It was hard not falling in love with him as he danced, seemingly indefatigable oblivious to every fiber of verve that surrounded his graceful movements. Yet, he seemed to be aware of it all, all at the same time. It was a thing of beauty and he looked beautiful doing it. It was almost as if he had been born to dance. Pirouette followed pirouette, not missing a step even if it meant skipping a breath or two. That dance had become the sparrow’s iris.

Chitrasena watched in delight as his hands created symphony on the drums. It was hard to tell whether it was the music that appended its expression or if the expression was writing its very own music and Chitrasena was merely a scribe. It was perfect. A teacher is after all a sculptor who whittles nebulous clay into the finest form it is capable of taking. At one point, it seemed as if the Gods themselves had stopped whatever they were engaged with to witness this engagement of grace and dexterity. If Shiva’s dance of destruction was yin, this was its yang, it was the dance of conception expounding the dualism of existence.

Celestial coryphées watched like adolescent girls unable to contain their rapture and feeling silly. They had never seen a man dance like that, they had never seen anything like it. No one had seen anything like it. No one was going to for a long time. He was causing seasons with his radiating glow and by the time he finished it was spring. He walked amidst buds blooming into flowers caressing his footsteps, bowed in obeisance before Chitrasena and was about to leave his father’s abode when the doyenne of celestial courtesans stood between him and the gates of heaven. Awestruck and unrestrained, she asked that he reveal himself to her and never leave her side. Chitrasena looked on in silence, horrified.

“Mother, I’m not at liberty to stay here any longer”

She was taken aback. No man had ever said those words to her or spoken to her like that. She wished his manhood that floored her turned to femininity. As he walked away towards the golden gates, a faint reflection of the unmistakable trident, the pasupath glistened on his back. Could it be? How could it not? Suddenly, everything became clear. She now felt stupid for wishing that he lose his manhood. What effect would a curse of turning into a eunuch have on ardh-nareshwar himself? He was the supreme being, complete of both inverses. He was Shiva manifested as Arjun. She looked up at the gates of heaven and he had gone, back to Narayan to complete his stint as Nar.

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