Monday, November 22, 2021

Sting in the Tail


Fiction Short Story

From my Creative Writing Archives:

For old-times’ sake, here is a rather amateurish story I wrote long ago, around 30 years ago, in the 1990s, suitably abridged and revised.

Do tell me if you like the story...

A Hot Love Story by Vikram Karve 

I shouted angrily at Shalini:

“I am an uncomplicated and transparent man. 

I have no taste for sham, tact or pretension. 

Never do I feel it necessary to be guarded, or to conceal, or to try to impress, to feel tense, to watch my words or actions, to suppress or repress my emotions. 

I express my emotions spontaneously and overtly. 

I can’t fake my emotions for the sake of so-called social graces. 

If this – according to your stupid mother-in-law  is crude, uncultured and unrefined behaviour – so be it. 

I don’t give a tinker’s damn...” 

I said these words angrily to Shalini. 

I saw tears start in Shalini’s eyes  and I was instantly sorry. 

She suddenly looked small, weak and vulnerable  her defences shattered. 

I looked at her and felt a strange attraction towards her. 

Her very powerlessness and vulnerability were the essence of her sex appeal.
“No wonder he is such a loser and failure...” taunted Shalini’s mother-in-law. 

Shalini’s mother-in-law looked at my wife – and she said to my wife: 

“You must teach your husband some manners if you want him to go up in life. Look at my son. He knows the ways of the world. He is so soft-spoken and refined.”
The comparison was a doubly bitter pill for me to swallow.

While I was going through a bad patch in my career  Shalini’s husband was doing really well in the corporate sector – as an upwardly mobile executive in a top MNC.
I walked out of my house and sat down on a bench in the nearby park. 

I lit a cigarette and closed my eyes trying to calm down.

The train of my thoughts ran on. 

It was mainly my wife’s fault. 

She was too good natured

It was one of those invitations which she makes so readily and spontaneously  and then regrets later.

Shalini’s flat was being renovated  and my wife had invited them over to our house to stay for a month.

And today was just the first day.
Though we stayed in the same town  I did not visit Shalini often. 

She stayed with her mother-in-law. 

Her husband was away on tour most of the time. 

I did not get along with them. 

There was a mismatch in our sense of values. 

I hated their patronizing attitude, ingratiating manner, sweet-talk and double standards. 

Shalini’s mother-in-law was the worst of them all. 

She was always giving me unsolicited advice and trying to make me conform to her perception of ideal behaviour.

But I refused to be stereotyped. 

I was happy to be myself  with all my so-called faults and frailties.

I valued my originality  my own uniqueness.

I was not an imitator or a clone.

And now  this wily old woman – Shalini’s mother-in-law – she had the temerity to instigate my wife against me.

And that too – she was doing this in my own house.
I saw Shalini walking towards me. 

She had no personality of her own. 

The only thing she did was hang around her mother-in-law and nod her head in agreement.

All the time – Shalini flattered her mother-in-law  and they indulged in mutual admiration sessions – the “ideal” daughter-in-law  and the “ideal” mother-in-law.

It was disgusting. 

The old woman had probably sent Shalini to me to give me a moral lecture.

They had succeeded in brainwashing my wife. 

I was the only one remaining. 

I was not going to give them the satisfaction of toeing their line and conforming to their views. 
Before Shalini could speak  I said to her: 

“Sit down. Have you got a piece of paper...?”
She opened her purse  and she gave me a small pocket-diary.

I took out my pen and wrote: 

“A servile status and a vicarious life  so typical of a domesticated lonely wife...”
Shalini read the words and she gave me a glance that could have meant anything.

I was surprised that she was not offended.

She put the pocket-book in her purse and she got up to leave.

I delivered my parting shot and said to Shalini: 

“She who trims herself to suit everybody will soon whittle herself away...”
As Shalini walked away  I watched the subtle, sensual rhythm of her hips. 

I felt aroused. 

I laughed to myself. 

There was no point in chasing rainbows. 

What I needed now was a good stiff drink.

So – I went across to my club – and had a few stiff drinks.
I returned home around midnight.

I was not drunk  but I was feeling good.

I opened the door with the spare key that I always carried in my pocket.

It was dark inside the house.

I did not switch on the lights. 

There was no point in disturbing everybody.

I felt like having a smoke  so I tiptoed towards the balcony.

As I negotiated my way in the darkness  I could sense that someone was following me.

I guessed who she was.

I stopped in tracks.

I turned around.

Shalini put her arms around me  and she held me in a passionate embrace.

I tried to restrain myself  but I had not bargained for the sheer sensual power of the encounter. 

Shalini was radiating an extraordinary sensuousness of a degree I had never experienced before.

I caught her hair  I pulled her face towards me – and we were engulfed in a wave of burning passion...

Suddenly  someone switched on the lights.
I disengaged from Shalini  and I looked at my wife. 

“Don’t be late next time...” I said to my wife, tongue-in-check. 

Shalini’s mother-in-law looked at us  dumbstruck and stunned.
My wife walked up to Shalini and gave her a tight slap. 

My wife was very angry. 

After all  Shalini was her best friend.
I never saw Shalini again. 

But I did come across her mother-in-law once in the market. 

I cheerfully waved out to Shalini’s mother-in-law  but she scrupulously avoided my glance  and she walked away.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This story STING IN THE TAIL written by me Vikram Karve 30 years ago in 1990 and posted online earlier in my various creative writing blogs including at urls and and etc 

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

No comments: