Authors: Rea Thomas
Rosie, unable to deal with the fallout from a failed
engagement, decides to backpack through India with the misguided notion of “finding
herself”. She has spanned the country, visited temples and explored the
culture—all without finding anything but the realization her problems have come
abroad with her.
Then, as her southward journey brings her to Kerala, Rosie
meets a local farmer, a man who barely speaks English but who manages to
reignite a zest for life within her. She is instantly attracted to him, for not
only is he exquisitely gorgeous, he is also mysterious. When he invites her to
his modest home in the rural outskirts of town for the sole purpose of sex,
Rosie knows agreeing would be foolish and dangerous. All the guidebooks warn
about such stupidity and yet she is powerless to resist.
Soon Rosie finds what she came to India for—liberation from
her sadness and a little adventure.
story from Ellora’s Cave
own Kannur man. You enrich my life every single day we are together.
I wanted him.
There was no preamble, no doubt, no inner quibbling. The
moment I glimpsed him, standing on the beach as dawn broke over the Arabian
Sea, I wanted him.
Perhaps it was the ethereal light, casting his silhouette in
a golden halo, projecting him in almost godly radiance.
I had come to India two months ago, roaming state to state
with a backpack and my old camera that still used film. I’d never had a love of
digital photography and felt it somehow lacked any spark. I had come to this
land of religion, culture, festivals, colors and musical movies expecting to
“find myself”. Although it was clichéd, I had boarded the plane in London,
hoping the diversity of India would evoke something deeply spiritual inside me.
That it might put my life into some kind of perspective. The kind of
perspective I knew had been desperately lacking recently.
In some ways it had. India wasn’t quite as lost in the past
as I imagined it would be. The cities were modern, telecommunication as good as
the Western world. But still, there remained a part of the vast, diverse land
that was filled with history, myth, legend and ritual. I had seen perhaps one
hundred temples already and I still wasn’t bored. One would have thought
traveling alone was a solitary and lonely choice, but I had not felt any pangs
Kerala, where I had arrived three days ago, was my favorite
place so far. They called it “God’s Own Country” and I could easily understand
why. The land was lush with vegetation. Coconut trees, mango trees, banana
trees and lime trees grew in haphazard abundance. Everywhere I looked there was
fruit readily available for picking—although I didn’t for fear of being branded
a thief. The air smelled heavily of this natural beauty too. Especially in the
morning, which was why I had left my hotel room for a wander along the beach.
Where I saw him for the first time. Where I felt a sting of
loneliness for the first time in two months.
I did not anticipate the wonderful racing of my pulse as I
rested my weight against a sloping coconut tree and watched him. It had been so
long since I had felt even the merest flicker of desire.
He wore a cotton
—folded up to expose his thick,
dark legs—and nothing else. I couldn’t see his face, only the curls of his
black hair against the nape of his strong neck. He was performing some kind of
complex stretches, every muscle in his immaculately honed body tensing and
rippling beneath mocha-brown skin. His stance was almost warrior-like, his
limbs impossibly flexible as he rotated his body in a single, swift movement.
Long fingers brushed the sand, sending a spray of powdery grains into the air,
gold-dust as they caught the morning light.
The sun had crested over the horizon, slanting beams across
the still-gray ocean. Gentle waves came and went against the shore,
occasionally advancing far enough to cover the tips of his toes. The merest
breeze teased his unruly hair and sent the cotton fabric fluttering. I was the
only other soul on the beach and in the fifteen minutes I had been watching, he
hadn’t given a single indication of being aware of me.
He looked almost majestic, lifting his arms toward the
brightening sky, stretching as if in silent worship of this beautiful morning.
The thick tendons of his flesh were hard against his skin. He was magnificently
gorgeous. I felt as though I had stepped into another era, watching this
local man performing sacred martial arts, greeting the sunrise with reverence
As his routine drew to a close, the stranger lowered his
head and pressed his hands together. I watched him give silent prayer for
another few seconds, before he turned abruptly and leveled his eyes upon me at
once. I had no doubt then that he had been aware of me all along and the
impression he had not was simply a ruse.
Eyes as black as onyx watched me, hard and appraising. From
the front, he was even more breathtaking in his beauty; his body was solid—not
bumpy and beefy, but hard and taut. The
hung low on his narrow hips,
offering me a tantalizing view of his groin. There were crisp, dark hairs
leading downward in a delicious trail from the little indent of his
bellybutton. His abdominal muscles seemed to flex beneath my scrutiny and his
shoulders squared, his posture as rigid and upright as a soldier.
Perhaps I was yielding some unknown magnetism for his gaze
was fixed upon me, unwavering in its intensity. I felt the deep seeds of
arousal begin to grow within my belly as his impenetrable eyes narrowed in
contemplation. His lips were plush, the lower of the two a delicious curve that
I could imagine sweeping my tongue across. I broke our gaze long enough to
study his mouth and imagine what he would kiss like. Something about his pure,
potent sexuality told me he would kiss as well as he did everything
of this man. Not his name or age, what
he did or where he came from—but my instinct told me he would be a powerful,
possessive and thorough lover. Everything I needed in the aftermath of my recent
heartbreak. I needed someone who would make me forget the pain, could reignite
my libido with one hard and obstinate stare.
I was surprised when he began to move, his strides wide as
he crossed the beach. I expected him to stop, to introduce himself and make
inane small talk while we navigated the awkward preludes. He barely slowed as
he approached me, his impressive height suddenly apparent as he drew up level.
This close, I could see the length of his lashes as they formed a black frame
around his equally dark eyes. His lips parted to speak only a single, heavily
I could imagine the same, gruffly spoken word issued in a
different type of command altogether. I was startled by his self-confidence and
the assuredness with which he spoke. He didn’t afford me a moment to reflect or
refute, striding up the stone steps to the ancient fort wall—a relic of the
British rule—above my head. His bare feet slapped against the hard, dry stone.
I watched him go, noticing the stiff, ropy muscles in his
calves and the backs of his thighs. I was immersed in the fantasy of that body
thrusting against my hips, claiming and possessing me.
The golden sunlight caught his beautiful features as he
paused for only a moment, looking down at me with unspoken command. I was
compelled to move. Casting off my inner doubt, I retraced his footsteps, climbing
the steps to the top of the fort. He remained ten paces ahead, affording me a
perfect view of his backside. I wondered if he wore underwear beneath his
native dress. I hoped not.
I had lost all sense of personal safety. I had two travel
books in my backpack that devoted whole chapters to traveler safety. Rule
number one, especially for a lone woman, had to be
going away with
strangers. I heard the small, weak voice in the back of my mind as it warned me
against the stupidity into which I was walking. I remembered my reason for
coming to India in the first place—for adventure, for a fearless leap into the
As I began to doubt myself, I remembered Jerald. I pictured
his face as I burst into our newly purchased home and saw him with the unnamed
brunette with the big tits, fucking on my brand-new kitchen table.
I forged onward, determined to vanquish the memory of the
man who had broken my heart almost a year ago. My mind played a colorful
montage of the months that had passed since. I saw myself sobbing, alternating
between total despair and red rage. I envisioned the estate agent as he sadly
hammered the “For Sale” sign into the lawn of the house he had only recently
sold to us. I could so vividly remember the moment I carried boxes of my belongings
to my car, taking only the essentials and never wanting to see the furniture
Jerald had tainted ever again.
After everything I had endured in ten months, I was ready to
leap back into the art of living. I knew my friends and family would be outraged
if they could see me following the stranger. I didn’t care. I was boundless,
free to make whatever foolish decisions I wanted. I felt alive, adrenaline
thrumming through my veins as I increased my pace. I was only a few steps
behind him, close enough to smell the pheromone-infused scent of his taut
skin—a mixture of coconut oil and something woodsy I could not place—close
enough that I could see his hair was damp with sweat. I wanted to sink my
fingers into the strands, tugging until his head fell back to expose the column
of his strong, thick neck.
I had no idea where I was being led. The sun was low enough
not to cast warming beams of light upon the coastal town’s narrow streets. We
walked past humble dwellings, the inhabitants of which were still asleep. There
were long shadows created by the coconut trees growing in profusion along the
roadside. The smallest breeze had the palm fronds rustling, but otherwise this
mostly residential area of town remained quiet. My feet, clad in brown leather
sandals, slapped against the ground, loud in comparison to his silent
We may have walked for ten minutes or an hour. Time was
measured here only by the increasing light and shortening shadows. I followed
him, not daring to speak in case the anticipation I felt was shattered by some
anti-climatic rebuke. He made no attempt to initiate conversation, and the
mysteriousness of him was only strengthened by his unwillingness to
communicate. I was either being led down a dangerous, potentially deadly
path…or I was approaching sexual nirvana with a man who wanted the same as me.
I was drunk on my craziness, giddy with excitement. Where I should have been
afraid, I felt deeply and profoundly aroused.
The buildings thinned out, giving way to uninterrupted rice
fields stretching far to the east. I was inclined to stop walking, to absorb
the unparalleled beauty of the plantations. The vivid green met the dark,
ragged shadows of the mountains in the distance. The dusty road, lined with
ever-present coconut trees, was empty. There were no vehicles, no cattle and
above all—no people. I was in the middle of nowhere, following blindly into a
situation I could not predict.
The man cut off the road, traversing a grassy pathway
between the wet rice fields. I hesitated for a moment, a shred of common sense
breaking through the fog of adrenaline. Where was he going? Did my decision to
follow him go beyond insanity? No one knew me here, and if I went missing there
wouldn’t be a single person who could verify which way I had gone. I hadn’t
passed another human being in ages.
He stopped abruptly, turning his head only a fraction to
look at me. His body remained rigid, succulently dark and tempting. I thought
he might speak again, and offer me a morsel of pleasure in his accented voice. He
did not part his lips, striding onward as though he didn’t care one way or
another if I followed. Somehow, his indifference reassured me. I inhaled
deeply, and hurried on.
Focusing on his body, I guessed he had to be at least
six-two. His shoulders were broad, but his muscular stature was the type earned
by physical labor and not, as I had seen so often back home, the product of
seven-day gym sessions. He was like a warrior, his physique natural, and there
was something virile and deeply sexual about his every movement. He moved with
refined grace and certainty, navigating the rice field with expert knowledge.
The longer I followed him, the more I wanted to touch my fingertips upon his
brown skin and taste the sweet, coconut scent.
We approached a wooden hut, mounted on stilts above the
field. The roof, constructed from dried palm leaves, sloped gently downward.
There was a single door at the top of the wooden steps, and a rectangular
window covered by a piece of fabric. I bent my head back to study the little
structure. While I observed his home, the man climbed the steps and turned to
me. He did not smile.
His home was modest in its simplicity but meticulously cared
for. The wood was smooth, the steps sturdy and the ground on which it sat was
clear of weeds and debris. In the middle of marshy paddy fields, the stranger’s
shack was an oasis. He continued to wait at the top, proud of this place as a
king might be proud of a sprawling, opulent castle. With his arms crossed over
his strong, bare chest, I thought he looked very much like royalty, surveying
I took a tentative step forward, wondering what was wrong
with me. Back home, I was the woman with such an indecisive personality I
struggled to decide between tuna salad and egg salad for lunch. I
second-guessed every choice I made, and yet as my sandal-clad foot hit the
sturdy wooden step, I felt only a surge of excitement in knowing I was doing
dangerous. My heart was pumping louder and faster than it
ever had before.
My senses were heightened, absorbing everything from the
fresh, fruit smell of the surrounding trees, to the warmth of the sun as it
touched upon my bare shoulders. The scenery around me was vivid in its colors—a
thousand shades of green, contrasting with the cobalt-blue skies. Morning had
arrived, and standing there, I felt as though I had stumbled upon the Garden of
Eden and not a rural village in Kerala.
The man made no attempt to interrupt the moment. He stood in
the doorway to his shack, watching me. He blended into this place, belonging
entirely in the environment. In my mind, I likened him to Tarzan. He possessed
the same incredible physique, the same rugged lack of finesse that was guilty
of blighting the otherwise good-looking men back home. The men I knew were poseurs,
pretending to be strong and virile men.
stranger, with thick, ropy
muscles and an unsmiling face, had my insides knotting with scorching
My ascension of the steps seemed to take an eternity, for my
legs had turned to the consistency of jelly. Was I walking into the lion’s den?
At home, if I had read about a foolish tourist who had gotten maimed at the
hands of a lunatic after wandering willingly into his lair, I would have found
it very difficult to extend sympathy. It was ridiculous, insane and in so many
what I needed.