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The Lady In Yellow

THE dusty winds of May herald her arrival. She enters the city with a gentle rustle of satiny skirts. A glimpse of yellow against a dark green foliage or the russet brown of autumn leaves is the only indication of her presence. In the tepid warmth of an early summer she plays 'hide and seek' with the denizens of the city.

Like a promotional trailer she arouses curiosity which in no way prepares us for her flamboyant debut. As the sun climbs higher she becomes bolder. From a shy damsel she becomes a seductress enchanting one and all with her golden beauty. You can find her holding sway over a busy market square or standing in meditative tranquil silence near a temple. You can find her beckoning a passerby with coquettish warmth or providing succour from heat to a weary traveller.

I have been her ardent admirer for as long as I remember. Even as a child I would haunt the grove where she stood in elegant splendour. While my mother took her afternoon siesta I would stealthily move to the lady's bower and stand for hours in smitten silence, admiring her warmth and beauty. As I grew up I lost touch with her. Sometimes, a flash of yellow brought her to mind but she was more like an old well-loved melody that hovers at the edge of our consciousness and is forgotten in our more conscious moments. But this summer I was unable to ignore her golden-hued missive.


One morning as I went for a brisk walk I saw her bright head nodding a greeting. I walked closer looking for signs of aging and deterioration. But age had not warped her beauty. The lady in yellow stood regal with a beauty that would enchant generations to come. It is true that an Indian summer has a riot of colours to offer. However, the blanched lavender of the jacaranda palls. The magnolia's satin sheen dulls in the harsh rays of the sun. The scarlet canopy of the gulmohar attracts but momentarily. But even in the midst of this colorful pageant 'amaltas' -- the lady in yellow mesmerises. She brings to mind the warmth of a sunrise and the red-hued golds of a sunset. To look at her is to bask in the essence and purity of life. To look at her is to believe that life is all joy and tranquil happiness. However sad or unhappy one might be, she teaches us to smile and breathe in the spontaneous beauty of nature. Even as I write I can see her dancing in the hot breeze indifferent to the vagaries of an Indian summer. The lady in yellow for me epitomises beauty and cheer in the midst of adversity. If only Wordsworth had seen her she would have been immortalised like his daffodils. Nonetheless, my more pedestrian muse urges me to write this paean to my lady in yellow who will not go unsung or unheard this summer.

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