“You are a compulsive smoker. Ensure that you have sufficient inventory of cigarettes before you go up the hill. You won’t get even a single cigarette even if you shell out a million rupees.”
They were right. Raghu was a compulsive smoker and could never get rid of the urge to reach out for a fag after anything he drank or ate. He stole an opportunity while his mother and wife were enjoying a nice cup of coffee as he hurriedly bought a few packets of his favorite brand of cigarettes and cleverly kept them deep inside his bag, beneath his clothes. Fortunately for them, there weren’t those long queues to board the bus that took the huge crowds up the hill to Tirumala, one of the most visited pilgrim centers in the country. They were lucky again to get seated in a row that could accommodate all the three of them. As the bus began the journey, most of the pilgrims inside the bus called out aloud, “Govinda… Govinda.”
Honestly, Raghu wasn’t very keen in visiting Tirupati because of his past experiences. He always felt it quite tedious to wait in those never-ending queues to have a very brief glimpse of the deity. Moreover it had always been an ordeal to find a room for staying overnight as more often than not, they made a trip without proper planning. However, he got married just a couple of months ago that was soon followed with a surprise promotion in his office. Padma, his mother believed that they had something to deserve a thanksgiving to Lord Balaji, who was their family deity. Shreya, his new wife was equally excited as her mother-in-law and hence Raghu had to shelve his reluctance. He was smiling to himself sitting right between his wife and mother as the bus roared through the hill road. The devotees inside the bus called out ‘Govinda… Govinda’ every time the bus took the hairpin turns. Although Raghu was amused, he managed to conceal his funny smile as he knew that both his wife and mother would get offended if they saw him smiling.
Within few minutes after the bus took the hill road, both Padma and Shreya were fast asleep. They kept leaning on Raghu’s shoulders repeatedly as the bus kept turning all through. Raghu couldn’t resist inhaling the fragrance of jasmine that was clipped to Shreya’s long curly hair. His eyes turned to his left to see that Padma’s sari had gone ajar, giving him a glimpse of her cleavage through the neck of her blouse. He shook his head and tried closing his eyes so that they don’t stray on his mother but every time they opened, he couldn’t resist the tendency to have a peek inside his mother’s blouse. Within seconds, he realized that he was hardening beneath his pants and struggled hard to control his emotions. The journey seemed like eternal for him as he was increasingly aroused by the dual sensation of his wife and mother tempting him inadvertently.
Finally, the journey came to an end much to the relief of Raghu. The walk from the bus stand to the temple wasn’t easy as thousands of pilgrims kept flocking all the way. They eventually joined a queue that probably was at least a couple of miles long. Padma stood in the front while Shreya closely followed him from behind. The queue kept moving once in five minutes and every time it stopped, Raghu deliberately pushed and grinded his waist against his mother’s ass cheeks. Padma did turn around and glanced at her son a few times but soon she didn’t seem unduly perturbed about her son’s crotch brushing her back. It took more than five hours for them to get the glimpse of the Lord. Raghu felt a sudden guilt as he looked up at the gigantic idol, decorated with plenty of sparkling jewels and flowers in different colors. He closed his eyes and apologized to Lord Balaji to forgive his sexual advances with his mother on the way in. However, once they got themselves pushed out of the sanctum, his eyes began searching for Padma all over again.
His worst fears came true as they began looking for some room. The whole place was buzzing with activity and they couldn’t find a room even after walking across the length and breadth of the small township. Finally, they managed to find one complex but to their utter disappointment, they were told that only one double room was vacant. Padma was rather adamant to have another glimpse of the Lord at early morning next day and hence Raghu had to agree. While Padma and Shreya were quite relieved after entering inside the very small room, Raghu looked a bit tentative as he badly needed to smoke. He rushed through the motions letting his mother and wife settle down in the room and walked out of the complex searching for a hideout to smoke his first cigarette in more than 8 hours. After inhaling the first puff, his nerves began cooling down and another couple of puffs brought him back to normalcy. He began cursing himself for whatever he thought about his mother and also for teasing her in the queue. He knew that he had gone out of bounds. His mind was full of humiliation and shame as he returned to the room.
He couldn’t look into Padma’s eyes after his return. He didn’t dare to speak to her while they were having their dinner. Shreya in all probabilities never realized the sudden uneasiness between her husband and his mother as she kept bubbling with enthusiasm all the time. However, it was when they decided to sleep that they realized they had a problem to sort out. There was only one cot in the room that at best can accommodate two. The room being very small, the cot was positioned so close to the wall. There was sufficient space on the floor for the third person to stretch. Finally, Raghu suggested that Padma and Shreya should sleep on the cot while he would sleep on the floor. Once decided, the switches were soon put off and they began sleeping. Raghu soon woke up trembling. The floor felt like ice as midnight approached. He tried hard wrapping himself with whatever clothes he could pullout from his bag but of no avail. He sat up and began wondering if he could ever sleep at all. He decided to warm himself up with a cigarette and walked out of the room without making any noise. He used the stairs to reach the terrace of the building where he could see a few people smoking stealthily. He was in a real hurry as he smoked very quickly because it was even colder on the terrace. He was shivering again as he got back inside the room. He managed to creep onto his bed and as he stretched his body, he felt a hand falling on his shoulders.
“Where have you been?” Shreya whispered.
“I am not feeling sleepy. It is very cold,” Raghu hushed. “I went out for a fag.”
“There is some space here,” Shreya pushed herself further on the cot. “Come on. Sleep here.”
“No way,” Raghu replied. “Three can’t sleep there.”
“We need to manage,” Shreya said and almost pulled him up. “Get up.”
Padma was almost pressing against the wall as Shreya moved to the center of the cot. Raghu carefully got on the bed and stretched himself to Shreya’s left. He was a bit relieved to feel the warmth of the cushion although it was a bit embarrassing to sleep on the same cot with his wife and mother.
“Let’s cuddle together,” Shreya whispered into his ears. “That might give us more space.”