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A Margam that found me

by M Kiranmayee

With a doyen like Akkineni Nageshwara Rao and veteran historian and writer Nagendra Luther marking their presence, the Arangetram of Kiranmayee Madupu a disciple of Hemamalini Arni wore great grandeur and elegance. While Kiranmayee debuted with neat stage presence and exuding confidence, it was for everyone to watch Smt Krishnaveni and Sri Murali Madupu ‘s unbounded joy as they witnessed this proud moment in their life! Sensing the aura of emotions, team Kalaparva called on the artiste herself to recall and share her experiences!

Beyond all the exertion that brought along aches and sweat,
my body was feeling delight, paying back to me its debt..
It is so funny and strange when I think of the times in my childhood, when I used to make excuses to avoid dance classes every evening. After years of sulking, cribbing and adolescent rebelling, I finally conveyed it to my disappointed parents that dancing was not my thing.

However, one day after a few years, by when I had forgotten everything in my dance and I was as good as a layman in this subject, I saw a small dance program in my neighborhood temple. She looked beautiful, charismatic, strong and graceful. And I waited till the end and when the lights went off and people came to congratulate her, her stage persona wore off and she was a normal, free spirited, real-looking young girl. Just like me!

And then I felt, why did I have to let go of that art in the first place? That was my first push, towards realizing the importance and depth of the art.“Without enjoying an art, it no possible to pursue it”- my most valuable self-realized lesson.You can force yourself into education, sport or religious activities. But not art.

A few incidents like these finally pushed me into meeting my old guru and taking this up again. I had to start from scratch but now that I knew its value, I was willing to put everything I had to make up for the lost time. I attended a few arangetrams when I joined back classes. And everything about them excited me. I knew I had a task at hand and that was where I had to reach.It became a motivation after a while. If the world was going to end in 2012, I wanted to do my arangetram and go, I was as silly as that!

But slowly I began thinking beyond the arangetram. I realized that it was a big step for being able to perform further on other platforms. It was a necessity, a test that would determine if I was capable. I attended a few programs of Alarmel Valli, Rama Vaidhyanathan, Shobhana and Ananda Shankar Jayanth. And I found myself being able to point out very precisely the good points and bad points. I was able to make out a good performance from a hyped performance. From all this knowledge, it became an obligation to own conscience that I had to give my program my best shot. No time to be substandard, passed off as a beginner or forgiven for being mediocre. Two hours of my life, that I would spend in front of more than 700 people, all the lights on me, the stage set for me, all the applause for me.. And I could be that beautiful, charismatic, strong and graceful girl... and I could be so much more than just a normal, free spirited, real looking young girl.

However, standing behind the stage wing, waiting for my queue, all this did not dramatically flash by my eyes like in the movies. I was trying to maintain a calm breathing pattern and trying to stand strong on my feet.

But after a while, the stage grew on me. The lights made everyone else invisible and the music help me let go. I could feel the fervor of devotion of a wandering mendicant for his Lord Shiva; I could feel the ecstasy of romance for a Gopika when her Krishna arrives; I could feel the pangs of separation of a nayika when her lord does not remember her and I could feel the life in a frothy, light hearted, quick paced thillana.

The emotions and characters where all bursting out of me, like I was cloud that could finally rain. The slight hesitation and fear that held me back was destroyed too.

Poetry, paints, colors and music were already there in my life. But with dance now, they all seemed to take a more tangible form. Each one of them made more sense for itself and for the others.

Margam, a repertoire of items to do in a program was more than what it literally meant. Margam was a path, that I found to reach greater heights spiritually, emotionally and even physically. But strangely, the way things have unfolded till now in my life, I’d like to believe the Margam found me.

All this made me feel real; yet made me forget reality.


TejaSVI said...

It is truly a spiritual experience to dedicate time for our ancient arts and I congratulate you for your splendid Nartana.

Sunil said...

All the best!

Preethi Tatambhotla said...

That's a great begining!! Congratulations and Good Luck!

Parajsoni said...

Amazing !!!

Supriya said...

yess. ur spirit is amazing.. happy to read this!!

Deepa Chakravarthy said...

I am so glad you found your calling..... All the best!

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