The Writer Of Marwadi Lane
My good great grand aunt Savitri died a spinster. She was in love with a rich man who owned the big house in Marwadi Lane in Tenali. He adorned her with jewelry from his store and hired a full-time masseuse to keep Savitri in great shape for the rich man was very fat and needed a supple mistress to help him along in bed.
Yes! Good great grand aunt Savitri was a kept woman. She had her own rooms, spacious balconies and her own establishment above the main house and a separate staircase to the outside to avoid any issues with the rich man’s wife downstairs. Savitri’s teenage maid transported food and beverage service from the main kitchen below along with on occasion delivered gossip to the rich man’s wife to keep her amused.
The rich man’s wife had long accepted and made peace with the existence of a mistress. I think perhaps she was secretly thankful for Savitri who kept her fat husband off of her.
Since the man of the house travelled a lot for his business, Savitri had a lot of time on her hand. Especially since a mistress’s social calendar is usually sparse and no children to look after. Savitri who was educated and clever started to write provocative short stories that sprung from her wonton imagination. With the help of the rich man’s publisher friend, Savitri got her stories published under a pseudonym. For a while there was some talk that sexual favors were exchanged to make this happen. All in all the soft porn short stories found an underground audience and demand grew.
Even her rich man was a fan and remained ignorant all his life that the writer of his favorite short stories was the naked beauty sleeping next to him. More than a 1000 stories got published over the course of her life.
Before the rich fat man died of a heart attack, he had bequeathed the big house in Marwadi Lane to Savitri. The angry wife who inherited the jewelry store sold all her assets and moved back to her father’s home on the other side of the river. The old masseuse moved in as a female companion and confidant and lived and massaged Savitri till her timely death. The publisher was now a regular visitor at the big house where Savitri continued to stay above the main house. The rich man’s wife’s quarters with it’s rich furniture and the mahogany canopy bed that saw very little action remained empty and were locked for good.
All that writing of short stories made Savitri into a proficient writer with great command over language and prose and her short stories transformed into novelettes and later into novels. Her novels now found a dignified audience and became the favorite among the literati who now became regular visitors at the big house in Marwadi Lane for literary discourse and good food and wine.
Savitri gained an interesting brand of respectability, which chose to know but never talk about her beginnings as a soft porn writer and her status as the rich man’s mistress. In fact a weekly literary salon held at her place and which ran into the wee hours of the morning was the most sort after social engagement for all of Tenali and the surrounding town’s writers and poets.
Savitri died a respectable death at the ripe old age of 83. She left a legacy of approximately 1000 odd soft porn stories, 7 novelettes and 32 novels including a long treatise on feminism in the vein of Simone de Beauvoir’s ‘the Second Sex’.
Savitri’s treatise on feminism has now become a mandatory read for any student of women’s studies.
Savitri’s rooms are now a mini museum with a display of her photographs, her extensive jewelry collection and her books. There is even an audio recording of a reading by her of her soft porn stories. You can go to Tenali and take the museum tour for Rs.150, which comes with a printed copy of one of her short stories.