An Inca Temple

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An Inca Temple

Post by Guest on Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:01 pm

(this is the last post from my '98 journals dedicated to my wife. nats correctly, though half-jokingly, surmised that "rachna" was also inspired by my wife. she might not have know this for a fact but the fact is that it was inspired by my wife. rachna is my wife in ways. religious people have great, enviable inner strength. anyway, i had posted this piece to sulekha as a blog many years ago and PP had very kindly commented on it too. but my girlfriend QB subsequently got my id (partha guha) banned and this piece got lost to the internets.)

An Inca Temple

My wife lay dying. She lay on the bed and was surrounded by people. I was in another room. I didn’t wish to be by her side. She would die in a couple of hours now. Someone came to me and said, ‘The world thinks you should be by her side.' ‘Well, mind your own business,’ I said to him politely. My children are there with her, I thought, and then she will most certainly die, and I can’t help her from not dying. After about an hour someone came to me and said that my wife wished to see me. What, I thought, what? She wasn’t dead yet? I hurried to the other room. Seeing me, the crowd around her opened up and someone quickly escorted me to her side. My heart wrenched as I beheld her frail figure, darkened skin, blue lips. Not much longer, I thought, not much longer. She looked at me with doe-like eyes.

‘Where were you?’ She asked, ‘I have been calling your name. Kiss me. Suck my juice out. I will die any moment now.’

Oh God, Oh God, I panicked. How could I have forgotten? We had promised back when and I had forgotten. We had promised that if one of us lay dying, the other would suck its juice out and visit the Temple of Doom and challenge the temple – answer all it’s questions, suffer all it’s games, and bring one’s lover back to life. I quickly placed my lips on her and sealed them with my own. I sucked. Nothing came. I sucked harder and her juices flooded into my mouth and slid into my tummy and then I was sucking air, sucking lips. I saw satisfaction on her face as she collapsed in a whisper of flies and cold flesh. People murmured among themselves.

I hurried fast, faster, fastest to the temple. I was wearing chappals. I reached the temple. It was midnight. The air was windy. There were droplets of rain in the air. My wife’s soul was inside me. I entered the gates. This was an Inca temple, I knew, and there were occasional flashes of light erupting from certain corners of it, randomly. I knew why those flashes erupted. It’s because I had license tonight. I had my dying lover’s juice in my belly – I was two people now, her and I (I could feel the sensualness inside me), and the temple was bracing itself for an attack. There was an Eye in the middle of the temple and I stood before it.

Let the games commence, someone said.

A light shone from the Eye. It was like a beam of a car’s headlight. It bore through me. I felt nothing. A word appeared in the Eye. The word was grief. I prepared myself for the light of grief to strike me. Would I survive it, I wondered? And the word grief evaporated, became a light and shone through me. I still felt nothing. And then there was sorrow, passion, pain in quick succession. They all shone through me, in different colours, one by one. Yet I felt nothing.

So I had passed the first test.

Someone gave me a heavy pair of binoculars. My wife (I was my wife too) whispered to me that I was doing well and it spurred me on. I looked into the binoculars and saw things magnified. I moved the binoculars around and I saw three yellow butterflies fluttering in my line of vision. I followed their movements with my binoculars. The three flew in a straight line and looked exactly identical. Which was the odd one out? I tried hard to identify, but woosh and suddenly I lost them from my line of vision. I couldn’t find them now; not with the naked eye and not with the binoculars. I put my binoculars down and thought: this is tough; my binoculars’ field of vision is narrow and the universe is big, boundary-less. Where are the butterflies, I wondered? I needed a break, I thought.

I hurried back to my wife’s bedside. She was half-alive now. She looked at me. Wife, I said, holding her hand. ‘What happened?’ She asked. You are half-alive, I said. The games aren’t yet over. You wait. At least you aren’t dead. And the rest of you is with me, and I hugged her. While I hugged her, I thought of what to do. I could hazard a guess – the first butterfly was out-of-order OR I could make a plea for mercy – give me another chance! Give me another shot! OR I could hold on to her like this forever: my love, my life, my wife, half-alive.

And then I awoke. It was 6 am.

And I went back to sleep. I tried to summon the dream, to begin where it had left me. But I dreamt another dream.

I saw three butterflies, fluttering, and no matter which way I moved, the butterflies were always there; as if stuck to the lens, as if pasted as a sticker on the binoculars. And then they came away. It’s our turn now, they seemed to say, and they came free, unstuck, but they flew always together, in a straight line and farther and farther away. I had to strain my binoculars and move it every so carefully, every so gently to keep them still in my line of vision. I followed them gently, carefully, cautiously, until woosh, I lost them yet again. I put my binoculars down and wiped my tears away. There were no manuals in this Inca Temple, I wept, no clues.

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Re: An Inca Temple

Post by Kris on Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:36 pm

Huzefa Kapasi wrote:(this is the last post from my '98 journals dedicated to my wife. nats correctly, though half-jokingly, surmised that "rachna" was also inspired by my wife. she might not have know this for a fact but the fact is that it was inspired by my wife. rachna is my wife in ways. religious people have great, enviable inner strength. anyway, i had posted this piece to sulekha as a blog many years ago and PP had very kindly commented on it too. but my girlfriend QB subsequently got my id (partha guha) banned and this piece got lost to the internets.)

.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................

And then I awoke. It was 6 am.

And I went back to sleep. I tried to summon the dream, to begin where it had left me. But I dreamt another dream.

I saw three butterflies, fluttering, and no matter which way I moved, the butterflies were always there; as if stuck to the lens, as if pasted as a sticker on the binoculars. And then they came away. It’s our turn now, they seemed to say, and they came free, unstuck, but they flew always together, in a straight line and farther and farther away. I had to strain my binoculars and move it every so carefully, every so gently to keep them still in my line of vision. I followed them gently, carefully, cautiously, until woosh, I lost them yet again. I put my binoculars down and wiped my tears away. There were no manuals in this Inca Temple, I wept, no clues.

>>>> Good piece of writing HK. I don't think I read this back in the Sulekha days. Would remember if I'd had. This style have been right up my alley back in those days. I had more time and read more back then.

Kris

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Re: An Inca Temple

Post by Guest on Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:20 am

thanks kris! no i did not post this to sulekha in '98. i posted in 2006/7 as a blog. i posted some more in "creative." they all got deleted when my ID got banned.

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Re: An Inca Temple

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