A Dancing Dilemma?

The night sky was clear, and below the twinkling stars, the students were having their Annual School Fest. It was the first time they were having it outside, rather than in the auditorium.

A breeze waltzed its way through the trees that bordered the grounds, as the students danced. With the breeze, a small cloud drifted in. On the cloud, sat a young girl. A little goddess, with black curls that fell off her shoulders, and silent brown eyes that looked down with interest and longing at the students. As Megha, goddess of the clouds, drifted with the breeze, another little goddess joined her on her cloud. Her happy blue eyes had a twinkle, and she shook her long straight hair as she sat down. Iraja, named for the wind, wondered why her sister was so interested in the humans below.

“Megha, you have been watching them for a while now. What interests you there?” she asked her.

Megha gave a deep sigh, but didn’t reply. She didn’t want to stop looking.

“Adamant Megha, why are you not replying? You’ll land us in trouble with your curiosity,” Iraja told her, a tinge of worry laced into her words.

Just then, a melody came through the sky; a melody that could be heard only by the two of them, and not the humans below. The notes from a veena greeted the two goddesses, and he drifted into their company.

“Narayana, Narayana.”

The two goddesses got to their feet, bowing with their palms closed in front of them.

“Pranam, oh wise sage,” they chorused, greeting Sage Narada as he wandered into their midst.

“Pranam. Do I sense something amiss? Megha, why the long face dear?”

Megha looked at Iraja, and then back at Narada again.

“Oh wise sage, you have come straight to the point, as always. I look down at those children, having fun, dancing. I want to learn too. Even little goddesses should be able to do anything. Shouldn’t they?”

Narada broke into a hearty laugh hearing the little goddess’ plight. Even Iraja smiled hearing his laughter.

“Little one, is that what is bothering you so much? Is it just the matter of learning to dance?”

Megha looked him sheepishly, her cheeks turning a little red.

“Yes, wise sage. I want to learn to dance.”

“Oh little one, why the long face for that? Devalok has the best dancers, don’t you know? All you need to do is ask one of the apsaras to teach you.”

Iraja laughed, and if it was possible, Megha’s cheeks turned even redder. But she gave a smile and bowed before the wise sage.

“Wise sage, I am but little. I try, but I cannot speak with them. Would you come with me, and, perhaps, er… speak… for me?”

“Narayana, Narayana! It would be my pleasure, little one. I will ask one of them for you. Maybe someone shy or somewhat silent, just like you.”

Megha jumped in delight, and gave the wise sage a hug before she could stop herself. But Narada just smiled.

Now, be on your way. It’s not wise for little goddesses to wander at night,” he told them.

The next morning, Narada asked one of the apsaras if she could teach dance to the little goddess Megha. The apsara, Nrtya, accepted with grace, and in one of the empty halls of Devalok, began Megha’s dance classes.

The little goddess learnt quickly, understanding the lessons that were taught to her by Nrtya. She absorbed the mudras, and the postures with ease.

One day, after she had been long into learning dance, Sage Narada chanced upon the little goddesses again, sitting on a cloud under the pale blue autumn sky, their expressions just the same as he had seen on that night long ago.

“Narayana, Narayana. I’m sensing that I’ve sensed this anxiety before, dears. Perhaps the best remedy for this anxiety is to dance. I’ll sing a hymn to the great Lord Vishnu, and Megha can dance. Would you, little one?”

Unable to turn down the kind sage’s request, Megha acquiesced and gave a performance to the soulful song of Narada. When she was done, Iraja clapped and the sage looked at her with a glint of pride in his eyes.

Megha, however, bowed before the sage, and sat down on the cloud, the same look of contemplation and longing reappearing.

“Little one, you have learned to dance, and dance well. You are as good as any apsara in Indra’s court. Why then, the long face?”

Seeing Megha still silent, Narada decided to leave her to her thoughts for some time, and started to walk away from them. He heard her voice drift after him.

“But wise sage, I want to learn to boogie!”

“Narayana, Narayana!”

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was first held in 2010. The challenge is that we have to post every day of April, except on the four Sundays. April 1st is a theme with letter A, 2nd with letter B and so on till April 30th which will be Z themed. This year, I’m planning to do short pieces of fiction (not a series), or a poem based on a word with that letter.

To write 26 days in a month on a theme, a moral support is quite useful I feel. This year, I’m taking the challenge along with my friend Bhavya. We’re writing on the same themes each day, and giving each other the themes on alternate days. Day 4, the word chosen by me was DANCE, around which this story was written.

Megha means cloud, Iraja means wind and Nrtya means dance. Narada is a Vedic sage from Hindu mythology. Pranam is a word of greeting. Devalok is a plane of existence where gods and goddesses exist, and Indra is the leader of Devalok. Narayana is a synonym for Lord Vishnu. Mudras, or hand gestures, is one of the most striking features of Indian dance.

(4th April 2014)


Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

68 thoughts on “A Dancing Dilemma?”

  1. Applause.

    Even the little Goddesses aren’t exempt from yearning and longing, and seeking pastures they’re not on 😀 😀

    Loved this story! Artfully woven!

    • I’ll ask her if she’s willing to do her arangettam soon, Sree 😉 Glad you loved the story and Megha too. Cheers!

  2. Nonsense you are, you know 😀

    I am LOLing like an idiot here in office because of you and your Megha. Honestly, didn’t see that one coming 😀
    Narayana Narayana!

    Strange coincidence, the dancer in my story also has name that starts with M 😛

    • Well, your office would have had fun listening to you laugh out loud then, Ishi 😉 Glad you loved Megha and my story 😀 Thanks!

  3. I don’t blame little Megha for wishing to Boogie. My post today is on similar lines but can’t beat this lovely story. Kudos Leo! 🙂

  4. What a delightful tale! The background of Indian mythology is so satisfying somehow. Like one just came into a room and found an earthenware pot of cold water. Can anything compare with that?
    Thank you. This felt good… with a generous dollop of impish naughtiness. 😀

    • I like mythology, Dagny 🙂 It’s quite freeing I feel sometimes. Glad you liked that, and compared it to cold water from an earthen pot! Refreshing 🙂

  5. Super ending. Only thing I saw it on twitter early today morning before reading the story and so knew what was coming. But still i thoroughly enjoyed the way you have weaved it 🙂

    • Yes. I kind of realized someone might have seen that tweet, before it was rescinded 😛

      Glad you liked the way I have woven the story though. Thank you very much, Shail. 🙂

    • I don’t know why, but when I write, I just let loose 😀 Usually can’t restrict to a small story.

      Glad you liked the ending, Aarthi 🙂 Thank you.

  6. Art of Leo, as pleasing as the fragrance of a flower 🙂

    Interesting one.
    Desires do elevate one after another. They helps us keep going and making differences.If there would be no desire there would be no life.

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