Nights of musing and days of much activity have passed. And all this while, the ragas, the taal, the chan-chan of the ghungroos continues playing in the silences of my mind. When I close my eyes, the imagery unfurls itself- magical, intimate; yet distant, like a story from another lifetime; Though I had been a witness to it just a couple of days back..
As a part of the Navratri ‘Bramhotsav’ function, the Balaji Mandir of Nasik organises a series of performing arts featuring accomplished and upcoming artists alike, promoting art, one of the purest forms of worship. And one such performance was by Shri Deepak Aurora and Shri Devdutta Prasad, Katthak dancers from Delhi. As the performance began it was evident within minutes that these were artists who had immersed themselves in years of practice of the dance form… The movements were precise, the postures perfect (though I am no connoisseur, it was skillful and very pleasing to the eye). The energy, the costume, the music and the ambience (the quaint architecture and interiors of the temple gave it a feel of watching the performance from the balcony of a Darbar) was a perfect setting!
However, with the beginning of the next phase of the dance, I began to realise that they were more than artists who had immersed themselves in persistent practice, they were artists who had immersed themselves in the ‘Sadhna’ of the art, ardent devotion of Katthak. Their performances were passion personified! And their dance, along with the music, so gently took you in a state of trace that I couldn’t bear to take my eyes off them!
When they felt joy, it brought a smile to my face; when they bowed to the guru, I felt reverence in my heart; their contentment brought my racing heart at peace… Their emotions were palpable and they had the power to convey everything through their eyes.. We felt it so strongly because they did, their art was honest, straight from the heart and that’s why it touched ours. Never before had I seen dancers, especially male Katthak dancers move with such grace, spread such charm and depict emotions so strongly through their dance!.. Very few performances have so moved me. It was magical..
And out of immense respect for them as artists, there is also a slight nag of envy.. What I loved the most about the performance was how much they loved it!.. Loved being there, loved doing what they were doing.. It was as if they were meant to dance! How fulfilling and blessed is the life of those who can give themselves so completely and devotedly to their passion. To have a glimpse of the divine at the perfect move and experience the deepest and purest form of emotions we’re capable of experiencing on giving oneself entirely to their passion. This is another thought that has lingered since that night..