Ah! The invitation! The exhilaration!
A dream come true!
She looked forward to the dance party – an annual ritual that she had seen from the seams. Today she would be the center of attraction – the lady with the veil, an enigma for everyone.
Eager to see the lady, we started the long trek to the magical land, hoping to reach before getting dehydrated. A mirage that seemed so near yet kept receding.
A greenway led us to the circular dance stage. Mist melted as we neared the venue.
One beat converted the stones into drums. We watched, mesmerized by the music. The sun suddenly grew dim, as if commanded by some unknown force.
The crescendo could be heard beyond eternity.
And there she was! A perfect figure, as if chiseled by an artist, making her first appearance. Twirling round and round, creating a divine circle around her…no beginning…no ending, just like the circle of life – palpable, perpetual.
This image reminds me of a real story of two kids who thought that the sky and the earth meet and they would be able to touch the horizon. Everyday they watched in awe and yearned to go there. The day their moms left them in the care of their grandma, they got the opportunity. Holding each other’s hand they walked toward their favorite place. Grandma thought they must be playing with the ducks near the pond. Adventure ran through their blood.
They quickened their pace as the sun shone brighter. They walked and walked, far away to touch the horizon. When moms returned home in the afternoon to discover the missing kids, they were blamed for being careless and irresponsible. A frantic search ensued. Grandma rushed into neighboring houses, hoping the kids must be playing with their friends.
The big news was delivered to Mr. J. Singh, an authoritarian man with haughty demeanor who considered talking to women a waste of time. He was furious and thundered: “These women can’t even take care of two kids!” Only grandma could face his wrath and order him to send men all around the village. No success!
Having realized the gravity of the situation, Mr. Singh took his bike out and told grandma that the kids must have fallen in the canal. Mumbling some obscenities at the women of the house, he drove away to request the local authorities to stop the discharge of water so that the bodies could be retrieved.
Never could anyone imagine the delight at the face of Mr. Singh as he returned home with us, chatting away to glory! Grandma ran to the storehouse to carry round blocks of Gur (jaggery) to be distributed to all those who came to congratulate!
Nobody was interested in their story and who saved them!
Within hours, Mr. autocrat announced: “Catch the morning bus and go back to the city. I’ve had enough of your adventures.” Nobody dare argue with him but we tried. Still our vacation was cut short.