Mayuri lives in a small shack ; is another of India’s floating population. They migrate from city to city looking for work ; her husband is a construction site labourer, their three kids are too small to go to school. I met Mayuri when she came asking for old clothes, and thought she was a usual pest – rag picker kind.
With the weeks that went by, one noticed the flowers in her hair, the bright yellow blouse and freshly washed gaudy blue hawaii chappals, her pure white teeth brushed with neem tree sticks and charcoal powder ( she said) , her kohl – lined black eyes, in a sun- tan – bronze face, and am thinking as I write this,
how Mayuri revived my interest in colours. She belongs to a tribe from Orissa,which explains the varieties of tattoos, the rings in her ears, her nose – bright brassy – gold in tight curls spangled off long stretched ear lobes that cannot take more, but how provocative these colours are on her.She is shy, like her small house, but the rags are rich with traces of Indian cottons, silks, zari, mango – she- patterns in peacock green, a patch of checks, a tangle of black threads in a box…
we can barely speak, but her colours fill the room in a dialect of their own. I leave and enter an earth filling with Light.
How will I tell her all this ?