The exotic sound of the tablas , ghungroo’s dancing to their beat.
I stand in front of Coocoo’s den. Lahore’s famous restaurant . I hear the women conversing. The laughter of the men in the distance. Which use to be a prostitute’s house in the past, is now a restaurant .
The beautiful strokes of the brush and the astonishing color in the paintings, describing the real atmosphere -back then.
The wooden doors , stairways and windows . I find my way to the second floor,look to the right of me and out the window.
“school of kathak”
Maybe, do girls still dance ? or maybe its been preserved just like this house .
I look to my left and one of the wooden doors is slightly open. I peek inside and find a little girl behind it .
“Can I come in?”
Do people still live here ? or are these just ordinary families?
She runs away . I guess that’s a no.
Ghungroo’s again, tha tha tha .
More paintings, a tint of sadness.
I carry on upstairs to the roof of the “restaurant”
“Ma’m would you like a menu ? I’ll take you to your seat”
I reply .
I mean , looking.
I see the colorful red and green glass on the side of the wall .
But really , I see more red than green .
I feel a sudden wind of grief looking out to the far Badshahi mosque.
Tha thai tha tha . Re pa ma za za .
The sound of ghungroo’s walking towards me .
Thish, Thish , Thish.
I turn around quickly and notice the waiter smiling .
I don’t smile back.
But I do smile back at this “Pata”.
A dancing stage .
As I start to climb a ladder that leads to the top of the stage , my foot touches something.
I look down .
Its shiny .
A plastic diamond.
I hear the chuckles of the waiters and look up .
Do they have something to do with this?
I look back to the pata .
Tha thai tha tha thai . The beat gets faster, the woman is soaring.
Faster and faster the beat gets.
Higher and higher she goes.
Tha thai tha thai tha thai tha tha tha thai .
The laughter of the men , the degrading of society .
The grief . The anxiety . The “gutan” . The suffering .
Her trapped soul .
Tha tha tha tha tha thai.
She falls to her feet .
I exit Coocoo’s den.
I take one last look back.
She still is just a woman. She is part of history . She is part of society.
She is a part of me .