The Runway Mare

The Runway Mare

As the day finally dawned, Mira, the mare proudly cantered in the paddock, both nervous and excited. She had been preparing for this day for almost a month now. So many conversations she had been a part of where her troop excitedly discussed the celebrations and now finally she was being entrusted with the responsibility! She was elated to be the one to be picked up from the stud, for there were five more mares that turned four this year.

As the clock struck four in the evening, she was led out of the paddock by Gustav, her handler, towards the stall in the stables. She was very happy with the special favours she had been receiving all week. Nice hay and water-soaked grams to eat ! Her bed was made softer too nowadays! Gustav bathed her, scrubbing her back and belly till it glistened. He cleaned her ears, scrubbing behind them till she felt ticklish. Oh! How she loved that! He dried her clean and then brushed her long white soft mane.

Mira was a beautiful female horse with smooth sloping shoulders, deep crest, relatively small head, wide bright eyes, pointed ears, smooth skin milky white and a white soft long mane. A soft brown splash mark could be seen on her forehead reaching one eye. Her mom called this her beauty spot and she was very proud of it. Her legs were long and firm and her muscles gleamed of health. Her pasterns accentuated. Hooves adorned with horseshoes.

Back in the stall, Gustav covered her back with a gold thread embroidered bright red rectangular cloth decorated with small diamond-shaped glasswork. The glass glittered as light reflected and appeared like small diamonds every time Mira would move. She rather enjoyed this and moved all the more, irritating Gustav who chided her childish behaviour. This she did not like, being called a child! She sulked a little but behaved herself thereon. Next Gustav adorned her four pasterns with ghunghroos (musical bells). Oh! the sound of jingling bell music felt so exhilarating to her. Her heart soared and breast jutted out. She wanted to dance! One look at Gustav and she thought better of it! Gustav then proceeded to adorn Mira with a glittering red bridle fixed with a crest of white feathers as a headdress. A broken slab of glass was kept against the stable wall on the floor and Mira admired herself, moving fluidly from side to side.

She was now ready to be led out.

She was made to climb up an open truck for the wedding destination was a little far off. The band all decorated in their finery too climbed atop another truck. The procession was supposed to travel some distance to reach the bride’s place and all along Mira preened herself as would a bride!

Finally, they reached a common ground. Mira was helped down from the truck and led to a makeshift camp. She trotted in. A little excited and a little nervous. A group of beautifully dressed young girls greeted her, admiring her soft mane, enquiring about her name from Gustav. Mira filled with the pride felt very important indeed. It was time for the groom to come and the girls all giggling, cracking jokes brought out a bag of soft soaked grams for Mira. Mira was overjoyed as she sniffed the soaked gram taking in its aroma, preparing to have a hearty meal. The band started playing a slow melodious song with trumpet beats interrupting the flow.

Once Mira had her fill, Gustav signalled for the groom. Mira saw a weird character funnily adorned in a loud, shiny attire with a red coloured long cloth wrapped around his neck, headdress and a veil of glistening material where the character’s head should have been, walk towards her, carrying a sword in one hand, wearing some mojris (traditional footwear) in obvious discomfort. A group of rowdy looking men accompanying the character! Just then something got into the band and they started making a great noise with out of tune loud trumpets and drums. The noise deafened Mira for some moments. She froze. A group of people talking just too loudly, almost at a fighting pitch gathered around her. Some men hitched the weird character onto her back and another woman roughly pushed a discomforted, crying child into the character’s lap on Mira’s back. Mira just could not take it any longer. Her hearing returned, her heart could be heard beating above the drums and trumpets, her pulse raced, her breath gathered dust from the sandy ground and she galloped top speed.

The physics, however, as it always happens comes into play at the most unnatural of places and at the most natural of times! The law of inertia took over and Mira galloped with the groom dressed in all his finery all but hanging onto her embroidered red cloth and the child wailing loudly catching onto the groom’s stole, threatening to make a noose! The gravity not wanting to lag decided to show her worth! The groom with the child still hanging around his neck struck the ground! And the momentum made sure Mira could not be spanked by Gustav seen running top speed behind his pretty runaway mare!

The scene was ironically tragic and comical! The onlookers sceptical, barely controlling their laughter! The case of a beautiful runaway mare!

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Guncha Gupta
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