Monday, November 06, 2006


Dark convoluted locks reaching out like night's fingers. That is how she first appears. Utterly dark, dark like the shadow of a moonless night. Only hair, copious waves of it. They screech against the void like dark nails against a darker board. At the same time, the cascade of locks echoes the melody of a violent sea...noiselessly.

And then, a gentle hum, a drone of the bee - the kind of bee that occupied the imagination of Appar[1] and the Lord Sundareshwarar Himself [2]. A gentle hum, of a bee that is seeking the honey.

And then in a flash, the locks fall back and her face breaks out like a thousand suns. Its the face of a queen, a regal face with a royal nose. Her smile is like twin serpents - coiled in mercy and contempt at the same time. The forehead bears a mark, a dark crimson circle. It’s a spiral, the dark locks, then the refulgent face and then the dark kungumam. She mesmerizes, not by her living features but by the dead signs.

The hum again. Here the bee is a queen drinking from the divine lotus; there a dancer giving life to an imaginary bee with her hands and eyes. The hum dances wildly, one feet grounded in reality, the other raised to illusion. And yet, the grounded feet seem to hover and the raised feet firmly ensconced in the sky.

The lips now come to the center stage. They shine in the hypnotizing red of a bride's hand with too much marudhAni. Look now, they are repulsive, repulsive because of the desire that is worn ostentatiously. Now shut and open your eyes, they draw you, with their regal command to do their bidding.

The bee rises now, the queen bee. The queen of the honey bees, the dark ill-tempered blackbee. Say it now, slowly, roll your tongue over the words - karuvaNdu, ka-ru-vaNdu, an involuntary quiver just as you say vaNdu. That is how the queen rises, from the eyes of the brilliant face with a quiver when you least expect it.

She flutters near the eyelashes, takes a fancy to the dark locks and merges with them before being enticed by the dark lips. There is a quiver again, this time the quiver of desire, a tremble as the blood rushes through her body. In one flutter, before you could blink your eyes, she lands on the lip.

Then there is a gentle sigh, a sigh of relief, of satisfaction. And then, after she has been satiated, she unfurls her thin proboscis to drink the nectar. The queen bee drinking nectar from the lips of the queen... reality filling its void with illusion.

She can be seen here.

(Corrected after Viji's comment)

She can be seen here.

[1] - mAsil vInaiyum mAlai mathiyamum/vIsu thenRalum vInggiLavEnilum/mUsu vaNdaRaip poigaiyum pOnRathE/Isan enththai iNaiyadi nizalE - Appar's thEvAram
[2] - konggu thEr vAzkkai anciRaith thumbi - 1st song in kuRunthogai written by iRaiyanAr or God Himself.

P.S. I couldn't find a picture to go with this post...maybe I can get a sketch done someday, of a dark bee sitting on a darker lip.


Anonymous said...

Intense is too mild a word to be used here..feels like a dark possessiveness that overtakes you...and like you said " mesmerises not by its living features but by the dead signs."

Beautiful post.


Viji said...

"Paartha vizhi" is based in raga paavani.

Sriram C S said...

Viji - Oops, my mistake! I read somewhere it was varALi and trusted so! Apologies. Replaced the link - I had the rAgam more in my mind than the song. Thanks a lot for pointing out the mistake! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey, just wanted to bring it to your attention... Please don't embarrass me by acknowledging it everywhere. ;)
Also... link to carnatic songs, when you talk about a raagam. With film songs, one can never come to a conclusion... often times, its a fusion of a few allied raagams.
Just my 2 cents.