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Article: Ek Sard Dopehri Se Mulaqat

Ek Sard Dopehri Se Mulaqat

Ek Sard Dopehri Se Mulaqat

It feels like I have met you after ages and you have been gone forever. But now that you are here, it is as if the agony of summer was merely a nightmare. You are a waking dream.

I have waited endless months to hold your warm hands in mine and ask you so many questions. They have cling to my skin like sweat on summer nights. Now they beg to be soothed. Perhaps you will have some answers to these.

If I tugged on a silken corner of your warmth and braided it in my hair, will it soften the grays in my life?

If I held on tightly to the bright orange of your skies and tucked it in the pleats of my saree, will your courage strengthen my spine?

If I dipped my fingers in the molten pink of your sunsets and rubbed some of it on my chest- like the attar gulaab, meant only for your arrival-will your warm blood awaken my sleeping desires?

If I asked the cold evenings that follow your departure, how they manage to stretch hope beyond the end of each year, will your softness unravel this riddle of life?

You merely sigh and turn your head away like a shy lover who has to return home before the sun leaves us cold. But I cannot let you go. Look, the carpets and durries have been hung out to drive the moths away. My mother’s sarees flutter in the breeze, a colorful bouquet of banarasi, jamawar, poth and paithani. Perhaps they will drape your ample body some day.

Look, there is hot halwa to eat and jaggery to savour, saag to nourish us and til to keep our limbs warm. Look, the golden hour wanes and the sky turns into a playground for parrots. Don’t leave so soon. I have yet to oil your hair and perfume it with musk. I have yet to see your betel stained lips break into a smile. I have yet to offer you a steaming cup of adrak chai.

You come but once a year and rattle our bones with your spiteful anger for nights on end. We scour the horizon for the sun to dispel our gloom and give us a glimpse of your dimpled cheeks. The whole world stalls to be in your embrace. In solitude, sometimes with a book or humming a tune, aching souls climb high terraces to sit with you on creaking charpais. Do not turn your face away.

Oh beauteous, fleeting pyari Sard Dopehri, we have braved the scorching heat of summer and swum in the dizzying floods of monsoon. We have waited through the despair of another year to bare our bodies and souls to you. Soon, the asr azaan and evening bhajans will announce your carriage. Come, sit here awhile. Let me close my eyes and imagine that you are here to stay.

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