I was on a train, the legendary Venad Express, from Trivandrum to Kottayam. A little away from where I sat, a young woman stood, alone among a group of men. There are certain women who may not be ‘beautiful’ or ‘pretty’ in the conventional sense, but they emanate a certain aura of attraction that is irresistible. It might be due to their physique, grace, sexiness, eyes, a body language that signals promiscuity, a promise of abandonment and great delight. Men are drawn towards them by the pull of an ‘animal’ attraction. This young woman was of that kind. After the initial yearning in my loins and then the realization that I am too old to desire her, compared to the young hulks hovering around, I decided to observe the men instead of the attractive girl.
Some gaped at her; some pretended not to notice her but every now and then stole a glance at her with so bright a glare of lust in their eyes. Middle-aged men with hair and whiskers dyed in black, practically salivated. There was a pregnant, awkward silence there, where each man seemed to envy the other or would even fight each other for having to share the privilege of just devouring the woman with their eyes. It was a morning train and most of the passengers were daily commuters. Men who moved through the aisle tried to brush past her; those who stood around her glared with hostility and silent warnings of suppressed aggression. The aisle was too crowded that she couldn’t shift from where she stood. Were the men pawing her? The train moved along and the passengers nodded and jerked in rhythm. Are the men swinging too close to her? The men around her had impassive countenances.
Then I looked at her and our eyes met. I could see fear in her gray eyes. She was frightened. She seemed to burn in the heat of lust that enveloped her. She looked at me with tremulous eyes that spoke of helplessness; a helplessness of her sexuality that she knew was affecting the men. She is lovely, I thought, if I were younger, I’d whisk her away to some secret island and live and love forever. In me, a mixture of love and lust twisted and coiled and rolled like snakes mating, and convoluted themselves into inextricable thongs of passion.
In my rooms at Kottayam that night I brooded over the girl – over a couple of whiskies. And lo! I wrote my first poem!
I, Your Eye
Where do thy eyes look?
Into my heart?
It skips a beat –
Behind the grayness
Lurks passion wild
Men smell heat- they sweat-
Lurch - an offering- of manhood.
Care! Mine has
My heart in it, hold -
Close to thy cheek -
My heart, you.
********** Balachandran V, Trivandrum, 17-05-2011