Sunday, June 12, 2011

An Art that will Die Because of Bathrooms

It’s a hot afternoon. 1:30 PM, June 5. After riding my bicycle for about 2 kilometres in my hometown Berhampur, I was stranded on a ‘no men’ road. Two kilometres away from my destination, I was already thirsty and exhausted. It was as if my legs were expressing their unwillingness to push the paddles. Suddenly, my eyes fell on the far-away borewell that was at a distance about 100 meters. Licking my upper lips with an eye of hope, I headed towards my immediate destination being lured by a desire to drink some water and sprinkle some on both my face and head for relief. However, destiny had it something else. One village woman was taking her bath at the borewell. How could I go near the woman when she was taking her bath? Hesitation would have arisen only when I had two options – to go or not to go. Here, there was only one – a straight “No”.

The more I got closer to the borewell, the more I concentrated on the droplets falling from the face of the borewell into the vessel that the woman had kept for storing water. After a point, my focus shifted from the water to the woman. Aged between 20 and 25, she seemed amazingly beautiful. Reaching uptil her waist, her hair was even more accentuating her back when it was wet. However, these were not the characteristics that forced me to stare at the woman continuously for a couple of minutes. Actually, I was surprised to see the way she managed to wear the cotton sari without giving a single chance to expose her body beyond the limits of decency. When I was at the closest distance, she was already done with bathing. She squeezed her sari from one end, tied that end around her waist while untying the other end and then squeezed the other end and put it on to cover her upper half. Thanks to my goggle. I could see the entire act without any hesitation. No obscenity, no nudity, and no skin show at all!

What an art to wear a wet sari in open?! It seemed like a flawless rhythmic poetry to me. At first, I thought why that lady was taking bath in open. She should not be doing that. Post my tryst with that entire scene, I would say it was not wrong. I think she had no doubt that I was observing her, but still she was not uncomfortable. This level of comfortness might have come from her supreme confidence on the art.

Neither thirst nor tiredness could dominate me after that. I took 15 more minutes to reach my destination while thinking if this exceptional art will die once everyone will get to take bath in bathrooms. Just a trivial thought!