Her payal tinkles as she runs, through the melodious din,

Dulcet tones fill her being as a big smile spread on her chin.

Her sight travels to a man, with a beautiful turban on his head–

Playing a peacock feathered flute, sitting on his canopy bed.

She looks around and her eyes widen at the girl balancing on the rope,

And stands mesmerized by the attire that the women enrobe;

Beaded with shells, lined with stones, and an elaborate headdress–

They’re all helping a man put on the rice cake makeup on his face.

His flamboyant dress making every head stop, turn and admire,

Even the graceful ones dancing together ‘round the fire.

A little away from the merry chaos,

She spotted a couple working in harmony;

Preparing food on banana leaves and caskets of ivory.

The little girls draped in saree, alluringly clad in gold,

Were singing with the folks who travelled from the land of the cold.

Her eyes crinkle and she laughs with delight,

Twirls on spot and dances to the drums’ flight.

Rangolis surround her, tunes harmonise;

She’s in her haven, her little paradise.

That’s when her mom from behind her chimes,

“Bharati come back, it’s almost nighttime!”

Bharati turns around and runs back home,

Her tricolour dupatta fluttering in her woke.


~Triparna Dasgupta


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