What She Said to Her Girl Friend, after a Tryst at Night -

Kalittokai 65

My well-dressed friend,
listen to what happened.
It has set the whole village laughing.

It's the dead of night, very dark,
no sign of life,
and I'm waiting
all dressed up, lovely shawl,
best jewels,
for our soft broad-chested man,

when that old cripple, that brahman
turns up,
the one you're always asking me to respect,
bald head, rough blanket,
hands and legs shortened by leprosy,
the fellow who never leaves our street.

He bends low
to take a good look at me
and says,
" Standing here
at this unearthly hour?
Who are you? "

He won't leave my side
like an old bull
who has sighted hay;
he opens his satchel, saying,
" Lady, come, have some betel, won't you? "

I stand there, say nothing.
" Listen, girl, " he says,
stepping back a little.

" I've caught you.
I'm a demon too, but not your kind.
Be good to me. If you trouble me,
I'll grab all the offerings of this village,
and you'll get nothing. "

And he jabbers on.
I can see by now the old fellow is a bit scared,
maybe thinking I'm some demon woman,
so I pick up a fistful of sand and throw it
in his face, and he howls and howls.

It was as if a trap laid by hunters
for a tiger, a fearless, striped, cruel-eyed tiger,
had caught instead a puny jackal.

What a sight for someone
waiting to see a lover!
The whole village is laughing
at this old brahman whose life
is a daily farce.
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