Warning : Adult content
“Okay, I’m ready…mineral,” I said, hardly able to contain the excitement in my voice. She would never be able to guess this one.
She had turned on her side, away from me and I couldn’t see her face. “Rohinidi, I said I’m ready…mineral, do you mind? We don’t have much time.”
‘What’s the good word’ has always been a favorite of mine. If you and I were spending time together, chances are good that I would coerce you into playing it with me. It doesn’t need anything, just your mind and at least one or more others to play it with. One thinks of a word and specifies only one thing – whether the word is an ‘animal (anything animate, living or dead)’, ‘mineral (an object) or ‘vegetable (botanical)’.
The others have twenty questions, including three guesses, to figure out what the word is. The questions have to be framed such that the answer is either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. I play it even now, with the kid who lives in my home, all the time. He thinks of rock bands and I, of movie stars, specifically one movie star – Scarlett Johannsen. You know about my yen for Scarlett Johannsen, don’t you? When it is the kid’s turn to ask the questions, the first one always is,’ is it Scarlett Johannsen?’
But let’s not talk of the present. It’s not erotic enough. Besides, this is supposed to be a nostalgic reverie, of events that happened, or so I think they did, 47 years ago.
Back at the lakeside grassy knoll, Rohini’s shoulder sagged a bit. Thinking she might have dozed off, I shook her gently by her shoulder. She had one of her signature sleeveless banyans on and where my hand grasped her shoulder, it was bare and had a film of sweat over it. Kolkata in July is where the term ‘being drenched in sweat’ comes from.
I turned toward her, wet blades of grass lifting off the sloping bank of the lake and clinging to the back of my t-shirt. I was an inch away from her, my head resting on my outstretched right arm. There was the Dabur Amla, sweat and Ponds Dreamflower aroma about her that I instantly recognized. It should have turned me on but strangely, that afternoon it didn’t.
On the back of her neck, slightly below her left ear, was a tattoo, about an inch in overall size. It was an anchor. I ran my fingertip on it and she stirred, reaching behind her and patting my hand. “Why an anchor?” I said.
She didn’t stir. I snaked my free arm over her shoulder, feeling for her chin and cupping it in my palm. Her chin felt moist. Gently I began turning her face toward me. First her torso twisted and then she lifted up and turned around, so that her knees bumped gently against mine. Her eyes were slits, from the glare of the pale blue sky above, long eyelashes fluttering just a bit, making it a bit windy in there. She was crying. God, I loved this girl so. It was almost physical, a heaviness at the pit of my ribcage. In another ten hours, she would be leaving for the airport.
My aunt had really been relieved to see Rohini go. For her, Rohini’s demeanor, her dress code and nearly everything else about her, had been wayward and scandalous. To Guludada and Ronudada, she had been nothing but a precocious girl who had a few loose screws on her head. As for Rohini, the welcome had worn off in the week and my aunt’s home had turned into nothing more than a bed & breakfast joint, except that this B&B had a cute, funny boy living upstairs, the very sight of whom turned her on.
Until one Sunday afternoon, late July 1968, something happened that resulted in my being uprooted from my aunt’s home and put in a boarding school, the La Martiniere for Boys, in faraway Lucknow.
Have you ever heard a woman tell you to ‘love me with just your lips’? If you have, I hope you haven’t refused the favor. I have yet to find a woman who doesn’t enjoy some honest to good head and Rohini conformed to that stereotype. I have known plenty of men who say ‘yuck’ but don’t listen to them. It is a thoroughly pleasurable carnal pursuit for both, you as well as your woman. Just make sure she washes first.
I heard those words for the first time, at the ripe age of 13, I am proud to announce. We were in the chather ghor, my little room on the rooftop, where Rohini had begun spending more and more time as the summer went by, ostensibly to help with my English Lit and History vacation assignments. She did help, of that there is little doubt. Why do you think I am such a well-rounded personality today?
Rohini was leaning on a pillow on the cot that stood at the corner by the wall and reading from the notes on Raja Rammohan Roy. She had one of her many sleeveless banyans on and a flowing skirt that should have covered her upto her ankles but had moved up well above her knees by the time Raja RMR was in college and worrying about emancipating women. Well, the one on my cot sure was emancipated.
I sat at my desk, which was right next to the cot, the two maybe just six inches apart. My head was turned toward her, my chin resting on my palm and my mind blank, unable to concentrate on the words that were coming out of her mouth. She must have sensed the effect that the sight of her was having on me, because suddenly she set the notes aside, swiveled around till she was laying crosswise on the bed, with her head on the far side, bent forward and jammed up against the wall. Her legs, from crotch down, were off the cot, her heels coming to rest on the edge of the table, their pink soles of her feet turned facing me.
Her move across the bed had hitched Rohini’s skirt up even higher and I was discerning enough to realize that she had no underwear on. That’s how I got my first glimpse of a vulva. I didn’t know the word then of course. Relishing the consternation on my face, Rohini contracted and relaxed her muscles and it sort of pouted at me.
“Want a closer look?” Rohini was grinning now. She hooked her left heel around my neck and pulled me toward her. I was leaning too far forward and it was hurting, so I slipped off the chair and came down on my knees on the floor, by the bed. She slipped forward some more so I was now just inches away from her. She was all puffed up there, covered by a mass of curly pubic hair.
“This here is the clitoris,’ said Rohini, tweaking the little knob that was nestled at the upper junction of the lips. It appeared flushed and purple, “and these are the vaginal lips and this groove here is the urethral sponge and here is the opening, the gates to heaven. Here, feel it, go ahead…**moan**. There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?”
And that is how I met my first vaginal lips, the first urethral sponge and the very first of the many clitorises in my life. Should that have been clitori, instead of clitorises, you think? I hate bad grammar. In any case, it was a whole new world and that afternoon I felt the way David Livingstone must have felt when he spotted his first pygmy or the amazement with which Howard Carter regarded the door to King Tut’s tomb.
“Do me, cutie, love me with your lips,” breathed Rohini. She placed her palms on either side of my head and gently tugged, while at the same time she wound her legs over my shoulders and dragged my torso in. She was close and she smelled of Pears Sandalwood soap down there. She had prepared for this.
I began hesitatingly. There is no shame in admitting that I was scared. Hernan Cortès must have felt exactly the same way when he found himself at the gates of Tenochtitlan. Rohini flung her legs even wider now, her knees touching her chest. A low steady moan emanated from her parted lips, somewhat like a ‘nnnggg,… there, yeah, nnngggg..there, there, no, no, there, yeah….mmoooooh…lower, yeah, there, oh yeah, that feels …nnnngggggood, don’t stop.’
Those were words that I would have understood even if Rohini had spoken them in Swahili. She had slid down further now, her head thrown back so she was almost looking at the wall upside down. Her palms tightened around my head and I felt like a wayward silkworm with a Daniel Boone-like scout’s zeal, going to town on the petals of a rose.
We were pulling and pushing quite a bit, making the study table heave and jerk. It was not long before Shakespeare, in the form of a paperback Macbeth with my name and roll number on it and the loose pages of my assignment, vacated the table-top in a hurry and came to rest, strewn all over the floor.
And that was the exact moment when Keshtokaka appeared at the door.