(It’s been literally forever since I posted, what with my tight schedules and all…here now is another part of my novella, which I put on hold for awhile. Here, Minakshi’s memories continue, the plot thickens, and we all know whom Brahmarajan’s out with…I guess)
A small water trough was placed in the centre.
The two couldn’t be more different.
Ishwari was a tall devadasi with sharp features, bewitching eyes and a waist to die for, but thinner overall than Minakshi. Her eyes seemed to scan the whole world around her, perhaps due to either superb peripheral vision, or that she was actually looking beneath people’s clothes and visualizing their bodies alongside her own, in bed. She had been caught “scanning” her fellow dancers, more than once, and even some of the younger, more virile Brahmans had been seen leaving her house after a long, pleasant night.
“Tell me,” Minakshi continued.
The other woman just shrugged her shoulders.
Minakshi turned with a small smile.
“Somehow I feel that something will happen, my friend. I feel like I’m going to be punished, that’s all,” she continued, at which Ishwari listened in earnest. However, her eyes were running up and down Minakshi’s body continuously as the younger woman undressed before her, and then began pinning on her normal sari. Minakshi herself felt ill of ease as she felt Ishwari’s eyes on her stomach, travelling down to her waist and perfect legs…and then upwards to her breasts, until the former saw the latter’s gaze growing hungrier.
“Minakshi…” Her sighs became louder as she kept gazing.
She had snapped her friend out of her reverie.
“No. No secrets. Just gossip, old, old gossip,” was the abrupt answer. She tried to turn away, but sensed that Minakshi had been looking at her rather darkly.
“So explain! What’s all this talk about my husband sneaking around behind my back, Ishwari? If anyone knows, it’s obviously you. I mean, you do talk a lot in these parts, so spill. Are these rumors of him sleeping at all these women’s houses true or not?” Her eyebrow was raised in a questioning glance as she leaned against a pillar by the water trough. “Is the Brahmarajan these idiotic chattering fools talk about, somebody else? I need to know what this man is doing. I can’t raise my son in a house that has no trust. What if he becomes like…like what you seem to make of my husband? What then?”
“Oh, he is a soldier! So he travels a lot, so what? After all, he’ll become a Senapati, a commander, just like you said, and you know how many campaigns and expeditions there have been out there! And besides”-Ishwari moved slowly towards Minakshi, grabbing hold of her ear-“a few of our friends have begun working the streets on the lookout for soldiers. They all look alike anyway; big and broad, so strong and hard, but then again so soft that the sight of a beautiful woman melts them inside. And most have no wives to come home to. Imagine! Find someone like our old friend Madevi in your bed and your dreams just come true!”
The least religious of the ‘servants of the god’.
“That little wretch couldn’t get my man off his feet, not with the way she makes love to every idiot she sees,” grumbled Minakshi in exasperation, wondering how any sane person could find that casually vulgar little girl so attractive. Then again, Ishwari had been spending nights at that vulgar little girl’s house, so why not?
“That proves nothing! I’m tired of all these damn women anyway. I need something new, I mean, doesn’t anyone in this temple want to do something new? It’s like Siva’s serpents themselves tie us to these walls!”