Krishnan pulled the car over the shoulder. Upon stepping out, he found the forenoon sunshine glare utterly blotted out his vision. He could hardly notice the scattered gravels on the red soil driveaway. Pacing ahead, he caught the sight of a tall temple tower, only after cupping his hand over his eyes. Prolific plaster sculptures casting shadow over the sculptures carved beneath to their sole, constellating up till the evenly crowned Kalasam(*) structures, the high raised tower appeared like an unlit ramp. Devakottam(*) where mini stone statues depicting Lord Vishnu’s various avatar with jutted out hands posed as if flying in the air. Black rock pigeons unevenly romped around the Devakottam.
Krishnan making his shirt wrinkle proper, ventured towards the tall tower. It was an ancient temple. Renovation must have happened years ago. As with the other temples he had visited recently, the bottom of the towers sub-sinked into floor soil. Held up under the pressure of countless human soles, the steps paved way to the towers, attriting further down from the road level, suggested only a little part of its original structure. Visibly heavy steel chains and brass knockers loosely hinged on the entrance tower doors. Statues moulded, huge wooden doors were feebly attached to the wall steel structure, beginning to come apart in the middle. Welcoming pushpa yakshi stone statue smudged with white lime remnants of afters betel flowers. A solitary brown eyed elderly man with beggars vessel, sitting over raised stone platform, legs dangling, munching some food lethargically, stared at him.
Temple was wide open. Krishnan thought the tower entrance of the temple could never be latched. It was possible to put a lock only to the main sanctum and some of the inner pavilions. As with Southern madurai Pandiya temples, the galore stone statues were carved on the stone pillars of the entrance pavilions and the pavilion erected for springtime celebrations. Krishnan expected these pavilions to be opened and available for worshippers and visitors. According to Shanmugam there should not be any carbed fences around these pavilions. Krishnan was hesitant to drop off his footwear, as he was sceptical about its presence when he returns back. He even thought of asking the elder beggar man to keep an eye on his foot wear. But decided against it.
Except the company of his own shadow pulled out in all possible direction , which depicted convoluted dark designs on the stone floor, none were present inside the temple. Grasses, thorny bristle plants freshly sprouted out from the cracks of the stone tiled pavement looked verdant, replenishing each drop of roaring rain occured couple of days ago. Pavilion’s pillars were too casting thick shades, appeared as though dense trees of a mini forest. Krishnan puttered in and around the temple. He wondered, such a huge temple, yet no human soul. He thought for a minute and then concluded for good sake of this temple, let it remain as it was. Pigeon's cackling sounded as part of the the silence of the temple.
The colossal temple overawed him. It must have spread across 8 acres of area. There were 3 other entrance towers, selfsame copy of the one he entered through, dedicated as each for four directions. The temple was externally walled with square blocked black granite. Raised as high as four human height, these surrounded walls appeared like orderly lined forefaces of elephants. Sricharnam(*) symbols daubed all over the other inner stone wall, which was erected symmetrical to the external stone walls. The floor gap between these two surrounded walls, filled with huddle of tortuous coconut trees and curlers of the coconut tree’s withered leaves and sticks. Starting down the sidewalk, at each side, thick oleander shrubs and white orchid shrubs formed an eye pleasing garden. Next to gardens, there was a huge pond. Raised pillars of a stone pavilion, which encircled the pond, appeared as though palm tree lines found in the countryside lakes. Seeing through the gauzy layer of mosses, he found alluvial soil and plastic junk mix sedimented at the bottom. Pond’s stone footsteps appeared bare and visibly hot in the sunshine. A sonorous bird, flapping its blue feather, flew down from the coconut tree and perched cozily on the edge of pond’s wall.
Krishnan thought there was no apparent reason in sidling around. He paused for a minute and then decided to get in to the fore pavilion. His faculty of eyes thus far so accustomed to sunshine glare, even the soothing darkness of the pavillion obscured his vision. As though wet fishes, buoyed out from a dark creek, by stages the stone statues became visible, one after other. Standing in the middle of that huge collection of two human high statues, unable to single out a statue, he found himself dumbfounded and bewildered at the same time.
“Whos is out there?” an euphonious voice of a woman pulled him back from the dreamlike state. There was a young woman coming out behind the horse rider statue. Emolliently unpinning the hem of her saree from the waist, adjusting it properly, moving out the fingerful of hair filaments dangled on her forehead, she was emerging. When she appeared closer, his heart fragmented into thousand pieces, he felt as if he heard a monument bell rang, standing just few feet apart. She looked as though one of the elegant statue got down alive from the pillar. In his lifetime, he had never seen a woman with such sheeny black skin. He could compare her skin only with the shining blackness of a freshly honed black granite shard. She was as tall as him, with strong shoulders and unslouch head, stood confidently in front of him.
“No, No, these statues!! ” his over excited eyes, intended to entwine, rushed towards her. The very same feeling he was so used to while observing an artistically carved sublime stone statue, came all over him again. Taking cue from his earlier experiences, the foremost thing he forced himself to do was, smooth his being into present. He told himself, do not run your legs off, quell your urge, go gentle, get along slowly, consume every inch, open your mind. Only after registering every little part, move to next unit. Let you flow all over, submit whole yourself, allow it to take over. Do not digress the flow with disorder thoughts. Even after these efforts, he knew well that the swift leap of the first ecstasy was ever paralleled. The upcoming joyous moments were all just mere mini dividends of the first impression. He engulfed it, laid back, without sparing even a smidgen part.
Though she claimed the overwhelming attention of his vision, he was not at all able to fasten his view on her even for few moments. As though a palmful of butter lump melts through the finger gaps, she kept on slipped through the corner of his eyes. What an enchanting beauty!! She must have inherited her charmness from her ancestors, whom must had also been part of the very same temple. Centuries ago, her ancestors must had posed as models in front of a marvelous sculptor who put his heart and soul carving these statues.
He could find no lapse in her spare figure. Her thick thighs, appeared like trunk of elephant calf. Her twicely folded groovy waists, comprising no tinge of extravagance, appeared elegant. Her soft hip appeared creamy. Her fully ripen vibrant dual bosoms huddling together, setting apart by a blissful clammy tiny cleavage, appeared like fledgling coconuts. Those bobbed out dual bosoms, fulfilled all the possible innermost vacuums of his deep.
A legendary potter taking handlful of watery earthen clay, placing on a thrice grooved turnable, wheel-head also her neck, must had lost himself while shaping these breasts. In a equi span, these double bosoms, clawed on to the ribs which appeared as though sand ripples of a desert. These curvy ribs themself wedged on to the knobby top of the hands. The hands looked alike shiny bamboo poles. Her breasts, what a wonder sight for parched eyes.
In his 20 odd years of experience in temple statue research, he always believed that sublime stone statues are the pure result of limitless imagination of an artistic. No way akin woman in accurate figure could be found in flesh form. But his notion shattered, as he had to take her complete on his face, wondering how she passed every formula of the statue shaastra. A sharp nose in the center of a vertical oval shaped face. A dark reddish lips appeared like a withered flower petals , aptly hanging below the noses. Upper lips slightly flexed in, while the lower lips flexed smoothly out. Plum cheeks glittered reflecting the lights in both the sides.
What a deep blackish beauty!! He found her shining blackness, only in some of the vessals possessed by ancient temples hermits. An intense artist must had drawn the curves of her nose and eyebrows during his peak creative moments. Her forehead appeared like flattened thin shining metal sheet. Palm fruit bunch lookalike thick hairdo, Rippling down, rested on her shoulders. No teensy lapse, No weensy falter. She was overwhelmed with completeness, totalness without any grain of off-putting.
“Sir, Temple usually open for worshipers , only in the evening around 5 o'clock” she told. Looked like thus far, she had been stringing jasmine wreaths, gathering the jasmine buds placed on a wet banana leaf. Her soft pendulous fingers were comparable only with yazhini statue fingers. Her palms colour appeared like banana flower’s inner layer colour. The shiny black forehand did not have any protruding veins or bones, looked icy cool like a healthy wet lotus stem. After noticing the direction of his eye on her body, she adjusted the hem of the saree to cover her bosoms properly. Her bosoms nestling together shook for few seconds, that sight induced, all his innermost parts quaking to great deal. Her bosoms did not vibrate like any other common woman’s usual breasts movement, they shook tightly like a pair of closely hanging copper bells.
She did not seem to be get affected by his bare eyeballing. Her content behaviour showed that s0he must had been used to the public eyes especially their starring while selling the stringed jasmine wreaths. “ No, Actually I came here to watch the statues, not for worshiping. I suppose the statue pavilions are opened and available for viewing” he replied back.
“Sure, Sir” she told and gently nodded her head as an acknowledgement. Her neck was devoid of any ornaments. She wore only yellow sacred thread and pair of plastic earrings. “ Shall I proceed to see the statues?” I asked. “Hold on a minute , Sir”. She replied. She turned back and sprinted out in no time. Her plump butt cheeks trembled tight appeared like butts of a running horse. She jumped into the stone pavillion like a prancing blithe deer.
Where did she go? she must have gone to fetch the keys. As minutes pass by, slowly he regained himself back to normal self from that excited trancelike state. Only then he realised the camera hanging on his shoulder. He decided not to miss chance of take her picture once she returns back, even though the black and white photograph converted from negaive, would not register her real being. He knew well that there was no chance of that captured photography, do justice to her wholeness. Her pure blackness would get absorbed by the surrounded lights. Only a veteran painter’s brush has a capability to fulfill her shiny blackness. He could relate her shining black skin with the some of the soft leaf sprouts he found in deep forest. How could a camera capture that colour? While wandering in such thoughts, in a sudden moment, he fancied her as nude. That imagination was so intense that he was frozen for few moments. He felt as though something seeping though him. Slowly his whole mind and body filled with word “wholeness” . In that rippling of emotions, he took a seat on the stone platform. He felt a richocheted feeling erupting from his deep caused his hands trembling.
Though his field of vision sailed through her whole body like a gauging scale travels through silk cloth, he felt that his compos mentis was completely pinpointed on her breasts unmovably. Usually in the middle of a statue carving process, unfinished these two would appear like a knobby lumpy stone protrudes. Those bulgy breasts would resemble a pair of tapering copper bells exact same size. A women in flesh would never have the dual breats like these same sized stone bulgies. A common woman usually have the dual breasts like a vertically spreading dual drops on the wall surface. The right breast hanging losely below the other one would visibly appear little heavier. But, much to his astronisment, inside the modest blue blouse, her dual breasts appeared like a copied pair of the statue breasts in exact same size.
He heard some noise of human voices. Only after few moments he understood that she was bringing some duffer tourist guide. He cursed himself, how the hell he did not fore see this. Like a windy rain on a mountain, Krishnan’s thus far totally pinpointed focus on her, was going to get dissipate. A new unknown person, that too a man, was not an ideal company at that excited moment. He got up wearing a bitterness filled surly face. A black man with smiling countenance, clasping his hands with her hands sparing no gap, appeared along with her. He remember the sacred yellow thread she wore and did not take much time to conclude their relationship.
Standing in the middle of that densed pillar line, “Good evening Sir” the new guy greeted him. His askew salute looked little weird. “ Good evening” I greeted him back. “ I came here to watch the stone statues, is he a watchman or guide?” I asked her.
“My husband sir” she replied. “He is an expert in guiding and explaining these statues” she smiled. Only now he noticed her salt granule coloured tooth lines , flashed in front of him like a meteor. He was wondering why there was an instinctly spurted blushing and cheerfullness in her voice for such a normal prasing words. She must be passinately loving him. She was affectionately touching the guide guy’s forearms. It appeared that, that was her usual body language when she was with her husband irrespective of the surroundings. But he looked little uncomfortable because of her cuddlingly behaviour infront of a total stranger. “ Believe in me Sir. I will show you all the important statutes.” he asserted.
“No, No, I would like..” I stammered. Upon my hesitation, he responded quickly “ You can pay me what you desire after I finish my guidance” . His confident on his job surprised me. So far whomever he met as a so called tourist guides had a knowledge of not more than 100 sentences. Most of them were dubiously contrived stories “Ok. Proceed ahead, do we need key?” Krishnan asked.
“No Sir. We don’t lock anything here” he replied. Krishnan paced ahead of him thinking about the weirdness of his jaw or mouth or rather his chin. There was something obstruce about his face. He had a very common yet appealing face. As though a drifed black fume diffused unevenly on his face, he had a soft beard. His ruffling hairdo looked curly. His mustashe initiated like a cat’s whiskers in the center and ended little more densed in the edges. Certainly something gone missing in his face.
Wandering in these thoughts, Krishnan turned back, only to see the sight of her daubing her husband’s temples and forehead smoothly with her saree hem. Responding to this unexpected glance from Krishan, She turned towards him and asked “Hmm?”. The guide guy venturing towards Krishnan “ This temple was originally raised and installed in 11th century by King Jadavarman Kulasekaran Sir. Starting from 1190 AD untill 1217 AD , he ruled Madurai Pandiya Kingdom. During his tenture, under his patronage and there were 7 temples built in total. This temple was the second one. Centuries later, King Thirumalai Nayakar’s descendant Rengappa nayakan expanded the temple by adding these Rayargopuram towers, surrouned huge maha-paviilions and the outer granite walls of the temples” he delineated fluently without any pause.
Krishnan thought that they must be newly wed couples. The young man came near him “ Sir, My name is Raju, I dedicated myself to this temple. There is nothing unknown to me in this temple” he properly introduced himself.
Krishnan felt a jolt inside his kernel and took a support of the pedestal stone unconsciously, when he happened to meet his eyes. That young man was a blind. As though a dual white oval shaped wampums, his eye pupils oscillated inside his eye lashes. “I heard educated people mentining about these stone statues as the exemplary epitome of the Nayakar era stone statues. Once the Hindu daily paper published an articles about this temple statues.” He continued walking normally towards him.
“Are you blind?” Krishnan asked him. “Yes Sir. Why ? It took such long to identify” he laughed. His eye socket devoid of actual eyes, appeared like a spooky insect, disturbed Krishnan to core. Krishan pulled himself together to avoid contacting his face. “Are you blind by birth?” he asked wonderingly. “Never knew what you call as seeing” he replied.
<To be continued>