Saturday, September 03, 2005

Dance bar girl : PALIMPSEST


1. A manuscript, usually of papyrus or parchment, on which more than one text has been written with the earlier writing incompletely erased and still visible.

2. An object or place whose older layers or aspects are apparent beneath its surface.

Dance bar girl

She looked pretty in the flickering light
swirling ghagra, bare back, hair in flight
Gyrating suggestively on the glass floor
among whiskey fumes and cigarette smoke,
she keeps an eye on the closed door

She would wink, unmindful of the beat
and accept twenty rupee notes
from stupid drunken blokes in heat
and allow them to cop a hurried feel
Perhaps negotiating a carnal deal

For a fifty she would pick up the drink
and put it to someone’s glistening lips
A watchful mother making sure
her naughty kid doesn’t miss
the daily glass of nourishing milk

For a hundred she would giggle,
sit & wriggle on a stranger’s lap,
A loving wife gifting herself
to her loved one to unwrap

Then the show was over
lights switched on, I could see
Eyes shrewd like a fox
Caked make-up and worry lines
counting money in the box

Last night on TV she was seen
championing the cause of her sisters
With fierce words, unlike prayers
I saw the warrior she has always been
Behind all those various layers

©Rajendra Pradhan

1 comment:

Ajay said...

ur not only well read ut u have a gift of observing life closely. Wonderful poem on a unique topic. I really loved the pom.
Great work