This festive party (for Janet Fine)
the moon's eclipse would grieve this festive party
we met along a road toward a rare concert
the tablas' taps retrieve this festive party
you twirled in natyam as a whippersnapper
must Rudra's steps re-weave this festive party?
you caught the screenings festivals received you
lost stardust tints the eaves this festive party
Mumbai Cairo New York pearls for your piercing
low-budget trips don't peeve this festive party
in five-and-dimes you’d shop in several countries!
and fashion’s glitz achieve this festive party
you found a manuscript on pleasing women
God's microfische conceived this festive party
the dusk of palaces caught your affection
you threw Raj Pipla's eve this festive party
does Bollywood recall one who first named her?
the skinnydips are brief this festive party
you sliced my heart critiquing my first movie
don't seal your lips! nor leave this festive party
I still have tales to tell! who'll understand me?
don't doubt my quips believe this festive party
I won't be brief! I'll flourish my bandana
I've got tricks up my sleeve this festive party
the kiss of death they claim is liberating
reluctant lips receive this festive party
the smile of Tukaram lives in the painting
newspaper clips frame Jiv this festive party
Ellen sends love from yon out at East Hampton
and look! a glimpse of Steve this festive party
here’s Lucian! Betty’s also soon arriving
the commune let’s not cleave this festive party
too swiftly time's page flits! we were still reading!
the boat tips and upheaves this festive party
the ghazal's wit steeps love in lamentation
a dye that suits the sleeve this festive party
a million notes the soul jots on its journey
we've still chits to retrieve this festive party
days vanish and the nights fitfully finish
tell me if it’s a thief? this festive party
the world drifts in its dream yet Parabrahma
motionless sits who sees this festive party?
in Haridwar there's aarati morn and evening
trays wave as Shiv bereaves this festive party
from Raphael accept gratitude's bandish
his note slips through the sieve this festive party
For Janet Fine, a friend. She expired in Mumbai, 24 November 2007.
verse 3: natyam (Skt.): dance – more specifically, Bharata Natyam, a discipline that engaged her from a young age.
verse 7: “a manuscript” – viz., Lazzat un Nissa (The Pleasure of a Woman, circa 1850), a translation of which she published (under her own imprint) in 2003.
verse 8: Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, from the former princely state of Raj Pipla, was a friend of hers.
verse 9: She wrote journalistically about the film industry; and she is credited as the original coiner of the expression “Bollywood.”
verse 14: Jiv (Hindi): life
verse 22: aarati (Skt.): a Hindu ceremony of worship
verse 23: bandish (Hindustani): a classical song
© David Raphael Israel.