Gestures

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

Kathakali

Jingling anklets

flicking fingers, shifting glance,

moving in tandem – 

sea of emotions in a

lavish spectacle of dance

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© Somali K Chakrabarti

 

Kathakali, the classical dance form of Kerala, originated in the 17th century, though the roots date back to 1500 years ago and lie in the ritual folk dances and dance dramas of Kerala.

Characterized by ornate makeup and fanciful costumes, the dance drama form blends dance, drama, mime and song to depict stories from Indian epics.

The body movements of Kathakali are influenced by Kalaripayattu, the early martial arts of Kerala.

In an excerpt from the novel ‘Arjun Without a Doubt‘ by Dr Sweety Shinde,  Arjuna, of Mahabharata, draws parallel between dance and martial arts.

‘I would never regard dancers with disdain; I now know what efforts and grueling hours went into excelling in it. Archery and dance, both required an equal amount of dedication and dexterity; timing and tempo; elegance and concentration. Both required rhythm and restraint. War-dance had its rhythm too. ‘

The dance form makes extensive use of  the facial gestures such as movement of the eyebrows,  eye-balls and the lower eye-lids than any other dance style. Performers enact the story using hand gestures, facial expressions and eye movements that capture a whole range of emotions.are used to convey the story and translate words into the visual language of dance.

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Conch- A Haiku

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

Conch

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tranquil sound of waves

lapping the shore within

the spiral of conch!

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© Somali K Chakrabarti

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Lure of Spice

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Lure of Spice

By Somali K Chakrabarti

Spices

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Scoops of bright spices

delight the taste buds, entice,

ensnaring men with

their aromas and flavors

The root of many a fights!

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© Somali K Chakrabarti

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Baked Earth – A poem on the need for Water conservation

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Baked Earth

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The earth cracks
with blistering heat,
rivers dry and the crops wilt;
if water is consumed
without a thought,
we all shall bear the brunt of drought –
Life is water, water is life
Conserve water before shortage is rife..

© Somali K Chakrabarti

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Kingfisher’s Nest

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

Kingfisher Nest

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The king of fishers

in its disrupted habitat

flies away, fearing a trap;

With cats on the prowl,

night hawks stay awake

as they keep an eye on

The empty kingfishers nest!

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© Somali K Chakrabarti

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Fissures and Faults

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Fissures and Faults

By Somali K Chakrabarti

Pingvellir

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The tranquil facade

camouflages fissures deep

masks the peril of 

a rupture or fault, at times

a tectonic drift!

.

© Somali K Chakrabarti

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