Reached Victoria Memorial with the intention of attending Tabu's session at the Son-et-Lumiere area followed by Anita Ratnam's performance "A Million Sitas" at the Western Quadrangle. Jayram Ramesh's session was midway at Sonet Lumiere and it was an engaging discussion which gave listeners ample food for thought that need to be positively used. The session ran late, thanks to long questions asked by a few members of the audience. Tabu's session which was supposed to begin at 6-20 pm, started around 6-45 pm. Tabu looked gorgeous, but I was turned off the moment she said that she has neither read the Namesake nor the Shakespeare adaptations where she played pivotal roles.. I do not know whether I am being judgmental, but that was the moment I decided that I should start walking with Ma towards the Western Quadrangle where Anita Ratnam's performance was about to start at 7-20pm. Anita Ratnam mesmerized the audience with the beautiful combination of classical and contemporary dance forms and amazing theatrics accompanied by a wonderful script and text. Sharanya's singing beautifully complemented her performance and I got to know a lot about many facets of Ramayana and Sita's life that I really did not know..
It was a chilly evening today. Kolkata does not usually get this cold, that too as late as the Jan 24th. Although, we got to sit under a makeshift ceiling at Sonet Lumiere ground, the audience's spot at the Western Quadrangle was directly under the moonlit sky. It was an atmosphere to enjoy, an ambiance to soak in. Biting yet pleasant cold on our bare palms and glistening sweat on the dancer's face was a striking contrast.
When the performance got over and I walked out of the Western Quadrangle with Ma, the yellow marigolds formed a yellowish blanket on the dark green grass and the trees formed surreal canopies. As we walked around the Victorial Memorial towards our point of exit, the Memorial changed colors due to the changing lights, casting beautiful shadows all around. My mother, who pursued dance once, loves to watch dancers perform. I am happy tonight as I feel that I could gift her a evening that she enjoyed and would cherish. It was a long walk for Ma from Victoria Memorial to Rabindra Sadan where we managed to get a cab, but it was worth it.
Anita Ratnam's recorded voice that played in the background during the depiction of the Ahalya episode echoes in my ears.. "Stone.. Stoned for a Man who is a Stone" .. Hats off to the scriptwriter!
Immensely thankful for this evening with Ma.