The right arm she raises graciously from the back, in order to adjust the dot of vermillion on her temple. A mark of the onset of pubescence, the bindi is indispensable to the shringar of the Indian woman, married and unmarried alike. A Khajuraho-inspired wood carving such as this one captures the Indian feminine beauty standard to perfection: a full figure the very image of fecundity, minimal clothing because the woman’s body has more to do with nourishment than amusement, and ample shringar that equates her to the Devi Herself.
The young maiden dances with abandon at the realisation of her own beauty. A silken sash descends from the girdle of her dhoti, upon which she is slated to trip and fall any second now, bringing her vain reverie to a playful end. An ornate aureole engraved with vines and hints of floral presence surround her, conveying the self-containment of her own world.