The rainy season arrived earlier than usual this year. It was only the second week of June and the monsoon clouds had already taken control of the skies.
I was just back from a week long tour. It was actually a long distance rally set in the western part of the country. The rains were yet to catch up there.
In my city, the situation was quite different. There had already been some heavy downpours, causing water logging in low areas and playing havoc with the traffic. The river by the city had swelled up, too.
I had to attend an event organised by the sponsor for the recently concluded rally. The arrangements were made in a renowned city hotel. There would be fanfare and media, and I had no way to skip it.
When I stepped outside it had already started to drizzle. I squinted at the overcast sky. There would definitely be more rains today.
I decided not to take out my motorbike. To worsen the situation there was a warning of heavy high tide in the river. That meant the area already waterlogged would be temporarily flooded and relatively higher grounds would be affected, too.
The area in which I lived and the place where I was going, were situated on higher ground, but the Third Block area where Misha lived and also the place where she worked, were on a lower ground. I had already called Misha early in the morning, requesting her not to go out today. But she refused to listen to me.
"I've to complete an important assignment today. Can't put it on hold anymore!" She said.
I sighed. She was quite a stubborn person.
"Call me if there is any problem. Don't take any risk, please!"
"Of course, I'll call you." Her voice floated down the telephone wire, mingled with her soft laughter. Then the phone went silent.
For a second, I stood still, holding the phone in my hand, my eyes closed. Her voice echoed through my ears, bringing in a sweet sensation of calm and delight.
How I loved to hear her laughing voice!
We hadn't yet seen each other since I came back in the morning yesterday. We had planned to meet today, but both of us got engaged otherwise. Looking at the clouded sky I couldn't make out if it would be possible for us to go out somewhere in the evening or not.
But I had resolved in my mind to have even one glimpse of her today. It seemed as if I hadn't seen her face in ages.
As if I was trapped in an underground cave for too long, craving for the warm sunshine above the ground.
I took a cab and arrived at the venue. The guests had started arriving and the press was already there. Time flew unnoticed through talks, laughter and flashes of camera.
Toward the afternoon it started to rain heavily. The event managers wrapped up everything quickly. The rain stopped after about an hour and by then, we were ready to leave.
Outside, it was already dark. Though it was only about 6 p.m., it looked as if night had already descended upon the earth.
I dialled Misha's number. The call didn't go through at first. Even the telephone service had been disrupted to some extent in the heavy and continuous downpour.
Then her phone started ringing. One, two, three…
She didn't answer before the fourth ring. By then, I had grown quite impatient.
"Misha! Why didn't you pick up the phone? How is the situation there?"
"Sorry, I was busy!" Her voice sounded guilty and worried. "You know, the streets here are already under water. There's no transport on the road. I had a tough time waddling through the water."
"Tell me, how are you going to return home?"
"I don't know!" She sounded really clueless. "Guess I'll have to walk back."
I really wanted to shout at her. Walking in darkness through the water could have been dangerous.
"Wait for me. I'm coming."
Before she could argue with me, I ended the call.
I pulled the hood of my windcheater and started looking for a cab. Luckily, I found one and the driver agreed to take me as far as the Church Street for some extra bucks.
When I got down from the cab I was surprised to find the whole place under knee deep water. This area was situated near the river and the high tide had pumped an enormous amount of water into the already waterlogged streets. Water had entered the ground floors of the buildings here. All the shops were closed and the streets were deserted.
Waddling through the water, I arrived in front of the building where Misha worked. Then I ringed her and she came downstairs.
Together, we started waddling through the streets again towards her home. This place was closer to her home than the previous one and on any given day it wasn't more than 20 minutes walk from her home to her office. But today it seemed to take hours after hours.
To add to the woes, there was strong undercurrent in the water. The low tide had began in the river and water was receding rapidly. We were walking in the opposite direction which made the situation worse. We were being dragged and pushed and any time we could stumble into water. Though my shoes firmly gripped the ground beneath the water, Misha felt wobbly.
I held her hand firmly. There was no way she could make through it alone.
Sometimes she stumbled and almost fell into water, but I always got her back on the track.
"There, there. Just hold me right. You don't need to worry!"
As we came near her place it started to rain again. Lightning flashed across the sky and thunder rolled from horizon to horizon.
I half-carried half-dragged her through the remaining length of road and entered the open door at the ground floor. Inside, there was a long dark passage and a winding staircase went upward in front of us. A yellow light bulb threw eerie rays of light over the place.
There was already water sloshing in the passage. Even the lowest steps of the staircase were under water. There was no way the elevators could be working still.
"Let's take the stairs. I live at third floor."
I tried to see her face in the half-shadow.
"Do you really want me to come? What about your nosy neighbours?"
"No one's outside their apartments in this weather. Besides, I can't let you go out in this rain, can I?"
I didn't try to resist anymore. As I went up the winding stairs close behind her, I could hear the beatings of my own heart. Even the thought of being alone with her was enough to sent a strange thrill into every cell of my body.
Her small apartment looked a bit untidy, yet cosy. It smelled of spices and food and cosmetics. It gave off the warmth of a living human.
The throbbing inside my heart had made me act rather stiff. I flopped down on the sofa while she made a quick attempt at picking up the clothes and books lying about the room. The light in the room was already dim. Now it flickered a few times and then went out.
"Oh shit!" She cried bitterly and turned on the light in the adjoining room. The light struggled to reach the sitting area.
"Guess it can't be helped! You've to sit in this semi-darkness. I'll go and make some coffee."
"You should take a bath and wear something dry. You're dripping already." I said.
"Yes, I will. Just let me make the coffee first."
"You change first", I said firmly.
She laughed, but gave in.
She returned quickly, bringing with her the refreshing smell of fragrant soap and fresh laundry. By now, the awkward beating of my heart had calmed down and I felt rather comfortable.
Misha prepared the coffee and brought it in two cups to the dinning area where I sat. She put the cups on a small table and sat down on a puff near the sofa.
We sipped coffee and chatted. Light came through the open door of the inner room which was probably her bedroom. My eyes fell on a large canvas hung on the wall behind the bed.
It was a beautiful painting. A single rose sparkled in the middle of the canvas. The background was an assimilation of various geometrical patterns in different hues. But what caught the eye most was the colour of the rose. It was blue.
A blue rose. Not red or white. Not any of the myriad hues in which roses are found around the world.
Misha followed my eyes and saw what I was looking at.
"Do you like it?" She asked.
"Yes, but why a blue rose?"
"Blue rose is the symbol of love which can never really come true," she said, her eyes looking wistfully at the canvas. "I think it is the only kind of love which actually exists."
"Why do you think so, Misha?"
She turned her gaze at me.
"Nell, tell me, do I look like a woman to you?"
What a strange question!
"Yes, of course!" I replied.
"Yet, I wasn't raised as a girl. My family had three girl children already when I, the fourth one arrived. The doctors declared that my mother wouldn't be able to bear any more child. So they decided to raise me as a male child."
She paused and stared at the window blurred by incessant rain. Then she continued:
"The people of my clan have this strange custom. There must be at least one male child in the family and if there is none, then a female child can be raised as a male. The one raised this way takes the responsibility of the family just like the male."
I could feel the pain and bitterness in her voice as she went on:
"Throughout my childhood I had known myself to be a boy. As I never went to a general school or never played with other children outside my house, I didn't have the chance to know the truth. Then my body started to change and I became confused. I started asking questions, but the answers only baffled me more. But all this time I wanted to dress as a girl. I wanted dolls and trinkets. I wanted to play and sing, but they stifled my voice."
She paused again, then continued in an agonised tone:
"Then I rebelled. I wanted to go to the college, but they didn't let me go. I took my grandmother's sleeping pills. It was my bad luck again that I didn't die, but this time, they gave in. I was allowed to step outside and go to the college."
There was so much pain and suffering in her voice that I couldn't help but take both her hands in mine and hold them tight. "There, there," I said, "Aren't you alright now, working and living on your own?"
"No, I am not", she said, "I'm just like a kite in their hands. They can pull the strings anytime and force me to return."
"How could they be so cruel to you? You're their own child!"
"They care more for their honour and values. My happiness means nothing to them. I'm supposed to take over the family business, marry my cousin and continue the bloodline. It matters little whether I want it or not."
And she sat there, her head hung down, tears rolling from her cheeks. Something snapped inside me. I knelt in front of her and held her face in my hands. For a second, she looked into my eyes, then her hands came up and she pulled my head into her chest. My face buried in her soft breasts and a strange smell burnt its way up my nostrils. The scent of desire that is hidden in the cleavage of a woman in love.
Every cell of my body seemed to be on a wildfire. My tongue sucked up the fragrant sweat inside her cleavage while my hands roamed over the soft mounds of her breasts. Her fingers knotted in my hair as I pulled her breasts out from her clothes. I put her left breast in my mouth, wrapped my tongue around the nipple and sucked on it, while my left hand kneaded the soft flesh of her right breast.
Her soft moans burned into my ears. I pulled her down by my side and pressed her to the floor with my body. My lips sought her warm mouth while my hand travelled down her taut belly. Beneath our eager hands the pieces of our clothes came off one by one, allowing our bare flesh touch and sizzle against each other.
Her body writhed and trembled beneath mine as ours tongues sucked at each other in frantic kiss while her legs parted on their own and my fingers pried open the mouth of the cave hidden between them. She moaned and her legs tightened around my hand, but I pulled them apart again. Warm stick liquid started to trickle down my finger buried deep into the cave, sending shivers down my spine. I felt a strange sensation at the lower part of my body as my manhood hardened and stood up slowly. For a moment I stared at the erect rod of flesh sticking out of my own body, then turned my gaze upon the bare body of the woman I loved blindly.
All I wanted was to pin her into me and melt into her. I pulled my finger out of her and holding her thighs firmly, pulled them apart. The hidden cave opened in front me and I pushed my erect rod into its slippery pathway.
Warm and moist walls of flesh pressed upon me from both sides as she groaned and writhed. But I thrust more and more and more sticky fluid came rushing out from inside, making the passage more slippery. All my senses now centred around the stick of my flesh which I pushed deeper and deeper inside her. It pushed against the hymen and stirred violently. The fragile hymen burst open and more warm liquid gushed forth.
She cried out in pain and bit her lips, but I couldn't stop myself anymore. My rod penetrated deeper and deeper into her and her insides gave in before its frantic thrust. I felt her relaxing more and more and at the same time her desire picked more. I pulled myself out and she pulled my face down, kissing me frantically. Her legs went up around my waist, locking me above her body.
I could feel every bit of her in my mind. Our desires had locked together at a certain point and became one. I could feel that she wanted every bit of me and I wanted the same.
I placed one hand below her taut buttock and raised her hip slightly. Then I inserted the entire length of my rod into her. Her legs tightened around my waist as she moaned deeper. The sound of it made me more intoxicated. I sent half a dozen of quick violent thrusts inside her, then a couple of more.
I felt her insides tightened once. Her legs coiling around my waist loosened a bit. In an instant more warm liquid sprayed from deep inside her guts. She had reached orgasm. At the same time, my pleasure burst forth from the tip of my rod, taking every ounce of my strength with it.
Emptied and exhausted, I lay on her sweat drenched body, unable to move even a single finger. My rod lay inside her, locked between her plates. I didn't have the power to force myself out, unless she released me on her own.
Beneath my body, she relaxed slowly. Her plates loosened their grip on my rod and it fell out of her.
I rolled away and pulled her on my chest. She nestled against me as my fingered combed her knotted silken hair.
"I love you, Nell!" She said.
"I love you, too." I whispered.