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Showing posts from April, 2011

Surpanakha -The story of a woman scorned

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The other day we went and saw a nice dance drama at UNC Chapel Hill called Sitayana, wherein a colleague acted as Urmila and a friend acted as Hanuman. Great performances, nice singing and commentary from the background, we were provided a treat of the essence of the Ramayana story. The Stone theater was houseful and the ambiance at UNC great. But then again, this is not a review of the session, but something else that got my mind going.

That ‘something’ was the character of Surpanakha, the much reviled character depicted in many a Ramayana version as an ogress, foul mouthed, hoarse voiced, one with coppery hair, amply endowed on the upper deck and capable of changing forms at will. Before I get to that part of the story and around it, I must tell you that the girl who played that part and got the loudest applause was Bethanie Mickles, a young attorney and a dance + music artist. I was pleasantly surprised when I read her bio and saw that she had studied not just Bharata Natayam but a…

The Evil Eye

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The other day I was spending a few hours in bed suffering from a miserable flu and was in no mood to read. In utter boredom I was reduced to gazing around the room and out of the windows, till my gaze finally rested on an old black and white photo of a couple, them being my dad and mom, taken some days after their marriage in the mid 50’s. Dad looking chum and smart with his Clark Gable moustache, keeping with the times and mom looking very serene and contended in her Banaras sari. But then I concentrated and saw a smudge on her face and walked closer to inspect it. Yes, it was what I thought, a beauty spot on her face. I had obtained this photo recently from my brother and had missed this aspect of the photo in the dark winter months, but well, that set me thinking. As was the custom in those days, they did affix this lamp-black spot on the left side of ones lovely countenance to ward off the evil eye, so that was what it was.

Sadly it did not quite help her as events transpired. A …