The monsoons are when Kerala, God’s Own Country, loses all inkling of inhibition and goes into a rather unholy frenzy of whim. During this time of the year, the wind, intoxicated by the earth’s musk, picks up her skirts and runs wildly across rain drenched fields and forests, unmindful of the eyes turned upward beneath her. When the colour green ripens and blooms into a riot of red, lavender and pink. The waters are possessed by invisible sprites – dangerous swirls and choppy ripples half-tempt and half -reveal dark intentions. The skies darken in shades of desire and the air is thick with romance.
In the light or rather in the absence of light, of this amorous dance of the elements – man, the thinking species, is caught in between, a reluctant dancer whose feet move against his will, flung to the clumsy rhythm of restraint giving way to abandon. Clothes cling onto the skin with flamboyant audacity. Contours become very pronounced curves. Faces, shameless as the flowers, turn to the sky, and suppressed wants surface, rather inconveniently. To a contained mass, this unabashed opening of legs by nature comes across as – a guilty pleasure, I guess. They’re turned on and off at the same time, they both hide under umbrellas and kiss the rain with their mouths open. It’s a time of partial possession and people do things they normally wouldn’t. Like the normally abashed womenfolk hiking their mundus way above their knees, all the while, feeling the sensuous slap of water against their thighs. I just happened to, from my train window, see one such woman in the process.
Middle-aged or maybe even beyond middle aged, she was for sure of that age when malayalee women believe that they’re drying up inside and their husbands are already dipping themselves, or maybe even wading in younger pools. An age when they think that they’re beyond desire – their’s and others’. When they start to believe that their locking of their knees and wants is equivalent to righteousness. A woman of this age was wading through mid thigh water. Her mundu was scrunched up at quarter thigh and her torso was covered only with a skimpy saree blouse, making her look like a bollywood starlet. She waded in slow, languorous moments with the water, like a hungry lover kissing any and every part of her anatomy that it chanced upon. And she, the coy recipient of these attentions, drawing away in shy reluctance and yet expecting in bated anticipation for the lover’s next kiss. Her face was turned away from me but I can’t help but wonder if she tingled at the water’s touch. Did she shiver deliciously and did her face flush when its icy fingers ran up her bare flesh? Did she bite her lip, holding back a cry as the wet tongue lapped up her thighs? Did she realize that age did not mean exempted from the wants of the flesh and soul. Did she realize that she could never be beyond desire?