Crossing the Mirage:Passing Through Youth (Chapter 7, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 7

That evening as Chandra ventured into the Public Garden, he found his bearings back in the moorings. When he reached his cherished nook, he spotted a girl seated there, with her back to him and with her head buried in her knees. Though his decency demanded retreat, goaded by her appeal in that posture, he tiptoed up to her. Realizing that she was lost in her thoughts to take note of him, he went nearer to her to gauge her visage but couldn't espy her face as she failed to react to his trespass.

However, from that nearness, as the contours of her waist confirmed her teenage and even as her skin began to merge with the color of the setting sun, he stood rooted ogling at her charming back. But when the sun was all set to envelope her slim frame in his shadow, he lounged on the lawn to escape her attention. As though fearing oblivion, and to register their presence for the last time in the day, the nearby bushes began casting their long shadows on the glistening lawn. And that made Chandra eager to get the full measure of her persona before the darkness devoured the vestiges of the vanishing light.

While she got up in grace, as if compelled by his urge, having come out of his trance, he was awestruck by her face. But as her figure too vied for his attention, he felt ennobled by the embodiment of her poise. When she skimmed her sari at her navel and then like a ballerina, she bent at her knees to let the fall of her sari kiss the ground beneath her feet, he ogled her in disbelief. Unknown to her, as he watched her enthralled, she half raised her heels to tuck it under. Seeing her straighten herself to outstretch the fall over her heels, he felt she might be intending to erase her footprints off the ground she would be treading. As she slipped her lithe feet into her velvet slippers, even as his enamored eyes continued to court the contours of her curves, the languid moon seemed all too eager to have a glimpse of her resplendence.

When she bent to pick up her purse, Chandra’s eyes, which had by then grasped the form of her frame, began grappling with the appeal of her seat. When she straightened herself, he got up impulsively, as though to pay obeisance to her angelic self and even though he watched her thereafter, lost to himself, startled by his presence, she stared at him in bewilderment and bowed her head in embarrassment. However, recovering herself readily, she passed by him hurriedly, but crossing the ridge, she turned her head, as though in disbelief. And finding his eyes glued on her, she increased her pace to avoid his stare but soon, sensing that he wasn’t following her, she felt easy. But as his thoughts chased her all the same, she became uneasy and hastened to the exit. It was thus into the twilight, she slipped out of Chandra’s sight that evening.

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