisy. She knows it well. She knows what the city sucks out from everyone; what the city has transformed them into.
“No matter! The city will need much time to wipe out the rapture I am wrapped up with. It won't be easy to drag out my power, to drain my pleasure, to dry up my pain….I have still much time to smile tight-lipped alone while being engaged in some act of trifle or importance. I have some happiness preserved for me….”
The morning is cold. Blue. The city is yawning. A nervous, shivering yawn as though it was unsure about every possible things on earth. The dawn is hesitant and gloomy. They take a rickshaw to the nearest bus counters. They sit side by side, close to the fire of each other. She conjures her right hand in his left hand. He, her Man turns his head towards her, frowning. She raises her eyebrows archly- “What is it, boy?” Her Man answers- “Feeling a bit uncomfortable… Will you move your hand?”
All fire turns to ashes. All the sun runs away beneath the clouds. All the sky turns pitch black. All the colors wash away by the cold, rigid rain. The flashes keep coming and departing in her memory…
The classmate she had a crush on, is fondling her hands and fingers and fingertips in the empty classroom but when they are out in the campus, he never lets her even touch him…
Her once-upon-a-boyfriend who was prepared to do everything under the shadow, is walking fast leaving her behind when in the sun…
She sees flashes of two-facedness, pretence, fizzing insincerity.
Is the city to blame? Is it the nature to blame? Is it the She who trusts, who relies who loves with earnestness to blame?

She moves her right hand.

Mahamuda Rahman is Copywriter, Asiatic MCL.

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