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Piyush Tainguriya
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Jan 10, 2009

The woman who loved



I am a woman. I am thinking of love. I see a rabbit and love bursts out of me and drenches the poor little creature. I love small children. Many of them come with their harried parents to the photo studio where I work as an assistant. I love to prepare them for the photo sessions.There is something about animals and children that just makes me pour out the life of me into them. Maybe its their helplessness, their inability to communicate their needs and desires to the world. The cry of a toddler when an ant is pricking its bottom inside the nappy makes me cry with him and devote my life to purging his body of parasites thirsty for his blood.


I want children. Many. Spoilt. Troublemakers. Shy .Rascals. Sweet. All.


I love make up. I love to dress up. The studio owner never tires of taking my photographs. He says I'm very beautiful. He says I should become a professional model. I love it when people say I'm beautiful. I had many paramours in the convent. I still keep getting amorous letters from them.

My master's friend came today. He is some kind of a political animal. Of a certain age. He looks funny. He sounded like a visionary. Kept talking about the future of the country and how we have to bolster our unity under the flagship of one single entity to regain our lost honor. He sounded like he's carrying the load of a country on his own shoulders. He should learn to dance. I felt an attraction akin to that towards babies. I never understood what he was saying but it sounded impressive. But he has the look of the man who has a lot to say and no one ever understands him. Just like an infant who has an ant in his nappy, bee up his bonnet in this case. I think I'm in love. I want to follow this man. Go where he is going. Face storms, and then have babies with him.

I live with him. At least I live at his place. My father was furious. But......I'm happy to be at his side. Its just that he's never at my side. He's very busy. People say he's a great man. I am proud to be his...his partner. Yes, partner. I'm his partner. I hate the word mistress. He was telling his secretary that he will marry me one day when he's rid of the responsibilities of the country. He calls every two days.

I tried to commit suicide today. It was stupid of me of course. He really is busy. And he's always surrounded by guards. I really don't have to worry. I'll try to distract myself. I got seven new dresses today. The interior minister's wife got me those. She is so good to me. But I always a catch a look of pity in her eyes whenever I look suddenly at her so she doesn't get a chance to avert her eyes.

Maria, the interior minister's wife told me that a war is going on. He is leading the countrymen in the time of difficulty. Listening to foreign radio stations is a crime. Still I listen to them in the privacy of my bedroom. They say so many bad things about him. I don't believe them.


I tried committing suicide again. What is it with him? Why cant he come and say he loves me? Why does he have to say everything to his secretary? Why cant we go to parties together like normal people? Why doesn't he ever talk to me about us, our future, our home, our life? I know he's not unfaithful. But how can politics be all that important? More important than living?


He has transferred me to his summer house in mountains. In fact gave the house to me. Its a big beautiful mansion. I can see the alps in their full beauty from my window. My cousin has come because he allowed me to have a guest come over. Both of us spend our time trying out new dresses, applying lipsticks, listening to jazz, and talking about the old days. He still calls every two days.


He has come to summer over here. He looks haggard. The strain of war is showing. We have many guests nowadays. He doesn't let me be there with the guests for too long and sends me to my room and then discusses military strategy with them. I keep waiting for him. I want to live with him. Whatever be the circumstances. This time I will not stay back.


I heard him telling his guests that "a highly intelligent man should always choose a primitive and stupid woman". It made me think. Is loving people stupid? And what are smart people supposed to do? Fight till they drop? Are you listening to me? Or you also started having clever thoughts? Sit still, have your biscuits and listen to my story.


We live together in the chancellery building. Its heavily guarded from all sides. The mood here is glum. We try to alleviate the mood by having rag tag parties with cheap champagne and one single broken record. But the joviality seems forced. The secretary likes to spend time with me. We talk till late into the night. She said we are surrounded from all sides.


I am scared for him. He looks broken. I have never seen him so sad. Why did he devote his life to war? I feel sad for him. Will he never have a proper family? The General of the northern command is with us because the northern front has been already lost. There are many party officials, and young soldiers, as young as 14 years of age. They have no nappies, but their suits and caps hide their ravaged hearts and minds. I am unable to do anything about it. I am unable to even get out of the building. We have an underground house in the chancellery. It is like a mad house. Everyone has glazed eyes like that of ghouls. The topic of conversation is always death. I want to marry him before I die. I want to comfort him like a wife once before I die. The generals say under three days the enemy troops will break through to the building. He has refused to be evacuated. I don't mind staying here with him to the bitter end, but I do mind the lost moments, which could have made both of us happier. I do mind the tea times that went silent because some battalion ran out of ammunition. I do mind the nights that were wasted on discourse.


Our defeat is imminent. He wants to marry me. I knew he loved me. This is the happiest day of my life. Everyone in the bunker was present. We went to our room. He wept in my arms for the first time in my life. I feel fulfilled. I support him. I love him. I sing him to sleep.


Its been three days since I've been a wife. I will never be a mother. Today Capsules of prussic acid were distributed to everyone who wanted not to be captured by enemy troops. He addressed a few last words to our devoted friends and colleagues and both of us retired to our bedroom.


I see a look of gut wrenching remorse on his face. He looks at me before taking his poison pill and shooting himself with his revolver. I give him a look of reassurance. We will be together darling, in another world. We will be together.


My capsule and my revolver are lying on the table. I thing I'll pass the revolver. I don't like the noise. I'll use the pill.


I'm a woman. I am thinking of love. I am Eva Braun Hitler.

Jan 8, 2009

The Beginning

Gaurav
sat staring at the neem tree outside his window. He was sure he had the right idea this time. It had to be ab
out an army officer and a girl in the occupied village. yes, his first romantic story. A beautiful village where sun shows a range of infinite colors since it comes out of the dark valley in the east and goes behind the village head's house to spend the night with his many concubines.
He was snatched out of his reverie by the grating voice of his aunt who was calling him for another day of mind numbing cleaning work. She had become particularly watchful about his diet nowadays. She seemed to want him to work at par with his appetite. A 15 year old boy just has to eat his fill and not to be reminded about it again and again.
'Come out you good for nothing stumbler. Nalayak just eats and sits on the computer all day. Don't know what he does on that devil's device. I'm sure he's surfing porn right now.' This always succeeded in making his temples burn with indignation. But listening to it was the only way he could have a place to live. An orphan living at an unwilling relation's place cant be very finicky about the treatment he's getting. Mrs.Kripalini Chatterji was his Dad's faraway cousin and the only surviving relative. His parents had died when he was 10, in the Gujrat earthquakes. Gaurav had been visiting his aunt's place then and so she also had no other way than to adopt him. She was afraid of what people might say. But she always stayed resentful of the added burden.
He closed his cousin's laptop and came out in the kitchen and started cleaning the utensils. Prachi- his aunt's daughter who was just one year older than him came inside to drink water. She had been feeling horny a lot in the last few days and both of them used to kiss a lot when kripalini was not looking. Prachi had always been good to him but she was not strong enough to stand up to her mother. She tended to spend most of her time outside with her friends. Gaurav only got to study through distance learning because a school fee for two was cost prohibitive according to kripalini. The only friend he had got was Prachi and nowadays she had become a lot more. Gaurav had started feeling a burning desire to touch her whenever she passed him by. She also never stopped him.
Today again he started feeling the now familiar thrill when he saw her back turned to him, the rustle of her dress when she opened the fridge, the movement of her Adam's apple when she gulped the water, her hair, her long, sleek legs. She was a goddess. He could control it no more. He went and encircled her in his arms. They started to kiss. This was risky. The bitch woman could come anytime but the fear added to the joy. Gaurav shoved her against the sink to put his hand in her dress and that was then the glass tumbler he had been cleaning fell to the ground. Prachi stared at him startled, wide eyed and then took her bag and ran out. He heard the door close behind her.
Kripalini had heard the sound but she took about two minutes to come inside the kitchen as she was in the loo at the time the tumbler fell. When she came Gaurav was in the process of cleaning up the mess on the floor.
"The officer stands on the bank of the river, the girl is drinking water straight from the stream, Prachi looks up, their eyes meet, they are hungry eyes, they don't want any disturbance, they want to rip off each other's clothes, there is pure lust in their eyes. Gaurav shoves the girl roughly against the tree, the girl is breathing hard, her face is shiny and cool because of the water she has drunk, her hair matted in strands and dripping with water, a MiG-13 drops a bomb in the shrubs, the officer starts collecting the shrapnel, the girl runs away, the sirens are wailing, the doors are closing,the adrenalin is high, the indignation in the men is reaching its peak, they want to kill the pilot, Gaurav is collecting the shrapnel, the speaker is blaring a warning, all keep calm, stay low,no we'll kill them, stay inside, don't make a sound, no they have to be killed, its us or them, the warning has become more and more insistent, the voice is a screech, you goddamn village bumpkin, shoot it down,have you ever been into a civilized house before?,fuck the bastards, you butter finger free loader did your parents teach you to say sorry or even that is left for me to teach, kill'em all, the shrapnel stings, there is a sulphurous odor in it, he lunges for the MiG 13, grabs the pilot by the throat and slits it in one single motion, the plane crashes. There is peace.
He washed his hands and went back to the computer. It just spilled out. Yes the village was beautiful. The sun showed a range of infinite colors since it came out of the dark valley in the east till when it went behind the village head's house to spend the night with his many concubines.
Then he shut down the computer and packed for the long journey ahead.