Evening air is filled
with perfumed incense-smoke,
sound of beating dhaak leather-drums,
brass and copper cymbals,
and baritones of conch-blowers —
from side to side in slow motion
wrapped in your pink dhakai saree,
shiuli petals pinned to your hair —
tiny flowers, so fragile
that even their slender orange blood-filled stems
string themselves together
into a bracelet or garland
cannot resist the intoxication of kama —
Navami’s love stored for tomorrow.
Where you are, it is meghala —
overcast, grey lenticular clouds
threaten to burst —
but instead, withdraw in the shape
of a convex halo, in shy deference.
You are preparing to sing
for a concert tonight —
Rabindranath’s lyrics drenched in Bengal rains.
Like your sari-pallu pleats, the notes
of rabindra sangeet are carefully gathered
within Gitabitan’s pages,
secretly, just for us.