Her arms aching from the weight, her back screaming in protest.. she made her way up the last step and set the water down. For a second, it seemed as though he had called out to her.. impatience overcoming the usual silence at this time of day. She shook her head: she was imagining things. Before carrying the water in, she tidied herself up: hair neatly pinned back into the bun, her sari re-arranged around her waist, the pallu coming round and being tucked away neatly. He didn’t like it if she looked awry first thing in the morning.
She quietly stepped in, glancing around to make sure that everything was in place.
Tut-tutting under her breath, she set the water down again and started clearing up. The washcloth in the corner was pulled out to wipe out the remains of the previous day.
“Its such a beautiful day outside, the sun has just come up. Down by the river, I could see the clear water for miles around...”
She continued her commentary on the early hours of the day as she usually did, with quick glances in his direction to see if he was listening, annoyed, sleepy.. or worst of all.. angry.
The smile on his lips only served to quicken her movements; she didn’t want the smile to be inverted due to her tardiness. There was a limit to listening to a servant prattle on, even for someone as patient as he. She stopped by her pail moments later to survey her handiwork with pride. Washcloth back in the corner, she stepped over to him with the water. She paused a second with head bowed, and then quickly pulled out the bowl for the foot-wash.
His feet in place, she used the smaller pitcher to pour the water over his feet, while wiping away the dirt and grime of the past day.
She felt his gaze on her, and paused to look up.
She was mistaken.. his sculpted eyes looked, as they always did, away into the distance.
Stone they may be, but they could see all. She could feel their omniscient gaze as she lovingly wiped away the water from his feet.
As with every morning, she could feel the song coming unbidden to her lips.
“krishna née bEganE baarO…”