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Santanu's Blog Page

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Burkhaa Beauty

The drizzle had just stopped. The skies were still overcast and grey. The cool moist wind blew into my face. As I trudged the long, narrow mud track towards the next village, I spotted a dark shape at a distance. It looked like a solitary man with a black umbrella. But as it got closer, I realized it was a closely huddled group of three women in black burkhas. The one is the centre was taller than the other two. The bellowing effect of the wind on the black burkhas combined with their fighter aircraft formation to create the visual effect of an umbrella from a distance. My Darwinian survival instincts immediately attracted me to the tallest. But experience had taught me that I should not stare too much, nor too early. So I bent my head down and walked into the wind. I looked up only when I heard their voices at a dozen feet. To my dismay, the tall one’s face was almost entirely wrapped in black. Only a small rectangular opening existed at her eyes. Even at this distance I could make out her fair skin and large black eyes. I immediately halted and stepped aside to the left to let them pass. Bowing my head respectfully, I watched their feet as they fell into a queue to cross me without brushing. She was at the end of the line. I counted one, I counted two… . I looked up just as the second one was crossing me – straight into the tall ones eyes. She was already looking at me – a close, curious look. We locked eyes. Neither blinked, neither looked away. I could feel my heart pumping in my chest. Touching distance. The wind brushed the silken burkha over my right arm. Her hand must have been under it very close somewhere. Inches away. Did I smell perfume? I tried to force a smile. Managed to just flex a cheek muscle. Her eyes were smiling. I could make out. So were mine…hopefully! Someone muttered about the mud in the local lingo. One of the two black shapes on my right. The spell was broken. The magic moment was dead. She hurriedly turned away, muttered a reply. Three black shapes moving away from me. Cold, inanimate. I waited. She will look back. Surely, she will. They had gone 5-6 steps. They were again spreading into their formation. Filling the width of the mud track. She stopped. Looked back. Saw me watching. Satisfied, she turned away. Rejoining her group to fade away into a distant black umbrella. I turned back to my track and trudged towards the next village.

Happy to have met her. Sad to have parted. A face I will never know. Smiling lips that I never saw. Expressive eyes that will linger in my memory for some time to come.

5 Comments:

  • Hi- Wistful yet poignant memories. I have missed coming to your site. Thank you for dropping by and your kind comments about my daughter's graduation.

    I still have you marked in my favorites. I have not been able to visit all the gems of blogs I have found.

    I'd linking you on my newer blog site that I began to write more, rather than for my art and photography. (Ironically, I have 5 artshows to prepare for for this month, including this weekend.)

    This SilkenThreads blog does have one of my paintings across the top (the header), but I need a place to just write........ It's a passion as strong as art for me. I bet you understand.

    This site has categories for poetry and prose. I hope you enjoy! Oh, this link will take you to my other site since you don't allow anon. comments. (the site you will see first is not the new one. Please click the link there and you will find the goodies. )

    Your writing here is going to stay with me all day. I'm a romantic at heart. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh :)

    SilverMoon (aka Green-Eyed Lady)

    By Blogger SilverMoon, at 29/6/05 18:47  

  • What a lovely and well written story! I had not forgotten about you but a long while ago you drifted off the earth (it seemed) and I was forced into an odd time-stolen lifestyle as everything at my job went sour. I work longer hours now and am more "in demand" than I had ever been there. By the time I come home I'm worn out and flustered and have all I can do to make a few blogs visits here and there.
    I'm SO happy you're back in the swing of things. I'll be stopping by as I can...
    Thank you for visiting and thinking of me after such a long absence!

    By Blogger Weary Hag, at 30/6/05 15:43  

  • Wow...

    By Blogger Tricorn, at 13/7/05 19:10  

  • Thanks for the compliments, everybody!

    By Blogger Santanu, at 31/7/05 15:22  

  • hey nice posts i added you to my bookmarks

    Just wanted to say everything you posted was a good read.
    Its nice too see that some people create decent and entertaining blogs, yours kept me reading for well over 10 minutes.

    Thanks!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18/10/05 06:13  

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