Blame it on the Moon
by Sanjaya Mishra
The jolly moon and the twinkling stars, engaged in playing hide and seek with the floating clouds, laugh at you. The free end of your saree and the long untied hair conspires with the unruly wind to cover your face.
Gently, he slides them aside with his hand.
“See, the moon hides itself behind the clouds – afraid to compete with your beauty.” He says.
Half asleep, you gaze at the covered moon and he gazes at you.
“You know the moon has blemishes, but you have none.”
“It is cold but you are so…”
“If you laugh, even the stars will pale into insignificance by your sparkling teeth and be anxious to hide...”
You only smile.
You wake up with a jerk at the familiar cry of the owl on the banyan tree, your face covered with beads of sweat.
It is business time; the customers must have filed in downstairs.
You look at your face in the mirror - cavernous and haggard, attesting the ravages of bad times, and through the window at the moon - still smiling or may be sneering but surely radiating.
A nauseating smell of country liquor along with the howls of laughter waves in from downstairs. Putting on your welcome smile, you go downstairs.
As the moon covers itself behind a bunch of dry clouds, you prepare to uncover yourself; your body now full of blemishes, wishing your soul to be up there in the moon wrapped in the free end of your saree.