The Blue Island
The river island of Nil-mati ornamented with beautiful blooms of Aparajita sat like an aberration amid vast patches of surrounding verdure.
The clitoris shaped flowers that latched on to thin green tendrils unfurled themselves in a prominent shade of blue. A generous smear of yellow licked through them in the manner of a tongue.
The floating landmasses that dotted the course of the river Mahanadi grew paddy and vegetables but the soil of Nil-mati was capable of nurturing this vine alone.
The creepers freewheeled around the edges of the island and invaded barren patches of land. They styled barbed-wire fences and tentacled around electricity poles.
Islanders cultivated the vine in neat parallel stretches and amassed huge fortunes by selling them flowers at exorbitant rates. Merchants bought them in bulk. Researchers wanted to decipher their potent traits. Married couples and heir-seeking businessmen relied on them, and lost the game of hegemony when they mourned the arrival of little girls who filled their barren homes with shrill cries. But the flood of customers keen upon a favored option never ceased.
That’s because the Aparajita of Nil-Mati weren’t of ordinary stature and withheld an extraordinary prowess. A concoction of the flower pulp with milk was excellent for married women as it improved their chances of conceiving a male child. The potency of the flowers served impeccably within the island. How else could one explain why the women of Nil-mati never bore girls?
In another distant island of Heujia the soil was much spirited. Here, a farmer lived with his daughter. Tirthankar’s wife had died from a damaged heart after he carried on briefly with another woman who left him for another man. The wife had died one rainy night, leaving behind a young Sabari to the care of her father.
An absence of a mother gave her some carefree days.
Young men looked upon her favorably.
She was sitting by the edge of a concrete slab under the purple umbrage of a big bougainvillea tree when Shailendra noticed her. The spread of her skirt enclosed flower petals. When she stood on the slab, the petals tumbled down in a rush and arranged themselves in a scatter. She patterned them into an intricate piece of floral artwork and Shailendra steadied himself behind a thicket.
Since then, Shailendra frequented the town on purpose, conveniently camouflaged behind the green proliferation to catch a glimpse of the girl until one rainy afternoon, quite unexpectedly, he found her waiting in his hideaway. She stood motionless, looking every bit like an offering. Her rain-touched bosom was heaving in glory and her eyes were reluctant to look at anything else but him. They huddled close to each other. In silence they listened to the intermittent arrival and departure of the rains. That starless night the young lovers navigated their way through the treacherous waters of the Mahanadi. They journeyed through the rising tide and ravenous waves, and arrived at the blue fields where every blossom of Aparajita was in full bloom. The splendor of the blue was enhanced by the soft gaze of the moonlight. The young lovers’ fantasia unfolded. It was the first time they would get to know each other well.