Wednesday, July 06, 2005

S k e t c h O f A G i r l

When I look at a pretty woman, my mind plays evil tricks on her. It could imagine her as a harlot in Rome, as a concubine in a Turkish harem, as a siren in a Pre-Raphaelite painting, as a vampire in a porn movie.. maybe even naked ;-) But it has a limitation, stupid it may seem. It cannot picture her as the girl of water. Atleast it never could do that till now. So all the girls out there, heed this warning. Never show yourself up like this !

T h e G i r l O f W a t e r

It was a picture of a lake, done in pencil. The other shore was enveloped in a jungle. Betwixt this was the serene silhoutte of a temple, standing as a lone observer. The water was rippling toward the near shore, faintly graduating from an essay of peace into a whirl of emotion.

Out from the water were stepping out a pair of delicate legs. A dark skirt was floating above the ankles, outlining the contrast with the fair skin. Two pairs of fingers were holding it gingerly at the sides, raising it a little above the knees, keeping it from getting wet. A thin sliver of skin was lit in the middle, only to disappear into the dark folds of the cloth which were waving in the wind.

The cloth abruptly disappeared near the navel - a tiny swirl of darkness engulfed in a slender waist. A dark garment covered the shoulders and the bosom - the former a pair of stalks departing from the latter. The lower arms were adorned with a string of shells, gently hanging into the air.

A stately neck rose from the bosom. Like the light of the moon and adorned with a necklace of pearls. Thick curls were playing with each other and were falling down as a waterfall by the nape. A pair of wild geese were lounging onto the water in the horizon. A pale twilight envelopes the whole scene.

In this melody of shades, however was a void. There was locked an emptiness in between all the locks of hair. There was no face for the girl.

I was nineteen years old, sojourning over a long summer holiday at home. I fetched the carpenter of the village and made me a stand of wood, an easel if you would call it. I was not a skilled painter but I loved the way I spent time in this whole business. I would pierce my eyes into a magazine - faithfully copying each curve of an old man's face onto my drawing chart. Sometimes I would drop down on the bed trying to get the picture right - in front of my eyes, but it always falters. Somewhere inside the brain, my imagination makes that picture dance to strange tunes. It was at that time that I attempted to draw this picture of that girl, the girl that I saw while reading Kalidas.

Kalidas is one of the few whom I cannot talk about. He is one of the few who is blessed with words, and whose words are blessed with music.

It is the opening shloka of the poem Shringaarathilakam. I could not find a copy of this work in the entire web, isn't it one of the curses of modern life ? The day I find this shloka, I will post it here. But now I will just try to murder the emotion and post what I do remember.

Her hair is like a waterweed. Her hands a pair of lotus stalks. Her hips the stepping stones of the bath. .. ... Her navel a swirling eddy. Her bosoms a pair of wild geese. She is like a pool of water, a cure for this heat that is passion.

I do not know what happened to the sketch. It is crumpled. Somewhere forgotten. Somewhere lost. If you have seen this sketch those four years ago, you will remember. I cannot show it for you now.

I know this woman. But do I know her ? Do I know her eyes ? What is her emotion ? What do her lips say ? I know these answers, yet I do not know them. I just could not get myself into completing the picture. The face was left as a void. I told my friends that I did not paint the picture for the fear of spoiling an otherwise lovely image. But the real truth is that I could not get myself into picturing it. Maybe one day I will. Or maybe I never will.