Priya and Akash were a young, upwardly mobile urban couple who sought sexual variety and often swapped with other consenting couples within the same age group.
They picked couples who matched their wavelengths and similar social status. Tonight, Anuradha and Dileep were their choice. The venue is Priya and Akash’s cosy apartment.
While there are several ways for foreplay, these four were addicted to chess. There was something about stimulating their minds as they warmed themselves up. Besides, the brain is the sexiest organ in the body.
Their guests for the night made themselves comfortable in the living room.
All their addictions on display: Anuradha stirred her antioxidant-rich tea. Dileep was smoking a cigarette. Priya was sipping her favourite coffee brew while Akash held a can of chilled beer.
In the centre of these four fiercely individualistic persons lay a checkered board. Aptly, they named their format of play ‘Battle of the Sexes’ in which the married couples would switch. Priya and Dileep would team up, and Anuradha and Akash would play as one. The latter opened with their white pawn.
All four players would take turns to play to make their moves until one team declared checkmate.
As the game progressed, so would the intensity of the group; aside from the battle on the chessboard, the couples also indulged in each other. They bantered, made out openly.
At one point, Akash announced, “Love is in the air, and chess is war. All is fair in love and war!”.
Anuradha moved her Bishop and wished, “May the Bishop bless our union.”
When it was Priya’s turn, she revealed she had a crush on the handsome Knight in shining armour.
Dileep cheered, “Swoosh, the Rook is swinging from the King’s side to the other side of the board - the perfect swinger.”
Almost an hour later, Team Priya and Dileep were on the verge of winning. The swapping of chess pieces and each other continued, the result far from predictable.
Suddenly, Akash directed a question at Dileep, “Why do you love chess?”
“Where else would a civilian like me get the opportunity to be an army marshal?” He teased.
Akash fired another question, “And why do you love Priya?”
Without thought, Dileep blurted out, “Because she told me that I last much longer than you.”
Silence filled the air with a side of embarrassment, guilt and fury.
Anuradha took advantage of the silence. She sacrificed a chess piece of higher value in exchange for a lower one to give them a fighting chance strategically.
They laughed, and Anuradha and Akash embraced each other as they celebrated their comeback.
At this point, the game reached its checkmate point, with a crucial lesson for all. One side that seemed to be winning, but in a premature moment, had one mistake almost brought it all down.
Yes, chess is cruel. But that’s the same for spouse swaps as well.
The ethical and psychological aspects of non-monogamy took over their minds. They fathomed factors that enhanced or diminished the pleasure of making love.
There’s a term among chess players, ‘exchange sacrifice’. That night, this word took on a whole new meaning, just as exchanging partners outside of wedlock means sacrificing the very sanctity of wedlock.
Throughout the seven-month span of their involvement in fully consensual adultery, each quartet member recalled their spells of intense lust followed by doubt. They wondered if it was because of such frequent mood swings that the term swinging couples came to be.
They introspected about the merits of fidelity. It also occurred to these chess enthusiasts that the word ’fidelity’ sounded similar to the International Chess Federation – FIDE.
That night, the four learned a lesson from the chessboard that often symbolised a battlefield. Incidentally, this is referenced in The Bhagavad Gita, a narration on the battlefield that changed the course of many thoughts and actions.
This realisation was both heartening and liberating for the group. The mood lightened.
Together, they sat in the living room after the game was long over. Priya spoke first, “So what? We are still the swinging couples.”
They laughed in unison.
Dileep replied, “But today’s scheduled session was quite a romp. How would you rate this night? On, let’s say, a scale of 0-100?”
All three recited in chorus cheerfully, “Akkar Bakkar Bombay Bo, Assi Nabbe Poore Sau!”