Priya arangan adiyars,
Margazhi breeze from Srirangam continues ...
Na:tyam and Sangi:tham
When words are set to music, the bha:vam of the song transcends all barriers of language and listener is transported to the world of the composer. The Bhattar group were taught to sing Thiruppa:vai pa:surams by two music teachers. Even though pa:ttu ma:mi had some throat issues, she came and taught the children lovingly every single day. A young lady from Puttur (about 40 mins away from Srirangam) came every single day on time and volunteered the entire day in addition to teaching the children to sing pa:surams.
Words don’t need translation when the song is being danced to. The coordinators had assigned the role of dance teacher to three girls of eighth standard. They were allotted girls in the Bhattar group (ages 4 – 9) as their students. The dance teachers were stunned on the first day and begged to be allotted older girls. However, they had to take up the charge of the little ones for the rest of the camp. Anyone who watched the performances on the Valedictory function could not guess that the dancers on stage were trained by such young teachers. They had done an amazing job mentoring the young ones.
The camp provided an excellent platform to talented youth to expand their bandwidth and gain new experience mentoring budding talents.
Yo:ga was taught to campers of both groups and both genders by an experienced yoga practitioner. The highlight of her teaching yo:ga to the children was that however young they may be, they knew exactly what benefits they derive from the pra:na:yama or a:sana they are learning. A six year old boy demonstrated to his mother one night what he had learnt in yo:ga session and spelt out the benefits. The mother was astonished. When there were 133 children in all, how did the teacher convey her message to every single child so clearly?
Ambulating the streets :
The children seamlessly befriended the streets with the posters of strong words from thiruppavai. The onlookers stood where they were and read the words of the five year old girl…
There were children from all kinds of backgrounds and all strata of the society. Under one umbrella (padaccha:ya of Bhattar) they all came together (ku:diyirundu kulirndu) and immersed themselves in a:nda:l's teachings. Some had never heard of a:nda:l and some were more than well versed with her teachings, but there was something for everyone to take away from the camp. There was no set agenda in the camp to measure up to, the only aim was to raise them to a higher platform from where they were in those seven days.
Sri Embar swamy graced the final day function of the camp. Just as Sri Ramanujacharya came to Srirangam from Sriperumbudur to bless the inhabitants, Sri Embar swamy came all the way from Sriperumbudur with the sole aim of blessing the children. It was only a phone call a few days before the function that brought to his notice the happenings at Srirangam. and the mention of children was enough for swamy to readily accept a tedious car journey. His presence was a great blessing for one and all present for the function.