Tag Archives: Bharathanatyam

Dance of Life!

17 Dec

ShivaThandavam9In my mother tongue Thamizh (தமிழ்), there’s a saying “Mottaith thalaikkum muzhangaalukkum mudichu poduvadhu pol!” (மொட்டைத் தலைக்கும் முழங்காலுக்கும் முடிச்சுப் போடுவது போல்) That means “Connecting the dots between completely unrelated things” (the literal meaning will be a hilarious “Tying a bald head and knee together!”). Considering the multiple unrelated things that happened this week, Swamy decided to give the MTM2P2 a try to see if our forefathers really meant what they said (unlike us, they invariably did)!

Here’s the list of (significant or otherwise) events that happened this week in Swamy’s Life.

  • ShivaThandavam8Series of meetings with vendors for a critical business requirement (which became my top priority this week).
  • Working from my (real) office (that I refer in my conversations as ‘Jeeva Samadhi’ due to the complete absence of any opening to let natural light in) consecutively for 3 days, after a really long time (before the gossip mill starts buzzing, I do go to office everyday like any of you, but not necessarily to where I’ve an office room assigned to me).
  • 12-12-12 (ended up publishing 3 different blog posts to immortalize this once-in-a-lifetime day).
  • A rare invitation to attend a dance program (which I couldn’t attend).
  • Pitching to a steering committee for new features in organization’s learning platform (this is a part of my portfolio for which we’ve many a dream to transform learning interventions into ‘myLearning, myWay’ for associate delight).
  • A team get-together, with a few live ‘performing arts’ performances, including dance (that a group of enthusiasts prepared and performed within 3 days).
  • Riding my dear Red Bull (that’s a Royal Enfield Classic 500 in Maroon, for buggles, err., muggles of MotorBike world) after a while (man, how much I’ve have missed without riding it for several months).
  • Taking my son out for a few hours of street Cricket with his schoolmates (thereby automatically getting transmogrified into my own cherished childhood spent on the dusty streets of Madurai & Dindigul) and going for a brisk morning walk (again after a very long time) while he played (a sea change for him for he’s a professional Chess player who travels the world and doesn’t get to meet his pals on a daily basis like any normal student).
  • ShivaThandavam4Meeting Senthilkumar from Trichy during that rare morning walk, who looked like Samigiri Siddhar (you won’t know him unless you happen to read Cho’s Thuglak weekly – we’ve been loyal readers from my grandfather’s time), and was selling Arugampul (Bermuda grass) juice (a herbal concoction with amazing medicinal benefits that’s very popular along the beaches that are abuzz with morning walkers and joggers) at Velachery (which isn’t along or beside any beach in Chennai). I went to him assuming he was selling Tea, then bought the juice and listened to his fascinating story while enjoying a cup of the health potion (it won’t be a bad idea to start a walking or cycling regimen for enjoying his juice and news).
  • Shopping for a specific type of clothes for my wife and son who’re set to travel for spiritual event of significance at the Isha Yoga center this week (which is unusual for me, as I always buy clothes only during the Sale of branded garments or popular stores, which anyway happens throughout the year these days).
  • Tasting a cup of Tea brewed by my better half (and commending her for making such a good hot cuppa, something that isn’t usually her cup of Tea – pun intended ;-).

ShivaThandavam10Now that you’ve seen the enchanting list of unrelated events, what if I told you that the thread that connects all these beautifully is Dance! Not because the other performances during the team get-together weren’t impressive. What all the performers have accomplished – be it the parody song or skit on their own corporate function or the orchestra that hit the high notes despite the lead singer’s strained vocal chords – was memorable. But the dance (or dances rather as there were different set pieces) with a colorful ensemble of dancers was in an altogether different plane. While some were consciously performing their steps diligently (with the experts guiding them from the sidelines), few others toned their prowess down to enable others in the group shine and the true blue dancers – classical and neo – just set the floor on fire, by becoming one with the dance and sent the gawking raucous audience into raptures.

ShivaThandavam12Time to connect the bald head and knee with dance, before you lose the remaining hair on your already fast receding hairline (all my XX chromosome readers – including most of the aforementioned dancers – can have a hearty laugh here as only the XY chromosome beings usually suffer from this condition).

ShivaThandavam1Before I call upon my Ishta Deivam (இஷ்ட தெய்வம்) and other divine beings to offer me the requisite revelation to connect the dots with dance, I recalled the description of a dance, a divine one no less, which brought a flood of Joy Drops in me, while reading it. This was the Thandava (தாண்டவம்) or Dance of Shiva, the Lord of Lords (or Mahadeva), which was mesmerizingly described by Amish from pages 75 to 79 in his enchanting book “The Immortals of Meluha” (you may read SwamyView of the book here), the first part of his Shiva Trilogy. Do read it (not just those pages), if you haven’t done yet, to understand what I meant.

ShivaThandavam13Life has been interpreted in many ways, by many talented beings – including the enlightened ones. But to Swamy, Life isn’t a mystery but a Dance. A pretty long one, that’s exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. Some like Lord Shiva, know how to perform the Dance of Life. Some others learn how to do it. A few at least are capable of marveling at it, even though they themselves aren’t adept at performing. But most, remain blissfully unaware or clueless about the awe inspiring spectacle of Life that dances around them all the time, until their time stands still.

ShivaThandavam7In the Dance of Life, you’re the performer (irrespective of whether you’re an accomplished dancer or not – for real Life isn’t really what you think it is). The dance is on all the time and it doesn’t matter whether someone’s there to watch it or not. Shakespeare understood the performance aspect of Life and his immortal “All the world’s a stage” would make a phenomenal Opera!

ShivaThandavam5Any Dance needs a stage, accompanying artists, music (and those who make it), choreographer and audience, apart from the performer. Think about our daily dance, umm, Life! Your home, workplace or any place you go to is the stage. Family, teams, colleagues and co-travelers on a commute are the accompanying artists. All the noise that happens – never ending small talk, phone calls, discussions in team meetings, sales pitch to customers, annoying honking during your daily Life on the slow lane, vroom of that luxury car, du..du..du.. of a Bullet, chirp of that bird and bark of this dog – around is the music (and its makers). Your wife, boss, that alpha femme’ fatale (male if you’re an XX type), family astrologer, mom-in-law (pop-in-law for XXs), traffic cop, your children and their teachers are your choreographers. Everyone who gets to watch you dance through the day are the spectators (as are you to them). It is curtains down at night and a brand new (or same old – solely dependent on the dancer) dance starts all over again at dawn. This goes on till the dancer runs out of breath and rests in peace.

ShivaThandavam2While Life’s dance is an endless beginning and dancers keep changing all the time, the types of dances are many and varied. From the emotional painting of Bharathanatyam to the smooth motion of Tai Chi to the gyrating Belly to the soulful Trance to the spirited Kuthu (or Folk) to the tantalizing Tango to the balmy Ballet to the mesmerizing Maori to the pulverizing Disco to the sensual Salsa to the rhythmic Tap to the swanky Swing to the flaming Flamenco to the expressive Kathakkali and a multitude of other forms that are local or global. The nature of your action, the level of your involvement, the pace of your execution, the degree of your emotion and the amount of trust in and from your partners determine the type of dance at any moment on any given day. Irrespective of the type of dance you perform, always remember that the whole point of dance is to just melt into it and be like the Lord of the Dance’s Formless Form!

ShivaThandavam6Now that your eyes are opened wide to Life’s many types of dances of varying rhythm, go back to the list of events in the beginning of this post, which happened in Swamy’s Life this week. And tell me if you see anything that’s not part of the grand Dance of Life!

Love + Gratitude = @PrakashSwamy.

Be Joyful & Spread the Cheer!

And, of course, remember to Like, Comment and Share this post joyfully with your loved ones.


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