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Tribute to Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan
- V.P. Dhananjayan

September 18, 2020

The passing away of Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan creates a vacuum in the arts and cultural field of Bhaaratam. An erudite scholar and cultural activist par excellence she drew high reverence from all quarters of our society, for her steadfast nature and contributions she made to keep our cultural ethos flying aloft in the international arena.

She authored a couple of monumental books with conviction and authority on the subjects of our classical and folk theatres, traditional performing arena in our temples, encompassing the pan Bharateeya spectrum. Artistes like us always resort to her books as authentic reference texts for all to study and understand the nuance of Bharateeya Samskaar and sensible values and depth of our performing arts. With her high command of impeccable English language, her lectures on art matters impressed connoisseurs of art and literature. I have come to the conviction that she had great fascination and love for the Kerala fine arts and temples of that region. She was instrumental in getting international and UNESCO recognition for the great temple art of Koodiyattam.

As a member of the SNA council, I had occasions to cross sword with her in the meetings and she showed her magnanimity in agreeing and accepting my arguments on matters of SNA awards. Yet we kept our close relationship of mutual admiration till the end. Shanta and I always made it a point to pay our reverence to her whenever we visited New Delhi and got to know about her health and well being through her secretary Ramchandran.

I remember her asking me to take her to MS Amma (MS Subbulakshmi) just a few weeks before MS Amma passed away and I had the privilege and honour of taking her to meet the doyen of Carnatic music. The meeting of these great souls and their exchange of greetings was a great moment for me to cherish.

We have lost a great Acharya / Guru in her and will always remember her as a good friend, philosopher and benefactor.
Great souls live foreverůMy obeisance and pranaams to the departed soul.

Natyacharya V.P. Dhananjayan is the director of Bharata Kalanjali, Chennai.

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