A single peacock plume tells you I was late to the rendezvous. Holi was last Sunday. We were supposed to meet by the lake in Barsana but I was spirited away to my grandmother’s place as she’d asked to see me during the full moon of spring.
When I returned and reached not the lake but the gnarled basil tree in Nidhivan, where we’d meet over weekend evenings in winter and mid-week in the vernal months, I found this peacock feather which I knew right away to be his and only his. He’d left it there for no special reason other than to allow me to possess, with his flute that I'd stolen from him a week ago when he was wholly engrossed in a game of chaupara with me, two of his favourite appurtenances.
So now, he couldn’t make music (But he has many flutes!) --- at least not with the Akarshini that’s with me, its gold still smudged where he’d held it and his sweet embouchure scenting the blowing hole so that when I put my lips to it I could feel His, and His breath making fragrant my soul. He’s sulking, I thought, and pretending not to by flirting with my friends, lakeside. He’d left his aigrette to make me suffer his absence (was he pained as much by mine, I wonder). I’ve resolved not to meet him. Not even when he bids me with his murali's hypnotic tune. It wasn’t my fault; how could I disobey my parents and not fulfil my aged grandmother’s wish. If he’d wanted he could have come there as well. There’s a pleasant lake, and beautiful gardens all around the mansion.
I’d been to the sonar who’s got magic in his hands. The flute and plume I'd given him and told him to make of the gold a necklace and a single peacock feather cast upon the real one as a pendant with it. I’ve received them from him just today –– this flexible pin-and-barrel belt necklace and the palak, both exquisitely wrought by hand in pure guinea gold, and the feather with it’s characteristic ‘eye’ in green-blue-basanti mina. Ingeniously, the plume opens, leaving the necklace to be worn plain, and there too lies a twist –– but that’s my secret. The Mayur Palak can become a hair pin and a kind of brooch; also a locket if worn with care.
With them, at my request, the sonar made me a pair of matched earrings as smaller versions of the necklace, their form left as straight as a flute might be. And the spell to turn these back into His Akarshini and Mayur Palak rests in the sanctum sanctorum of my heart.
These are His. I am His. By the window, as I await his musical missive that I, in all my rightful adamancy, shall have to ignore, my heart fragments into shards of memory all of love, all of love, all of love divine. My feet prepare to festinate towards His light yet I curl my toes and stiffen them, not permitting their amative capitulation. I look towards the teal sky (it smells like summer rain) and let my thoughts drift to the heavens. Slowly, I know, I shall slip into a trance. I wear the necklace and its crowing feather. I want Him with me when I lose my senses to the love supreme. I want Him with me.