Saturday, November 7, 2009

Perfect Honeymoon

“Are you done? How long would you take to shampoo your hair? And I don’t understand why shampoo it now when you know it’s going to get dirty on the drive, anyway?” he was banging impatiently on the washroom door.
“Just shut up, and pass the hair dryer to me, will you?” she yelled back from behind the doors, slightly left ajar.
He could hear the splashing of water and imagined she would take at least another half an hour to dry her hair, wear make-up and doll herself up before they could actually start the journey he had been waiting for all his life. The sudden thought of his newly-wed bride, wet and innocently beautiful in her stark white bathrobe, stepping out of a steam bath filled up his senses. He pushed open the door and before she could say a word, pulled her into his arms.
“What?” she asked him with half-a-smile lighting up her face. Their eyes met and held each other’s glances for a moment. “Not now. We’ll be late,” she whispered softly, blushing and pulling herself out of his arms. “Go down, and start loading the car boot. I’ll be there in 10 minutes. Have you gone through your check list?”
“Nopes. It’s not my job. You ramble on and I’ll match and do one final check,” he replied.
“Okiedokie. Water?”
“Four bottles?”
No, two. Baby, no one carries so much water from home. We can pick up a whole carton from the store at the gas station.”
“Fine. Camera. Cell phone. Batteries. Chargers.....”
“Yes, yes,.... no.”
“See, I knew you would forget the chargers. Stuff it in the knapsack. Oho...not there with my crèmes. The zip at the front, love,” she said peeping out of the dressing room.
“Ok, done. Next?”
“Cash. Credit cards. ATM cards, Cheque book.”
“Honey, we are not going for shopping! For heaven’s sake, it’s our honeymoon. And it’s deep in the woods, not in some shopping mall. They don’t accept credit cards.”
“Even then, take them along. I might fancy buying a tiger instead of a rock on my fingers! Shove them into your wallet. No arguments, no negotiations.”
“Yes, your highness. What else?”
“Mosquito repellent mats?”
“Nopes. Got Odomos. In that kind of a place as I am told, nothing works better. For all you know we may not have any electricity, my uptown girl.”
“Hmm. Candles. Torch, matchsticks and lighter then,” she suggested picking up her brown leather boots.
“Good. I have them in the car boot with all the other stuff for the tent. What else? Should I carry my laptop?”
“No way, you are not going to work!!!!” She threw a cushion at him.
“Ha..ha! I might write a travelogue while you sleep,” he laughed.
How beautiful she looked in a light beige cotton shirt, tied at the waist and khaki capris, the long and slightly wet hair let loose over her shoulders touching her waist and the sunshades over her head keeping the hair from falling on her face! “I am a lucky man” he confessed to himself looking at the love of his life, his soul mate and now his wife.  
Taking a sneak peek at the reflection on the mirror behind her, she observed his tall handsome frame running around her, matching her list to his needs and felt blessed that she belonged to him, and that they were finally together.  “Okay, we are done then. Get, set and go......,”she broke into a childish giggle picking up their favourite music CDs for the car stereo.
He was hurrying down the narrow staircase with the baggage, when he looked around and didn’t see her. “Now what? Where are you, baby? We are running late. Remember, we need to touch at least 500 kms today,” his voice rose a bit with a hint of edginess that he regretted immediately. She came out hurriedly looking guilty. Whilst her hands were full with baggage and other things essential for the trip, his guitar was flung over her shoulders. No, she hadn’t forgotten his best friend.
He took the guitar from her with a smile, happy to be in love with his “love absolute” and planted a tiny kiss on her cheek. “Thanks love. What would I do without you?”
“Nothing. You’ll never be without me again,” she said with a smile glued on her face.
The weather was perfect, the setting was perfect. Elvis Presley was crooning “Wise men say only fools rush in, but I can’t help falling in love with you,” as they joined in happy hearted like two little children miserably in love, thrilled that their dreams were all finally falling into place. After everything, they were man and wife, their vows were more sacred than ever now, their commitment more officially eternal than before and they were off to their honeymoon, to that place in their long awaited dreams and fantasies....
En route, occasionally, he stopped for a smoke. Where they crossed a spring, he stopped to pluck unnamed wild yellow flowers for her. Where they spotted a rainbow, she made him halt on the road shoulder, and jumped over a deserted railway track to capture the frame on her camera. “Can you ever touch a rainbow?” she asked him. “Yes, and I can try getting some of it for you,” he said, making a gesture as if he was picking a piece of heaven for her...and they both laughed. He drew her close walking back to the car singing in her ears...  “Like a river flows, surely to the sea, darling so it goes, some things are meant to be, Take my hand, take my whole life too, For I can’t help falling in love with you.”    
The sun had taken its last bow at the western horizon when they neared a factory area on the borders of a neighbouring state. Heavily loaded trucks were zooming past them, often blinding his vision with the headlights. “When will these rogues learn to use a dipper?” he grumbled and looked sideways for a supporting statement from his wife. She was fast asleep, her head tilted slightly on the headrest, lost in a wayward dream smiling to herself like a baby. Her innocence made him smile in return and he looked back at the dusty highway again. Just a couple of hours and they could spend the night in a lovely hillside resort they had booked in advance for the stopover. The honeymoon suite was already occupied, the manager had regretfully apologized over the phone. But he had been promised a “great view from the balcony” room in the resort.
 He was trying hard to concentrate on the road, manoeuvre through the unruly traffic when a huge lorry came head on from nowhere, apparently lost control of the brakes...and before he could swerve, came crashing down on them. Startled from her sleep, she screamed, he shrieked at the impact...their whole world had enveloped in a deafening noise, all he could see was one cannon of light thrown at him, splinters of glass flying into the air.....  and then there was nothing!
“Wake up, love! The car’s burning,” she pulled him out of the ravaging fire and enveloping pain.
“Are you okay, honey?” he asked looking up at her. She had a slight cut on the forehead but looked perfectly at peace, more beautiful than ever before, he thought. “Yes, I am fine. Are you alright, baby?” she touched him on his cheek and said, “Come, let’s go.”
He walked slowly, up to a moss coated culvert on the roadside and sat down recapitulating the accident as it occurred, when she pointed out to the distant honking of a lorry. Her eyes lit up and from the wild twinkle in them, he knew what she was thinking.
“Hellooo.....hello...wait..wait...lift,” they flagged down a lorry stacked with poultry driving uphill.
The driver, who looked like an old wise man with a long white beard was hesitant at first but gradually got lured by the money they offered to share space with the birds on his truck. Having found a way to continue their journey, the happy kids instantly forgot their trauma and the sufferings of the accident and hopped into the haystack and bamboo cages singing “Cock a doodle doo...” to the disinterested birds! 
Night was falling quickly in the tropics and as the temperature dropped with the moon rise, the two headed off to their destination honeymoon under a brilliantly lit symphony of stars. 
It was in the wee hours of dawn that the driver halted his truck and woke the love-struck couple sleeping huddled in a corner of his vehicle.
“We are almost there. The rest of the journey, you’ll have to cover on foot,” he told them.
Between the trees, a little feral brook gurgled alongside them, breaking out in tiny rapids over forgotten moss covered boulders and forming miniature eddies swirling in yellow and brown leaves of grass, frail branches and twigs and remnants of the track it had followed to reach this far into the wilds. The water was sparkling clear and sweet and they decided to soak themselves in its pristine touch. The air was unusually quiet, the ambience was divine in a rather mystical way. 
“There’s something about these woods. Do you see that strange bluish light?” he asked her pointing towards a beam of sun emerging out of the green undergrowth.
“Where? I can only see some dark tones weeping in the bushy corners and few bright dots of yellow teasing the leaves,” she said in return. Like two little children mystified in the wilderness, they were trying to read a poetry in green, blue and gold hues conducted in a mysterious riots of colours flaming the early spring landscape of a tropical rainforest. 
“Look, they are the same wild yellow flowers you had picked for me along the way. I like this place. But how far is the resort?” she grumbled.
Forest mornings are always very poetic and so naturally blessed with tranquillity, they are almost sacred to an extent. With the light changing colour, the entire ambience had undergone a quiet and deliberate metamorphosis. The air was now heavy with a strong forest smell, and the sound of the wild had shifted from the noise of insects to chirping of birds. Rustling over moist leaves, they came to the end of a trail and looked up at the first sign of artificial lights within the territorial area of a few hundred acres.
“That one. We are here, honey,” he said grabbing her hand and forcing her to keep pace with his excited footsteps.”
The manager, half awake and dewy eyed, signed them in. “One good news, Sir. The guest who had booked the special room cancelled the reservation. You can have the honeymoon suite,” he said grinning.
She noticed a bunch of the same wild yellow flowers at the reception desk and asked him its name.
“Parijaat, Madam. The flower of heaven,” he smiled.
Next to it, one little corner of the morning newspaper read. “Couple die in car crash. Lorry driver missing....”
They picked up the keys and with feet as light as feather, sauntered happily to their desired suite. He was holding her by the waist as she rested her little head on his shoulders, humming close to her ears...Like a river flows, surely to the sea, Darling so it goes, some things are meant to be. Take my hand, take my whole life too, For I can't help falling in love with you...”

Today, they had no pains, no trauma, nothing to lose, expect or deliver. Not another finishing line in sight. It was their perfect honeymoon...for eternity.

This story is copyrighted. Any reprint or publication elsewhere without  permission would violate the copyright act.  Ananya Mukherjee 


  1. Very beautifully written. Absolutely a joy to read. Fantastic !

  2. Gripping and so touching...lovely use of words.

  3. Some where in heaven there is a place waiting for you and me..."
    Your story reminds me of this song and inspires to live on :)

  4. Wow. Wow. Wow

  5. Oh my god! it's awesome!! Kudos!!!

  6. riveting and awesome!!! loved it....

  7. SUPERB!!! Absolutely wonderful!

  8. You are really romantic - it is hard to keep love last a life time and you are dreaming about after life.

    Again, may be you are right. How would we know.

    Good story, Annie.

  9. It gave me goosebumps.. Reallllly beautiful.

  10. This, I guess, is what is referred to as 'bliss'

  11. Another Killer from you...excellent build up, awesome climax and what lovely story telling!! Way to go, girl. Kudos to the illustration too. Over all...a tenner again!

  12. Awesome!!! So well written!

  13. Keep up the great work. Lovely!

  14. You saved the best for the last...........amazing expression of what could poosibly be lying on the other side of life......eternal blisssss !!!!!!!
    Very well done !!!!!

  15. The ending was too good ,i liked it a lot , Didi you are beyond excellence , but i am not amazed as i know anything that you write is this good and it keeps getting better ... Kudos to you

  16. Strangely enuf.. that was the ONLY song I hummed all thru and back on our drive to Southern Utah last month to see AIDA.. we didn't play a single CD.. this was a special for me Noddy.. thanks love

  17. Sumita ChakrabortiGhoshNovember 18, 2009 at 9:14 PM

    wonderful! Heart to Heart; Soul to Soul

  18. Ananya, I really liked the way you painted the picture of two human souls trudging through the world of nature, an ethereal, divine journey where they become true soulmates

  19. loved it. thanx Ananya. :-)

  20. This is actually a happy ending :)

  21. Just fantastic! Superb ending!

  22. I too liked the end of the story .

  23. I knew u hv it in u but I did not know that u are so sensitive (genuinely ofcourse) to minute details of human expectations - this is superb - evenif u go and play in beaches or going to get dirty during long-drive, it is not the female only who wants to dress-it up (read usages of shampo), it is her man who probably wants her to look as fresh & beautiful all the time.
    It does not matter whether u r ending up with happy or sad note (I hope ur wellwishers' will excuse me) .....u have carried a feeling throughout the story.....great Ananaya.
    Now expectation has gone u remmeber we once (hyd) discussed on various stories/movies with wonderful emotions thro flashbacks (we were debating on "Izzazat")......pls start working on it immdtly....

    I am proud of my sister.......take care

  24. Nice one..............Sharmistha

  25. superbly written, my friend. i did see the ending halfway through though, but it all came together really nicely. fabulous!

  26. Hi i read ur story, its very touching
    you write well, the romance you ahev written is divine and longing... If i had tobe the cast of your story i woudlnt mind dying after such a blissfull romance

  27. I know a girl who loved tying her shirt around the waist and wear khakhi capris :)

    There is a bit of you in it madam. Lovely. Nice Monday morning read for me. Wont be able to take the smile off my face for long now.

  28. Hi Mam:
    A succulent tale of a vivacious newly wed couple on a "Perfect Honeymoon" - read like a limerick.
    Great work!
    Couldn't you think of something else other than the brutally cruel end to bring tears?
    Mukul kaku

  29. OMG:)...its simply beautiful annie....i just loved the way it has been written..pls keep sharing like this...really Proud of u:))"

  30. Ananya Di - Very well written, like always! You have the gift, stay close to it.

  31. gave me goosebumps!

  32. I was completely lost in eternity. Felt like as if I a living a dream.

  33. Absolutely SUPERB !!!

  34. Sooo well written! Kudos

  35. Touche!!

    From the wild flower to parijaat,
    In life and till death,
    things are so unpredictable,
    until the end is met!

    perfect honeymoon it is!