By Chandrakant Keni
Oh. I'm not exactly sure what you mean, but you seem to suggest that it's possible to conquer one's desires!"
"But why should you suppress your desires?"
"If I didn't I'd be unfaithful to my wife."
"What if your wife wants another man?"
"I wouldn't like that."
"So you're against her being a free person."
"I can't help it."
"You can. You can free your mind by snapping the chains of tradition. The more you suppress your desires, the more they will eat you up; but once you satisfy them, well -- that's the end of them."
We had arrived at Colva by then. Cinderella exclaimed, "We've got here pretty quickly. Come on, let’s go and sit on the beach."
"But my wife is alone at home."
"Just for a little while. Let’s finish this discussion. Before coming to India, I had been to Iran. I want to tell you about an incident there."
"About the satisfaction of desires?" I said naughtily.
"What else?" We both laughed.
When we settled down on the beach, Cinderella said, "Why does society expect only women to cover their bodies?"
"It stops people lusting after them."
"People? You mean men."
"Don't you think that women get aroused when they see men bare their chests?"
"How would I know?"
"All these standards of morality that women have to abide by are imposed upon them by men."
I was silent.
Then quite deliberately Cinderella peeled off her blouse. Embarrassed, I turned my head away.
"Don't blush like that. Once you get accustomed to this, you won't feel ashamed."
"How can I control my feelings?"
"Don't control anything."
Trying to behave as naturally as I could I turned towards her while Cinderella talked away without the least trace of embarrassment.
She narrated an incident about Mazook, an Iranian ascetic. He had left home with the intention of conquering the miseries of mankind. After traversing over the entire country, he came to the conclusion that when men's desires are unfulfilled, they become unhappy. He concluded that Man suffers from two types of hungers -- a hunger for food and a hunger for pleasure. If these hungers are placated he is at peace.
One day Mazook saw a young man singing a melancholic song by the banks of a river. Mazook realised that his lyrics were nothing but an outpouring of agony. He approached the youth and asked him why he was so miserable.
The young man replied, "I love a girl but she does not return my love."
"I don't know."
"In that case the girl is at fault. One who gives rise to sorrow in a fellow creature commits a wrong. Come, let's go to her."
They went to the girl.
"Why have you made him miserable?"
"I have done nothing to him. But I cannot give him what he demands."
Mazook turned to the young man.
"What have you asked of her?"
"I long for her embrace... I want all the pleasures that a man expects of a woman."
"Young lady why do you deny him this?"
"Should I lose my purity just to satisfy his whims?"
"Purity? The Kingdom of Heaven has no place for such concepts. Out of such petty words like Purity are crafted the chains that bind us. Have nothing to do with them! The hungry should be fed; the passionate should be gratified,"
"Do you want to turn us into beasts?"
"Let it be so. Only thus can one achieve happiness. Which man has Morality ever made happy?"
I laughed after hearing this story.
"What's so funny?" asked Cinderella.
"So this is your way of life?"
"But why should the one who seeks gratification impose his will on others?"
"True. There should be no compulsion. Suppose I wanted you to make love to me now and you were willing, then..."
I looked away.
Cinderella snuggled close to me. The cloak of morality which I had shielded myself with up to now crumbled as I gave in to my lust and her charm. I held her in my arms and kissed her fiercely.
"Are you satisfied?"
"No, this is only the beginning." she replied.
God alone knows for how long we remained locked in each others arms. Suddenly the thought of my wife came to me and my grasp loosened.
"What happened?" she asked.
"I have to go home. It's late."
"Aren't you being unjust to me."
"I shall repent for it," I replied kissing her again.
I don't even smoke cigarettes. But I wanted to experience that state of transcendence they say one could achieve after smoking marijuana. We were sitting in a room of a hippy's house, and everyone had arrived in some state of undress. Cinderella was completely naked.
She ripped open a cigarette, mixed the tobacco with some hashish, rolled it in new cigarette paper and lit it.
She took a deep drag, savouring the sweet aroma of its fumes before holding it at my lips.
I sucked at it greedily. The smoke streaked to my brain. I coughed and gasped frantically. Cinderella slapped and caressed my back as she whispered, "Slowly, slowly."
For the first time in my life I found the world revolving around me.
"Enough." I said.
"You haven't seen anything yet. Have another drag."
The beast in me was aroused. Her naked torso with her breasts and thighs jutting out seemed to be taunting me. There and then like a beast I satisfied my lust for her and afterwards continued to smoke the joint until I passed out.
When I returned to my senses I discovered that I had been sleeping with my head on Cinderella's tummy. Shaking my head I got up and sat down. Cinderella was still asleep. I glanced at her naked body and shuddered. I could not believe that the lure of the flesh could make me so blind. I looked at my own body. There was no cloak of morality there anymore. I felt ashamed of myself and got up to put my clothes on.
Translated by Augusto Pinto /GoaBookClub, GoaBookClub is a not-for-profit venture meant to promote the written word in Goa. More about it at http://bit.ly/GoBoCl