Eyes that hypnotize - short stories online
Eyes that hypnotize
It was drizzling softly outside, a light drizzle that was carried by the wind like a fine spray. It was pleasant after the torrid heat of the day. The blooms of jacaranda tree were swirling and floating dreamily in the wind before landing and adding more more color to the already lavender ground beneath the tree. The garden looked a bright green, the fine spray had cleaned the dust off the leaves. Flowers looked perfect, with droplets of water clinging on to them. The emerald ferns that had grown taller than usual, around the little pond of waterlilies gave the place the appearance of a picture from a fairy tale. Cosmos flowers were dancing to the rhythm of the wind, their delicate stems swaying daintily. In the midst of it all was a woman looking ready to join the flowers in their cosmic dance.
A part of her raven black hair fell over one shoulder and caressed her bosom, the rest flowed down her back and went right below her waist, some like little tendrils of vine curled around her face and framing it beautifully. She was so lost in the beauty around her. Her charcoal-violet eyes, danced merrily ready to hypnotise the unsuspecting admirer. The young woman appeared more like a child with her energy, her excitement, her springy steps. The flowing white skirt she wore was getting muddied around the edges, the red garden soil had left its mark on it. Her flame coloured blouse made her face glow with warmth.
The gossamer veil of gold which she had casually thrown around her neck was fluttering in the breeze like the wings of an angel. The pearly light of heaven, diffused by the cloudy evening sky added to the magic of the atmosphere. Rohan who was gaping at her open mouthed, tried hard not to stare, but was drawn to her as if enchanted. She must be twenty something, he thought, but could be younger he decided.
He had many lovers, often dreamed and fantasised about women, but this one here was different. She was the kind that he had never met before. He would have thought of her as too innocent for his likes, but he was strangely attracted to her. He got out of the car from where he had been watching her unnoticed.
Walking towards the garden where she was standing he asked her,“Could you help me? I am lost and can’t find my way out of this maze, I need directions to go to the nearest town and spend the night there before I travel further.“
It was Reena’s turn to stare. Who was this stranger? Did he fall from heaven? she thought. Her mouth went dry, her voice lacked the strength to be audible.
She screwed up her face like a child disgusted with herself and inability to articulate, finally summoning her strength she said, “I don’t know much, but certainly daddy could help you”
The look of astonishment on his face was now heightened, he wondered if this woman was real. Her voice and bearing were as innocent as her speech, it sounded childlike to his ears. The women he was acquainted with in the corporate circles were smart, in fact overly smart and cunning and she was innocence personified, he concluded in his thoughts.
She called out in a slightly louder voice, “Daddy” and daddy a tall, well built man in his mid fifties came out of the huge house.
Rohan, explained that he had taken a wrong turn on the highway and had lost the signal on his phone on which he had been using the Internet map for navigation.
The older man smiled at him cynically saying, “You young people are too hung on technology, I wonder if you could survive a day without your gadgets. I am Santosh” he finished, extending his hand with a grin.
Rohan was not amused, he was annoyed that the older man was taking a quick shot at him. Crude villager, he thought, taking his hands in feigned politeness.
Reena disrupted the handshake by exclaiming, “Daddy, there is going to be a thunder storm, he cannot go to the town, in this rain”
The older man looked at the skies, he had lived here all his life and knew the weather like the back of his hands. There were warning flashes in the sky as they spoke. Turning to his daughter he said, “You are right, my dear, there is going to be a thunder storm.”
Turning to the young man who stood in front of him he said, “You may not be able to travel in this weather, you would have noticed that the roads here cannot qualify as roads and the steep slopes and curves could be dangerous even for the skilled drivers of this terrain.” So saying he threw the thin cotton towel that hung on his shoulders, over his head and started to shift the potted rose plants which were heavy with flowers, into the protection of the porch. Rohan was left staring at the man. Reena got busy with helping her father put the plants in some order leaving the stranger to his own thoughts.
Standing there, twiddling his thumbs, Rohan was worried, the roads were indeed bad. Well there wasn’t much to be called a road, those were stones held together by soil that came loose each time a vehicle ran over it.. What could he do? The old man looked unconcerned, the young lady he now realized was looking at his face with some amusement. He wondered if he looked like a junkie, his casual travel clothes and his travel worn apperaence could be her source of amusement he thought.
The young woman kindly smiled at him and said,“Would you please sit down,” pointing to the couch, “I will get you some tea.”
‘Tea’, the word reminded him how tired and hungry he was, he really did need a good meal. He had not stopped anywhere for lunch. Those motels on the highway did not look too clean. His stomach was rumbling. The young woman presently appeared with a plate full of snacks and tea. Rohan was just too grateful to have some food. He ate rather quickly and drank the tea thirstily. The young woman watched him all the time. He was too hungry to notice it. Now, he felt like a pig for wolfing down the food.
Rohan hoped that she would not look at him so much, didn’t she think it was rude. Her interest in him made him very self-conscious. Picking up the cups and the plate she walked away. Rohan looked around to see if her father was anywhere. The rain did not seem to let up. It was dark already, but his watch told him it was just past six. The older man walked in, Rohan seized the opportunity to ask him if he could find some lodging nearby for the night. The old man laughed, he said in a rather mild tone, “You could stay here son, we village folks are quite hospitable.” Rohan was quick to thank the older man, albeit in a awkward way.
“Reena” the older man called to his daughter who was busy talking to some women, who looked like workers, “Show our guest his room” he said.
Leaving her father to deal with the workers, Reena took him to a room on the first floor. “This is my brother’s room, he is now studying abroad,” she said proudly. Rohan was intrigued by the way her eyes moved and danced. They were like deep mysterious pools of purple black waters. He felt that they could glow with the slightest excitement, a strange feeling of exhilaration ran through his body.
Turning away quickly he said,” I will get my luggage, it is in the car.”
Reena nodded as he went out, she was looking at him from the balcony. He hoped she would not look at him so much and yet to be honest he enjoyed the attention.
He smiled a crooked smile to hide those feeling that she stirred up within him, he was not a chick born yesterday, but Reena made him feel so conscious of himself.
When he came back with a suitcase she asked him what he wanted for dinner. He laughed out loud, saying, "Whatever you have." His face lightened up and he looked quite handsome. She was going to walk away saying, “My room is across the floor, just call out if you need anything.”
Rohan said “I need something, tell me why do you look at me like that?:
In a childlike direct manner she said “You look strange and out of place, as if you do not trust us.”
“That is true,” he responded in all honestly, “in the city no one is hospitable to strangers the way you are here, I am surprised that neither you nor your father have asked me who I am.”
She said without hesitation, “We trust people, our life is based on love and trust.”
The simple but deep reply stunned him. He held out his hands to her and said I am Rohan, I am from Mumbai now working in Chennai.
Reena’s eyes widened in surprise. “I have been to Mumbai” she said, “it is a big city.”
The girl-woman was charming, her skirt swished around her as she moved. She must be easily the prettiest thing he had ever set his eyes on, everything about her was natural, there was not a trace of make up on her face. She looked pure and virginal, her only make-up was the kohl in her eyes. Oh those eyes, he avoided them consciously, they were hypnotic.
"Reena, would you stay here and talk to me?" asked Rohan surprising himself in the process. He was never much of a talker.
She promised to come back after lighting the lamps in the house, a tradition that women faithfully followed even after the days of electrical lighting.
He looked down into the spacious hall from the railing in front of his room and saw her walking around, carrying some lamps. She looked like a painting come to life.
Soon the lights were on and she came into his room carrying a small basket of fruits. “Dinner isn't until eight, so you could eat this, I noticed that you were hungry", she said.
Her hand touched him as she placed the plate on the table, it felt like silk. Rohan felt his skin tingle with excitement. Oh! she is just a child, I ought not to feel this way he chided himself. She had a distinct smell, the smell of jasmines and roses and ah yes, sandal wood he surmised. A heady combination, natural, soft and enticing.
She sat on the edge of the bed, her veil thrown carelessly around her shoulders reveling a long, beautiful neck, her blouse was pretty shapely and there wasn’t much to guess, she was well endowed. She was beautiful, and in that dimly lit room she shone like a gem.
Rohan could not look at her anymore as he became aware of the effect she had on him. He pulled out his laptop from its case and busied himself with it.
From the corner of his eyes he noticed that she was getting up to go away. "Reena, please stay , I want to show you something", he pleaded in a soft voice.
Rohan could not understand what was happening to him. The women in his office vied for his attention and he was never more than slightly interested, but here was a simple village belle who hypnotised him with her eyes.
He showed her the pictures he had taken on his road trip, of landscapes and trees and birds. She asked him, "Don't you ever take pictures of people?"
He looked at her in surprise, realising that he almost never photographed people he answered, “Rarely.”
"Don't you have pictures of your family?" she asked him. He found one old picture of his mother and showed her. She was curious, she wanted to know about his family and why he did not go home for his holidays and a million other questions.
Rohan would have normally been embarrassed, but he felt comfortable talking to her. She finally asked him, “Would you take a picture of me?” Rohan was dumbfounded at the request, her child like innocence made him fumble with his camera lenses. He enjoyed clicking away at her from all angles, then he proceeded to show them to her on his laptop. Reena seemed pretty excited.
Later that night at dinner Rohan informed Santosh and Reena that he would leave early the next morning. Reena was quiet, she rarely spoke.The older man handed him a map, bidding him goodbye and wishing him luck as he would be away at the tea estate the next morning.
The thunder storm was fiercer than they had expected. Windows were banging, in the wind somewhere in the house, the lightning was scary. Rohan had always been afraid of thunder storms. Now in this strange house, he was even more afraid. He had left the light on in his room as he went to bed, but now the power failed and there was utter darkness with only flashes of lightning illuminating the room eerily.
Reena brought a small lamp and knocked on his door, Rohan was only too happy to have the some light and human company. He shivered with fear and Reena was quick to notice it.
“Are you afraid of thunder storms?” she asked.
He told her how he had always been afraid of them and he could never sleep during one, pulling up the chair close to his bed she offered to sit with him until it passed away. They chatted happily for hours, he told her about himself, he was surprised to find that he could talk to her easily. He could tell her of his fears and even laugh about them. She must be some nymph, or fairy he thought.
He watched the lightning light up her beautiful face again and again, he reached out and touched her face tenderly. She simply held his hand on her cheek. It was as though the magic was working its way through her too. They sat like that for some time enjoying the soul's conversations of love in silence. Noticing that the storm had passed Reena pulled herself back and without looking at him bid him goodnight and walked away to her bedroom.
In the morning as Rohan was ready to leave, he went looking for Reena. She was in the kitchen, her hair wet from her recent bath. Her skin like a freshly bloomed rose, her blouse wet from her hair was now clinging to her body and revealing her shapeliness, the magic of the night before seem to fill his thoughts. Smiling at him, she poured out a steaming cup of coffee and handed him the cup while urging him to have breakfast, which he refused politely. He could smell that beautiful smell of her, it seemed to fill his being with a strange exhilaration, he felt like a teenager in the first clasp of love. He could not look into those eyes, he was not so sure of himself anymore. Gulping down the coffee and almost scalding his tongue he set the cup on the table and hurriedly moved away towards the living room where he had left his luggage.
Slinging his laptop case on his shoulder and lifting the suitcase he waved slightly to her as he hurriedly walked away. When he slid into the car he noticed that she had followed him to the garden and was now gathering flowers in a basket. He was unable to take his eyes off her, he knew that she was aware of his devouring eyes. He could see that she looked at him from the corner of her eyes. He laid his head on the steering wheel as if overcome by some deep emotion and when he lifted up his head he thought he saw her eyes filled with tears. He felt a strange choking sensation in his throat. He had to run. He waved to her as he drove away. In the rear view mirror, he saw her wiping her eyes. He could not stop now.
The music was blaring, men and women were dancing, half drunk, the smell of smoke and liquor filled the air. It was his birthday.They were having a party in his honor. He felt repulsed by what he saw. He was sick of the pretense and the artificiality of the people around him. He yearned for some deep human connection. Sandy, his girl friend of sorts had been sending him strong signals all through the evening. All Rohan could think of now was the girl-woman he had met on his road trip. She had now become his standard for judgement. Her magnetic kohl rimmed eyes that hypnotised him was not only the screen saver on his laptop, but occupied every space in his mind, day in and day out.
He dreamt of her day and night. He could not concentrate on his work, or his clients at office. He was silly, how could a woman he had hardly known for a day have such an impact on him, he had often wondered through the last five months He did not know the answer to those questions, it was beyond all reason and logic, all he knew was, he needed this woman, desperately. He waited for the last of his guests to leave and slept fitfully for a few hours until dawn. With great urgency he packed his suitcase and drove a few hundred kilometers to find the nymph who hypnotised him with her eyes. He knew he had to do this to find his peace.