Monday 1 July 2019

Anita says...July 2019

Awake my friends!
Let us pray for 
Verdant fields drenched with rain
Cows with udders swollen and full
Families sated with gratitude and plenty.
- ANDAL, mystic poet 9th century

I am reading these verses as I am in the midst of endless rehearsals for the new version of my 2002 ensemble production NAACHIYAR. I am struck with the irony of these words replete with generosity and grace. 

I write from a city now famous as the worst city for WATER shortage and drought on the entire planet!

How can I begin my monthly musings about DANCE when every waking thought on everyone's mind in Chennai is about water or the lack of it! 

We have become the headline!

So what AM I doing, I asked myself. Dancing and singing about rain when everywhere around us we are bombarded by images of women standing with plastic pots for hours waiting for the water lorries to arrive. 

All through the month reports poured in about musicians and priests engaged in praying for rain with several versions of pujas and invocations. Rationalists scoffed, politicians became camels and hid their brains in the sand, social media was inundated (I do notice the pun!) with varying opinions between the rationalists and the faithful. The crisis also caught the attention of Hollywood actor Leonardo Di Caprio who highlighted the environmental calamity through a tweet. 

When the first rains arrived on June 27th - a month late - the entire city was out in celebration. Water that fell from the skies was never more beautiful! It was the truly visual embodiment of the dancer's mantra - JEEVATMA meeting PARAMATMA! 

And so to the month that was!

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