Poets the world over have been trying to doc the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to the resultant change in life-style. Arts scholar Arshiya Sethi, who based the Kri Basis with Rama Vaidyanathan, has written seven poems (English/Hindi) that discover ‘completely different points of a human disaster, the negativity across the concept of a lockdown, the assaults on docs and frontline COVID-19 warriors, the migrant challenge, the torn social cloth, the looks of schisms and the should be variety, united and altruistic.
The way it began
Her first poem ‘It is a Lockdown. not a Lockup’ was triggered by peoples’ reactions to the lockdown. “Every part was going clean in life till COVID 19 occurred. There have been highly effective swings of helplessness, anger, anxiousness and confusion. Then, when a lockdown was introduced, there was anger in opposition to it. We have no idea how and when the invisible enemy would possibly strike, so let’s be optimistic about it (lockdown). Within the poem, I reminded that this was a ‘lockdown’, not a ‘lockup’; lockdown displays accountability.”
With the idea of an experimental video, she approached Pune-based senior Kathak guru Shama Bhate, who jumped at her concept and created a video Shubham Bhavantu primarily based on her poetry.
Appalled on the well being employees being attacked, she devoted her subsequent poem to them. Whereas Rama Vaidyanathan rendered that poem in Bharatanatyam dance kind, Sharodi Saikia translated it into Assamese and Sattriya dance kind, that was even telecast on Prag TV.
Arshiya’s poems and movies captured everybody’s creativeness and the dancers approached on their very own for her subsequent items. “By the point lockdown 3 ended, we had already been restricted to our house for 50 days. Many cursed the restrictions and tedium, however I believed they have been days of nice introspection,” she says.
For somebody who writes in English, her subsequent Voh Pacchass Din in Hindi got here with a message for humanity. Odissi dancer Kavita Dwibedi selected this poem to ‘describe the darkness round us and the sunshine inside, a undeniable fact that decided her therapy of it.’
Fed up of ‘Corona Crying’, Bhubhaneshwar-based Odissi and Chhau dancer Ileana Citaristi requested Arshiya to write down one thing about Jagannath, and drew her consideration to an uncommon follow.”Simply earlier than the rath yatra, he (Lord Jagannath) falls sick and goes into quarantine. I discovered it attention-grabbing however the author’s block remained,” she says.
The information of a pregnant Kerala elephant that died after it ate a pineapple stuffed with firecrackers shook Arshiya, because it did your entire nation. “In the future Ileana referred to as to remind that it was ‘Snana Purnima’ day already and I had nonetheless not written something but. As she ranted, I googled “Snana Purnima’ and the primary picture I noticed surprised me —. It was a picture of Lord Jagannadha as he emerged from the Snan, in ‘Gaja vesha (elephant’s apparel)’. I felt that the Lord himself represented the elephant. Within the subsequent two hours, I wrote the poem ‘Jagannath Speaks to Me’. Later, Ileana Citaristi danced to this poem.
The state of migrant employees impressed the poem COVID ke Samay mein Navaras ki Chitrakari. Talking on its therapy, she says, “I exploit the phrase navarasas but whenever you depend them within the poem, you discover solely eight are talked about. The lacking one is ‘Shanta rasa,’ , nevertheless it’s not by mistake however by design. Is it actually lacking, I ask; is it not conspicuous by its absence?” Bharatanatyam dancer Priyadarshini Govind will probably be dancing to it.
One other poem Which Fork we Take stresses the necessity for the group to return collectively and get via this darkish time. She reached out to Sattriya dancer Anwesa Mahanta who coordinated with dancers from India and overseas for a video efficiency. “Though the dancers carried out individually, they got here collectively to create a group, strengthen their bonds and collectively make a compelling argument for being variety and altruistic’
Of hope and despair
Arshiya’s subsequent piece in Hindi referred to as Umeed Udasi la Virodhabhaasi Safar, is as an extension of her English poem Which Fork…. Right here the poet is anxious with divisions and variations in society. Hyderabad-based Kathak dancer Mangala Bhatt danced to this poem of hope and despair to Arshiya’s narration within the video.
Arshiya shares, “The lockdown and anxieties of an invisible assault of COVID-19 had led many to us to understand that whereas nobody can predict the trajectory of life, these of us who’re lucky sufficient to dwell our lives surrounded by melodies and rhythms have a deep lesson to be taught from these lecturers – the lesson of integration and to work collectively in each state of affairs, simply as ‘sur’ and ‘taal’ dwell, work and play in concordia. Artistes have to hold ahead this message via arts and assist individuals dwell harmoniously and hopefully, via troublesome occasions and uncertainties alongside life’s journey. Simply because the sur, taal, kavya and bhav work collectively to supply creative language, they’ve a job to play, ”
Choreographed by Mangala, the video with refined abhinaya has been fantastically shot by her son Madhav Raj Bhatt at GHMC park in Jubilee Hills. Wearing a easy Lucknowi Chikankari go well with, Mangala makes use of easy expressions to drive house the purpose. “I didn’t use costumes as I didn’t need dance to dominate the presentation; let the main target stay on the core challenge which is to return collectively and cooperate in these difficult occasions.”