My secret: How I gave birth to Tiina by Laxmi Hariharan – GIVEAWAY
Today I am hosting Laxmi Hariharan in celebration of her new release The Destiny of Shaitan. Check out the guest post below and make sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post for a chance to win either a $15 Amazon Gift Card or Autographed Paperback of The Destiny of Shaitan.
My secret: How I gave birth to Tiina by Laxmi Hariharan
The unerring precision of being caught in that act by him sends goose pimples up her arms. She plays it out in her mind, examining it from different angles.
These were the first lines I wrote for The Destiny of Shaitan. It was 2004. Wanderlust had led me to Hong Kong, where I lived in a tiny four-hundred-square-feet apartment (I kid you not! If you have seen pictures of the high-rises smothering the Hong Kong skyline, well I share a secret—they are all apartment blocks. I lived on the eighteenth floor of one such tower.) “Eighteen—lucky number,” the landlord had reassured me, as apparently, was the street address—Eight Hollywood Road. The belief in numerology runs deep in the Orient, with local businessmen shelling out millions of dollars for a car license plate which bears the number Eight.
But I digress, for I am here to share my secret with you.
One afternoon I was walking down Hollywood Road, wearing my favourite pair of thin cotton cut-off trousers, and a baby-T-shirt. In that eighty-degrees-heat the less one wore the better, and I had learnt very quickly that even wearing jeans felt claustrophobic in that climate. Cotton was best, to keep the skin ventilated. Rain had started pattering down, and a slight breeze rising from the sea crept up, enveloping me in its cooling embrace before fading away. I raised my eyes in delight and put out my hand to catch the drops of calm in the palm of my hand. “Thank you, one above!” My phone rang just then, startling me out of my dialogue with the greater force of nature.
“Enjoying your walk?” It was the man I had met last night at the salsa bar. Hong Kong—believe it or not—is a salsa hotspot, and most nights I managed to make it to the gym and then onto a salsa class to give myself over to the rhythm of my heart and the pure enjoyment of becoming one with the music. I was a novice and he was obviously a seasoned dancer. I was flattered by his attentions, and for the rest of the evening we twirled, sashayed and swayed together.
Seemed he was in the bus that had just gone by and seen me. “I saw you talking to yourself” he told me that night. I blushed, wondering why it felt like he had caught me in the act of making love to myself. Perhaps because at that very moment I had been one with the universe, in a very private place, wearing my heart on my sleeve and he had seen a vulnerable side to me that I had kept to myself so far?
There are no coincidences. So what was this? All it had been was an emotional exchange, yet the attraction felt wrong, it felt as if coming from a wellspring of hope which I had not known existed within me.
A gaze, lust. A touch, sizzle. A beat of music, caress. A drop in time, like the rain which chattered down while I had looked up and floated away. Why did it feel so wrong, as if I was cheating on my boyfriend of that time? When all I had done was look into his eyes and felt a connection?
About Laxmi Hariharan: I am a writer, technophile & dare I say, a futurist, with a penchant for chai and growing eye-catching flowers. Wanderlust drove me out of my home country India and I travelled across Asia, living in Singapore and Hong Kong before coming home to London. I am inspired by Indian mythology; I draw strength from the stories my grandmother narrated to me as a child. It is in acknowledging my roots that I found my voice. When not writing I love walking in the woods with my soulmate, and indulging my inner geek.