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The Kanjiram Tree By Sheetal Ashpalia


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She pulled her hair back and tied it into a loose braid. Plucking flowers from the nearby plant, she tucked them behind her ear. Her kohl rimmed eyes looked beautiful, just like a doe’s. As she draped her sari, she glanced at her reflection in the water. With smooth skin and a voluptuous body, she felt proud of the form she had taken.


Waking up from deep sleep, she was hungry. She craved fresh blood again. She recalled her last meal a week ago.


And then she smelt him. There he was, sitting under the Kanjiram tree. That tree was her favorite haunt in this part of the forest. He was lanky, not much to look at and deep in meditation. But he would have to do.


She didn’t do this out of choice. She recalled how she had become a Yakshi. Poisoned to death by her own folk, when she had loved them the most. That was the day she had sworn revenge.


The smell of jasmine filled the air as she approached him. He opened his eyes to stare into her golden pools. She was an apsara on Earth, he thought. He reached out to touch her and she didn’t resist. In fact she came closer, enticing him.

She wanted to lie down on the ground, but he resisted. He was the man after all and she was the woman. It was up-to the man to lead. Coyly, she gave in. She looked at him through half closed eyes and he led her to the tree trunk. Pushing her against it, he trapped her with his body. She felt a quiver run through her. Soon! No one has been able to resist me so far, she thought to herself.

As his hands touched hers, she bit her lower lip. And then suddenly, she screamed. Pain as hot as lava, ran through her insides, threatening to tear her apart. Eyes as red as coal, she turned to look at him again closely.


How did I miss this? She questioned herself.

He was a Mantravadi of course! Sent by her family. She had killed and drunk the blood of enough male members of the family for them to be concerned. How would the ‘Vansh’ carry on if all died? And yet she had given birth to them, the finest warriors on land. They had killed her as they wanted to continue womanizing, their never ending lust for women, who were to be used and discarded.


He laughed, a maniacal cry that echoed through the forest. He had driven an iron nail through her hand, trapping her to the tree. As he walked away without looking back, she vowed that this was not over. Someone would be foolish enough to set her free and then she would start all over again!


But for now, she would rest under the Kanjiram tree.

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Glossary

Kanjiram tree – Deciduous tree native to India Yakshi – Female goddess associated with the fertility of the Earth, love and beauty. Apsara – a celestial nymph Mantravadi – Exorcist who captures a Yakshi Vansh – the clan


Author: Sheetal Ashpalia

A dreamer, a believer, are the words that best describes Sheetal. She loves penning her thoughts and writing has slowly turned into a passion. Poetry is a recent foray after being coaxed into it by friends from the writing community. Apart from reading and writing, she also enjoys singing and painting. The above story by her has been chosen as the second place winner for #plethoraquiz4 #nanostory writing prompt organized by Plethora Blogazine on their Facebook’s Official group page.

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