. . . And All His Heart’s Desires
Copyright Marc Cabot 2012
Cover Photo © Phartisan | Dreamstime.com / Used Under License
Published by Unspeakable Publications at Smashwords
Somewhere Near Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh State, Republic of India
“Aha!” Doctor Jonathan Corbliss gave a shout of triumph. It echoed through the steaming air of the jungle, but not far, and not for long. The air was too thick and heavy, the foliage too dense. Some creature trilled in alarm, and if he had strained, he might have heard the rustling of small animals seeking better cover. But he was far too distracted.
That’s Rati, all right... and there’s Kama, but not at her side, behind her. Not because he’s less important, but because this is not his place. It’s hers. Kama, the Hindu god of love, often appeared beside Rati, his wife, in temple carvings. But being a man, and representing the “higher” emotion of love over Rati’s own domain of carnal pleasure, he was always larger. Not here. This was one of the extremely rare temples to Rati first and to Kama only in acknowledgement of his bond to the Goddess of Sex.
He paused and wiped at his brow as he looked at the small carving, set into an artificially carved shelf in the sheer rock face of a small hill. Only a trained and patient eye would have spotted the faint break in the natural flow of the hillside. Pulling a small but rugged digital camera out of a pocket, he carefully pulled aside several creepers that drifted across the face of the carvings and took shots from multiple angles. The vegetation didn’t want to let go and he didn’t want to damage the stone by yanking on the vines, but he managed.
Although only twenty-some miles from the world-famous ancient temple complex outside Khajuraho, with its thousands of erotic carvings, the terrain here was absolutely murderous. The ruins at Khajuraho had never been really lost - being “discovered” when locals, who’d always known they were there, had shown them to a visiting Englishman in the late 1800’s. But there were no cattle tracks here, no trace of man at all. There was no good grazing and no good cropland space, it was just too rough. When the particular upsurge of culture that had produced this temple to Rati had faded, it had truly been lost to time.