During my holiday at Pune, I stayed over at’s place for one night. Her apartment looks over this heritage building – a mansion called Aga Khan Palace (I think.  gave me the name, but I forget). </P>

I loved the building, it seemed so mystical. <BR>Except of a writeup written in the wee hours of the morning, as I gazed at it…

The stone felt cold beneath my feet. My lehenga swished around my legs, the beads quivering in quiet anticipation of the morning. I held on to the heavy pleats, and then lifted them over my ankles, not wanting to disturb the quiet slumber of dawn. My ankles seemed dark and ungainly against the pale marble stone, but I did like the ice cold feel as it touched first my toes and then my heels. I slow down my steps, my hips now swaying slightly as I imagined a slight music to the air. The air that seemed frozen till seemed to be stirring, as I felt a few strands of my hair caress my neck. I inclined my neck, now feeling a few more strands playing against my cheek. I let go of the heavily brocaded pleat and it falls once again in graceful abandon on the floor, lift my hand and brush away the strands, my fingers pushing them back behind my ear. I close my eyes, but the music still seems to be playing, far and distant, yet very clear and distinct. The darkness is lifting, and I wonder if I should hurry back. But the sun seems to be filtering in, and as I feel the faint warmth on my waist, it seems like the chill on my heart is also lifting. I had remembered to remove my anklets, so my feet are silent as I now place them in precision over the black diamonds on the marbles. Now left, now right, and now drag the edge over in an arc. One hand goes up in entreaty, fingers limp yet proud, and the sun seems to respond. The light seems to make my hands look fairer, and I use my other hand to brush away the goose bumps. The music seems much closer now, and I lift my hands above my head, now paying full obeisance to this unknown entity. My body arches as now the tempo increases – eyes still closed, I could feel the rhythm as my lehenga pleats fell against my skin. My chunri wrapped loosely around me has come undone, and I place one side of it over my head again. But it eases off again, this time falling over shoulders that are stretching in upbeat anticipation. I dismiss it playfully, and I am now aware of the smile playing over my lips.


My hair is open, and I look back toward the corridor, I brush it away from my back. My eyes look for you, but then before I see you, I blush and move back, once again letting the music take care of me. My bangles now feel heavy against my wrist, as they now move over my face, hiding eyes that aren’t shy more. They now move slowly over a neck that seems painfully bare except for strings of my choli. They move once again, and this time they wrap around the curve of my waist. As I arch my waist again, the dupatta falls back again, I wonder if that’s your hand around it. But then, it’s too late to reflect, and my feet move again, this time a little faster. The balcony now seems like a constraint, though the huge pillars are pleasantly reassuring. There are no shadows in the backyard, as the sun has not yet woken up completely. My feet now touch the sand, and then sink into it. From the cold of the marble to the grainy texture of the sand, it was quite different. The sand made my ankles dirty, but my feet somehow seem to have a mind of their own. The breeze had now turned into wind, and I flung out my chunri, wondering if it felt as wild and one with the wind as I did. I ran around the pond, my breath now panting, my eyes wild, chasing the chunri and the wind. The sun smiled at my happiness, and I could feel his arms around me, his breath on my face, and I wrapped my arms around me, blushing once more. I could hear the drums now, and I whirled around, my lehenga rising high, moving around in circles, as the dust moved as wisps around my feet.


And so I danced and danced….


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