“I know why you are looking disturbed – yet I wish I didn’t know it!”
She comes back within moments after Botu and the hunter disappear in the density of the forest. I prepare for a long battle – more challenging than winning any exquisitely beautiful but inattentive girl while this is against an apparent antagonist residing in myself. I am rather disgruntled with the possibility of spending an entire day in debating with a dumb talkative lady instead of plunging myself in the dream of love. Yet I have to win the battle of nerves in order to keep myself alive – I cannot reduce myself into a puppet in the hands of a woman. I reply: “It is better for you not to know everything in the world. Remember you are a woman.”
“I am happy to be myself and I remember my gender. Only thing I can’t tolerate is why the hell I have to live inside your kind of a chauvinist man’s body!”
Perhaps I am being used to the unknown words uttered by her. I guess “chauvinist” should be a bad quality that pushes a man to a hell, but don’t complain this time. This girl – be she evil or human or goddess, if somehow entered my body and is still residing here for some or other reason, has to become familiar with my bodily functions. I cannot change myself only because she is uncomfortable with me. She has to adapt with manly inclination that admires beautiful ladies by enjoying them.
“You are not in a mood to listen to me.” – Peggy complains.
“Not at all for God’s sake. I am waiting for good news, you know. ”
“Your good news does not seem exciting to me.”
“Why should I bother about an intruder’s opinion?”
Peggy and I continue our bittersweet dialogues. I explain her again and again that she cannot expect me to change following her desire. She will have to change if she decides to stay inside me. If her fate forces her to stay with me, she will have to abide by my rules. She fights, she screams, she pursues, she cries and I have to wipe her tears rolling down my cheeks and that became the magic potion which made her understand the terrible predicament I am going though.
“See now you are crying, unable to convince me, right?”
“Yes, how come you men are so cruel?”
“Your tears are coming through my eyes. And I have to wipe tears involuntarily rolling down my cheeks, you see? Now tell me who is crueler. Who is forcing whom?”
I listen to her sobbing helplessly. I would be happier if I was able to treat her with more compassion. Unfortunately I am helpless too. Any weakness shown will destroy me forever. I decide not to be too rude to her. If she is trapped really unwillingly in by body, it is better for her to understand me, develop my views, and see the world through my eyes. I prepare for a long conversation with her.
“Peggy, I think I have met you before, though I cannot remember where. I understand your pain.”
“I have seen you illustrated in the books I read in childhood – probably in Amar Chitra Katha and Chandamama stories; don’t know where you had chance to see me.”
“I do not know who Amar Chitrakatha and Chandamama are. Are they storytellers like my Vidushak the court storyteller? Or like my lazy court poets whom I pay in gold coins for entertaining me with exciting poems every now and then. They often fail to entertain me – still keeping them in court is a custom here. The king is supposed to patronize some creative people to express the royal test for art and craft.”
“Oh yes, like our democratically elected governments – all of them try to form an intellectual group, patronize them with generous funding so that they become influential support, inflating the qualities of a ruling party or president before voters.” – she sounds serious, nevertheless I am not able to understand more than half of her words. What I noticed is that she never bothers to explain those even if I tell I did not understand.
“I am sorry I cannot understand you completely. Give me some more time to learn those vocabularies.” I know I have to polite with her today.
She sighs, I continue – “I know you do not like my loving women. But that is a powerful man’s way of life. My subjects will not consider me powerful if I do not conquer some battles and spread my seeds on this earth in form of children. You may mock at me for being the father of daughters but you never know, someday I may be gifted a scion by gods. Why do you tell me to leave my clan devoid of successors, making my forefather unhappy in the heaven? Why on earth should I stop a successor’s ascending the throne of the great Chandra dynasty? I hate unnecessary battles. In fact we the Chandras do not have enemies around. I do not like to make enemies by attacking my neighbours. Love is a better message to establish my power. And these women love me – unconditionally. I know my indomitable love for beautiful women disappoints you. I would request you to wait and watch – how these girls fall in love with me – how they feel privileged having an opportunity to spend few hours of their lives with me. You should appreciate pleasure of love instead of preaching you hermit–like morals. I cannot see you – cannot remember your face. Are you that old or that ugly that you cannot enjoy love any longer? I understand you may not be comfortable with making love with a female body but why don’t you try to appreciate female beauty by watching it? You were sleeping when I spotted her in the hermitage. Now awake, you have a chance to appreciate the divine beauty you might have never seen!”
“You are a good speaker; probably better than many reputed public speakers I have heard.” – She suddenly utters, making me clueless again.
“What is a public speaker?” – I could not resist asking.
“Men who can mesmerize people by speaking relentlessly on any given topic become public speakers in our time. They are knowledgeable – but their presentation skill is especially worthy of mention. Thousands of people gather to listen to them – many of the audience loss the ability to doubt any of the speaker’s logic at the end of a session. And they pay an amount – not in gold though – we have something called money or dollar instead of gold – to be fooled by listening.”
The information about the era she comes from scares me. What if a powerful public-speaker emerges in my territory and challenges the authority of my dynasty? Will he fool all my subjects? I have only a few thousand people in my land – will all of them start following him instead of me? What about all my ladies? A sudden wave of insecurity overwhelms me. “Don’t fool me with all your futuristic ideas!” – I try to regain my control over her.
“Communication is difficult – we are coming from different places of different periods of time. Still we have to try. I think leaving you would be hard for me even if given a chance now.” – She sounds too calm and composed comparing to her usual mood.
Did my words finally influence her? I am hopeful at this instant. Hence proceed without showing hurry. “I know how difficult for a lady to appreciate the flawless magnificence of another. I know her smooth glowing skin, her long black hair, her half-moon shaped forehead, her flute-like nose and petal-lips would submerge any woman’s heart into deep sea of envy. I don’t want to hurt you more by describing her wonderful body – however would pray you to see it yourself with your awakened eyes. Dear Peggy, you may go to sleep once again if you find a heavenly beauty unconditionally surrendering herself to me too much to bear.”
“I – have no other option.” – She does not tale anything else. I wait some time before calling her, “Peggy, do you hear me?” I receive no answer. Either she agrees with me or disagrees to such an extent that she stopped talking to me – I realise. Either way is fair for me. Satisfied conquering the lady inside me, I call my maids to help me to take bath.
To be cont.