Savvy Raj

Live Life Lovingly!


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Dances of India: Roots in Culture

In a land of diversities in all spheres from culture to climate, from religion to celebrations.
Every region expresses its culture distinctly according to the ethos of the people of that particular region.And as dances are a coherent expression of human nature thoughts and feelings, each form of dance that originates, encapsulates it distinctly.
Indian dances can be broadly divided into Classical Dance Forms Semi Classical and the Folk forms.
The most well known Classical Dance styles of India are the Kathak, Odissi & Manipuri of Northern and Eastern parts of India.And
Bharatanatyam Kuchipudi and Mohiniattam Kathakali from Southern parts of India.
Classical Dance and Arts is given a revered status as according to the legends, the Gods invented the dance. It incorporates music melody beats drama form and line along with gestures through hand fingers and eye movements.
The elaborate costumes and heavy makeup somehow helps convey many depictions of the overall performances.
There are a number of Folk dance forms that are performed as well.
Traditionally all these forms have been structured around the nine emotions or rasas namely:
  • Hasya: happiness
  • Shoka: sorrow
  • Krodha: anger
  • Karuna: compassion
  • Bhibatsa: disgust
  • Adbuta: wonder
  • Bhaya: fear
  • Viram: courage
  • And Shanta: serenity.
The earliest Indian religious texts have described creation in terms of a dance. And the dances of India are said to have their origins in the Vedic Age of 1000BC
Even today the practice of the Indian dances have an element of religious rituals although much may have changed with time.
Musings on Dancing

A dance is an expression of who we are, our mindset our bodies our culture all intermingled inextricably. It is a statement of our roots and our connection to others.

We can express ourselves by learning and staying rooted in the structure or choose to vary and fuse and develop our understanding by adding to the repertoire other dance forms and evolve in the sharing. The choice is ours to choose. We don’t need to discard old learning as we learn something new but align ourselves to understand the larger picture. This way we experience diversity for ourselves as we learn to see the significance of every form its contribution its essence and relevance of its roots in culture through the movements and expression. Learning dance from different lands helps us understand and evolve. We can learn to respect others traditions and cultures while valuing our own.

Savvy

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The Call of the Dunes.

Desert Trails :

 

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The call of the dunes.

The desert has a way  with you.

Just sun and sand across and around you.

As much as your eyes can see in the yonder

The red tinged sands bears the patterns of movement.

Of many who walked in there in sheer amazement.

Of the eerie silence of nothingness around

Except the tunes, that the howling winds may sound.

 

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The charm of the desert  springs on at night

At the camp with carpets spread out

Surrounded by the bedouins tents

And a sheesha to indulge if you wish

Traditional Arabic hospitality peeks

And the swaying hips of the belly dancer speaks

Flowing and swivelling like the swirls on  the dunes

Mesmerizing you in the alluring moves to the mystical tunes.

Bring it on you may yourself  say…

You must at least for once pass this way!

Savvy

 


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Travel Trails

 

Musings on the Middle East:  Part 2


The Meet and Greets: 

While this trip to the Middle east, was a great getaway of sorts, between the work and pleasure,  it undoubtedly became a fodder for thought and much reflections in those moments of  chanced and planned connects  with some amazing people living there. And some of them  I met for the first time and bonded so instantly as if I knew them forever  and a few  who I knew for decades but didnt get to meet and connect earlier.

There were many more on my list of people who I wanted to meet but have left that for my next trip sooner than later.

Connects of empathy:

Meeting another human being for the first time is an enigmatic phenomenon. In todays age of technology although you may try to connect in so many ways online. Real time meet and greets hold their own a bag of surprises and treats in tow.
One such meet was planned … by me and  my dear warm hearted friend from online. Fatima.An eloquent writer with a heart of gold and a keenly developed insight of people and their resources who draws much strength in  positive reflections and most importantly a kind and brave heart following her dreams.

The  heartfelt connects established in moments of our first meeting was clearly visible. She treated me to an amazing  authentic Arabic  dinner that evening  and while catching up on our lives,  in between us was a complete ease of being which we both mutually sensed in the lovely ease of conversation and strength of connection in the little time we had that day. Her warm hospitality and generosity touched me and I truly  look forward to meeting her again sooner than later and wish her the best always from my heart.

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Then there was this local Arab woman dressed in the traditional Abhaya worn with the hijab and those alluring kohl rimmed eyes with whom I shared a lengthy conversation of their culture and learned much but who moved me in the  simplicity of her  words and in sharing her heart’s deepest desires for freedom of movement and  her eagerness in learning to dance…
Another  wonderful woman with whom my daughter and I shared a great rapport albeit in just a few minutes of conversation was a travel guide who invited us to her home in Abu Dhabi. We got talking about so many things in such a short span of time. We bonded without reservations.
There are many more truly endearing people I met and connected some who I managed to catch up with on phone …but simply put perhaps it is just my way of seeing but I found many friendly people from across the world living there making a living thriving in the tolerance and interconnects  that makes up  much of Dubai’s culture in recent times.

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And yes of course my visit to the traditional city  of Sharjah had its own share of charm . As the people I met there were my  very dear  friends  connecting after so long … yet the heartconnects were entrenched so deep that it felt home to me .

 

A short driving across the city  will lead you through the Corniche  where you can  stay on  to watch the beautiful Arabian Sunset  and may be drive further on to Al Ain as well.

 

Will not forget the trips to the Gold and Spice Souks and most of all the Creek and the dhow cruise on the creek one pleasant evening….

 


Foodwise :

Being a vegetarian I thought my choices would be limited to pizzas and pastas  and of course my saviour’ Subway’ besides the Indian food . But I was pleasantly surprised to find my flavour in Arabic food. Suffice to say the sumptous starters of the Arab cusine  and their  spiced tea was perfectly suited to my vegetarian and satvic senibilities. And I must thank my  dear friends, relatives and hosts who took so much care and put so much consideration while ordering  that I  will hold very fond memories of dining out in this delightful trip.

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Thanks to my amazing hosts I tried many dishes some  which were known  like the falafel and some  new to me…tabbouleh and  the zatar  and lentil soup 

were just divine. Midly aromatic and 

full of flavour  and bursting  with greens 

and a dash of lime . Awesome indeed!.

A city may be made of concrete

But homes are built with hearts

And life thrives in these homes.

Savvy

Precious time spent there…

About me: 

 

Wellness Mentor, Dance Educator & Writer, Motivational Speaker, Freelance Designer

‘Creativity stems from the acceptance of your authentic self. It is a never-ending journey of endless possibilities that is much beyond the pursuit of a hobby or craft and can be a habit of a lifetime. So besides being a Dance educator being a writer and a designer, creating art and writing poetry gives me immense satisfaction with the infinite ways of expressing myself as I believe in enjoying the journey as much as the destination.’

Travel Trails : From At the Top






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Speaking Pictures

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Some pictures can speak a thousand words … 

this one definitely fits that frame.

My friend Laura Bailey shared a very intriguing photo of trumpet player Joe and his wife May taken by Henri Cartier- Brenson

Henri Cartier-Bresson photographed throughout his life well-known personalities from the world of arts and science but, also many strangers.

I was captivated by it for a while as it arrested me in the moment. I went on to experience many fleeting thoughts most significant to that era of the Jazz and Blues music.

There were a number of comments below … One that got me interested immediately was

From Pam Diller ” What a picture! Pride, strength, defiance…this shows their souls, not just their faces. The way his hand rests so lightly on her shoulder–is it love or possession?”

Another was by, Shahrizan Amir Hamzah .

” With Bresson manning the lens and such gorgeous, confident subjects, you just can’t go wrong. This is a marvellous picture.”

Personally speaking …

I saw authenticity in that frame so well composed, the reality bites of the anguish of life lived in the throes of a certain creative fervour. I do not know much about Joe and his wife …other than what is perhaps evident in here to me. A photo that captures the spirit & soul of the subject.

In the face of May …

Her eyes..distant and dreamy

It speaks of pain and anguish

Of hard-hitting times

Her demeanour projects pride

Of a spirit braving against all odds.

Of inner demons as well as the outer.

Yet her face is a picture of composure in the chaos.

Of pride amidst the prejudice.

Joe speaks a different truth

There is focus and there is dare

There is a surging stillness.

That comes when rivers are a flow within

moving in the turbulence of a vortex called life.

Captured in all is the essence of brilliance

of a keen eye for that perfect moment

Stilled and canned for posterity

that speaks poignantly in the silence.

Portraying duels raging in the hearts.

Of trials and tribulations

Of hopes and aspirations

Of desires through unspoken dialogues.

No touch ups no tricks

Just a decisive moment captured with uncanny precision.

Savvy Raj

About me:

https://about.me/savvyraj

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/speaking-pictures-savvy-raj

https://www.bebee.com/producer/@savvy-raj/speaking-pictures