But to remember the dance. Om Kareshwar, India. 1992.

BUT REMEMBER THE DANCE.
AND HOW……

 

Fully flying, arriving into colour and noise.

The women swaying and constant bhajan.

(The bhajan – the slow’ish’, sometimes!! religious songs. *banjay – to cry in Hindi.)

Around and around they danced, singing all the time.

In the dim electric , clapping and marking time

around and around,

And then,

The table , wrapped in sari and colour –

They sit in state together

In the centre of the dance.

The picture of  marital harmony.

The women clap and bow to them

With solemn faces.

The drums began……

One older woman would rise and allow herself to get sucked into the drums deep heart.

Stamping and writhing –

The sari pulled over their solemn face, expressive faces, others took her place,

The movement?

The motion of INDIA….

the planting

the harvesting

the sweeping

the paddling

the net casting

the chappatti making

the washing

the mending

the ground

eyes to the ground

the ground

the floor

the earth.

 

And stamping all the while.

The constant tread of India’s millions.

And I danced with them.

They gave me my henna-hand ‘mandee’

A chance to ‘feel’ my strange sisters

The true Parvatti’s.

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