ANDAL'S GARDEN: Part 1
December 30, 2020
Anita Ratnam and Narthaki.com present ANDAL'S GARDEN, Andal's TIRUPPAVAI 30, a series of curated performances celebrating the spirit and poetry of the only female Azhwar, Godai, for 30 days from December 16, 2020. These 30 poems or Pasurams, are brimming with imagery, imagination, and innovative metaphors influenced by the naturescapes of the Sangam era and Andal's own knowledge of the Bhagavatham.
ANDAL is for everyone. Her 9th century voice was among the earliest of the female mystic poets to flood this land. ANDAL'S GARDEN - where Carnatic music meets Kathak, Mohiniattam, Kathakali, Odissi, Kuchipudi and of course, Bharatanatyam. Original music, freshly filmed videos in the outdoor, shorn of extra ornamentation and focusing on the poetry and the mood of the Margazhi season.
Art by KESHAV - ©krishnafortoday & Keshav
Translations by Priya Sarukkai Chabria - 'ANDAL: Autobiography of a Goddess'
Sudharma Vaithiyanathan (Bharatanatyam)
Bejewelled gopi-girls, each a jewel, enhance your sparkle
by bathing in his luminescence full as the moon
against indigo skies. Lance-bright his eyes, bright his lance
that glides through fear. Bathe in the river of devotion
of the lion cub, Yashodhara's joy, our single star.
His home is here, where we gather, the time is now,
this Margali month. Come, pledge your life to radiance.
Hamsa and Mayura Balagurunathan (Bharatanatyam)
@ hamsabalagurunathan / @ _m.a.y.u.r.a_
People of the world we sing blessings on all.
Cold the sleek-dawn river into which we plunge
forsaking the tongue's pleasures in milk and
ghee, for our taste is for Him, who lulls the cosmic ocean's
bubbling stars. We forsake flowers for his fragrance,
forsake kohl and adornments to serve others.
We swear ourselves to seeking grace.
Priya Murle (Bharatanatyam)
With two strides, He covered the three worlds. Us
He will succour. The monsoons shall never fail; golden paddies
will tousle the wind, in stilled water amidst sprouting seeds
bright carp will leap, lotuses will rock bees to sleep and
our cows will bear udders so heavy our small hands can't
enclose its milky seep. All prosperity is ours. Come
promise yourselves to his benediction.
AAZHI MAZHAI KANNA
Madhu Nataraj (Kathak)
Rain clouds dark as His skin, do part; reveal Him
as you dive to drink the ocean's sacrament. Shower
as you rise. Lightning mimics His discus flashing
from his glorious shoulders; thunder - the victory
call blown through Valampuri's nacre. Pour benedictions
dense as arrows from His Sarangi bow. In His plenitude
we rejoice. May we flourish as we take this oath.
Jayaprabha Menon (Mohiniattam)
Jayasree Sankaran (Mohiniattam)
@ jayaprabhamenon / @jayasreesankaran
of his mother's womb, the clans and the temple's! He haunts
Yamuna's spotless banks where we stand. Discard delusion:
offer Him the flowers and fragrances of our hearts, serve
our body's honey as ablution for his feet. As cotton in fire
our misdeeds will burn, those of the future will blaze
away to illumine our minds' cave. Come, make this vow.
Pavitra Bhat (Bharatanatyam)
Dr.Rathna Kumar (Kuchipudi)
@Pavitra_krishna_bhat / @chetked2
from Vishnu's temple, winged Garuda's lord who sucked
poison like mother's milk and killed the rolling cart-demon.
Sages praise the Primal Cause whose joy saturates
beyond far flung stars. His name pulses
in inhaled air. Hear it echoing in your heart.
S Vasudevan (Bharatanatyam)
Awaken! Blackbirds screech. Bangles jingle
as women churn buttermilk. Cream rises. Whey falls
away while their perfumed hair swish like fans
at His feet. We lift our voices to the Sapphire
Radiance whose locks tangle stars. Buried
gem, unlock your heart's belled door to His call.
Hema Rajagopalan (Bharatanatyam)
Awaken! Dawn nibbles the edge of the sky.
Buffaloes graze dew-tipped grass. Others wait
to bathe in His grace. Make haste! He's ripped
the demon horse's throat and wrestled evil till it cried
surrender. If we, mouth overflowing with song,
beseech rapture He will flood us in beauty.
Mythili Kumar (Bharatanatyam)
Sudharma Vaithiyanathan (Bharatanatyam)
@abdanceco / @sudharmaaa
by lamplights that strum incense vapours. Clear
your heart's chamber! Aunt, is your daughter rapt
by the world's glitter? Why is she insensate
though we chant His glory? Inspire
her to ascend past the Illusionist's play.
Divya Goswami (Kathak)
Awaken! Devotion flings open heaven's expanse.
Answer, rupture your dark door. Rare jewel
are you in a stupor? As Kumbakarna slid
down death's throat did he slip you his gift
of demonic slumber? The scent of holy tulsi flows
from above. Star strewn is our luminous abode.
Vandana Supriya (Odissi)
Awaken! Snakewaist girl, prance
the enchantment: as wild peacocks
shimmer steps to lightning-nerved air,
call to thunderheads of your love.
At your threshold we hymn His magic
and call you fortunate one, to dance.
Ramya Ramnarayan (Bharatanatyam)
Awaken! Auspiciousness floods. Remembering
their calves, cows stream milk. At your door we wait
our hair running dew, milk slush around ankles, drenched
in love, for His home is yours too. The world startles
recalling His compassion in beheading the ten
headed demon. Rise from petrifaction; you are one of us.
Janani Murali (Bharatanatyam)
Awaken! The morning star ascends, the evening star
descends. Dawn fills birds and us with song. We sing
of His slaughter of disharmony by demon
and beast. Look, maidens plunge into His cool
river of grace. Girl with eyes that shame
the lotus' beauty, shed shyness. Join us.
Sukruti Tirupattur (Bharatanatyam)
Awaken! The white lily of the night closes. The red
lotus of day opens. Ascetics in sunrise robes and ash-
white teeth blow pearly conchs at temple doors.
We've kept our promise of dawn worship.
You promised to herald the lotus-eyed Lord.
Are you worse than a parrot that mimics our vows?
Krithika Rajagopalan (Bharatanatyam)
"Emerald parrot, are you still asleep?"
"Sisters, your shrill speech grates. Patience, please!"
"Parrot, we know your squawks well enough!"
"I'll let your vile words pass. Have all appeared?"
"Save you, we're here." "Then my elated
screech joins your hymn to His cosmic play!"
Yesterday's Andal is forever
in every today
and more importantly
in every tomorrow.
she will take you
to sing in joy,
In energy with every soul
uniting to sing his praise.
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