Sunday, September 2, 2007

Pregnant with ....

Having had a baby last year I went thru the amazing process of pregnancy. It never failed to amaze me as to how many paralells exist between pregnancy and an artist's creative process. Both are extremely spiritual, meditative journeys with one's self. There are worlds to experience, sink and soak in all by yourself in both the journeys. No one else can feel the sacred intimacy you feel with your inner being. Like a woman with a baby in her womb, as an artist I have felt the same sacred space with my work, that no one else can transgress upon. Its a journey we undertake together, and though I am the creator, I grow beautifully with all my work.

Its like, when an idea takes root within, one is pregnant right then with the idea. It develops each day, grows by leaps and bounds, till you can bear it no more. You just 'has to' give birth, give form to the being that waited to be born. And every artist knows how every piece of music, dance, painting or writing has a life of its own. It comes with powerful force and takes on its own life. 'Birth pains' are not just what we women, but each artist experiences in his own right.

Along with birth and rearing a baby, come many profound realisations, and the same can be said of one's art form. Every dance, every performance, every day of riyaaz, brings with it much deeper realisations of what it brings to your life. Its a journey you are born to be with, as a parent and as an artist, equally powerful, spiritual and sacred, and only 'you' know the way it colours up your world.

Friday, August 31, 2007

When the heart spills over

This blog is beginning to get addictive. Its like I wake up in the morning and want to empty my head out, chat with my new friend first thing in the morning and kick start my day. Almost meditative this is. Today I wanted to talk about how music, dance, art just fills up the mind with so many emotions, that spill over the brim of one's heart. Just like this wonderful song I heard lately, which drives me crazy. Crazy in a wonderful haunting, mesmerising kind of way. Like it sings of your life, but actually it doesnt. My life is far happier than its sad, wistful quality.Its yearning for what one missed by in the journey of life. Yet it 'feels' so much like its your story. Why does one associate so strongly sometimes with a piece a art that arouses a kind of madness within? And it has no association with your normal sane life.

Having felt this time and again in music, dance and painting, I think great works of art are the ones that 'move' you out of your comfort zone and arouse dormant emotions sleeping within you. My dance guru says that there are all kind of emotions within us in a sleeping state, and dance helps to awaken them in us. Suppressed anger, secret passions, guilt, even scheming evil qualities are part and parcel of life. when we experience them vicariously in art, they give an outlet to many feelings normal life does not bring to us, and yet art makes us embrace all shades and nuances of life and emotions as normal. The indian concept of 'Navarasas' are all within us, only waiting to be savoured and lingered with, whether in a beautiful melody, a van gogh painting or an evocative moment in dance that haunts us forever.

Some sublime relationships and moments

Last time I was travellin by car I was wondering about all the dances I have learnt and how each of them represents a world within them. Its like its taken forever to cultivate a unique, personal relationship with each dance. Each dance is like a person, my acquaintance with whom has grown over the years. They are all super-exciting to discover in the beginning, but some have truly become seasoned friends. Others, just need more time and effort to truly get one with. But all in all, they are all sensational friends, always there to free the body, mind and soul of all limitations of time and space. Like I tell my friends, that everything in life is wonderful, but moments linked to dance are divine, what one calls in hindi 'aalokik', simply sublime, of another world. Some powerful experiences while performing or even watching dance, stay with one a lifetime, and some seem like a lifetime within a moment.

These precious moments remind me of a couplet from Farida Khanum's famous ghazal 'Aaj jaane ki zid na karo':
"Waqt ki qaid mein zindagi hai magar,
chand ghadiyan yahi hai jo aazaad hai,
inko kho kar meri jaaneja,
umra bhar na taraste rahon..."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Beginner's steps

In dance we always insist on a long period of training in the basics and the need for clarity regards 'why' u want to dance. Its a testing of ur knack for the dedication and patience that indian classical dance requires. I guess blogging is no different. Though I confess I started out quite averse to the whole blogging culture, but off late my state of mind needs this blog.

So starting out, I admit this blog is the voice that many voices in my mind need, its the exercise that I need to lose my mental flab and I think artists need it more than anyone else.

Artists may find great healing in their artistic mediums and yet their mind I feel is more restless than of anyone else. There is a constant search that often eludes you. Sometimes I think it is the journey of searching, of restlessness that is meant to be yours for that lifetime. Thats why maybe one is an artist.

There are moments when one is deeply immersed in artistic bliss, when dancing or watching a brilliant performance when time halts to create a sense of stillness. Its a stillness all artists so dearly cherish and continuously crave for. Or at other times it is a sense of travelling many time zones into a deep space for a long period when one has actually only been dancin for only an hour or so. Where do we go in those moments is a mystery that eludes us, and this blog will not help me ever figure out that. But seems like one good friendship to start, to accompany me along this search of a lifetime.