24 December 2007



i don't like myself,
That's a joy, that is the secret of my happiness.
there is no room for disappointment
i have no principles, no goals, no intelligence, no wisdom
and no expectations of myself, no ambitions.

am i dead ?

The entire human race has been disappointing, that includes saints, gods, philosophers, the wise and the intelligent. i sincerely believe that human race is a big blunder of the process of natural selection. Other species are doing their job well.
We are merrily marching towards extinction.

wait wait, please don't sell all your property and furniture and drink all the money.
Don't worry, i think we have another 500 years.

What has delayed our extinction is the growing love kindness and compassion.
What is speeding up our extinction is our intelligence and wisdom.

Is there any hope ?
There is no hope.

What ever steps we take towards helping the planet to heal itself are thwarted by human intelligence and wisdom. It is the earth which will survive, it is the earth which is going to win.

One thing that has made human race proud is performing arts, you can include, literature, music, arts and crafts and exellence in sports.
Long after we go extinct, after half a million years, the future species will have something nice to say about us humans.
i will not be there to hear that.




This is beautiful VAANMADHI, performing Bharatanatyam, daughter of my very old friend Ramdass.

This post is not about Bharatanatyam


Welcome dear audience ! Thanks for coming, please sit back and relax

What followed was an inspiring and electrifying performance.


The dance recital begins with a puja, worship of some god or guru

i never liked Bharatanatyam. i was there just because my friend Ramdass invited me. Please believe me, i just wanted to sit for ten minutes, take a few pictures and leave,
but i stayed till the end. It was a stunning performance. The pictures do not show how magical it was.


This is Bharatanatyam for you.

The very format is not very graceful, unlike Indian Kathak or Ballet, which by default are very graceful.

It takes a natural talent like Vaanmadhi to bring grace to any performing art. Very few in Bharatanatyam have been able to achieve it, just a few out of thousands. Many have achieved technical perfection, but failed to make it graceful.

Grace comes from the heart, not from the mind. It is natural, its in the blood,

You have it or you don't.

You cannot learn or practice to be graceful, it cannot be aquired.


By design by default Bharatanatyam is erotic. It is supposed to be. Many would not agree with me, my friends who are in this field would be annoyed with my views,

honestly, i don't care.

what do you know about Bhatatnatyam ?

i don't know anything, i am not a dancer, but i can see the difference.
i don't have to know the details.

It is very very difficult to sit through the entire length of Bharatanatyam recital. Believe me it is very boring, Some dancers are very good in putting you to sleep, with all the noise and thumping. i have seen people blissfully snoring in very noisy concerts.



Its all about expressions, and how you render them, Vaanmadhi's expressions were coming from her heart. There is no hard work. Hard work is a poor substitute for natural talent. Vaanmadhi's expressions were natural, not plastic like the other famous dancers.



You can see the level of comfort on her face, absolutely no strain. Very few are gifted like Vaanmadhi, No need of practice or hardwork, though she has to practice with musicians.

Same goes in the field of sports. Many have achieved greatness with sheer hard work, very few have achieved with natural talent like John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg, poetry in motion, brilliant and graceful, so was the performance of Vaanmadhi, like the magic and grace of Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn or Gregory Peck.



Its not easy to achieve technical perfection of Pete Sampras, Sachin Tandulkar, it takes years of hardwork and practice,
But its a treat to watch Edwin Moses clearing the hurdles with grace, Strokes of Gundappa Vishwanath, Mohammad Azharuddin, David Gower and Brian Lara. Tiger Woods, Colin Montgomerie.

By design golf is very graceful and it takes a very bad player to make it ungraceful.

Some take their sport to a higher level, like Lance Amstrong, Micheal Jordan, magic Johnson, Karim Abdul Jabbar, Micheal Shumacher, Damon Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi or Ayrton Senna.

Micheal Shumacher does not need a Ferrari, Ferrari needs him to take their sports car to a higher level.

And so did Vaanmadhi, she took Bharatanatyam to a higher level.




Geometrical movements of Bharatanatyam make it boring to watch, here you can see Vaanmathi's hands and body language, she has departed from the usual stiffness of Bharatnatyam, elegance grace and style comes naturally to her. She is in a relaxed mode. performing for herself, no pressure whatsoever, making absolutely no attempt to impress the audience.






Head gear and the jewelry is known as temple jewelry used only in Bharataanatyam,
The tiny bells on the ankles are called Paayal, ghungroo in Hindi and Salangai in Tamil, are used in pretty much all the Indian classical dances



Most of it religious. i think all of it, This is depiction of dancing god Nataraja. Absolutely no strain on her face. Each number is a story from Ramayan or Mahabharat narrated with the help of expressions and hand gestures called mudhras. i am not writing about Bharatanatyam, please check Wikipedia for details.





Look at her face, she doesn't care where she's going to land, blissfully unaware that she is performing to a packed audience who were giving thunderous applause every five minutes.
it was a full house and many had no seats. Sad that i can't post all the pictures. More over i didn't want to waste time taking pictures missing the stunning performance, i was impressed, so were the audience, who gave a standing ovation at the end, i joined them in applause.

The pictures don't show how fast and brilliant the performance was.


Thank you, Thank you, thanks for coming, hope you enjoyed my performance

MERRY CHRISTMAS from me too, to all my blog friends,
and a very happy new year.
I am sorry it took a while to write a new post. I am fine, i was just lazy, no excuses.

Enjoy the Holidays, Have fun and be good.
i love you all


vishesh said...

lol whcih sabha was it in ?

the thing about barathanatyam is you have to just appreciate there expression and the way they dance...as you said for golf...it takes a bad dancer to spoil it...though they may be from the olden books,the thing to watch is the different ways the dancers interpret each line or verse...It is to convey what they feel...like how for theories you give mathematical proof,to express their view about the topic they do,they dance....if you want to understand ...try dancing to silence...

merry Christmas !!!

Ruth said...

Thankfully, Vaanmadhi's family encouraged her to follow this art so her natural skill could be developed. As parents we never know which pursuits will click for our children, so we have to keep exposing them, hoping the connection will happen.

Now she is bringing her beauty to the world, not just physical beauty, but the natural blessings that she has developed within.

Oh! You caught her floating in the air, rauf. Your photos allow her to shine, we almost forget the photographer. That is a gift of grace too, rauf. You've given Vaanmadhi to us in such a pure form.

Ruth said...

I forgot, Merry Christmas!

natyaguru said...

I guess Vaanmadhi's guru is Revathi Ramachandran, and this performance was in Rama Rao Kala Mandappam (Chennai).

"Very few in Bharatanatyam have been able to achieve it, just a few out of thousands".

Personally, I have seen over 1000 Bharatanatyam dancers since 2005, and I must tell you that although Vanmathi is in the top 15%, she is certainly not in the top 0.1%, even if her father is your friend. :-)

Have a look at www.Medha.org or www.SriDeviNrithyalaya.org, and compare. For example, your picture 32.jpg may look fine for someone who has never watched a good Bharatanatyam dancer, but actually the toes have to touch the head. And, to be exact, if you have seen some temple sculptures, the elbow is not supposed to touch the foot.

By the way, Rauf, are you from AV? :)

isabella said...

Great to hear from you, my friend!

So while we were worried about your prolonged absence, you were oogling pretty girls;-) Astounding performance and what amazing photos!!!

I agree with you on so many points...for me, Audrey Hepburn should be listed in a dictoniary under "grace".

Merry Christmas, Rauf!

(and anyone who can appreciate beauty like you do, is not "nearly dead" ;-))

katy said...

worth the wait Rauf, thank you.
have a peaceful Chrsitmas and take care of yourself x

Web-OJ said...

Ok! Ok!

She's lovely. I'm sure it was an enthralling experience.

Happy Christmas. Rauuuufffff!

swedehart said...

Is Christmas celebrated in India? It takes grace to know grace:D It's nice to see you back! We drove 10 hours starting yesterday afternoon at 2pm until about midnight, slept in the car in sleeping bags (freezing outside!!!), and drove the last 1 1/2 hours at 6 am to Utah to visit Swede's family. My family is a 32 hour drive away. I'll make it home again someday!

MYSTI said...

Merry Christmas Rauf! You are in my thoughts and prayers, may this Christmas be a wonderful one for you.

Rauf said...

VISHESH, don't know which sabha, it was in Habibulla road.
i have seen hundreds of performances, most of them very dull and boring. The problem is, most of these dancers are not aware what grace is as they are not exposed to other performing arts. And they don't want to know.
you get to see the same thing over and over again. Please check Irish 'riverdance' on youtube, Its very graceful and breathtaking, with split second accuracy.

Rauf said...

dear RUTH, That is true. Many parents want their children to learn some performing art, but after a while they lose interest. They go after careeer based studies and put pressure on their children to get high grades and force them into professional courses like medicine or engineering. My friend Ramdass, encouraged Vaanmadhi and gave her full freedom to choose what she wanted for herself. There is some natural talent in everybody, parents have to recognise it, they way you and Don did, encouraging Peter to take up music and Lesley into designing. We don't see understanding parents like you and Don. The atmosphere in my own house is not healthy as both my nephew and niece have no time for themselves to enjoy life or to enjoy art music and literature. Except for an occasional movie or TV they have no entertainment in their lives.

Hope you are enjoying the holiday with family.
Merry Christmas to you Don, Lesley and Peter.

Rauf said...

NATYAGURU, kindly read the title of this post.
i am talking about 'grace', not about the technique.
i have given the example of Tendulkar Brian Lara and Pete Sampras and John McEnroe. They have their indivdual style, can't be compared. One is technically perfect the other is the most graceful.

i don't care if Vaanmadhi is doing it wrong, her performance was graceful, and sweet and very pleasing to the audience who went into rapture. She recieved thunderous applause and a standing ovation. That matters a lot.

why do you think i should compare her to any one ? An artist stands alone. With her individual style. Number one or number 100 don't matter to me.
i don't compare Renoire with William Bouguereau or Chen Lou with Tara Lipinski. They may compete for the medal. Its their choice. We can't say the judges are always right. There are points for grace and there are points for technique, believe me NATYAGURU, i have often seen the judges confused as the performances are so good, its very hard to decide. i feel sorry for the judges sometimes.

i am afraid i have no idea what AV is. for me AV is audio visual.
Thank you for your visit NATYAGURU.

Rauf said...

IZZIDEE, whatoo ? Enjoying holidays ?

Christmas is big here Izzidee, Christmas is not celeberated by the Christians alone, its a festive season, Shops shopping malls are decorated, special discounts offered in this season, by the way we call it 'season'
We have only three seasons here
Hot, Hotter and Hottest.
'the season' for us are the months of December and January. when the heat is less. We have dance and music concerts, exhibitions of arts and crafts photographs paintings, lot of activity. No space on the road to walk. Money money money, people buy gold. And you have to wait outside for sometime to enter a gold showroom.
i have never been to any of those,
they will not let me, i look like a thief.
Enjoy the holidays Izzidee.

Rauf said...

oh Thank you KATY
Merry Christmas to you too.
Hope Milo is enjoying too.

Rauf said...

Thank you WEB-OJ, it was indeed an enthralling experience for the packed audience too.

Rauf said...

Oh ! SWEDEHART, Christmas is celeberated all over India, More Church going Christians than in entire Europe. 1/3rd of people of Kerala are Christians, many divisions though. Big majority of them in Goa. Lovely old Churches. Hope Ashley will have a good time there, right time actually, gets unbearably hot in a couple of months. Please tell her to be careful of pick pockets. Very safe place otherwise. paying guest accomodation available there, lot cheaper than hotels. Been there many times, many romantic beaches.
lots of foreign tourist, so lots of drugs.

Glad you are having a good time Swedehart. Please don't take any chances with the hostile weather.

Rauf said...

Thank you so much for your prayers MYSTI,
Merry Christmas to you and your family. Enjoy the holidys.

Ruth said...

I don't know if I ever told you, rauf, that we were quite concerned that Peter would never find his passion. He went from one thing to another without any attachment. I went to my mom with my anxiety, and she simply said, "he will find it." I wonder sometimes if the release I felt after that, just letting it go, allowed it to happen. It was soon after that when he was 12 that he asked for an electric guitar, and I say without lying that not a single day has gone by in the 13 years since then that he has not picked up his guitar to play, and we never once had to tell him to practice.

It's funny too, because at first he went after technique, in high school even went to guitar school at Berklee in Boston for a week to improve it, when Steve Vai and Joe Satriani were his heroes, technically astonishing they are. But sometime after that something in him opened to the soul of the music, and everything changed. He no longer cared so much about the technical expertise he had learned, although of course he needed the skills he had practiced and developed. But when he discovered Stevie Ray Vaughn, whose simple riffs were infused with his own soul, he knew where he wanted the music to take him. I'm so grateful! Now I can sit in front of the stage at a concert, close my eyes, and enter a different world.

Cari said...

Rauf, thank you very much for thinking of me :) Merry Christmas to you too.

I know things will get better Rauf. What I am trying to do now is just focus on the boys, make sure that they enjoy their young lives and not look back on pain and dissapoinment.

It's a hard balance for me.

Being a mother and balancing my personal life.

Those are two entirely 2 different enteties. Both requirements are different, as well as you gain differently from both as well.

My boys could never make me feel dissapointed to the point I would walk away, or want to quit. In actuality they are the reason I strive to be better and want to continue going forward.

I haven't learned to balance though. Work, being a mother, a wife...stregthning my family is going to take more then me Rauf. That is how I feel.

When I was younger I saw my father do the whole thing. I had so much admiration in my father I only hope that my kids look at their's in the same light.

Sometimes, I am happy about how far we have come....but the past haunts me. The actions, words, promises, those things dance around my head and do not sleep.

Hopefully with this new year, those things are put to rest. For whoever says that the past does not trickle in the present, does not have alot to look back on.

I am so happy to hear from you, sometimes when I read your posts it's like a breathe of fresh air. To hear your perspective.

Please keep in touch, eventhough I am not so good at doing that. I promise I will never just fall out, I will always pop in once in awhile.

I am self-absorbed in many things only because I am trying to find that balance.

natyaguru said...

Of course, if you take only such criteria as grace and beauty, then, yes, Vaanmadhi has these. Her state of mind was good, as well as many other ingredients that made that performance really enjoyable (unlike the previous one!).

I do agree that Vaanmadhi has already sort of a style of her own, and, by the way, Revathi's choreography is very good, as well as the musicians were. So the whole thing was very enjoyable. And Rauf was trying to capture the best shots, of course. :-)

However, as you said, grace and beauty ("Rekha") is not all. This is why I stood up and left after she tried to do that pose in 32.jpg

Sandy said...

Rauf, this was a fantastic post and I feel so happy to see all these photos and read your thoughts. Merry Christmas to you too!

I'm glad these aren't copyrighted cause I really want to try to draw/paint one of these. They are so beautiful...


butterfly said...

Must be my lucky night to stumble upon your blog. This post is in fact very entertaining. And wow VAANMADHI looks nice with her costume. Honestly, I wish I can dance like that even in my sleep! :)

And oh I like this:

Many have achieved technical perfection, but failed to make it graceful.

Grace comes from the heart, not from the mind. It is natural, its in the blood,

You have it or you don't.

You cannot learn or practice to be graceful, it cannot be aquired.

Merry Christmas to you!

Cynnie said...

I admire grace..
I'm not graceful at all..

I'm saving my money to visit India..
I want to see it all ..even the ugly bits..
there's beauty in everything.

Rauf said...

RUTH, i have quite a few Satriani and Steve Vai recordings,
Very inspiring, Aldemeola is magic.
He has his own style. These people bring glory to the instrument. Mark Knopfler and David Gilmour play with their heart, their sound can be recognised among thousand musicians. They inspire you to write paint or do something creative. Its all grace again.
Peter has developed his own style, he is very young, he will evolve.
You need technique only to a certain degree. Like your pictures come from your heart Ruth, i don't worry about technical perfection, more important for me is the impact the pictures create.

Rauf said...

Thank you CAROLINE, i really envy your emotional strength, i have repeated hundred times in this blog that only women have the courage to endure pain, physical and emotional. If you find time please read this post


Its hard to find the qualities of your dad in other men. He must be proud of you Caroline. Hope things get better next year.
My love to you Chris Tyler and Dylan, they are a treasure.
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas
Happy New year Caroline

Rauf said...

i am not going to talk about dance technique or grace. i'll talk about forgiving.
No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. if i don't forgive, i make my life miserable and i'll be missing all the joy in my life.
i'll be ruining my own happiness if i am unforgiving.
Refusing to forgive is a self inflicting injury.

Rauf said...

Thank you SANDY, Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and the lovely birds that visit you speak of your grace.
Happy New year Sandy.

Rauf said...

Hi BUTTERFLY, welcome to daylight Again. Your blog is a joy and your profile icon is lovely. i am glad i found your beautiful blog too, beautiful layout and very graceful. It comes from your heart. It gives me more joy to know that you are an animal lover too.
Happy New year Butterfly, wish you all the joy and health in the world.

Rauf said...

Hi CYNTHIA, grace is not just the way you look, you are gorgeous of course. Grace comes in our thinking and in our actions. You gracefully grow old. you gracefully accept changes in your life. You can gracefully forgive.

Hope you had wonderful Christmas.
Happy New year to you and your family Cynthia.

Kate said...

Rauf, These photos are wonderful of an exquisite performance. The costume is striking in its vivid colours, and the dancer's movement, grace, facial expression, and beauty must have made it memorable.


I've been called a lot of things but, to date, never graceful!

Stunning pics as always mate and a stunning looking girl as well!

Hope you had a good Chrimbo and it's compulsory that you have a brilliant 2008 'cause I said so.

So there.

Take care Rauf.

swedehart said...

Greetings Rauf, it's been a busy holiday. I'd love to read all the comments, but I am on my way back to Arizona... needing the blessings of good weather (i.e., no snow and ice, please). Should be back soon:D

'JoAnn's-Digital-Eyes' said...

Hi My dearest blogfriend RAUF,
I love this beauty dancer, dis you see the show??? What a wonderfull pretty Indian woman, I love her dress and her movements!!!

Thanks for your answer on my CLEAN WATERWISH or everyone in this world, I mean this seriously!!!
No-one ever is reacting on that wish of mine, because they are so spoiled with everything! Not that I am such a 'holy' person but I have seen many poor people while travelling, however this poeple did not feel poor at all. Do you know that they even gave me a cup of their own coffee? (In Venezuela that was) I am never afraid for anyone. I am not better than no-one else. I just grew up in the west (richer countries) However I am not rich at all.

We/I still live as 'students' we were just thinking these days, maybe to buy a better bed/matrass hahaha! Because we have not a good bed, its brokene several times....

I would be glad when the expensive holidays are over, however I like the atmosphere of it, so we can burn many, many candles.... Do you like candles too? I do! or the fireworks? I have not a single firwork, but I watch others to burn their hands (oooops!) My dog is also scared for the loud noises..of fire works.. Do you like watching it? I Do..

Thanks for being such a sweet blogfriend, holidays or not a Happy and good yearwish from me,

JoAnn from Holland

Sangita said...

Those were some pics..Love the varied expressions reflected in her face can say much abt postures but am sure live perfomrance had been a diferent experince altogether..My fav wld be last pic which tell the joy of dancing..even after so much of effort, u can see sweat, she is there smiling at the end of it..Good now I knwo what all u have been doing these months

Beenzzz said...

Gorgeous photos, Rauf! The colors are so vibrant. You also captured her movements well.

Smiler said...

Interesting because I only discovered Bharatanatyam recently, and posted a YouTube clip of Medha Hari doing a performance. That's the first time I'd seen it and it looked beautiful to me. Your pictures are stunning. I agree with many of the things you've said in the introduction, and I say, while we're still here, may as well make the best of it. I think true art is a way of fully realizing ourselves and brings about an expansion of the soul. And soul... that is everlasting.

Sandy said...

Rauf, what you captured here (and I keep having to come back and look through these) are the epitome of beauty and culture. They make me happy just to view them.

Your gift to the world is your blog... It is wonderful!


Sandy said...

p.s. would love to see more...and if I may be so bold, I'm waiting for updates on your other blogs, portraits, birds, etc...

okay, am I being pushy...

Rauf said...

Thank you KATE, There are many classical dance forms in India, four in south India alone.
Mohini Aattam of Kerala has a sober and differnt costume, Bharatnatyam, kuchipudi costume is nearly the same, there may be some big difference but i am not aware of that. A first cousin of Bharatnatyam is odissi, costume and hear gear is different. Further north is Kathak, a total departure and more graceful by default and a variety of costume. In the north east we have Manipuri. Apart from these there are many regional folk dances like Garba or dandia of Gujrat or Bhangra of Punjab. Food language and culture change every 100 miles in India.

Rauf said...

aha FOUR DINNERS, was Tarzan very graceful ? Don't worry. i walk like a gorilla, sometimes like a Chimpanzee. Animal lovers would jump on me if i say they are not very graceful.
Elephants are very graceful aren't they ? oh a Leapord or a cheetah chasing a deer is all grace, Snakes are very graceful too. Oh you should see the way i eat FOUR DINNERS. Very uncivilised i am, completely out of place in a high society. i avoid social gathering where i have to exhibit my manners, something i was not born with. i just want to be a monkey FOUR DINNERS. ok monkeys ARE very graceful. So i can't be a monkey too. Life in a forest is a dream for me.

Happy New year !
Wish you Caz and Jaxie all the best for 2008

Rauf said...

Enjoy your Holiday SWEDEHART
Happy new year to you and your friends, would love to see your travel pictures
Happy New year Swedehart

Rauf said...

Yes JOANN, i have seen many Bharatnatyam performences and this was one of the best i have seen. Just hope that she continues her graceful performance and doesn't get in to the rat race of being number one.

Water was free and unpolluted JoAnne, Things changed from past 30 years. Now we have to buy clean water and even that we are not sure. Rivers have gone dry in south India. We largely depend on rain fall. i can talk only about my country as i have not traveled abroad. Few years ago there was no rain for three years in a row in my city. there were street fights for water which was supplied in water tankers by the government in a haphazard way, the water supply was very erratic and badly organised. People, mostly ladies used to wait for the water tankers in the middle of the night standing in long queues holding the waterpots resulting in bullying and street fights. The government still has not woken up from its slumber. fortunately we had good rains in the past couple of years. So the days of water scarecity are quickly forgotten.
As you have said JoAnn, clean drinking water is the first priority for all.

Rauf said...

Thank you BEEENZ
Hope you had a wonderful Christmass
Wish you a very happy new year

Rauf said...

SANGITA, It was short and sweet. About one and a half hours of elegance and grace. Actually her performance was effortless, that is the beauty, everything came so easy for her. But still it was tiring, met her after the show.
She's doing second year degree.

No Sangita, i had lots of work on the system very tiring, did not travel too, had to work on lots of pictures. That nearly killed me, very tiring, this performance came as a relief.

Wish you and Hubbs a very happy new year Sangita

Rauf said...

oh i am smiling again
Hi SMILER Welcome to Daylight again, i am glad that i am not welcoming you to a depressing post, my whole blog deals with very depressing subjects, this post is a pleasant relief.

Quite true, we do not why we are here, some claim to know, its fine for them, but as you say as long as we are here lets make the best of it and do our best to entertain each other taking us away from the monotony of survival. The creative fields of art music literature, performing arts, and sports help us to keep us sane. There are some funny stories about sports though.
In Pakistan one man shot himself when Pakistan team lost a cricket match, another one shot the TV, Guns are not freely available in India thankfully. Cricket is followed with passion, Many go insane when our team loses causing riots. India is a strange country SMILER, hope you visit our country soon
Happy new year to you SMILER.

Rauf said...

Thats the best compliment i have ever received SANDY, i am floored. Sometimes we are inspired to raise our level of performance.

Sure Sandy, i'll update Blunt knife, passion green and portraits today itself. Thank you for reminding me. they've been in cold storage for sometime as i was busy the whole month.

Happy New year to you and your delicate friends, the birds who love you and visit you.

Sewmouse said...

Another gorgeous grouping of photos, Rauf - so beautiful. Dancers of all schools make me smile. My daughter studied Ballet and Jazz - and you are so right, there are things that cannot be taught, only given through talent.

Technical perfection is lovely to watch - but talent combined with technical excellence (even if imperfect) is beauty defined.

'JoAnn's-Digital-Eyes' said...

Hi My dear RAUF, I just returned to read your post,reaction on my comment, I am and stay surprised about the bad drinking water, anyhow it still exsisits.

I Looooooooooooooooooove you photography therefore I camre back also. I love dancing and the Indian dance style, when we are ever able to visit iNDIA, I hope to see a dance show... Whats the name of this dance?

...And of course I hope you enjoy the "change of the CALENDAR-year-time" I posted already some fireworks on my blog to get into the mood!!! Come and see my blog:)
Hughs and take care..

Rauf said...

SEWMOUSE, please allow me to kick myself.
Be my guest you would say.

Yes i am kicking myself, for not visiting you, this blog was in cold storage for sometime. Still in cold storage though, removed from deep frost. i updated my other picture blogs only yesterday after a very long gap.

There was another reasons though, as i was going through the comments in your blog, then i thought let me not interfere, but that was a wrong decision. Then came my very offensive post on the Americans 'Marketing 2' a couple of months ago, which annoyed my American friends. I thought you were annoyed too. If you have not read it, please don't.

Hope you had wonderful Christmas. It was tense you said ? Hope things are straightened up now, all tension gone.
Wish you a very happy and tension free New Year, all the joy health and prosperity in the world.

Thank you Swemouse, yes i agree, but very few have achieved techical perfection and grace together. That is pure ecstasy to watch. Very rare gems.

Rauf said...

Hi JOANN, I have mentioned in the post. This Dance is Bharatnatyam. simply Bharath Natyam, not Bharat Natyam DANCE as Natyam means dance. Its like saying
Happy Merry Christmas.

There are many classical dance styles in India, The style changes as you move up. This particular dance is purely south Indian. there are three other south Indian dance forms, Kucchipudi, Yakshaganam and Mohini Aattam. lot more in North India. Only 2 percent
2% of more than one billion Indians are aware of classical dance and music, so it cannot be called as Indian culture, which is something else, i have written about it in my post 'Adjustments'
Thank you JoAnn. i wish you a Happy new year, with all the joy peace and prosperity.
lots of love and ((hugs))and ((hugs))

butterfly said...

Happy New Year 2008 to u Rauf! Hope for more blessings coming ur way , good health, love and happiness, that'll last for a long while. :)

AlterinG Abhishek said...

Clapping for Vaanmadhi!!!

Matangi Mawley said...

honestly speaking, i ve a v. little patience for dance! coz, i dont understand it as much as i understand music.. ve seen a few performances by ppl. like padma subhramaniyam, padhmavathy etc. but i was among those- as u rightly pointed out- who were in a different world- far more colorful one [;)]
but these photos- they have brought about the grace of the dancer- vaanmadhi.. they look stunning! and the credit goes to u'r photographs- i would really like to see her dance sometime..
and yes! wish u a very happy new year! :)

Bala. said...

Vanmadhi is niece. I am based in Manchester, UK and I feel very unfortunate to miss on her performances every single time. I wish someday I will be able to make it or she will come to the UK to perform. I would like to thank Mr. Rauf for the excellent pictures and the commentary that comes with it. Obvious I admire photography but not one myself. Vanmadhi has an extemporary talent with her dance and the photos have shown how elegant she can be when she forgets herself on stage and becomes a part of the character she depicts. I hope that in future she gets better opportunities to perform to a wider audience and Mr. Rauf must again be there to capture the moment. Thanks again for the excellent photos which gave us a feel of being there at the performance. Good luck and Happy New Year to all. Bala. UK

The Old Fart said...

stopping by Rauf to say hello, sorry it has been a spell since I last visited. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you a Very Happy New Year.

See you in 2008

Don Iannone said...

Rauf: Wishing you bright stars, sweet dreams, deep laughter, peace in the middle of a snowstorm, and warm sunny mornings sittin' in the sun. Happy New Year! Don

Terra said...

Raufie dear - missed visiting!

I can see how you were "mesmerized" :)

Indeed, civilization's saving grace is its ability to gracufully communicate in the arts - all artistic expression from the dephts of the heart. Even "curiosity" as a means to "explore and discover" is born in the soul of an artist-a creator...

My dear friend


Lots of love and hugs

Pauline said...

"Thank You!" Indeed that is very beautiful. I found it fascinating to view each photo and feel the music within. Thank you for an exceptional exhibit of grace.

Rauf said...

Thank you BUTTERFLY, Wish you all the joy, health and prosperity, strength and determination to do what you think is right in this year and the years to come.

Rauf said...

ABHISHEK, it was a packed house, there was a thundering applause and a standing ovation at the end. Thank you Abhishek for joining them.

Rauf said...

oh Sweet MATHANGI, its been a while.
Me toos, i don't have patience for Bharathnatyam, unless it is something spectacular or electrifying like Vaanmadhi's performance. Its hard to sit through the whole thing. i am not biased because she is my friend's child and know her since her childhood. her performance was clearly out of the ordinary and i could see that.
hope you are doing fine Matangs. Happy New year to you, Same days, no difference in 2008, January seems to be warmer than last year. that is something not good.

Rauf said...

Hi Bala, i've heard of you, perhaps i have seen you too. But its been years since Ramdoss Kanmani moved to Pallavaram and i lost touch and missed Vaanmadhi and Nanmaddhi's growing up. It was a shock to me when Ramdoss came to me to invite me for Vaanmadhi's performance, was surprised to know that she is in 2nd year college.
The preformance was truly magical.
i could feel the difference. Hope you would get to see her perform in the near future or perhaps in UK, Europe or in the US, judging her talent, i am sure Vaanmadhi would be performong abroad soon.
Happy New year to you and your family.

Rauf said...

BILL, than you so much
hope you had a wonderful Christmas.
wish you a happy New Year. Wish you all the luck in your search to do what you love doing most.

Rauf said...

Thank you DON IANNONE, wish the same to you

Rauf said...

Dearest TERRA, you know the best, as you are a talented artist yourself.
if i want i can do something which only i can understand. but i fail to communicate. Art has to be understood and appreciated and enjoyed. You know the best.
Happy New year Terra. thank you so much for your sincere and loving wishes.
lots of love
and Hugs

Rauf said...

Thank you PAULINE. Yes indeed and rarely we get to watch something as graceful as this performance by Vaanmadhi
happy New year to you Pauline

butterfly said...

Hi, Rauf! Just checking if u have any post update. Take care! :)

Aaarti said...

hey Rauf

How u doing? how was New years?? am back in town after spending a couple of days with friends... had a super duper time... :)
happy new year ~~~

cool pics, i personally am not too fond of bharatanatyam, and carnatic music, its not that i dont like it, just dont seem to have the patience for it.. love instrumental stuff...nice to see u going for performances

btw, did that bird sanctuary trip happen? how was it?? shall drop in and say hi to mala-chinna one of these days... need to get back to reality n chennai mode...lolz.. still in bombay phase, missing the place, people and the pleasures of travel... :)

take care~~

Pingu said...

Happy Birthday Rauf Uncle! :)

Marie said...

superbe, on s'y croirait, il ne manque que la musique !
Joli reportage !

Rauf said...

Hi BUTTERFLY, yes i'll come up with a new post in a day or two on big migratory birds
hope you are doing fine

Rauf said...

Hi AAARTI, i am not an expert on dance or music, but i think the boredom in Bhratnatyam comes from lack of fluid motions, it is usually very stiff and geometric. There are people who enjoy geometry algebra mathematics.
i am not one of them. Art is something more than structural facts. For instance Taj Mehl is not just a building. It is an archtectural and enginnering marvel. Like other buildings it doesn't stop at technical perfection. It takes you higher and makes an ever lasting impact on the visitor's mind. That is grace.
Same with Bharathnatyam. Technical perfection could be boring. When a performer like Vaanmadhi breaks away and makes it fluid, monotony is broken, the performance becomes a joy to watch.

Vedanthangal this year is special, since we had good rains, lots of birds have arrived. I'll post the pictures tomorrow in Daylight again and Passion Green. i can understand the birds coming here regularly, but wonder how do these birds know that Tamil Nadu had good rains last year, i found more birds this time than previous years.
Oh! i love Bombay too AAARTI, alwyas a pleasant experience.

Rauf said...

Merci MARIE. Comme Aaarti, je n'ai aucune patience pour Bharatnatyam. Mais l'exécution a été Vaanmadhi spéciale

Thanks to google translator MARIE
hope it makes sense.

Rauf said...

Thank you PINGU BITIYA, for me it is just another day, this year loved ones made it special as i turned 60.
hope you are doing fine bitiya.

magiceye said...

wonderful capture of expressions!