Glaring Shadow - A stream of consciousness novel (Part 4, page 1 of 4)


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Part 4

Cradle of Life

“While I was still in the cradle life had signaled that it wouldn’t be a case of the run-of- the-mill for me,” he began delving into his extraordinary life. “You know that kids don’t mind the change of guard at their cradle as long as it was kept rocking. But I was insistent that the one who began should hold on to it till I slept off. I was not even two then and I’ve a vague memory of it. That’s not all, in those days, women invariably used to wear silk saris while performing their daily puja only to change into cotton saris after it was over, and were I to be hungry during her puja time, I was insistent that my mother breastfed me in her auspicious attire without changing into her mundane dress, well I’ve her word for that. The first time my parents took me to the movies is so vivid in my memory. As I was drawn to the heroine, holding sleep at bay, I glued my eyes on her whenever she appeared in a scene. When she failed to grace the silver screen for long to engage my eyes, I sank into my mother’s lap that was after instructing her to wake me up as and when she reappeared. Well, my mother ignored my diktat, and when I woke up on my own, I saw her on the screen. What a fuss I made that my mother let me miss her earlier appearances! All my mom’s assurances that the heroine had reappeared only then and that she was about to wake me up didn’t cut ice with me. I was not even five then.”

“How remarkable it was all that is apart from your photographic memory!”

“Without a solid memory to back it, wherefrom would a sound memoir emerge?” he said with a glint in his eyes. “Maybe we tend to have a grasp of the sensuality of the opposite sex well before we develop a sense of our own sexuality, and it was a teenage girl’s enamored look that ushered me into the turbulence of adolescence. That day, as I was crossing a house in a side-road, it is still vivid in my eyes, as though on cue I turned my head, (he had turned his head sideways as if he was reliving that moment) and found a teenaged beauty with her eyes lost for me. Oh as the fuse of her gaze lighted the bulb of my sexuality, the sensations I had experienced then are beyond my ability to picture in words for you. Though the nascent beats of my infatuated heart made me loiter around her place ever after, I could not see her again. But the memory of the manifestations of the sexual attraction I induced in her never waned, and so, I came to regard that house as a shrine of my life. Maybe, she was a visitor at the house who might have come to wake me up sexually and not to fulfill my life in her possession. Whatever it was, are not small pleasures the lasting ecstasies of life?”

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