IT’S A DOWNHILL
By Neel Anil Panicker
Leaning against the parapet of her balcony, Angela placed her hands on the balustrade, her fingers running over the exquisitely carved animal figurines that etched onto the umpteen pillars that stood out like sentinels the entire length and breadth of Angela’s, the mansion that bore her name, the only and only double story all marble structure in the entire village of Akasa.
Her kohl lined eyes swept past the massive courtyard and surveyed, with unalloyed pleasure, the wealth of colourful vegetation that greeted her. Everything was there all the flowers of her choice, the ones that came in her dreams__the lilacs, daffodils, copper beeches, roses, asters, lilies__you name it, it was all there__blooming in full glory in the garden the size of half a football field.
She took in all that and inhaled deeply the westerly breeze that blew in from the sea, and then slowly descended the spiralled staircase for the last time ever.
She took in her time, waiting that wee bit longer at the end of each step, her mind harking back to the past, to a decade back when she had first arrived at this “heaven” after leaving behind her earlier impoverished existence.
The past decade had seen her metamorphosis from an ugly, illiterate poverty stricken tribal orphan girl to an insanely beautiful, much desirable voluptuous woman of substance who was anointed with the honorific title of queen.
She had everything a woman could want: A mansion of her own, a retinue of liveried servants at her beck and call, the luxury of hopping in and out of innumerable rooms, each the size of at least fifty huts where her erstwhile village folk lived.
Everything except the love of the man who had showered her with this benevolence.
Pity, he made her his queen, but forgot to treat her as one.
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