Ashton is a retired judge. He has been in agony for 30 years since he made a single mistake by sentencing death to an innocent man.

He is interested in a legend of mystic temple which has a spring of rejuvenation. He travels to eastern India and finally finds the mystic temple.

He is soaked in the mystic water and when he wakes up, he finds himself in a young feminine body. Ashton also finds that the time is centuries back.

She is a beautiful dancer – a temple prostitute.

[Main Characters]


Love Beyond Age & Gender

Chapter 1

It was a particularly humid day. Beams of sunlight struck from every conceivable direction. Somewhere in the south east coast of the Indian subcontinent, between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal stood a forest. It was of the evergreen variety with towering ebony trees and other specimen. Most were about 52 feet tall with shimmering, mysterious green leaves. The barks of trees alternated between an imperial jet black and a breath-taking striking brown. The trees were rich enough to provide solid shade. The thick fragrance of flowers filled the air.

The gazelle was dying. He was much advanced in his twilight years. His once fawn-colored hide had darkened into an unhealthy, almost intimidating brown. Like in all males of his species, the horns were long and curved.

He was so weak that he could barely walk. The gazelle limped along a stretch of forest he lived in. He was very much aware of his condition; his final desire was to lie in a vast all-embracing pool of water. Immersing himself in an inviting tepid pool, he thought, would bring much solace—like being in the arms of his mother.

He persevered on even though his legs were killing him. The gazelle dreaded the prospect of being confronted with a dhole or wild jungle dog, sloth bear or a cheetah. Many a times in his youth, the gazelle had jumped and run when he’d seen a cheetah. He didn’t think that possible when on his last legs.

The gazelle reached the lagoon around which the evergreen forest he lived in had grown. Since it was a part of the sea which had stretched itself out to the land, the waters were saline and brackish. A mangrove forest had grown in it; it accommodated various types of trees with the roots outside, with pores outside large enough to allow air inside and well-developed ‘buttresses’—gigantic roots flanking all sides of a unsoundly rooted tree. Sometimes, many trees with buttress roots had come together to form an intimate, intricate mesh. They barely allowed sunlight to permeate.

Since there was not an inch of space to immerse himself in, the fatigued gazelle staggered on. The knobbly roots, fissured barks in yellow, green and even pink and the thick menacing leaves of trees suffocated him. He was glad when he’d crossed the lagoon and emerged on the other side of the forest.

The sea came into view. The gazelle tottered beyond the cave temples, monasteries, the 3 feet tall cheetah statue and a small 7 tiered temple. The temple had been there for some time, but the rest of the specimen had been unearthed by the recent tsunami that had struck the area. The tsunami made significant changes to the shoreline, uncovering a number of such hidden relics.

The waters were a glimmering golden black in the moonlight. Something—perhaps a passing bird, a tiny pebble or even a minor earthquake—had roiled its surface, leaving it disturbed. The gazelle stood waiting for the surface to regain its lost tranquility. After a while, he faltered closer to the sea. It was magnetizing him towards it in a way he couldn’t describe. The feeling was almost—supernatural.

As he moved on, something caught a beam of the moonlight and shimmered. The tips of 7 golden domes were conspicuous above the surface of water. They were bright, splendorous, mystic and sacred—all at the same time. The gazelle had seldom seen anything so beautiful.

Enticed by the golden domes, he moved on. The sands that had previously been rough were now damp and sodden with sea water. The gazelle gingerly dipped one of his forelimbs into a forthcoming wave. It was cool, refreshing, rejuvenating.

The golden domes stood at a distance. They beckoned him to come closer and the gazelle waddled many steps into the sea. The waves were getting increasingly rough and turbulent against his feeble legs. As the gazelle advanced further into the sea, its level rose. The gazelle kicked his limbs around in a desperate attempt to stay afloat. The waters had risen, inundating his whole body. Only, his head bobbed up and down the water surface.

The gazelle swam 100 feet or so towards the golden domes. Once there, he’d sunk. He didn’t hit the hard sea bed as he had anticipated, but was sucked into the glorious temple interiors made of intricately carved stone blocks. He was only semi-conscious now. The waters inside the mystic interiors weren’t horribly saline like the waters of the sea and the lagoon. They were soothing, sweet and ambrosial. Lulled into drowsiness, the gazelle soon fell asleep.

A sliver of sun’s beam woke him up the next morning. The gazelle found that he was afloat on the waves. The golden domes were glimmering fiercely in the sunlight. They almost gave an impression of the sea being set on fire.

The gazelle swam back to the shore. He found that his movements were light and sprightly. The deep death-like exhaustion of the previous day had vanished.

Something had changed. Something magical had transpired during the time the gazelle had lain in the interiors of one of the submerged temples. What exactly had happened? This—the gazelle found he couldn’t quite put his finger on.

He reached the shore and made his way back to the forest. While traversing the length of the lagoon, he happened to catch sight of his reflection. Only, it was changed—into that of a young gazelle. A petite, comely, fawn-colored gazelle. And ‘he’ was female.

His heavy, ridged, curved horns had given way to poker straight, slender and whirly ones like those of female gazelles. The long erect organ that he had used to impregnate several females in his day had now disappeared into a hole. The gazelle didn’t have a penis anymore; he had a womb. And the reflection revealed tiny pink circles on the bottom of his body—circles that showed the promise of swelling into udders when the female gazelle got pregnant and started producing milk….

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