Tilo and Hari
Tilo and Hari3 mins 292 3 mins 292
"Yes. In the courts of Indra, I am the most beloved, most adored, most admired!" Tilo exclaimed, her hands poised elegantly in a mudra.
"Then why are you here? There is no one to admire you in this place." Harini threw the stone she had been playing with into the brook that trickled into the wood. Tilo flickered as the stone splashed into the water.
With a frown, Tilo sat beside Harini. "It gets boring up there. Laughing and smiling constantly... Why, half of them have not the wit beyond that of a pea brained pigeon!"
Harini laughed. "Are you sure you can talk about gods that way? What if you enrage them and fall out of favour?"
"I can always pout and look at them with shining, tearful eyes. They melt quicker than butter in a hot pan!"
"I am surprised that you know what butter is with that figure of yours. How are you so thin?" Harini asks in wonder.
"Well, as a divine being of grace and beauty, food is redundant to me."
"Don't you lie! I saw you snacking on mangoes!"
A blush rose to the Tilo's beautiful dark apple cheeks. This conversation was the consequence of the mango eating episode. She had been plucking ripe yellow mangoes from trees and feasting on them when Harini, a rosy cheeked young lady all of thirteen had walked in on her.
"That is an occasional indulgence. Surely you must have some too!"
Harini pondered over the question. "Sometimes Maa lets me eat laddoos. I do like eating sweets but Maa says I will become fat and no man will want me as his wife."
"But you are still a child? Why should you care about it now?"
"If I ask this to Maa, she will twist my ear and spank me till I can't tell day from night."
Tilo sucked her teeth to show her distaste for this course of action. "Then it is better that you don't ask questions. I still want to meet you."
"Don't you have any friends in Indra's court?"
Tilo sighed. "It is difficult. You see, they have been there for a much longer time than I have. They all seem bored and depressed. Dissatisfied is perhaps a better word. And then... Then you should see how they laugh and smile in front of the Gods! I don't know how they do it. I certainly wouldn't be able to if I had been in their place!"
"That's what being a grown up means, I suppose," Harini says wisely. "Maa does it too. She was crying last night but she wouldn't tell me why."
"Grown ups and their secrets!" Tilo sighed and lay down on the crunching autumn leaves. "We shall never secrets between us. We are friends now."
Harini's face lit up with a smile. "We are! Then can you make me an Apsara too! I would love to dance in front of the Gods!"
Tilo looked at Harini with a curious stare. "You have to be born of water for that. You are born of the womb."
"Hey! It's wasn't like I had a choice!" Harini screwed up her nose with anger.
"At any rate, you cannot be an Apsara." Tilo dipped her feet into the brook, the sweet melody of the tinkling silver anklets merging with the enthusiastic babble of the brook.
"Hari! Ei Hari!"
Harini bit her tongue. "Oh no! Maa is looking for me!"
"Hari! What are you doing here! Come! *Ladke waale aa gaye hai!*"
Harini's mother yanked Harini up to her feet and dragged her away. Tilo looked at her friend in distress but she could do nothing — only watch as she left. Harini glanced over her shoulder once to bid Tilo goodbye and as she did, Tilo crumbled into water and became one with the brook.