Benign Flame: Saga of Love (Enriched Edition) (Part 10, page 1 of 6)

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Part 10

Sinking into the sofa on reaching home, Roopa closed her eyes as if to eliminate the environs, and began to focus her thoughts on the object of her agitation. ‘This is yours by right,’ she recalled Ravi’s words as she felt for the pearl on her breast. Finding it in the left cup, she retrieved it like a treasure and posited it on her palm in adoration. Then gazing at it lovingly, she recalled his complement, ‘In terms of money it costs next to nothing, but it symbolizes beauty at its very best, seen through a connoisseur’s eyes.’

‘Those were the words of a confident man who is handsome as well,’ she thought endearingly. ‘How his eyes glowed the moment they fell on me! Didn’t his demeanor evidence the conviction his compliment carried.’ While the alluring praise endeared the pearl to her receptive mind, her innate vanity was catered to by the accomplishments of the man who presented it thus. She bowed her head, as though in reverence to it, and kissing the thing with affection, she held it by her lips while reclining like the reigning queen.

‘What he should’ve thought of me, for accepting it?’ as it occurred to her at length, she recoiled at that. ‘Haven’t I given him scope for hope? Oh yes, I did.’ It was only time before she was distressed that she had compromised her honor, and terrified, she dropped the pearl. ‘That’s why he stressed that we meet again. But, why did I allow him to take me for granted?’ She felt ashamed. As she got vexed with herself, she resented the very thought of him.

It’s the character of man woman chemistry that feminine tendencies catalyze male proclivities. Carried away by the euphoria of her coquetry, man begins to woo woman with hope. With her vanity thus addressed by his advances, she turns flirtatious, furthering his passion for her possession. In the excitement of the moment, should he transgress the threshold of her sensitivity, fearing she had compromised her honor, she sinks in shame. Thereafter, she withdraws from him to brood over her infirmity, and in the end, as though to atone for her moment of weakness, she cold-shoulders him altogether, making him wonder what went wrong in the midst of his conquest.

Picking up the pearl from her lap, she flung it through the window as though to sever her humiliation. ‘It must be his device to entice women,’ she cursed herself for having given a poor account of herself to him. ‘Why did I fail to fling the thing at him, then and there? Had I done that, it would have given him the real measure of my true worth. Instead of showing him his place, I gave him cause to think in terms of conquest. What a shame! But why did I allow myself to get carried away? Surely he would have taken me for a flirt or a slut even for all that. Oh, how I compromised myself.’

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