The glittering border of your maroon and green costume reflected your mood so well. Where you were happy to be finally performing on the stage after so long, it was evident that there was something disturbing you. The dove eyes gleamed out of happiness even then I couldn’t help but notice a shade of grey on your spirit, something was obviously disturbing you. For a moment I suspected that what I saw was a twitch of a facial muscle as if you were trying to suppress some physical pain. As we got the dress on you, it seemed like the tailor had stitched it a tad big for you, but then when we tried the dress two days back, I remember that you filled the dress perfectly well as if it was second skin on you.

Your fair complexion glowed brighter as the bulbs around the mirror shone and let their warm yellow light fall on your face, highlighting your eyes and making the golden surya and chandra on your hair sparkle as if they were for real. The painted lips looked nothing less than a rose bud and the heavily made up eyes would make any man’s heart flutter. You were always a stunner and that day you looked like you were ready to kill someone with your beauty.

It was such a pure joy to work for you, to work with you. You never had any tantrums or threw your weight around like the young rising stars do these days. The other make-up artists always burned green out of envy whenever they saw how gently and kindly Meera treated me. With that charming smile of yours and the perfect manners, you always knew how to behave and how to carry yourself. Unlike the others girls of your age, you were never brash and were matured for your age. You were my Meera, the one I tended to like a tiny plant with the dreams of seeing you one day fully grown and realizing all your dreams.

I could tell like only a mother can, that there was something amiss that day, you were not your usual self. There was pain and grief on your face, sadness and desperation in your eyes and your spirit seemed weak.

That day on stage when you fell, my heart literally came up till my throat. I was shocked beyond words, then they came and took you away on a stretcher. Nobody told me that it would be the last time I will see you, but I know deep in my heart that you knew it would be your last dance, your last bharatnatyam performance and that too in front of your only love, your Lord Krishna.

My child, did you know when you went out on the stage that night that this would be your swan song ? That this would be your last dance? Why did you hide from all of us, the fact that this wretched cancer was eating you away from within. Why did you go on stage that night to perform when you were advised against even standing up for more than a few minutes? You were smarter than me, you fulfilled all your dreams and moved on from this world, never giving me an opportunity to even tell you during all the years we were together that you were my daughter, that they took you away from me and raised as their own and so that I could watch you grow I started as your nanny and graduated to become your make-up artist.  

surya  : The sun shaped ornament adorning the hair of the dancer
chandra : The moon shaped ornament adorning the hair of the dancer
bharatnatyam :
Classical dance form of Tamil Nadu, India

Written for the #AtoZChallenge where throughout the 26 days of April (excluding the 4 Sundays), bloggers world-wide are writing based on the 26 letters of the English alphabet.

Today’s story is based on the letter D where Leo and I have chosen to write stories on the word Dance.

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26 thoughts on “Dance”

  1. This is great, I loved reading it. I don’t have a child but the makeup artist parallel was still very powerful for me. The concept of not knowing the right way to tell your child what they really mean to you seems scary but tragically relatable. Thank you for writing this, it was well done.
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  2. What a lovely, touching, sad but beautiful story! So beautifully written, Bhavya! The tenderness of the emotions, the depth of the mother’s love, the pain of losing a child – once and then again, finally – is so gently captured in this narrative. And all in the backdrop of a dance offering to the Divine. Very well done!
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  3. I came to your blog with a sense of expectation and I am not disappointed! When you began, I sensed that there was tragedy in the offing. I was kind of hoping it was something else, but the fact that she passed away doing something she loved, warmed my heart. How many of us can say that of our last moments? You make me think, Bhavya. Probably more than anyone else I have read before. Take a bow.


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