In the autumn years of a life filled with journeys of different kinds, what does Sita of the Ramayana make of her life? What do the high points of the Ramayana look like seen from her perspective? "Sitayaanam The Journey of Sita," a Mohiniyattom presentation choreographed by Neena Prasad is an attempt to find answers to these and other questions that the princess of Mithila seeks to answer.

Sitaayanam will be presented at the University Senate Hall at 6.30 p.m. on Friday.

Sita is at the ashramam of the sage Valmiki after sending her sons to be with their father, Rama. It is at this point that the "pensive, nostalgic and serene" princess ponders her relationship with those closest to her.

Sita's reminiscences are couched in the metres of folk and ritual music traditions of Kerala, said Dr. Prasad at a press conference here on Thursday.

Sita's journey back in time begins with her meeting with Rama in whom she sees a perfect husband. Then, it is time for the journey to the forest to help her husband fulfil his father's vow. The intimate relationship between Sita's mind and the idyllic settings of the forest cracks under the sheer impetuousness of her actions.

Moreover, what drives the princess to insult Lakshmana who is considered the epitome of loyalty? "Just as a moth is attracted to the flame, so is the heart of a woman, often plunging into irrational and impulsive decisions that can destroy lives... " Dr. Neena said.

Sitaayanam continues through the princess' trial fire, the glowing embers of doubt and finally to her status as a single mother. Finally, when she departs for good, Sita laments to her husband that even after following him to the forest and having suffered the indignity of her chastity tested in public she remains an unknown entity to him. The presentation has been sourced from the `Sampoorna Adhyatma Ramayana,' the `Kamba Ramayana' and from the Kumaranasan's poem `Chithavishtayaya Sita.' The presentation's lyrics have been penned by poet Madhusoodanan Nair (Malayalam), Maheswaran Nair (Sanskrit) and Sreepadam Easwaran Namboodiri (Manipravalam). Five disciples of Dr. Neena will perform along with her on Friday.

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