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Spirit of woman recreated

Garden of Eden, here.

IS THIS the department that is receiving many a kudos and cheers from the academicians for the past four days? No doubt, this is. For all the pains the students and the staff of the English Department of Sri Meenakshi Government College for Women have taken putting their hearts and souls together, this is one fantastic credit, they have earned for their love for literature and labour. Can `love's labour' go unnoticed or get lost?

Workshop, seminar and an exhibition too. All these will not do for the Head of the Department, R.Lakshmi Perundevi. So she imported the Charminar in Hyderabad to Madurai with the help of Sarojini Naidu. Her works can always be of eternal help to the creative minds.

You quote a few lines from a poem, an essay or a play. But the girls quoted all the five stanzas of the Nightingale's poem, `In The Bazaars of Hyderabad' through their colourful costumes and modest action, bringing to life the rich flavour and bustle of the capital of Andhra Pradesh. The sensory experience cast a spell on the onlookers.

If the seminar had it -- Shakthi, the Omnipotent -- even the other two qualities (omnipresence and omniscience) of Shakthi could be observed from the literary exhibition that shattered the common concept that only science buffs can produce the theories in a more practical manner.

A visual treat from ` Bazaar of Hyderabad'.

The literature freaks came out of their cocoon. Quite different at that. From the mythological character, Penelope, to the modern director, Meera Nair, women from all walks carried a smile in the charts to stress their `O's in the world.

Shakespeare portrayed the seven steps of man. Why not seven steps of woman? the girls ask. Outcome: They illustrated those steps with pictures. Do not brush aside the depiction calling it feminism or `female chauvinism'. It's just a natural instinct for any woman.

When the merchants, musicians, vendors, goldsmiths and maidens from the Hyderabad Bazaar greeted everyone, the traditional Janamma (R.K.Narayan's `The Dark Room'), flower girl, Eliza Doolittle (G.B.Shaw's `Pygmalion') did not fail to fascinate the viewers. To provide a festival spirit, the spiral-bound projects of the students replaced the banyan leaves as festoons.

A drying stand was converted into a `quotation stand' hailing the woman community. One can, as well, take it as a symbol of their moving stance from the household drudgery.

Again, the games corner had the jumbled names of the eminent women writers.

Malgudi landscape.

A sweet awaited the participants who came out with the right rearrangement of letters.

Besides the depiction of scenes from Arundathi Roy's "The God of Small Things'' (Chap.12-`Kochu Thomban'), Katherine Mansfield's `A Cup of Tea' and many other women writers, the women characters, for example say, from the `woman of infinite variety', Cleopatra, to the fragile Laura Wingfield of "Glass Menagerie'' - all were represented.

Says Dr.Lakshmi Perundevi, "Not a single student in our department kept away from the exhibition.Tapping their potential and identifying their talent, all were made involved in the fruitful work in one way or the other.'' She adds, "Their efforts, in fact, give a boost to the staff. It all tells that we are listened to in the classrooms.''

By AR. Meyyammai

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