Reflecting at THE ATTIC


Almost twenty days past the 19th of March. The day FROM THE ATTIC performance series got premiered. After all the buzz, hectic hours of work, endless phone calls, piles of paperwork and sleeplessness, there is a certain quiteous that has returned to my everyday life. Much has changed forever though after the March mid week. I have made many friends and some foes. Many many have come forward to appreciate my work. People I respect, shared the evening with me, spent time understanding my thoughts and showed respect to my work. An evening that in many ways introduced my pre -occupations to the world. I am being asked to speak, share my work at various forums and Attic has managed to interest everyone in history, art and performance.

As I return to a normal pace of everyday routine of work, classes, writing, my reading and the stillness of my life, I am reflecting. What is the one thing that stands great people apart. My Gurus, Sarasama, the Tiruvazaputhur Kalyani Grand daughters, TSP mama, TNR Sir, Ramachandran Sir, Raghu mama and the many others. The women dance gurus of mine, may not be women of letters but were/are certainly not illiterate. I recognize literacy as a quality that nurtures equanimity, a sense of neutrality and personal integrity.

Life to these women has not been too fair. Actually, life is not fair to anyone but it is how we face that adversity that makes us the people we are. I found my teacher Sarasama’s  ability to talk with ease and humor always very fascinating. She would hardly speak about her personal life. She was always surrounded by her students. She found a good quality (albeit funny) in everyone and appreciated them for it. Her humor was in many ways her shield from the harsh realities of life.
Jeeva teacher too is a bundle of joy and fun. Their endless childish bickering and arguments would have me in splits. TSP mama managed through the years on his wheelchair with his gregarious sense of humor and jokes. TNR’s one liners are my staples, while Ramachandran sir (a man one would consider to be more serious) would break into an unexpected joke or impression, much to our delight. As far ad Raghu Mama is concerned, I would sing in between peels of laughter.

The core of their art (all of theirs) is couched in a simple innocence. Even while the world burdens them with layers of misnomers, criticisms and betrayals, it is the sheer strength of their personal integrity that stands them high.

Their strength also is “உற்றது சிந்திக்கும் உணர்”. Their knowledge of people and the world was/ is not  “paasagyanam” but a deeply intense “patigyanam”. They seem to interact with people and the world with the intense philosophy of “மேவாமல் மேவுதல்” that is to work the ways of life without letting it affect their deeply held personal value.

I am stunned into silence when I reflect upon these. The merit of a teacher’s integrity upholds their ability to for ever create an impression of unattainable purity both of their art as well as their heart, in the minds of their pupils.

I am indeed a very fortunate disciple of such gurus of great merit. If you too are, believe me when I say, their breed are a rarity and you can feel quite chosen.

Dr.Swarnamalya Ganesh
Reflecting at the ATTIC (a reflection of my Gurus’s shining integrity)


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