Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Zakir Diary - Thadhiginathom: Part 21

A benefit in time

Sadness – It furtively propels living beings to find new ways for survival. Living beings that were ambulatory started sharpening their senses to aid them in avoiding and escaping the fury and adversity that nature unleashed on them. The suffering of the body is common to everyone. The human race’s evolved capacity to reason also brought with it suffering of the mind. Medicines and luxuries were invented to alleviate the mind and body of these sufferings. Intoxication, though it hurts the body, can be medicine to the mind. There is another medicine that excites the body and mind alike. It is bhakti – piety. It is a great medicine that alleviates the mind of all its sufferings without harming the body. The fact it later led to abusive power and many other ailments that afflicted the human race is indeed ironic and tragic. The human mind that was seeking relief from pain was made to suffer much more. To correct this, many texts were written on justness. Collectively they came to be known as Dharma. Even that changed according to periods and people. In the end, the human race got trapped like fish in a web of sufferings and started swimming in it with the hope of achieving redemption someday. No one has yet overcome these sufferings.

“Zakir! Did you know that the Central government’s cultural department is giving financial aid to students learning natyam?”
“I didn’t know, Aunty.”
“I got two applications by mail from Delhi. It’s for you as well.”
“Thank you very much, Aunty.”

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Roving Eye curated by Anita Ratnam - August 2020

Anita says...August 2020

Writing the history of the Devadasi with “white ink” is problematic.
When the word DEVADASI was substituted with ISAI VELLALAR, the women stepped back and the men stepped forward.
The English language is a privilege and a burden.
We need a new glossary of terms with which to discuss the dance history of South India.
Pass the mic but don’t stop speaking.
- Quotes from Prof. Avanthi Meduri’s Facebook conversation with Dr. Swarnamalya Ganesh on DEVADASI- HISTORY, IDENTITY, POLITICS, PRIVILEGE, July 30, 2020


There is a beautiful image as imagined by PATANJALI, the originator of Yoga.

STHIRAM and SUKHAM - - Stability and Ease

It stems from the pose of Vishnu reclined upon the serpent Adisesha while floating on the milky ocean. How adeptly the serpent has to adjust the coils so that the Lord can continue to sleep. For Mahavishnu to experience SUKHAM (ease), Adisesha has to practice STHIRAM (stability-balance).

How does one flow in the YOGA OF DAILY LIVING using these two images?
How does one live life with these two words as metaphors or gateways to harmony?

We now know that these past 4 months are going to last for at least another 8.
That this year should now be referred to as #DELETE2020.
That we are now locked in a DIGITAL EMBRACE into the first quarter of 2021.

So how do we even begin to consider the ideas of STHIRAM and SUKHAM?
How can we even fathom these qualities when everything around us is being thrown into disarray?
We are off balance more than ever.
There is less and less inspiration and motivation to continue to feel optimistic and positive about life and art.
So how can we even begin to understand SUKHAM?
The cheerleading squad who proclaim that "Dance can surmount anything" now sound weak and unconvincing.
We see depression, melancholia and listlessness all around and even the best and strongest among us are feeling vaguely unsettled.

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