Dance drama by TFA

Inspiring saint.

Inspiring saint.  

THERE'S FEVERISH activity at Shivanjali Auditorium at Vadavalli, with groups of volunteers from the Temple of Fine Arts (TFA) racing against the clock everyday, to complete all the arrangements for the spectacular dance drama in Tamil: Dattatreya.

It's a massive voluntary effort that needs a lot of coordination between various committees that are looking after all aspects of the event, to be held on January 25, 26 and 27.

If the stage settings, lighting arrangements and sound facilities being established are any evidence, it's going to be a show that'll stay in your mind for a long time, and maybe even change the course of your life... for the better.

Dattatreya in worshipped as the embodiment of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Maheshwara, and the events of his life that are to be portrayed on stage, will be a joint effort by nearly 75 artistes. Needless to say, practice sessions are in full swing. Costumes and special effects will enhance the entire experience.

Volunteers at Shivanjali are cheerfully setting apart a lot of their free time to help stage the event successfully, for they are constantly motivated by the fact that they're working for a cent-per-cent charitable and worthwhile cause.

In a nutshell, the inspiring story of Dattatreya is all about a number of universal truths that are all a part of the spiritual experience.

For example, we learn that penance and prayer bring us closer to divinity... that the power of chastity is unparalleled... that jealousy is an all-consuming evil that will destroy the Self... and that an exemplary family life is its own reward.

Above all, we learn that pious parents, who do all they should for their children... and prayerfully face up to adversity, will have their spiritual desires fulfilled in every way.

Dattatreya is one of the greatest gurus, for he freed himself from the evil of intolerance and the clutches of prejudice. He was ready to become wiser... and learn from all things and all people.

Gayathri Chidambaram, Secretary of the Temple of Fine Arts (TFA), says that admission to the dance drama will be by invitation. "Invitations are not priced. Donations will be accepted gracefully and gratefully,'' she says.

``This show is a combination of all the elements that make the Temple of Fine Arts events, shows that have international quality,'' say the organisers. Going by the events they have already staged during Purnima Mela and other occasions, there is every reason to expect them to under-promise and over-achieve.

All the donations collected for the show will go to support the charitable activities of the Shivanjali Trust. One of these is the Temple of Service, which offers medical service totally free of cost to the poor, another is the Lavanya Garment Design and Manufacturing Unit, and a third is Annalakshmi Restaurant run by volunteers.

You can get an invitation at three main locations: Annalakshmi on Race Course Road (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Ring: 212142); Lavanya Craft Shop at Vadavalli (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Ring: 438255); and at Shivanjali at Vadavalli (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Ring: 434135).

Besides this, you can also ask at Annalakshmi Garden Restaurant (Ring: 438266), and also at all the centres of the Temple of Fine Arts. Usually it's a holiday on Monday, but the volunteers are going to be there on all days from January 20 onwards, to ensure that there's no inconvenience in getting the invitations.

By A. A. Michael Raj

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