India’s women organize for Freedom

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Debut _ Listen to an excerpt read by the author 

Lethal love arrows, like pouring rain.

Your sweet lips, the Divine Face.

Lord of Lords, the Presence, Unfathomable,

embrace me. Now!

 

Sowmya surrendered to the longing. She did not notice

that her costume, damp with sweat, was sticking to her

legs, or that a bell from her anklets had torn off and flung

out on the floor. She only saw the sound, only heard the

dance: the leap she would make, the pause for a fraction of

the beat before landing with the elegance of the antelope.

There was nothing else in her vision. She summoned to

her face all that was needed to communicate the agony, the

bliss, the sacred story, the mystical moment. It will cleanse

your audience, redeem! Her feet, weightless, flew over the

ground.

Kita-thaka-dharikitathom! Kita-thaka-dharikitathom!

Kita-thaka-dharikitathom!

 

MyHumbleOpinion’s review of Desire of the Moth: a novel.

From Amazon.com

This book is a literary masterpiece – but not in a dull, preachy, high-brow way. It has all the appeal of a cool movie like Footloose (dare to dance and face the consequences) but with the importance of a classic, timeless novel. Bilwakesh has managed to write a novel with such attention to literary detail, precision of language, and historical significance that you almost forget while you are reading it that the plot is spellbinding, surprising, and relatable. In this way, it is a sacred text. I have read my fair share of books like this that leave you so devastated with the ending that you can’t think straight for days. Sometimes endings like that seem like a shortcut to pull at the emotions of the reader. I prefer this ending that is more nuanced and realistic. It doesn’t romanticize or vilify the past and antiquated traditions. I think we look to people who break down cultural and gender stereotypes in favor of justice and progression as heroes, but Bilwakesh’s story shows how truly complicated it is. There is no winning or losing or right and wrong – there are only consequences. Everyone in our heart’s field is affected by decisions we make that are out of the ordinary. Although future generations may benefit, there are sacrifices that must be made by all the people who are connected to the “hero.”

Hands on DesireDebut: A reading from the Desire of the Moth by the author

I will be signing copies of Desire of the Moth on August 2nd, 2015 before the dance performance of Jothi Raghavan’s

Kandu Konden.

Copies will be available for sale at the venue. If you have already bought a copy (thank you!) I will be happy to sign that as well. All proceeds will be donated to AASAI,  a non-profit that provides education, health, and shelter for the poor and the elderly.

Come early, stay and chat, support a great cause, and watch a fabulous performance!

DETAILS!

  • Date: Sunday, August 2, 2015
  • Time: 4:30pm
  • Place: Littleton High School Performing Arts Center,
  • Address:  56 King St, Littleton, MA 01460

Sowmya arched her brows, knitted them, and
learned to make her whole upper body shimmer while her
feet danced.


“Subtlety in facial expression,” Mallika said. “It should
arise slowly, fade and give way to something else to rise,
leave space for a thought, poetry to form. This is what defines
this art, the abhinaya. Take fury. Fury yes, but with
compassion, this is what it’s all about.”

— from the Desire of the Moth

A production by Satyajit Ray on dance demonstrated by the great dancer Balasaraswathi.

“Sowmya surrendered to the longing. She did not notice that her costume, damp with sweat, was sticking to her legs or that a bell from her anklets had torn off and flung out on the floor. She only saw the sound, only heard the dance: the leap she would make, the pause for a fraction of the beat before landing with elegance of the antelope. There was nothing else in her vision. She summoned to her face all that was needed to communicate the agony, the bliss, the sacred story, the mystical moment. It will cleanse your audience, redeem! Her feet, weightless, flew over the ground.”

Kita-thaka-dharikitathom! Kita-thaka-dharikitathom! Kita-thaka-dharikitathom!

 From the novel Desire of the Moth

 A dance demonstration of a Varnam, an item of dance, by the students of Kalakshetra , Chennai, India.

 Mallika told her of dancing at the temple at Madurai in the hall of thousand and one pillars;  the one hundred and one steps carved into the hills of Pazhani where she danced for the Youthful God;  and at the temple for the Virgin Goddess at the cape Kanyakumari, where the sun sets in a blood red sea.

— from the Desire of the Moth

▶ Bala (1976) – Satyajit Ray Documentary on T. Balasaraswati – YouTube.

The Dance. The beauty that redeems. The devadasis who were the bearer of this beauty. Their story.

Devadasis in South India 1920

Devadasis in South India 1920