Chapter 1

Redness of the twilight sun seemed to be reflected by the calm waves of Vipasha (River). To an onlooker, the time would have some to a stop as a serene silence pervaded over the river banks, occassionally broken by a twitter of a cuckoo. Soon after, another voice, vying with the sweetness of the cuckoo resonated.

Oh master of mine 
My love for thee so Divine
Thou so pious and ever charming 
To me I doubt if you’re coming! 

Oh master of mine 
My love for thee so Divine

I have been waiting for you since long!
With each breath, my feelings kept growing strong!
This dasi of yours has for years cried!
You never come though the tears dried 

If the onlooker is not rooted to the spot, he would have gone closer to see the source of this enchanted voice, imagining the face of the damsel which could resemble the moon of the 14th day of the brighter fortnight. He would not be rewarded more as the singer turned around. His only disappointment would be the abrupt stop to the song beyond those lines.

This dasi of yours has for years cried!
You never come though the tears dried 

She stopped to wipe the tears which had impulsively flown from her eyes. Taking care not to spread the Kohl around her eyes, she carefully wiped them with her silken transclusent scarf, which partly covered her shoulders, partly fluttering in the wind. 

She took a deep breathe and smiled at her own emotions. "How I wish this was the banks of Yamuna instead of Vipasha? How I wish I was born a few thousand years back. How I wish I sang the same song and a flute replied to my lines! The flute which belonged to the blue hued charmer of Vrindavan. How I wish.."

Her thoughts stopped and mind faded into a serene vacuum as her eyes closed into a dreamy state visualizing her wishes.

As her breasts heaved with expectation, she lay on the ground in same thoughts. 

"Why wasn't I born a calf in Vrindavan? I could have run over the pastures with Him behind me!

Why wasn't I born a milkmaid in the colony of Nanda, to be teased by the mischievous acts of the bearer of the peacock feather!

Why wasn't I a creeper in the woods of Vraja? I could have given a floral welcome at your arrival everyday?

Why wasn't I at least a flower in the grass of Gokula, I could have hoped to be trampled upon by your feet and enjoy the bliss of your weight on me!"

She laughed at her own thoughts, with a sudden fit of bashfulness. She did not know how much time passed as she dreamed. When she became conscious, she felt the place around, dark except for the light of the rising moon. 

Her adolescent heart leapt at the sight of the gibbous moon. In her youthful joy and excitement, she stood, adjusting her scarf as it fell down, revealing the flawless complexion of her shoulders and neck.

Playfully, she plucked a few flowers from her hair and threw them at the sky as if to welcome the moon.

"4 more days to go for the full moon. I shall be back that night to sing here Again!" She loved the sight of full moon. She hardly enjoyed a moment or two of the sight when a voice shook her out of her world.

"Vishakha!! Where are you!!? Oh there you are! If you stay away till dark everyday, they are going to think you have a secret lover!"

Vishakha turned around startled and heaved a sigh, with a smile. It was Vasantika, her older companion.

"Vasantika, you did give me a scare. By the way, I do have a lover. Look there, my Chandra! waiting to show his full round face to me! If I don't come, How can the moon get the inspiration to grow?" She asked with same playful gilt.

Vasantika laughed in return, grabbing Vishakha's hand, pulling her to move with her. " Sixteen springs old you are, you still like to fantasize like a child of five. Now, come with me. The Lady would be concerned if we get late. I have my lessons to work too."

Vishakha moved along talking about all and sundry. They returned to the city they lived and passed through the temple. 

"Wait, I have to meet my second lover! " Vishakha left the companion's hand to hop inside the temple.

Vasantika followed her. The smile of the idol of Krishna was a proof of the genius of the sculptor who made it. The care with which the idol was decorated and the sight of the coweherd in the lights of lamps never ceased to awe the people who came in. 

After their rounds outside the sanctum, Vishakha pointed out at a saintly man, looking in his late forties,  sitting in deep meditation. She whispered at her friend. 

"Vasantika, He came here, a couple of days ago. People call him the Silent saint. I think we should take his blessings today."

After he opened his eyes, the silent saint saw a pair of eager eyes waiting to salute him. His blessing with the indulgent smile on his serene face gladdened the girls even more.

"What desire did you have in heart, Vishakha?" Vasantika asked when they were out of the temple.

"I want to be united with my lover!" Vishakha replied with a laugh. 

"Which one, the one in the temple or the one in the sky?" Vasantika retorted in a teasing way. 

"Oh my! I forgot to specify which one. " Vishakha said in mock dismay.

"Well, you'll anyways be dedicated to the one in the temple. We are born to be courtesans. But in any circumstances if you want the sky lover, you might really need his blessings." 

Vishakha laughed in reply and they made their way to the mansion that housed them.

The End

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