Literary Yard

Search for meaning


By: Urmi Bhattacheryya


She was happy now. She didn’t need the constant ringing of the cell phone announcing the receipt of yet another text message. And besides, hadn’t he been the one to break up with her? So, why the unnecessary grovelling, snivelling and brow-beating a year later, almost to the day? She replaced the oddly vibrating phone on untidy sheaf of papers from where she had picked it up, and looked down at it almost nervously. She kept repeating the words to herself like a mantra: I will not text back. He does not deserve me. I will not text back. He does not deserve me…

‘Anya!’ called an insistent voice, ‘Hurry up now, the muesli’s gone all cold’. And then, in a slightly more mischievous tone—‘But perhaps that is what you wanted? I knew you couldn’t possibly stand to eat this soggy mess more than two days in a row.’ Anya grinned in spite of herself at this little stab of truth and rushed out to join her boyfriend at the makeshift plastic table that they’d propped up on the front porch of their log cabin. She hugged him and breathed him in—an instance of spontaneity that was as startling for Zaid to receive, as it was for Anya to proffer. (Anya barely indulged in sudden bursts of spontaneous hugging or canoodling.) She now looked down at him, however, seated there in all his checkered glory, now buttering big, stuffed parathas for her. He knew her oh so very well. There was no way she could have stuck to the diet she’d resolved to, the week leading up to her sister’s wedding without more than the occasional share of the ghee-stuffed paratha.

‘Have a good night’s sleep?’ he asked her gently, kneading one of her cold, cold palms in his much larger, much warmer hand. ‘Yes,’ she tried to reply heartily. She knew he had woken up early to jog around the premises of the little cabin in Rishikesh that they still ambled up to, every other month, since they’d first begun—almost two years back. His mass of curly head, falling in sweaty rivulets down his forehead was one of the many things that were so comforting and familiar about him. Anya could almost remember her first glimpse of him, back in the days when they were both Delhi University students and he would rush in to class, always late, and somehow, inexplicably, about ten minutes before the bell rang. She would giggle with her friends, while out of the corner of his eye, take in the almost defiant twinkle in his eye, as he brushed a stray sweaty curl out of it. And he would smile at her. And she would look away, still giggling.

Of course, a lot had happened before that. She had met him after something so tumultuous; it had taken her several weeks after they had gone out, months even, after they had first attempted to sleep together—for her to tell him that she loved him. He had smiled quietly and told her he knew why she had taken such a while. ‘You’re still in love with him,’ he had stated matter of factly, and Anya had blushed in shock; she hadn’t known it was so obvious. The lines that Romit had etched into her psyche, scarring her very being, were going to take a long time to heal, if at all. She had hugged him tight again that day, naïve in her delusion: It’ll all go away…

But it had happened again last night. He had attempted to have a prolonged sexual sojourn with her, nestled once again in the lap of Rishikesh. He had tried to make her orgasm, but she had squirmed midway and pushed him away. Then, told him: ‘It has happened for you, right? You came? That’s all that matters! I don’t really need to.’ And she’d given him a big wet kiss to make up for the befuddlement, as she always did, made sure he finished again, and then hugged him tight to sleep. She couldn’t bear the idea of him going down on her, trying to pleasure her, get her to come. It doesn’t happen for me, she murmured in her sleep, It never did. She trailed a long dry finger, almost roughly underneath the crevices of her silken underpants and cried in pain.

Romit had never pleasured her. Romit had made her sit on her knees while he stood before her, a hungry expression on his face, urging her to go on… faster, faster, harder, while he yanked, almost unnecessarily at the bit of her head that was visible between his huge clumps of legs. She had done it once, then more than once, then she had stopped counting. And had sunk into throes of despair such as she’d never known.

He had tried a couple of times, if that is what it could be called, made a few feeble attempts at trying to touch her unresponsive vagina, and she’d shrunk in shame at the look of ill-disguised revulsion on his face. At the air of indifference with which he continued a couple more jabs and stabs (they were painful, so she would push his hand away and he would look relieved.) There were no need for words in such a matter. He simply did not think it possible that she were capable of the same kind of pleasure as he was. That she could possibly squirm in pleasure too, as his tongue ran tantalizing circles around the most sensitive cortex of her body. She had been shamed, she refused him another attempt and they went back to doing only him.

Of course, it had been almost two years now since they had broken up. He simply claimed that there had been a cease in his affection for her, that they had cooled from what they used to be; claimed that he could see for himself that he no longer loved her. She did not give up without a fight, but her squeals and screams of protest only shamed her, as much as her shrivelled (she was sure), unresponsive (she was sure), asexual (she was convinced) vagina. The fact that he tried getting back in touch with her only weeks after the breakup, sending the bawdiest of texts to get her do his sexual bidding only horrified her, incensed her. She was not his harem girl! And she’d broken all ties, after a savage phone call and a stream of vulgar imprecations that she’d hurled at him, and pretty much shocked him into never returning.

Not that she’d minded at all. She knew she had recovered from the breakup only two months after it was over—she could look at another guy and let a pleasurable smile flit across her face. She could say yes to being asked out too. She had healed, she had thought stupidly. But her body had not. Her vagina had not. And of that, she felt anger beyond any bounds. She screamed in fury and frustration; she could still not allow pleasure. Her body was scared. It wasn’t meant to be pleasured.

Tonight, they are trying again. Zaid has shut off all resistance from her, firmly but gently. He has broken down, atleast, all physical walls. He has taken off her pair of moist silken panties, his tongue has found her clitoris. He begins to play with it, she refuses to react. She looks at him determinedly resolute, scared. She knows he will give up soon too. No one could possibly spend such long a while in her place of shame, she has found out. She refuses to be swayed. But he does not give up. He eases her into it. He engages her in play. He makes her body writhe, and move. She feels within herself the recourse of all emotions she had thought had been stoppered away for good. And then… in a rush of blurred kaleidoscopic images before her eyes… she has clenched, tightened, shrieked..and come. She looked down at him then, his face happy, glistening, sweaty. And then she looked beyond him, into the mirror up on the wall. She could see her face. She looked satisfied! It was unbelievable. She felt powerful. Her body had been capable of THAT. She looked down at her partner, and without a hint of shame, said to him: ‘Again’…


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