The Spirit of Existence
from the Malayalam Novel “Datthapaharam” by V.J. James
(translated by Dr. Sukumar Canada)
Although the dream that I must have kept alive in my memory had withered away, I felt it would come back to me sooner or later. But as the imagery of my trance seemed almost crisp and clear in my mind, it again slipped further away from me. However much I tried, I couldn’t get a full grasp on that vision I had held dear and near earlier. Whenever I wanted to tell my friends about it, it evaded my memory and remained distant. When I mentally asserted that I was trying to remember the dream just to convince myself of its existence and not to narrate it to my friends, I felt that both my memory of it and my inability to remember it remained aloof. Finally, I promised myself that I will not share it with anyone even if I was able to remember it in vivid detail. Then that scattered dream started re-emerging inside me with wonderful details and order. Yes, now I can behold the vision in its fullness.
At first, the image was that of a river breaching the jungle in two. It kept flowing as if it was the never-ending stream of time itself. From that water emerged a damsel, she was the water in person, swimming swiftly to the man sitting on the bank. When she raised herself from the water, several streams flowed from her body like rivulets brimming from a mountain. Water flowed over the highs and lows of her body carrying part of her essence from the highs and depositing it at the lows. As the dissolution and infilling continued, the one sitting on the river bank was engrossed in grasping that vision, craving for more, his eyes wandering throughout the topology of her body.
As she came out of the river and moved on, a stream started from her forehead and flowed down touched the tip of her nose, fell between her ample round breasts, and continued down. From her left and right shoulders, two rivulets set off and circled her breasts, finally meeting with the other stream at her naval. From there the three became one, circled her waist, and disappeared into the split of her beautifully round buttocks. There the rivers got absorbed in the Adi Moolam- the beginning point of the existence itself. The man sat at the bank, witnessing, all rivers originated and perished in her.
He looked at her and she looked back. She had long, thick hair that spread below her beautiful back, giving her a wild, unparalleled beauty; she was a large, tall palm tree with unseen roots that went unfathomable depths. He was completely mesmerized by the scene. Her eyelashes were wet, and her cheeks and lips were red in anticipation of the union. She was ready to entice her man with all she had to offer, and he was helpless. She is moving closer to him slowly rising from the water revealing her waist and the lower reaches of her body.
At first, she was the water and he was the riverbank, then she came closer and closer until the river became the bank. Wherever she touched her feet, the land got wet accepting the natural harmony, singing the lore of their synergy.
She was as pleasant and pristine as a newborn soul, but he was lost. He was just a nameless form. She looked at his raw state of being. His hair and beard had grown wildly. The body hair originated at his chest continued down around the sign of his manhood. She looked at him without any coyness and enjoyed viewing the core sign of his man-body. He looked her back. The primeval sign is a minus sign. A plus sign is just an illusion when two minus signs are put one across the other. It is a derived spectacle from a primordial entity.
She was overwhelmed with love, knowing that this miracle was waiting long for her, the original minus sign to appear before him.
‘Shall we walk in the forest?’ she asked holding his hands cupped within hers.
It was the month of Shravan, a period when there was bound to be an immediate bond between people who meet for the first time as if they have been together for long. They feel as if they had held each other’s hand in the past when they had once walked in a dark forest.
They continued their hike under the spreads of banyan trees laden with fruit and through the tall mahoganies. They saw tigers going to the river to quench their thirst. Magnificent male tigers looked at them as if they knew their secret. Female tigers walked shoulder to shoulder with their cubs. They kept sniffing the bodies of those forest dwellers with curiosity.
She lifted a baby tiger in her arms and holding it tight against her breasts, kissed it. She tickled it, scratching its back lovingly. The cub touched her breasts which made her hold it even tighter, before releasing it to its mother who was waiting patiently.
He was not at all surprised by the docile nature of the wild animals. He knew that when nature and man join amiably, wild animals become friendly. Then the forest is not an unknown territory and there is no otherness in them. It is most natural when no one is at odds with each other. If he hadn’t realized this truth, he would have been a sumptuous dinner to some cruel wild animals already.
Next, they walked past a group of elephants eating bamboo shoots. Baby elephants jumped around enjoying their company and rubbed their shoulders in merry. A lonely male elephant, although looking quite cantankerous, raised his trunk to greet them. A king cobra with a large V sign slithered away calmly between their feet.
“I am tired,” she told him. “Can we get something to eat?”
He looked around.
Seeing a large honey-comb at the top of a tree he started climbing. She enjoyed dearly the scene of her naked man climbing up the tree. He hadn’t smeared even the wild cumin paste to escape stinging from honeybees. They will not sting him as they would see him as one of them. When he is among tigers, he is a tiger and amongst the trees, he is a tree. His body is but just an elevated expression of existence that rooted deeply in the past.
She sat on a large rock below with honey saved in a bowl made up of leaf, waiting for him to join. He came down bringing some sweet fruits along with the honey.
She took a bite of fruit.
He took a bite from the same fruit.
Again, she took a bite.
He did the same.
As they took turns in biting into the fruit, it disappeared without leaving a trace as to who took the last bite.
Then he poured the honey on her tongue through a small hole he had made at the bottom of the leaf-bowl. Her mouth and taste buds fully entranced in that sweetness. She held the leaf bowl touching his lips and poured the honey. It flowed as a single thread through his lower lip and then on to his bearded jaw and the hairy chest, finally reaching his naked manhood. She licked it all up and he stood elated.
The heat of honey made them crazy with lust. She poured the left-over honey on him and he did the same on her body.
They stood holding on to each other tightly with their honey-drenched bodies when butterflies started fluttering around them attracted by the sweet smell of honey. As the man and woman enjoyed tasting honey from their bodies, butterflies also took part in the feast. They stood below large trees with vast spreads of branches, large and small. It was not just a tree and he was not just a man. He was the tree and the tree, the man. The body was just an elevated expression of existence that rooted deeply in the past.
Memories don’t have a beginning or an end.
It is for the forgetfulness in one, that has both.
When forgetfulness begins, memories start fading. It is in one of those moments when memories evaded him that he woke up in a forgetful pass where he was bound by a teenager’s shyness. He started becoming aware of his nakedness. His shyness made the woman also shy of her display and she became a teenage lass. When he looked at her body for the first time with love and curiosity, she found it rather difficult to cover her breasts that were throbbing in excitement. He enjoyed the scene of her futile attempts to cover her body with her two tiny hands that were inadequate.
Her quivering lips were red. Noting that, he also started melting in the heat of love. When they both surpassed the sense of baffle of getting caught naked, he laughed, and she couldn’t hold it any longer either. She made a garland of wildflowers and adorned it on his neck symbolizing that he is her man. He brought her closer and shared the same garland making her his woman. Then he embraced her with his hands as if garlanding her body. Wild creepers started spreading all over his hands as veins and he got tensed up. The southern breeze was wild and powerful that she couldn’t breathe under his clutch. He planted a passionate kiss on her lips and that wouldn’t end for long. They will never be separate anymore even in a deluge as that kiss had started at the beginning of time itself. He made her one with himself removing even her natural pride of thinking that she is the one that made him a man. It was like an atom melting and merging in the infinite existence.
A young man who passed the age of adolescence and rivetted in lust is like a wild forest gust. He is erect to the sky and is in his supreme form. There she doesn’t have any control over him. She became a submissive lass and started to caress him from head to toe. She has shed her teenager’s bashfulness and used her limbs to give pleasure stroking his manhood like an experienced prostitute adept in her job. Her vigorous acts thrilled him to a state of madness. She employed her lips and tongue along with her limbs of action and limbs of knowledge to bring him to the peak of his emotional self. She got excited knowing that he is captivated in ecstasy. She met him at the zeniths of high mountains, at the ferocious flow of mighty waterfalls, at the epicenters of hurricanes, at the depths of the seven seas, at the inner earth in the molten lavas, and at the frozen outer skies. Firestorms with thunder erupted at that heavenly moment when his essence reached her. Even the last thread of cloth that separated them got asunder and they melted into each other in that crazy union. They became forests, oceans, skies, infinite, and nothing.
The sperm from the man entered the woman to form the seed of the universe.
Once he shared his essence with her, he was empty. He didn’t even remember the ecstatic union he just had. He became a baby sleeping on her lap. He was the peace incarnate.
Look at his childlike innocence! He was like a clean crystal without any shade of emotional upheaval at all. Within no time that scene evoked a motherly feeling in her. She started stroking his hair as if to ensure his repose. As his eyelids became heavy with stupor, he held her tight with his tender hands. Milk dripped from her breasts upon his tender touch. She wanted to suckle him badly.
She kissed the sleeping darling on the top of his head. In that stage of half-sleep, he called “Ma….”. That was enough to melt her away totally.
She wanted to put him to sleep. Within her bosom, she had kept a lot of secret stories of interdependence for that naughty lad. He would sleep only after hearing a few stories.
“You must close your eyes if you want to hear stories.”
“Yes, I have closed my eyes.”
“My dear, what do you see when you close your eyes?”
“Forests, mountains, rivers!”
“I can see the sky and the fire too.”
When he called out to his mother from that state of brilliance, there was no answer. He called out for her again and again. She wouldn’t answer. Finally, his call for his mother became illegibly feeble like that of an infant.
He strode back from the age of three to two years and then two to one and so on. He became a six-month-old. He suckled her breasts moving and beating his legs uncontrollably. Now he is a one-month-old-baby. He smiled divinely showing off his toothless gums. He moved even further back beyond the moment of his birth and stayed drowsy inside her womb as the fetus. There he was split into twenty-three chromosomes drenched in the memories of the past, as innate tendencies. It traveled further back to the sperm-filled semen, shot by the man into nature and reached the state of basic seed in him. He took back what he has given away and gave away what he has taken in, thus melting in one another forever.
By then I was thrown into the angsts of life, the dream got thrown out through the windows to the dark nights of the forest lands. Being able to sleep in the forest, is a luxury and I did live through the dream with all its intensity. I promised my mind that I wouldn’t reveal this vision to anyone else. When a dream cannot be shared with someone, it is nothing but life itself. How swiftly had my life embraced loneliness even though I was amidst three bosom buddies!
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