Sakhaon ka Kanhaiya- Story 5
Shyam is singing- He is singing something softly. He is mumbling, we can say. The lush part of Vrindavan- Trees bend due to flowers and fruits. Creepers and climbers blooming with flower clusters spread their beauty. The soil is getting moist and green with the soft and lush shoots. There are monkeys on trees and exotic variety of birds. It seems as if the entire bounty of monkeys and birds have gathered here itself, but now neither monkeys jump nor birds hum. All are sitting still and mum. Not a single bee is buzzing because Shyam is singing.
Cows- There are thousands of cows-of many colors and breeds, resembling small she-elephants. All healthy and fat, with heavy udders. The bulls seem like moving mountains. There are big and small calves. Their horns are well-decorated. All their necks have necklaces of multicolored gemstones. All are busy grazing in the distant lands. Only a few calves jump every now and then and come close sniffing the children. Deer, antelopes, bears, lions and tigers mingle in the vast cattle as if they were some domestic animal and were let loose to graze along with them. If you can imagine, even small and tiny creatures like rabbit, fox and squirrel are innumerable and roam freely amidst their pillar-like legs, totally fearless.
There are countless gopa children, who are 7-10 years old, wheatish or fair in complexion. Like the devakumaras, healthy and beautiful kids. All have a bloomer on their waists, and an upper cloth on their shoulders. They wear clothes of various hues. Most of them carry ropes on their shoulders, tiffin and many have even tied their heads with a rope. They hold a stick in their hands. Many also carry a horn and flute. Their eyes are anointed with kohl. Their foreheads decorated with tilak. Their ears, neck, arms, wrists, waists and feet are ornamented. Their curly hair is greased in oil. Flowers, twigs, and multicolored feathers of birds beautify their hair. Their cheeks, chest, stomach, backs and arms are painted with various minerals. Their necks, arms, and wrists have a flower garland and gunja mala. All of them have nestled into a Kunja or towards its door and are standing quiet and still, as if they were some paintings on a canvas. Only the kids are restless. At this hour, even the wind is blowing mildly because shyam is singing.
The blossomed malati flowers spread so beautifully over the dense Tamala trees making the kunja very attractive. Leaning against the bark of the Tamala tree sits our Nanda Nandana and he is singing something. Kanhai is nearly 9-years old. Currently, his entire body is painted beautifully. Using ruddle, chalk and arsenic colours, his sakhas have drawn paintings on his entire body. Paintings so beautiful as if goddess Sarasvati has herself made them. The sakhas had to draw with Kanhai moving all the while. It only now that he is sitting still. A cluster of white blossomed flowers is painted on his cheeks with butterflies flying with widespread wings. The flowers are so expertly drawn as if they were truly placed on his ears with their leaves and stem. On his forehead, gocharana marks are made towards both ends of his Kumkum tilak. Even his nose is not left untouched and ears are painted. On one arm, a rabbit is painted while on the other, a gnawing squirrel standing on two legs is made. Below the elbow, someone has made fish facing his hands. On his chest, lovebirds are painted while on his stomach, a dancing peacock. But at this hour, can’t see the paintings clearly. Can see on his back a flying parrot spreading its wings. Most of the other paintings are obscure.
On his curly locks, black-oily and soft like loops of silk, the sakhas have placed plenty of flowers, tendrils, and garlands and inserted three peacock feathers. Yellow Kaner flowers rest on his ears and loops of Amaltas flowers hang from them. There is an upper cloth on his shoulders. The kaustabha gem glimmers on his throat. There is the auspicious mark of Shri vasta on his chest, but his chest is covered with Vaijanti, Gunja and lotus garlands. Jasmine flowers cover his armlets, and jasmine wreaths are wrapped around his wrists. Currently, Kanhai is sitting still, placing his right foot on his left thigh. Sometimes he claps, sometimes he snaps with one or two hands and swinging-swaying a bit, he sings. What does Shyam sing? In low sound, “Dada Dada” or “Radha Radha” like this only he is singing merely two alphabets- He is humming. The large eyed has half-closed his eyes. His entire body is ecstatic and thorough in sweat. Nanda Nandana blissfully is a bit absorbed in singing. He is humming.
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