He is looking for a girl, who does not know he exists, or the story that has brought him here. He has no reason to be discreet, but still he has to be careful. He is standing near the doorway and surveying the golden banquet hall, which is filled with refined bodies in saris and jackets, and beautiful young women with straight hair who never make facial expressions. But they will, soon. Any moment now.
He could not see the women clearly, and was not sure if the girl would actually come there. He had been told to be patient, to keep looking for her. He remembered her face, but had not been allowed to take the photograph. He had to memorise the face. It took him two whole days, but he had memorised it. The sound of a gong alerted the audience to the commencement of the dance. The room fell silent. The flexible bodies of dancers swayed in tune to the music, their gestures, postures, and facial expressions all together depicting the epic Ramayana. A glint of steel caught his eye and before he could place from which dancer it had come, they had all turned away from him. He was somehow sure that she was among them. It was a two-day symposium on ancient forms of dance and music, and artistes from all parts of the world had come. But the music had become faster now and dancers kept pace with it – their quick movements and identical costumes making it difficult to focus.