MaiyaThe ignition lures me in a trice. As I see the burning flame, I experience a sentiment of profound pleasure.
I lie in my bed, quietly. The herringbone parquet floor makes me feel jittery as my mind becomes caged with baffling thoughts as though I am trapped inside a casket. I see numerous wooden blocks placed on the floor in perfect order… in a pattern that resembles a puissant gesture, the gesticulation of two palms joining in unison. The floor greets me in euphoria, but surprisingly it drags me into an abyss. I try to stand on my feet, but my legs become a feast for the exquisite woodwork. My trembling feet make me a mortal marionette as I become blind to my ghoulish being.
With a drunken gait, I reach my table and gasp for air. I cannot fathom why a short, five-meter stroll causes me to pant, but I sense something fishy about myself. I see numerous crumpled plastic bottles, all empty, lying haphazardly on the table. This time, on the spur of the moment, my laboured breathing slowly metamorphoses into an intense desire to quench my unforeseen thirst. As I reach the peak of my disoriented state, my neck begins to experience a colicky pain. I cannot find water to help my burning throat, but my eyes find something spooky that lay in between those crushed water flasks. I recognise the object immediately. I see a small paper box containing minute wooden sticks, proximally coated with a black combustible powder that burns by abiding the frictional law.
A spare matchbox? I mumble and eye the box incessantly. A sudden desire to ignite the matchstick devours me as I steadily lift the box. I may try to defend myself by giving a preposterous alibi, even though it fails to deviate my activity from being demonic. I slowly begin to acknowledge my growing fondness for the matchstick. In extreme furor, I give a to and fro stroke on an inscribed mosaic layout with my sickly hand. The ignition lures me in a trice. As I see the burning flame, I experience a sentiment of profound pleasure. I no longer fight for breath, nor do I crave for water. As I look deeper into the combustion, the fire quenches my undying thirst and heals me completely.
But the first ignition snuffs out anon. With the dying flame, my body again starts experiencing excruciating pain. I have no other option than to light another matchstick and pacify myself. Now that I come to my senses after freeing myself from all the cooped up ideologies, I realize a bloodcurdling fact about myself and my uncanny obsession with fire. All I see now is my emotion binding itself with the perilous flame, and my sentiment taking a path of horror and havoc.
I won’t call myself a pious man. As a matter of fact, there is nothing pious about me. I don’t even pray to God with all my heart, but my wife insists on me. She is a lovely lady with raving beauty as if God himself embellished her with miraculous qualities. I dote on her, without even letting her know, hoping that she would clandestinely deluge me with her unending ardency. I like her chops and countenance. Almost every day, I revere her with soothing remarks and tell her how beautifully she flaunts her organic charisma. She is a woman of peculiar dynamism. Having an unambiguous Lilliputian stature of not more than four feet ten, she is characteristic of her fair skin tone. But today, as I wake up from my slumber, I call her name in despair. I shout, “Maiya, eh maiya!!” as I struggle to lift the latch, unable to open the door.
I keep on igniting the matchstick, even though the reason behind my eerie, seesaw hand strokes is obscure. Whenever I get the taste of that fiery warmth, I soak myself with a superhuman emotion. I repeatedly shout, “Maiya, eh maiya!!” But I get a laconic reply, not with actual syllables, but with an idiosyncratic aroma coming from outside the door. As I use my fist to bang the door continually, the nut disjunctions from the bolt and resonates with a creaking sound. Putting an end to my curiosity, I open the door and scan the façade discreetly.
I see her. I see my maiya. But what I don’t comprehend is the paradox she holds. I can undoubtedly describe how she blushes whenever I admire her. But today, she looks different. As I see her sleep in tranquility, I cannot discern the fact of her adorning herself with a tattered nightgown covering her newfangled dark skin tone. I just eye her continuously.
To be honest, I am a man of passion. But unbeknownst to me, it leads me somewhere into a different dimension. This passion, which is merely a composite of vacant thoughts, favorably creates a whirlpool of manic desires. I always fancied maiya’s velvety hair and lusty gaze, even when she was not around and have always thought of delving into the zenith of her charm through my passion. As I eye her in utter dismay, I compare her body with fire, her curves with the exotic curves of the flame, and I no longer see her unruffled hair. I stand there alone; all by myself, with my maiya’s long gone grace.
I once again take out a wooden stick from the box and give a stroke, persistently, to take hold of something devilish I put myself into. I see her flaunting herself in a pugilistic attitude as my passion comes to a standstill. She smells like ash, her body all charred like a beacon. Seeing her inert body, my conscious being experiences an utmost gratification, instead of swirling myself into a pit of guilt.
What have I done? I mutter under my breath without lamenting my odious act. I love my maiya, of course, I do with all my heart. But my passion renders me with something bizarre and satisfying at the same time. I see two used gasoline cans that lie adjacent to my maiya’s protruding left iliac spine. As I give close attention to the menacing locale, I find numerous objects scattered incoherently leaving major pieces of evidence undisguisedly. To my surprise, I find a crumpled piece of article from the local daily that was left half burnt. Anxiously, I pick it up and pore over the paper in silence. At that very moment, I successfully clear all the doubts that were tormenting me since the beginning.
It reads: A pyromaniac with ‘history of violent behavior’ escapes from Naxal Mental Hospital, leaving everyone terrorised.