It had been almost a year by then they were married but still the romance was exceptionally live. The passion the zeel used to bloom just as the first day every single time they made love. Every day when Madhukar returned from his work he used to find Ketaki waiting at the brass fitted dark mahogany door all dressed up from head to toe. Draped in a kanjivaram saree in madisaru style, carefully embelliashed with beautiful jewelleries from maang tikka to long necklace like kasu Mala or maanga Mala, baju band to kamar band (waist belt), heavy ear ring to anklets and toe rings, nose ring to heavy traditional Kangans (bangles). Madhukar used to remain spellbound every day looking at his wife in sheer delight. Her pure beauty dazzled as the first ray of the sun on her milky skin like the petals of the lotus bathed in the morning dew. Her voluptuous feminine body swayed like the branches of monsoon nourished palm tree. Her wavy long black hair swirls like a snake hugging her hips. As soon as he stepped into the house Ketaki used to throw herself into his arms and the playful sexual arousal usher in. Layers after layers the desires were get awakened and satisfied. It was like a never ending adventure, opening a new door to the dark passion every moment and swirling along its lanes.
Madhukar came to this village of Kerala 15 months ago as the chief engineer of the dam construction project. Almost immediately he fell in love with this beautiful woman Ketaki. Like him, she also had no one in her family and within a few months, they decided to tie the knot. Though Ketaki had no one of her own that doesn’t mean she was poor, in fact, she was from a very wealthy and traditionally cultured family. Her house was an explicit display of old South Indian architecture with huge wooden pillars and slanting wooden roofs. There was an unusual sleeping silence between the walls of the house which used to give Madhukar a sense of peace. Sometimes in the evening, Ketaki used to sing sitting in the open courtyard in the middle of the house. Madhukar had never heard anything more divine than that. He could smell the essence of jasmine in the air that time which used to flow from the milky skin of his wife. The food Ketaki used to cook was incomparable to any other. Madhukar never had such tasty food before not even in the top end hotels of the country and at night again they used to make love before Madhukar doze off inside Ketaki’s arms. In one line Madhukar was absolutely in love with everything about Ketaki and he had nothing more to ask for.
The winter was unfurling it’s grey feathers silently on the village. The puffs of mist were often covering the velvety lush of the little village situated in the lap of the green hills. Ketaki’s house was in the outskirts of the village beside the silver ripples of the river, enveloped within the arms of the woods. That night was a full moon night. Like every other day Madhukar dozed off to sleep but a sweet melody woke him up in the middle of the night. He recognized that it was Ketaki but the sound was coming floating from somewhere very far. Madhukar came out of the house and started following the sound. The milky ocean of the Fullmoon was flooding the skin of the earth fading the sticky darkness of the night. Madhukar kept following Ketaki’s voice where the green grew thick and the darkness clutches the folds little more. The whole place was ensnared with the redolence of jasmine. The song grew stronger on the ears as he stood under the huge old banyan tree and what he saw kept him shocked. On the hanging branches of the age-old tree, Ketaki was laying without a thread on her body. Her milky flesh was glowing as the cluster of stardust. The moonbeams were melting on the curves of her body, and her beauty was so lambent that it was enough to arise thrust in any man to give up a world to make love to this luscious woman. Madhukar couldn’t utter a word for a while seeing this unearthly seductive personification of his own wife. “Ketaki!” the name sounded almost like a whimper from his mouth. The woman he used to know as his wife so far now flown up into the midair fully naked. Her skin was glowing with a snowy halo as if it was made of melted moon. Her hair was swaying through the misty blue of the night like thousand shiny serpent hissing in rage. Bewildered with the spectacle Madhukar asked almost like a self-question “Who are you?”
She answered in a voice as enchanting as the night: “I am a yakshi the cursed goddess of Alkapuri. I am the female earth spirit a symbol of its fertility. I bless my worshipers with an abundance of fertility and prosperity. I drink the nectar of the Milky Way but once in a year on a full moon night I need to satisfy my thirst with human blood.” Madhukar shivered with what he heard. He couldn’t believe his own ears his wife Ketaki is a blood sucking Vampire!! Is he dreaming or the reality is truly ripping into his skin like a vicious knife!!
With a jolt, she glided near to him. Her wide deep eyes raked through his startled soul and rendering a faint smile she said, “You are not supposed to be here, my love, the truth was not meant to be unveiled to you. Go back to your life and forget you ever got married.”
With the familiar gentle tone of his wife, Madhukar regained his senses; the thought of losing Ketaki forever wrenched his heart and made it bleed. He dropped on his knees in front of the mystical beauty and spreading his both arms he said, “I love you with all my body and soul. If this life is not meant to be with you then let it end for you. Take me and satisfy your blood thirst that way my love will obtain its ultimate conclusion”. Ketaki shivered and plunged back. Her throat became dry with the overpowering thirst for blood; she could hear the hot liquid running through the veins of the mortal man she called her husband for so many days. The thought of the flush of blood pumped by his heart made her eyes grow crimson. But deep within the darkest creases of her heart, something was tearing apart into pieces. No, a Yakshi can’t be in love they are not allowed to be in love. A razor-sharp scream triggers off from her, scraping the flakes of the devilish night in moments she turned into a demonic creature. She spread her long skeletonic fingers and clutched Madhukar’s neck, her milk-white teeth blazed as a sudden flash of thunder as she opened her jaw to slit it. But her crimson eyes behold the reflection of the man who was shivering as a dry leaf but was doing no effort to free himself.
Twelve months later Ketaki was serving dinner to her husband and the guest he bought in that night. The rasam rolled on the hot rice as her snowy fluffy fingers emptied the brass ladle on the guest’s plate and glanced at him with a smile. The guest who was clearly bewitched with her mesmerizing beauty kept his hand froze halfway to his mouth as he gazed shamelessly to the busty snowy bosoms of the lady host. Ketaki’s husband smiled in his mind seeing the lust flowing from the eyes of the unknown foreigner businessman he invited on dinner from the market. After dinner, the guest was offered a beautifully decorated bedroom to spend the night. Wishing him good night Madhukar came to his wife and holding her in his arms he said “Go, my love, your dinner is ready. Satisfy your thirst. I will be waiting right here for you.” The full moon flooded the dark folds of the earth outside.
Debjani Mukherjee is an MBA in applied management and also a poet and a writer. Her poems, short stories, and articles are published in several international anthologies and magazines.