A Tale of Love; the Ingredient, a Silken Cord
There are so many articles on Hub Pages regarding how to pass the time during the period of confinement of the "China virus". One of the best methods to pass the time is to write dream stories and fantasies for people to read. Some may be true and some not true but that is part of the game. So let's get going.
There is a beautiful place in Punjab by the name of Malerkotla. Situated in the heart of a pastoral environment it is a prosperous place with a host of rich farmers and landlords. In this place among pastoral surroundings lived a rich landlord in palatial splendor. He lived in a large palace and like most men from Punjab, this man named Ghulam Rasool was tall and handsome.
Ghulam Rasool had reached the age of 21 and we all know that at this age the parents start looking around for a match. In his case also something similar happened because he was still a bachelor. His mother was keen that he married a girl from a reputed and good family and accordingly she broached the subject to him. She told him,
“Ghulam, it’s about time you got married.”
“But I don’t want to marry now, Mom please wait for some time more.”
“No,” was the curt reply,” as I have already selected a girl for you.”
Ghulam was not inclined to oppose his mother and secretly he exulted in the fact that he would have a beautiful girl as a bride.
The lady duly selected a beautiful slim girl from “Good family” and bound the young Ghulam into matrimony. The girl's name was Nasreen and she was very beautiful. Ghulam saw Nasreen during the Nikah and secretly felt pleased with the choice of his mother. Being just twenty-one he was consumed by lascivious thoughts, which is, of course, normal and he looked forward to the nuptial night.
The girl was a domineering and aggressive woman. In addition, she had been briefed by her mother on how to go about in the palace and keep the husband under her thumb. The girl thought she would play a game with Ghulam and when during the nuptial night Ghulam approached her she rebuffed him. She didn’t allow Ghulam to touch her on the first night. Ghulam approached her three times and, on each occasion, she rebuffed him. He tried to kiss her toes and got a small kick in the bargain. That was the end for poor Ghulam who lay in bed greatly agitated while his wife snored away to the land of Nod. This state of affairs continued for three nights and Nasreen felt a sense of power over Ghulam. In the daytime, she was shy and demure and Ghulam could not fathom what was happening.
The Tryst in the Kitchen
On the fourth night, the same thing was repeated and a frustrated Ghulam got up from the bed and went into the palace. He stood in the balcony for some time and after that made its way into the dining hall. His wife was merrily sleeping away. He went to the refrigerator and took out some cheese and began to munch it. His attention was distracted when he heard a soft sound from the kitchen. Ghulam wondered who could be in the kitchen at this unearthly hour. There was total silence in the palace only the soft sounds emanated from the kitchen.
Ghulam slowly walked towards the kitchen door and peeped inside. He was a little despondent but the moment he looked into the kitchen he was overwhelmed by what. he saw. He saw the beautiful maid Meena standing by the sink and washing the utensils. He had seen her earlier in the palace and had always liked her but he never knew how to go about talking to her with his mother moving all around. Thwarted by his wife Ghulam eyed the maid closely. She was perhaps about eighteen but was extremely fair and beautiful.
Ghulam thought it the best time to talk to the maid. He was aware of her beauty; something he had never noticed earlier. Here was a goddess in the house and he, Ghulam had never noticed it. He sucked in his breath as the girl lifted her ghagra to wipe the wet dishes, revealing a pair of exquisite legs with rounded calves. Ghulam now decided that he would make Nasreen pay for her intransigence and stubbornness.
He gently entered and shut the kitchen door. As the door clicked shut the soft sound startled the maid who dropped her Ghagra ( Skirt) and looked at Gulam slightly flustered. She recognized him as the master and her heartbeats quickened because she always had a crush on the master of the house.
“Sir,” she asked, “What are you doing here?”
Ghulam did not reply. The look on his face conveyed everything and Meena was aware that the master was greatly attracted to her. In the state of mind, Ghulam had a raging obsession and he whispered “Meena…. you are beautiful.”
“Sir..." was all that Meena could say.
She wanted to say something but Ghulam took advantage of her confusion and gathered her in his arms and kissed her full on the lips. Meena again prepared to say something, but Ghulam was on her. The maid had seen many films of Bollywood which had tales of rich men marrying maidservants and she acquiesced to the demands of Ghulam. Meena was overwhelmed.
The Silken Cord
The maid Meena had long admired the Master. She thus did not oppose him. The night was spent in rare transports of joy and later they lay in each other's arms
“Meena,” Ghulam whispered, “what next, how do we meet again?.”
" Sir,” the maid replied, “I also want to meet you but how can we meet without your wife coming to know about it."
Ghulam thought for a moment and then he had a brainwave.
“Listen,” he said, “I shall tie a silken cord to my toe and let it hang out of the window at night. When you are ready and my wife is asleep gently tug the thread and after that go to the kitchen and await me.”
This bit of wisdom delighted Meena and she was greatly impressed with the suggestion of Ghulam.
The nights began to pass in pure bliss for the couple. Ghulam would tie a silken cord to his big toe and would let it hang outside the window. The maid would come whenever the moons were not on her and she would stand below the window and gently tug the cord. The moment the maid pulled the cord, Ghulam would know that his love had come and he would untie the cord from his toe and quietly slip out to the kitchen. The two would spend hours and hours in each other’s arms.
As the days passed Nasreen started getting worried. She began to wonder why her husband no longer approached her. She wondered at his lack of interest and her mind was prey to many fears.
One night she decided to stay awake. She feigned sleep but then her foot touched the silken cord. it soon occurred to her that some subterfuge was afoot. She immediately tracked the silken cord to the window and with a beating heart waited for whatever was to happen. She was sure she would soon see the person who had captivated the heart of her husband. She sat waiting to see who there was.
Ghulam saw all this happening and he decided to lie still. Luck was with him as Meena did not come that night as the moons were on her.
The next day Nasreen thought it best not to bring up the subject to her husband's notice but in her mind, she thought that she could consult the maid Meena and take her advice. After lunch, she spoke to Meena of her fears and told her of the silken cord. Meena listened intently. Her mind was in a whirl and she thanked her stars that yesterday night she had not tugged the cord. She had a brain wave and a brilliant idea crossed her mind.
“Madam," she said, " don’t worry. I suggest that tonight you tie the silken cord to your toe and let it hang out of the window. You will at once know who Ghulam’s passion is and then we both will thrash her."
A Happy Ending?
Meena had a fertile mind and on the spur of the moment, she had hatched a diabolical plot to retrieve the situation. Nasreen thanked Meena and decided that tonight she would tie the silken cord to her toe. Ghulam saw all this happening and he was perturbed but he kept quiet and that night he just lay quietly.
Meena went to the village and met the powerful Bheema. She told him, " I will let you into a secret. There is a woman in the palace who is on the lookout for a lover and for this purpose, she ties a silken cord on her toe and hangs it out of the window. Anyone courageous enough can go to the window and pull the cord and then open the main door and the princess will be in his arms."
" I don't believe it."
Meena laughed, "try it tonight."
That night Nasreen tied the cord to her toe and let it hang out of the window. She lay expectantly. Sensing trouble Ghulam did not tie the cord. To her vindictive glee, the thread was gently tugged from outside.
Ghulam fell asleep and Nasreen got up with a beating heart and rushed to the main door. Her mind a prisoner of obsessive fear. She wished to know the identity of the lover. With a trembling heart, she opened the door. To her amazement, the waiting figure turned out to be a virile young man from the village, the powerful Bheema who crushed her hungrily in a mighty embrace.
Nasreen was confused as the man carried her to the couch. She quivered violently and no sound came from her throat as she was overwhelmed by the turn of events.
As Bheema kissed her he murmured softly, "my princess, a lovely girl told me that in this palace, there is a lovely woman who slept with a thread tied to her toe…I doubted it…but finally decided to find out…and it’s all true.”
This bit of wisdom numbed her and the deed was done. Bhima showered moist kisses on her and told her, "my princess I will come again tomorrow. Please keep the cord hanging out of the window."
She now knew that Meena was the lover of Ghulam. Doubtless, it was Meena who had arranged this tryst by feeding an imaginary and lascivious tale to the strongest man in the village of women who tied a silken cord outside their window in search of lovers. She felt a perverted pleasure and satisfaction at her revenge. For many nights thereafter Nasreen would secretly steal to the living room while Ghulam would heave a sigh of relief and head for the kitchen.
The inevitable was to happen as one day Nasreen told Ghulam
“Ghulam, I am pregnant”
The words seemed to knock the breath out of him.
“How?” He said, “it’s not possible.”
And then the stark reality struck him in the face. How could he tell this to anyone? He would perforce have to acknowledge this child as his own.
What happened next? Did the powerful Bhima continue his love with the mistress of the house and did the maid get anything in return from the Master of the house. I think I shall keep that for a subsequent story.