The Danseuse: Snigdha Agrawal

Snigdha Agrawal
She retired early to catch up
on sleep.
The moon stood high in the sky
looking resplendent.
The temptation to stay up
Admire the silken night
was strong.
Nah! She had to wake up
at the crack of dawn.

Sleep eluded her. 
A cup of chamomile tea would help
she thought.
The kettle whistled.  She poured hot water
over the tea bag
placed inside the teacup.
Added a spoonful of honey
for that extra sleep-induced burst.
It worked.

The tourist guide had warned.
Be on the alert for wild animals snooping around.
The river bank was free for all.  
Humans, animals no distinction drawn.
She left the kerosene lamp on.
The flap of the tent window rolled up. 
How could one miss the beauty
of nightfall?

The next morning would begin the arduous trek 
to Kailash Manasarovar
To seek answers to why
her life had changed its course
From being a showgirl to
seeking deeper meanings in life.
The Moon looked down indulgently
at her sleeping form.

The sleeping form was never found.
The last notes of 'tabla' heard 
was the roar of boulders
galloping down 
from the deforested hills
at lightning speed
Sweeping along with it tents pitched
near the glacial stream
killing tourists
headed on their life's mission.

Unpredicted landslide, near
foothills of the Himalayas
wiping loved ones
unerasable from minds
just as unpredictable is life!

No bodies were found.
Families left distraught.
Waited seven years
for the court’s verdict
declaring them dead
to help grievers move on.

The famous Danseuse
belongings were identified
stuck amidst boulders downstream.
Life extinguished.
‘Ghungroo tied feet forever stilled.


*tabla (Indian drums)
*Ghungroo (anklets with bells tied to a dancer's feet)
***


BIO: Snigdha Agrawal (nee Banerjee) is a Bengali born, raised, and educated in a cosmopolitan environment, exposed to Eastern and Western cultures, imbibing the best of both worlds.  With more than two decades of experience working in the corporate sector, her outlook on life is balanced, which reflects in her writings. A versatile writer, she writes all genres of poetry, prose, short stories, travelogues, and hotel/restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor, under the pen name ‘puchka’.  A published author of four books, the latest titled TRAIL MIX, Short Stories, is available on Amazon. An intrepid traveller, her travel diaries can be accessed in word press blog: randomramblings52.  She lives in Bangalore (Karnataka), India.

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