I witness Nirupa perform.
She is a year old.
Her mom carries her to the stage.
Places her in the centre.
The child bows to the crowd.
Begins the show with a Pusphanjali.
Pauses in between, glances at her mother,
sits on the floor, relaxes, while the musicians play.
Her mother prompts her to stand and continue.
Nirupa refuses, cries for milk.
The girl in the splendid dance costume
and exquisite jewellery looks miserable.