the danseuse

I was sitting at her first floor hall
Beside the big glass window,
In a cloudy evening,
Waiting with the hot coffee mug in my hand,
While she sat before me,
Bottle green saree wrapped around her...

I noticed how her red stone studded earrings swayed
Every time she moved her head
To nod or just to smile...

I looked at her posture,
Sitting like a swan,
Majestic..
 Her eyelashes were long,
Her eyebrows were pruned,
Her hair was braided with some kind of ribbon...

She looked so much homely,
Like those women of yesteryear,
Who spent most of their lives in kitchen
And labour beds,
The rest of their time on either chewing betel leaves,
Or listening to the radio...


Sitting infront of her,
I thought of those women
Of bygone era...
Red sindoor  on their forehead
Dazzling like a sacrosanct mark...

But then,
Suddenly the rains came pouring,
And saw the homely woman removing leaf by leaf her conventionality...

She opened the window
Put her head out,
Closed her eyes...
And the rain fell on her as if to bring out her self
That had been kept confined for ages...

She let herself drenched
While I, shamelessly watched,
The swan turning into a peacock...

Then...
She tucked the aanchal of her saree into her waist,
And removed the ribbon from her hair,
To help the black stream take the fullest fall,
And...
She started tapping her feet on the marble...

The rain turned violent,
The windows rattled,
The long coconut trees swayed...

And she took the centre of the hall,
Her eyes bore the joys of life,
And the cold moist wind moved into the hall like gusts of sea waves,
Spraying little jets of shiver...

She started dancing...
I sat there still,
And watched the peacock in full flow...
The thunder and the lightning
Only gave cadence to her work,
And her whole body glowed
With indescribable energy and light...

She danced while it rained...
And the sacrosanct mark on her forehead,
Took the shape of a tilak...
A long red mark shiny,
As if it proclaimed victory...

The mesmerizing victory of a danseuse









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