indian art - miniatures - archecticture - vedic philosophy

Classical - Kangra - Bihari Sat Sai
Plate 13 - The Lady's Bath  



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A woman of the barber class had an important place in the palaces of the princes. They were the confidantes of the ladies, and also acted as messengers. They brought baskets of flowers in the morning to the young ranis, and also assisted in their bath. Red lac dye was applied to the feet as an aid to beauty. The poet thus describes the beauty of the heels of the lady.

pai mahavaru daina kaun
naini baithi ai
phiri phiri jani mahavari
edi midati jai

"The barber's wife came to paint
The Nayika's feet with red mahavara,
Mistaking her red round heel for a lump of dye,
She began to rub it, as if to take the colour out of it."