NOVELLA

(There are more parts coming in)

Her voice was quivery again.
She walloped her personality back into reality though. She was Minakshi, she, she was a woman and a proud woman. Fighting back a cascade of sweat, she delicately balled her fists, then felt her forearms and triceps tensing as she stared him square in the face, torso pushing up and down quite firmly for an instant, then more gently, more calmly as the wave of air exited her body.
“Brahmarajan, I won’t ask you again.”
“Listen now. I don’t want you sneaking around, or poking your damned nose into my business. For all I know”-he strode heavily over to his shivering son, and cradled the boy’s head roughly in his left hand-“you, woman, you…are…no…better…”
She moved cautiously.
“Have you been drinking? You can’t even talk properly! Is this how you’ve been coming back home every night after your little visits? No wonder that child is scared. Just go to bed, we’ll talk about it in the morning,” she said, carefully stepping towards him and placing her hand on his back.
He snarled, “Get out!”
“What?”
“Get out, I told you!” Brahmarajan slapped her smartly on the hand, and looked at her with a deathly stare, suddenly erect as he gazed at his wife. Sweating torrents, she backed away slowly, reaching anxiously for the wall. Touching its hardness, she still could not feel safe, but her pride still shielded her, powerful as a defender, even stronger as an attacker.All it could do to defend, however, was keeping her safe from herself, her ferocity, and pride and getting beaten. And I could do nothing to attack. Her tongue had no more pride than she had when she was bullied as a child by her indifferent cousins, and sneered at by lecherous young Brahmans.
“Nothing to say? Well let’s get to bed. I have nothing to do with anyone else around here. Come woman; let’s speak no more of this.”
Her shields of pride warned her to keep her mouth firmly shut.
Sivapalan spent the night with her, for obvious reasons.
However, she couldn’t sleep. No matter how much she tried to sink back into her pillow something always set her off, sent her into alert mode.
Her cuddled up against her, his chubby head resting on her belly, as if listening for her second child’s breaths and its gentle heartbeat. A silver shaft of moonlight then gently wafted inside her room, perversely touching her sleeping baby and rubbing against her womb as if trying to speak to her.
“Chandra…” she breathed dreamily. “How’s that for a name? Chandravati? Chandrani? I hope it’s a daughter, really…” Minakshi felt like rising up with the moonbeam, like the gods were caressing her softly, showering blessings into her frail, mortal body with every touch and kiss. Suddenly she felt an orgasm tearing through her once more, making her reach for the pillow by her side.
The deities of imagination were all loving her softly, gentling her with an intimacy that she had never known, and that moonbeam turned into a bladed weapon, piercing her a few times more but sparing Sivapalan, for he slept innocently under the gentle heavenly assault. She smiled at him, and at the feeling of wonderment, but then her face darkened.
The moonbeam had shifted onto something that her aunt had kept for her, but which she had always dreaded.
A white sari. The white sari.
This now glowed, its ghostly pallor and forbidding air filling her bedroom with a cloud like a heavy gada, an iron mace pushing down onto her chest, crushing out her being. Finally, her soul found that sari wound around her in a suffocating manner, until finally she died away, leaving it for someone else. Those terrible silken nooses all had an ancient curse woven into their white, soft innocuousness of form.
She locked her eyes shut as she cradled the large pillow, pushing it fiercely against her breasts, suddenly startling her son. “Mother!” he shouted as she trembled furiously with a mix of rage and sadness churning about inside her.
  
She never prayed to her husband’s deities.
Instead Minakshi just stroked the face of her fragile-looking statue she had placed on her little private altar on their garden shrine, a very beautiful young man with slightly feminine features and an angelic smile on his small whitish-blue marble face. That smile seemed to touch her heart in a strange way, speaking to a small part of her that still had an ancient yearning for the northern capital of Pataliputra now more than anything else. The voice of prayers, hopes and dreams being carried on the currents of the Ganges.
Exotic items from the men from the Vengi region in the east, and from the Afghan and Persian deserts in the west, caravans being carried across to the Pala trading cities filled her mind. It was the old calling that made every northern heart ring in that unexplained way and to yearn for homes and loves long since lost.
Minakshi’s inner being wept quietly.
Avalokitesvara smiled lifelessly back at her, small, delicate hands raised in an endearing abhaya mudra, telling her to be courageous, but unable to do much more.

There was nothing more this gentle deity could do after all, but as she recited her mantras, she felt the superhuman crying for her as his arms shifted in a cosmic dance atop his white lotus.
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4 thoughts on “NOVELLA”

  1. I think Minakshi is a very brave woman. She has probably endured her drunkard husband for many days with her silent courage. The way she keeps thinking of a name for her unborn son and praying to the deity really shows her hope for better things ahead. The way you compare her hopes to a “silver shaft of moonlight” and her heart wrenching sadness to the “terrible silken nooses” is noteworthy… I’m still amazed by the way you effortlessly weave historical details into your stories… By the way, some pronouns need to be altered.

    “Avalokitesvara smiled lifelessly back at her, small, delicate hands raised in an endearing abhaya mudra, telling her to be courageous, but unable to do much more.”- Beautiful sentence!

  2. Well she's a stubborn woman, as in strong and stubborn, plus the thing is, she wanted her second child to be a girl but ended up being Chandrasegaran, a boy.
    Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is a Mahayana Buddhist deity, a Bodhisattva, and in any case as a north Indian from the area of the Pala Kingdom, she's a Mahayana Buddhist too. Not too religious but still she has a little bit of faith in her.

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