Continued from 2: Kite strings
Chapter 3. TARA
She gazed at the wine spilled western sky. The soft breeze played with her curls and occasionally a stray curl rested briefly on her face. She loved these summer pool side parties, the colorful people who fluttered like butterflies, the wine, gorgeous variety of food, the music and most of all the man behind all this fun. He had met Keshav during his Piano performance at the rest o bar he owned. He wasn’t a looker by the society’s beauty standards but he was certainly a charmer. He still remembered their first meeting and the deep voice that almost made her swoon.
“You must get close to him Tara. I know he has his eyes on you for some time. Go get him babes”. Shona whispered from behind her smoke rings.
“Oh stop it. He is good but not my kind and I am just twenty-six.” She did not sound convincing.
“Really”, Shona winked and drifted away to get another drink.
At the other side of the pool Keshav was entertaining a group of women with his unending supply of jokes. She wanted to know more about this fascinating young man. A warm flush rushed inside her body and suddenly she was conscious of Shona staring at her.
“Not your kind, eh? “, she smiled.
The bird orchestra on the trees was getting louder and the strains of clarinet were barely audible. She loved his taste in music. She knew he was an art connoisseur . She had seen some exquisite art pieces collected from across the globe.
“Are you a loner or is it that I haven’t been a gracious host?” His voice made her jump.
Turning a deep shade of red she mumbled some alien words while her eyes searched urgently for Shona. She was buried in the arms of one of her producers. Liquor, food, gossip, favors, deals and sex, these made the base line for all such parties. Everyone fake till the very core.
“ Shonali seems to be enjoying herself. Would you like to see the library? He was standing so close that she could smell the faint fragrance of aftershave. Her body turned liquid.
“Are you alright? Come let’s go.” He held her hand and she sailed like a breeze along with him. Her heart was beating like the red Ferrari which was parked in the porch.
He held her hand firmly and she was aware of the warmth seeping through. The library and study were the most beautiful areas of the house. The fireplace, collection of books and music CDs, piano and the lovely rugs thrown around the room were simply breathtaking. Suddenly she was filled with life.
“Wow, this is amazing. Do you ever find time to read these?” she asked.
“That’s one thing I don’t do but I aim to please especially writers like you.” His gaze held her captive. She smiled when all she wanted to do was throw her arms around him.
“Feel at home Tara, come over anytime even if I am not there. “ He said warmly.” I know you are more passionate about the books than the men”.
“I will and I think you should change your source of information about me.” Now she loved the teasing and wished they could spend the entire night together.
They met regularly and slowly Keshav became a part of her. She married him within a year. The private wedding at Mukteshwar, a long leisurely honeymoon and then life was back to normal.
Within a year the rainbow began to fade. She was alone most of the time as he toured and ran his business. The parties became less and slowly the laughter and fun faded like the colors of evening sky. She became a recluse. Shonali married her producer lover and went abroad so there was no one except the silence and the books to give her company during the endlessly long days. The nights were even worse. Keshav came home in the wee hours of the morning and love-making became just another ritual. Sometimes for days or months she burned and hungered for him while he traveled for business.
She burned night after night for that passion, that warmth, that touch. The very house that had earlier bewitched her now became her prison. She had everything but still there was a vacuüm. Keshav too felt it and compensated it with all that he thought she would love but that made things worse. She wanted him and he had no time. Business had increased many folds and he ran two more clubs now.
He went for parties just as a compulsion. She had stopped accompanying him long back.
It was their fourth wedding anniversary and opening of his Piano night when she told him about the Writer’s workshop in Pattaya. A friend had emailed her and she desperately wanted to go. It was a lifetime opportunity for her as a writer.
“When do you leave?” He asked without a trace of emotion.
“Day after tomorrow“, she had replied without giving any more information. These days they spoke only what was essential.
“Alright, whatever makes you happy.” Start packing I will arrange the other things. “He left early for the opening while she cleared the kitchen and trashed all the food she had cooked for their anniversary dinner.
This time tears stayed buried in her deep black eyes. She was thrilled about the workshop not just because it was important to her as an aspiring writer but also because it was her passport to freedom. An escape from this museum she called home. It would give time to both of them to reflect upon their lives, she thought. She loved him and longed for those good old days.
Keshav stayed home on the day of her leaving. They had a candle light dinner and sat huddled on the rug in front of the fireplace, together still far away. Each had million things to say but silence stood between them like a sentinel.
“One of the deepest truths about the cry of the human heart is that it is so often muted, so often a cry that is never uttered. To be sure there are needs and feelings that we express quite openly; lying deeper are emotions we share only with loved ones, and deeper still the things we tell no one….It is strange that members of a species renowned for communicative gifts should leave unexpressed some of their deepest yearnings”
The flight took off on time. They had hugged awkwardly and Keshav had left for a meeting immediately. With mixed emotions she bid farewell to him wondering where their fate with take them.
Beneath her in were soft fluffy cloud castles and right outside her window was God’s illuminated promise, a magnificent rainbow. She remembered the lines by Byron;
Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.
Her life was about to change forever. Air borne she felt an ethereal feeling sweep through her. A whole new world lay in front of her and she was ready to take it on.
to be continued ….