Aviraj could not keep his eyes from her, his aunt’s stately beauty, dressed as Lavanya was in a cream silk blouse, the short sleeves glittering from the pearl decorations so carefully sewn into the fabric of its sleeves, the hem of her long skirt similarly embellished as far as he could see.
Her choice silk saree, in palest yellow and decorated by a maroon band on which sequins and embroidery glittered, complimented the glow of her skin, her oval face all but bereft of makeup save for the red bindi at the ridge of her straight nose and the dark red, almost maroon, lipstick that she had applied to brighten an already captivating smile he had seen deployed on others.
They were all gathered in the garden, Arun, the child’s father all would suppose, deciding on who of the women would first sit on the rugs and could fuss over the infant, a son of some three weeks. They were gathered for the child’s naming ceremony, and he wailed from being handed from one pair of hands to another as the women in the extended Chowdhury family delighted in him.
He suppressed a shiver on seeing how the sun caught the auburn tints in Lavanya’s hair, picked out the jewels set in her swaying pendant earrings, how the sequins of her saree glittered.
The woman he gazed at was known to him, their moments of intimacy consigned to the past; the emotions aroused on seeing Lavanya with her cherished son difficult to keep in check.
The beautiful woman before him, so assured now, offered but a fleeting smile and a moment’s sign, from the closing of her eyes as she gazed his way, as if to blot out a memory, that her thoughts were with him and what their affair may have helped her to achieve; the fulfillment of a cherished wish. It would be something neither of them could ever speak of to anyone else.
Avi, as everyone called him, felt a moment’s lingering touch to his arm and turned. He met his sister, Meera’s, smile, her rebellious ways of preferring western dress replaced by traditional wear for events such as this.
‘She looks happy…content and satisfied…for Arun’s sake,’ she observed in little more than a whisper. ‘He has a son and heir…she a child she always wanted.’
‘That is so…’ he smiled, thinly, and soon looking back at mother and child, the boy settled in her arms and Lavanya gazing down fondly into its eyes. ‘They have chosen a good name…Nawal…wonder…’ he went on. ‘After all that they have been through it is a name that fits the child…and their hopes before he was born.’
‘A cousin to us both,’ Meera answered on looking up at him and noting how absorbed he was in the scene playing out before them.
Her cherished brother looked handsome in a cream sherwani, or jacket, along with maroon churidar leggings, the combination in acceptable style and worn with traditional Indian men’s loafers, embroidered leatherwork on the insteps. He had honoured their aunt’s wishes, had not shown up in western-styled clothes that he was usually to be seen wearing. ‘Our lives go on…’
‘Yes sister, they do…now it goes on,’ he replied, whether he wished to acknowledge it or not.
Members of their large family thronged about the women seated on the rugs, with Lavanya at the centre, and many taking pictures with their iPhones, all of them chattering excitedly like a swarm of bees at a nectar source.
‘She will be too busy with Nawal to help you with your business…’
‘I am already in a place where I can progress…I too have moved on,’ he answered woodenly, looking around to see that the men were gathered in their places. The two groups would feast under their respective awnings and mark the occasion in their distinct and traditional ways.
Avi gently eased her hold on his hand. He needed no reminders of how it had become between them once Lavanya had informed him that she was expecting, her joy unconfined and with nothing to be said on who the father might be.
She had moved on from their times of intimacy. But the memories came rushing in like an unstoppable flood brought on by the monsoon rains. Wedding vows and loyalty to Arun were soon violated at a bewildering and purposeful pace after he had turned to her for help with business ideas, Lavanya mentoring him and then becoming his lover.
He had lain between the thighs that the child rested on. His tongue had slid over her pussy’s lips and then circled and darted into her warmth then back down in the preludes of claiming her, or she tugging on his length to bring it to her.
He had pressed his hungering lips to her wonderfully shaped, full, breasts that her saree outlined; he had kissed those smiling lips and had known of them pressed to his skin, to suck on his pole of flesh in wanton ways that he knew would not be repeated; he would not feel again the caress of her fingers now ringed; not the clamp of her hands to his body as they kept him to her, or when she had been impaled on him as she bucked her hips and rode him in wanton submission to his desire to know of it in their wild ways.
He would not hear the soft gasps of effort slowly transformed in quickening, halting breaths as they rutted, made love, satisfied the raging need to know of it, until…until she had asked that he wore no protection, no condom and that he filled her with his seed; her breaths of urgency becoming cries to him that he loved her until he had nothing left to pulse into her only too willing and beautiful body.
He had been the one to find her, to hear Lavanya’s calls that with him it was sublimely different; her orgasms all-consuming and the strength in her body as she wrenched and tugged on him unlike anyone else that he chose to go with.
He might never hear the truth of it, whether he, or Arun, had made the child, but he was happy for her. He found Lavanya wonderful to behold, her face now wreathed in smiles as she spoke soft words of devotion and the deepest of loves for the child, her and Run’s child, that she cradled.
Arun and other men, seated on the rugs and with a feast laid out before them on the cloth-covered squares of wood, made way for him in their midst. He caught Lavanya’s eye as he sat down and looked her way. She knew, but the beautiful woman would not put it into words.
The blaze in her eyes would have to be enough. He would step away and for good. Meera might again be the one to help him through.