Dance of the Seven Veils! 

Below is a poem by Oscar Wilde; reading the poem, brought out a flurry of thoughts in me.

She freed and floated on the air her arms

Above dim veils that hid her bosom’s charms…

The veils fell round her like thin coiling mists

Shot through by topaz suns and amethysts.

I read, the term of the title, when I was reading a book, where the recovery of a 22-year man was being discussed, after a significant accident. When asked by the father of the man, when his son will be discharged, the doctor said, with a smile, that before his discharge he is likely to be thrown out of the hospital. Father said, looking at a beautiful nurse, “Dance of the Seven Veils”.

The “Dance of the Seven Veils” is Salome‘s dance performed before Herod II. It is an elaboration on the biblical story of the execution of John the Baptist, which refers to Salome dancing before the king, but does not give the dance a name.

This term stuck into my mind, and I did a bit of research to understand the thoughts behind the same. I found the evolution of the term very interesting. Somewhere the term Dance of the Seven Veils was attributed to Oscar Wilde, based on the above poem, and he is supposedly the father of modern strip-tease dance! Wow, people’s imagination runs wild!

It is noteworthy that renowned actress Rita Hayworth did a strip-tease in the film Salome.

What is the reference to “seven veils”? It is the number of layers of clothing worn by women and removed erotically while dancing. It’s an act which is sensual if performed in the right spirit, but it usually will be an erotic act. I had seen an act similar to this when we went to Dubai almost a decade ago. After the desert safari, there was dinner and dance show. Dinner was superb, and belly dance was sensual as well as erotic!

As usual, when I came back to the real world, instead of the dance of the lady, different thoughts started whirling around in my mind. They were of course about humans, my favourite topic. The human mind is veiled in many layers. The more you think you know an individual, the lesser you know them. The veils slowly start coming down or get thrown off, once you get to know them better. Of course, this is not true about all humans. But there are some complex people, and more you interact with them, you feel that you know them even lesser! Their persona is shrouded in veils, in some cases 3 to 4 deep but in some cases this numbers we will never know, probably like an infinite number of saris Lord Krishna provided to Draupadi, while she was being stripped by Dushasana.

Some appear dominant personalities but after you get to know them, and once the veils start dropping, you may find that there is a super soft human beneath. A Person will be strong from outside appearances, but their inside is a treat. Examples of Coconut fits such persons exactly. A coconut may fall from a tall tree but will hardly be damaged due to the hard outer layer. Remove that outer layer; there is still some bushy covering. Remove the bushy covering, and you will again come across a hard shell. Look at the beauty of nature’s design. Once we break open the hard inner shell, you get the best natural water full of different minerals, and of course the coconut, the white fleshy part of the fruit!

Some are like Mangoes; peel them and start eating them! But be careful inside there is a hardcore! Look at Jackfruit. Its outer skin is sharp to handle, but on pealing, you will get the choicest fruit. Again, inside the fruit, you get semi-hardcore. This core can be boiled in salty water, peel its hard, thin shell and yet it can be eaten — very useful but complex variety.

The human mind is complicated, but then it’s His design! Add to this one more degree of complexity, Gender, man or a woman! I don’t how many layers of complications get added when we consider women! Or is it that a man does not understand the gender complexity? Friends, the way we can never understand His ways, we will never understand the human mind. Veils after veils will get exposed one under another! In “The Dance of the Seven Veils”, if all seven veils are removed we hope to see the see “real” thing! But in the case of the human mind, it is tough to predict when we will see the “real” thing! In the meanwhile, in the lighter vein, send me your comments about Rita Hayworth’s dance!