Thursday, 1 March 2018

Anita says...March 2018

Breathing in I am aware of the blue sky
Breathing out I smile at the blue sky
Suddenly, the blue sky smiles back
The blue sky becomes a smile
I smile back
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Buddhist Monk

For the past few days, my I POD playlist is looping the songs of Sridevi. She was not my favourite actor and I winced when I heard her squeaky voice on screen, but her charisma and comic timing was without dispute. While most of the Bollywood fans around the world may remember her from her Hindi films, we in South India were fortunate to see her before her NIP AND TUCK era as a fabulous actress in films like SADMA and MOONDRAM PIRAI. Despite her “thunder thighs” her dancing was also specially crafted for the camera, every angle and every bend catering to the loving glance of that glass eye that forever captured her sparkle and talent.

While the entire nation mourned her tragic passing, I wondered if the death of a dance artiste would garner so much national media. Of course not! What am I thinking? Dance? Important? Cha Cha! What a stretch of imagination to even THINK that! And with this government that spouts “ancient culture” and claps Bollywood in the same breath! 

Ironically, I was at an event in Chennai accepting the GOLDEN STAR award (THANGA TARAKAI) on the birth anniversary of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. She was also a Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancer and it was she who gifted the prime Chennai land to Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam. With the passing of Vempati Ravi, the future of the academy remains unanswered. While making the acceptance speech surrounded by political MIKE-LLS (those who seize the mike and never give it up!) I mentioned this very fact that learning Bharatanatyam was a MUST for every aspiring actor. Kathak also was a style that many actors had to pick up for the camera close up of the eyes and the eyebrows.

Sridevi was the last of the South Indian dancing heroines to storm the Bollywood bastion and her dance tracks became iconic globally. It was perhaps around the same time of my delayed award ceremony that the film queen was found dead in the bathtub in Dubai. ATMA SHANTI to a dancer, actor and true diva!

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