Ace of Bhangra

The song crawls out of sludge from the bottom of the Indus River, from beneath the ruins of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. The burning sun tries in vain to penetrate the thick foliage of the ancient fig tree beneath which she reclines: the thousand-faced mistress of the myriad temples, the dancer, the priestess, the worshiper, the idol, the eternally pregnant singer . . .

She who alone knows why no human remains were ever recovered from the excavated city, the Mother of the thousand abortions, she who gave birth to the beats of the rhythm—and the space between each beat, the unnameable principle of dread . . . the slow flow of the river at sunset obscured by smoke of human flesh from the smoldering ghats . . .

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