Srinagar the city of my birth, swathed in the morning sunshine ,crimson cool and sublime. The brilliance of faraway mountain sunshine was exceedingly beautiful to look at in the early hours of the day.
The city was always agog with gaiety and grandeur all along especially the streets thronged with vibrant crowds on their way to daily chores.
It was 4th july 1962 I was just 16 ,a teenager full of promise to radiate into a handsome lad.
My childhood bosom friend Roshan’s cousin sister was to be married and I had to be there for a week to assist and attend marriage. The Kashmiri marriages last longer say for a week or so.
Roshan my friend came very early in the morning to my house and asked my mother, whome we fondly called Kakni , to allow me to stay for a week with him to assist “ in my sister’s marriage”.
Roshan was very handsome boy , of medium build with bright complexion and a cheerful disposition.
Kakni replied in affirmative while hugging him and I said to Roshan “ I will come by evening.”
I was glad that all was settled and that was it.
He left thereafter without waiting for a cup of tea as he was distributing the invitation cards on his bike. He peddled off to the road across and was seen dashing towards the main Chowk onto his way home , without even waving to me.
I put my small things ,a shirt, trouser,a pair of socks and other knick knacks in the knapsack ,keeping my small luggage ready for the city journey to my friend’s place.
I, being the youngest among my three brothers, more conniving of them put together. May be due to the pampering of my mother and father both.
My mother ,Kakni interrupted “ you should not take too much spicy food ,marriage food is very unhealthy over fried and cooked with too much oil and red chillies, like Dam Alo,etc.” “ did you understand what I am talking about” she continued angrily.
“yes yes ,I will take yellow and curd dishes more .” I replied briefly.
The 4th July afternoon was dark laden with thick dark clouds and fog. The wind was blowing strongly and possibly the rains could pour down at any time.
I slung the knapsack on my left shoulder and started for my visit to Roshan’s place.
A flash of lightening followed by a roaring thunder made me to cross the square and race down the streets to cross the Habbakadal bridge as soon as possible. For a moment the Habbakadal Chowk plunged into darkness and hush fell all over until the noise of the horse driven Tongas carried over in speed , breaking the deafening silence.
The rains finally came but not in torrents as expected but steadily and slowly ,the rain drops slithering down my fluffy cheeks softly wetting my face and hair.
I took the right sharp turn and entered the famous Barbuz lane ,a small alley with pucca tile pavements on either side with tarred metallic road to walk through. Due to rains the lane was slippery and I cautiously strode on and on criss crossing the lanes, by- lanes till I finally arrived at Roshan’s house decorated adequately for the wedding ceremony.
The large front door was bedecked with flowers of various colours and the guests were moving around the large lounge in purple ,blue green typical Kashmiri dresses with hand embroidery at the corners or in the middle .
Roshan’s father Dwarkanathji announced my arrival in chaste kashmiri
“haiyey Brij kaul hai Aave maun toth ” . meaning hey brij kaul has come my dearest one.
I saw a number of guests in and around greeting with ‘Namaskar maharra’ — welcome welcome .
After greeting all the guests I asked for Roshan and his sister Krishna ,a young petite girl,directed me upstairs and I eventually landed into the room where all our friends had gathered over a booze.
Meanwhile the evening prepared to slip into the night and the ladies started gathering in large numbers in the adjacent hall for celebrating the ‘Mehandi Rat’ the ladies Sangeet night ;
an expert Henna designer was busy in anointing the hands and feet of ladies, children with Henna in different patterns designs .
The other ones dancing to the tune of Kashmiri songs
in full gusto.
Our friends and the other gentlemen in the room next were still enjoying themselves a bit noisily with the whisky punch and other tandoori starters.
Down in the large hall dinner was being served. The dinner was excellent , very traditionally Kashmiri in content and substance both.
It commenced with delicious vegetable broth containing cauliflower, tomatoes and prunes followed by lavish other Kashmiri dishes both vegetarian as well as non -veg ones. Dam Alo, cottage cheese, Sour Brinjal , Roganjosh, Yakhani, minced mutton balls cooked in red chillies. and many more ones
For dessert, there were jellies, Gulab Jamuns and host of other fruit creams etc.
The guests were darting in and out of the dinning hall finding the experience enjoyable.
I quietly had my dinner in the farther corner of the verandha . It was 10 minutes past ten oclock night already. Iwas feeling a bit sleepy after having a sumptuous dinner.
Outside there was some respite in the rains but the thick clouds continued hovering over the sky .
I went upstairs to listen to ladies music for while ,the woman in pink dress was swaying her hips to the tune of a popular Bollywood song and others singing and dancing with gaeity.
A hand on my shoulder woke me up from my reverie and saw an elderly woman an ,aunty of Roshan whispering affectionately to me “ Brij ji will you accompany her pointing towards a young beautiful lady dressed in pink sari with brown shawl draped over her shoulders, to her home . She is alone and lives in Banamohalla, a nextdoor colony. please just do this favour to me.” she pleaded with finality.
A repugnant incident
It was mid night and we stepped out of Roshan’s sprawling house in the cold night for journey to Banamohalla a distance of 5 to 6 kms .
The wind ,a bit harsh whipped at the young lady’s brown shawl ,the sari was worn tightly as we headed up the tiled alley ,lighted feebly by a yellow lamp post. The alley was long dingy one and we crossed a maze of streets paved with white brown tiles and the rain water flowed into the open gutters on the end of each street,
we did not talk but walked briskly on and on.
“your name young boy” she asked me to break the silence.
“Brij” I replied briefly.
“ yours” “
“Manorma” she replied smilingly.
She lifted her face towards the sky ,while closing her eyes as she inhaled some fresh air.
“I like the starry sky but no stars today”.
“The clouds are thinning out and it should be a sunny morning tomorrow” She spoke to me.
I simply nodded in assent.
we crossed the lane and turned right into main road, the tall huddled buildings stood on either way and after crossing the busy street we reached the house of Manorma my lady guest .
The house was a gracious pile of moderate size with white sloping roof and the gate graced with ivy creepers all along two pillars with broad door.
“ Right madam you have reached your home I should go now” I said politely.
“no no young man come inside for a cup of tea .” she dragged me holding my hand firmly and went inside the gracious house.
I pleaded to go but of no avail.
she seemed adamant and did not listen.
I got my hand free and followed her quietly. The corrider was long dimly lit with a yellow lamp dangling from the farther corner .There was one servant sleeping in the far end of the corridor ,who got up saying something to the lady and slept again.
The lady went upstairs nodding me to follow. I hesitated briefly but followed her right in to room and closed the door behind me and walked into a big sitting area.
A small wooden lamp burning on the small table threw shadow on to the side space possibly for changing dress etc.
she threw her shawl on to the chair ,removed her sari and put on night gown partly unbuttoned. she went to a side room and in trice came with two cups of tea.
“just drink that you will feel a bit comfortable” she said handing over the tea cup. I readily accepted that without discerning anything sinister . I stared at her elbows moving and revealing her part of bodice in her loose sleeves.
she nudged me a bit and sat close to me taking the cup from my hand and held me close to her breasts.I felt awkward and tried to get up but she firmly pushed me to her bosom in a firm clasp sealing my lips with a kiss.
She pushed her peachy fruits into my mouth and held me entrapped in her hug, revealing her radiant enormous nudity beyond my imagination.
I tried to wriggle out and run away but being more powerful she assumed woman superior position and pinned me down.
kneeling down she lapped up my male part adjusting it to her magical pigeon hole.
She lusted for the thrusts and indulged in such sinful acts with ecstasy.
I felt the pain and agony .
There tears welled up in my eyes, my heart pounding in my chest fiercely . The room looked claustrophobic and Iwanted to throw her aside to seek freedom into the open world outside.
In a flash I felt power in my arms and threw her away to extricate from her clutches.
Picking up my clothes and buttoning my pants I zipped down and ran way from the back door of the corridor into the garden skidding over a wicker door into the open street. I explored the maze of strees ,narrow winding of the quaint old city .
I reached Roshan’s house, spotted Roshan in the Langar (cooking) area and related the repugnant incident to him.
His initial reaction was anger “who the hell she was, who told you to accompany her” he blurted out angrily.
The head cook noticed something amiss and came with cups of Kashmiri Kahwa . we drank the tea and Roshan calmed down .
“ we should not tell about this incident to anyone.” he declared “ nobody will trust us that she was maniac and seduced you , instead people might raise fingers at you.so keep it buried in your thoughts for ever.”He said with an air of finality.
Roshan ,though one year older to me, but was endowed with much more wisdom and maturity of thoughts.
Roshan, my dearest one, a thorough gentleman , passed away in 2005 at the young age of 59 never to return. I pray to God every moment for his peace in the heaven.
I am hopping around with some more tales to tell in the coming years.