The Duet

“Website opening pic” by Atlantis7807 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
A chance encounter, an old friend she sees,
Memories come and go with a breeze.
She turns away, shaking her head,
An unfulfilled promise, a vow, long unsaid.

Her thoughts turn to her children
She purses her lips, shaking her head again.
She couldn’t dream of making them wait,
She rushes forward, she couldn’t be late.

Someone calls out her name,
A voice that only fans the flame.
She could no longer contain her woe,
She runs back, she should’ve never let go.

Words spun into action as she sang,
With a thump, her feet would bang.
The ‘ghungroo’, the floor and her feet,
Everything else had taken a backseat.
The trio rallied on for long.
Until something disturbed her song.

A ‘ghungroo’ rolled loose and pierced her heel,
She winced as she began to kneel.
The knots had suddenly come undone.
For every time she had spun,
They went loose till they let her go,
Like she’d let them, ages ago.

About the post: This post features a woman and her passion for Kathak. I have touched upon it briefly in the next couple of lines. Very recently, while I was day dreaming, I heard a faint chime of ‘ghungroo’ from somewhere in the building. It went away as soon as it came but in my mind, I could still hear it and I couldn’t let it go. From there sprung a story about a woman who gave up her friend, her ‘ghungroo’, her passion for dance as other things drew her attention. Years later, she finds her ‘ghungroo’ and that is what I have described in the poem.

Kathak is a classical dance form of India that often depicts stories or ‘katha’. The prominent feature of this dance is the stomping of heels on the floor in a certain rhythm and tempo or to match it with instrumental music or only lyrics used for conveying a story or message, along with hand gestures (mudra) and facial expressions. It is performed wearing a set of ‘ghungroo’, as can be seen in the photo above. These ‘ghungroos’ jingle and produce a chime matching the force of one’s feet and movements. Kathak and its instruments are incredibly complex to summarize in brief and hence, you should look it up if you want greater detail. As with any classical dance, it has a rich and vibrant history.


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