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Opaque watercolor, gold and ink on paper
Overall: 20.1 x 15.3 cm (7 15/16 x 6 in.)
Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.185.a
16th-century sari: a backless blouse with belted skirt and separate shawl
Khujasta prepares herself each night to secretly meet her new lover, but before she is able to leave, her pet parrot Tuti cleverly entices her to stay with the tantalizing beginnings of a story. Tuti’s telling of the story takes all night, and by the time he reaches the end, it is too late for her rendezvous.
On this page, from the 27th of 52 nights, Khujasta has been drinking several cups of two kinds of wine—evidenced by the two bottles on the low table before her. A bowl of paan, areca nuts wrapped in betel leaves, has been set out for chewing, freshening breath, and its various pleasurable effects.
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