A DANGEROUS LOVE STORY
By Neel Anil Panicker
They found refuge in a stone house in the upper Himalayas.
It wasn’t exactly a refuge, or even a stone house, or even the Himalayas per se.
The place itself was a single oblong monolith structure with another stony slab juxtaposed above it, a near perfect fit, one of those aberrations of Nature when things, disparate, just fall in place.
But there was a hitch; it was still exposed to the elements and posed a danger. Moreover, staying there for longer durations was just not possible, located as it were at an altitude that made the structure and its inhabitants visible from afar, if only by a long-range telescopic lens.
“Mahi, my legs are aching. I don’t think I can walk any further”, screamed Asheema in agony as she slumped onto the rocky walls.
Mahi opened his backpack, extricated a green steel bottle and sat down beside his lady love.
“Here, have this. You will feel better”, he said as he handed a cup of hot tea to Asheema.
As the beverage slithered down her parched throat, she emitted a sigh of relief and then fell back onto him, her arms knotting, their legs entwining one another’s.
And that’s how they lay, lost to the outside world, for God knows how long.
Until, a noise, a slow rumbling from afar brought them backfrom La La Land to terra firma.
Mahi butted his head out and peered out into the skies.
The sky had turned a slate grey and raindrops had already begun to fall.
Something else caught his eyes.
He turned to his left and there, over a hundred yards below, beyond the barren landscape, he saw a few figures.
They were moving.
He narrowed his eyes further, and then saw what he’d feared all along.
Men, at least half a dozen of them, spears and rifles stabbing into the air, were trudging up, heading their way.
At that instant he realised the full import of what he had gotten into.
The words of his lover began once again to ring in his ears, “Remember sweetheart, falling in love with an upper caste Army girl is not a walk in the park. On the contrary, its a very high risk proposition.”
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