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Romanticizing life!

If living life to the fullest is an art by itself, then a life imbued with art makes it happen for sure, and no wonder then that only few are bestowed with creating the niche of making life a fantasy, and live it to the core! Artistes are a rare breed and the best of them are even rarer!! I am referring to Kalaimamani Priyadarsini Govind.

After years of being "In Awe" just learning and emulating her through innumerable video Cd’s, there came this opportunity of watching her live from close quarters. She was a guest performer for AnandaPriya Foundation’s first anniversary celebrations in Hyderabad.

Her very presence and entry on stage what with her tall frame and petite structure crushes the entire so called youthful ego (if we may still have any?) of being presentable on stage. As if to say – Please get going to shed those extra calories to do some justice to the art. And all this with no extravagance, no glitz & glamour and no tantrums, given her stature as a performer. Just self inspired and many an inspiration, herself into the art completely unaware of everything around.

She made the most simple and traditional aspects of a classical art look relevant and colorful, bridging the ever growing artiste- audience gap. Following her innate strength in presenting a margam in the most appropriate way, her invocatory ‘Kauthvam’ was a brisk piece with a ingenuous orchestra support in a good blend of recitation and singing rendering it instantly popular.

The ‘Varnam’ justified it to be called the ‘Piece-de-resistance’ for the extremely calculative, innovative and ornamented ‘Jathis’ presented with equal √©lan audio-visually. The ‘Vistaram’ was just apt much a knowledge disseminating process for many youngsters like me. It mirrored the fact that repetition of lyric though should be an exercise conforming to the tradition, can be done in a logically sequenced and light hearted manner too. One justifying instance being where the Nayika describes ‘Shiva’ as not the one on the peacock but on the animal which has a tail. Guess who? – The Bull. The post ‘Charanam – Aradis’ were too tempting to get up and actually dance them.

Following this was the genre that Priyadarsini Govind is famed for. Her class and stamp of Abhinaya for which it was but necessary to place yourself comfortably well in your seat with a pen and a book to freeze the experience! ‘Jagadhodharana’ brought tears rolling down for it was of coming to terms with the fact that ‘Abhinaya’ could be executed so effortlessly right from within, from a heart that is as clean as a mirror.

The item was a poem of similes and a metaphor unfolding before your eyes as every comparison of the Lord as the ‘Jagadodhara’ and a little child of Yashoda was so perfect and brilliantly maneuvered. Be it the one who gave Draupadhi yards of saree and now is just a little kid roaming naked or the one who so valorously rests on a serpent is now scared of it as a child and finally the Lord celebrated as the creator, is for Yashoda a child, for whom she has to ward off bad omen!!

‘Javali’ – ‘Ne Matale Mayanura’ was a vivid picture of watching the ‘Woman’ in us. The woman who craves for looking beautiful, for being called beautiful and for being loved eternally. Ms. Govind extended the boundaries of classicality to bring a strange fluidity in showing a Nayika’s anger on the Nayaka of not fulfilling promises. The conclusion was equally impressive where the Nayika shuts the door (of expectations) on him after a lot of dilemma!

From a light felt ‘Javali’ to a rather heavy ‘Ashtapadi’ the transition was made to look so smooth. The last Ashtapadi from Gita Govinda, it portrayed the Nayika pleading Krishna to undo everything that happened between them the last night. – Undo the loosened hair, undo the smudged kajal, undo the blithered lips, undo the nail marks and et al. She performed it with jaw dropping realism and passion that it was a virtual classroom of ‘Sringara Rasa’.

A fast paced Thillana and a Bhajan following that formed a fitting finale. A heartfelt word for the Orchestra who gave their hearts out. Anish Ram on Vocal, K.S. Balakrishnan on Nattuvangam, Deepu Nair on Violin and Ramakrishnan on Mridangam.

The next time you have the endless list of cribs of not having opportunities to watch classical art, not enough platforms to perform, life being unfair, the ladder of ascent being too steep, just watch Priyadarsini Govind in a video, get inspired, sneak your way into the next first live performance of hers and sit back and think – Art can create wonders, you need to learn how to do that!

The Parva Picks