(The photographs in this post are © Amrit Ammu Photography)
This post is dated April 10th, 2013.
Last evening in the city of Nawabs, Hyderabad, when I was travelling from Banjara Hills to Mehdipatnam, I noticed a lot of shops being beautifully decorated with flowers, lights and colors. The huge posters outside these shops were also speaking of some special discounts for their customers. I was trying to recollect if some occasion was around.. And soon I saw some boards that answered my thoughts.. It was Ugadi the day after !
On reaching my college hostel, I started searching about the festival and came to know that Ugadi which means “The beginning of a new age” marks the New Year’s Day for the people of the Deccan region of India, according to the Indian Calendar. Basically the New Year’s Day is celebrated throughout India, However it is named differently in different states. This festival is celebrated with zeal all over Hyderabad and there is a tradition of preparing a dish called Puran Poli on this day. The dish is prepared with a specific mixture of six tastes : Bitter, Sweet, Salty, Chilly, Sour and Tangy in perfect proportions symbolizing the fact that life is a perfect mix of all kind of emotions. I wish I got a chance to taste the dish !
While surfing the internet, I came to know about the special events scheduled at Shilparamam on the occasion of Ugadi. The events were for sure, not to be missed ! Kuchipudi Dance Contest for Kids was scheduled and besides that, a week long exhibition was also arranged at the same venue. I knew that was the place I had to visit the next day, for sure. I asked my friend, Divi for accompanying with me and the next day, we reached the venue just on time 🙂 We paid INR 40 as entry fee and got inside the very beautiful shilparamam.
Just as we entered we saw a devotional dancer, B.Nookaji who was probably dressed up in an avatar of God (I didn’t get a chance to clarify the same from him) Just look at him ..
… Isn’t he all set in mood !
As I walked down further in the beautifully made Shiplaramam, I almost went crazy on seeing so many colours, awesome art and creativity displayed all over in the place ! I will take a full blog-post to share the story and photographs of same. Moving on, I searched for the directions to the area where Kuchipudi Dance Competition was scheduled. Divi was also quite interested to see the competition, so together we were approaching to the dance venue.
I went a little further and wait ! Was I seeing it correct ? I saw a girl around 6 years old, beautifully dressed up in the Kuchipudi attire. A make-up artist was helping her in getting her hair done! I had got a wonderful opportunity to click a young Kuchipudi dancer in that form I thought. I greeted her, her parents and complimented them for their young, talented daughter. I feel amazed every time I look at her pictures !
Just look at her beautiful eyes…
I could sense a bit of nervousness inside her which perhaps she had carefully hidden under the confidence, that was speaking aloud on her face.. or perhaps I am being too judgemental !
Looking at the dark red, traditional mehndi on her hands..
The make-up table ! (Irrespective of the occasion, I think if one is in a hurry, probably this is how the make-up table looks everytime) 🙂
The marvelous expressions !
Helping her wear the nose-ring …
In coversation ! : The girl’s mother and the make-up artist. I loved the way the girl was standing and listening to them. It added beauty to the picture’s composition 🙂
Isn’t she looking just so gorgeous !!
After her photo-shoot, I moved forward and I saw a few more young girls dressed up in the traditional Kuchipudi attire. That was my next destination to cover I thought. I went nearer to that shade of the tree where those young contestants were waiting with their parents for the competition to begin. I smiled at the young ones and initiated a conversation. I randomly started asking their names and about their schools, while wishing them good luck and at the same time I happened to ask their parents for a picture. Just look at them ! So cute, innocent and confident they are!
I went a little away from the shade of the tree and started spending my time on the stalls of the exhibition nearby. After a few minutes, I looked back at those lovely faces and saw that they were all in mood ! They were practicing their steps, chatting, smiling and trying to make the most of their waiting time ! Whoa, I didn’t think much and just from wherever I was, I clicked their pictures!
A candid capture above..
Candid .. While sipping some water and relaxing.
That’s when they started practicing their dance steps under the shade of the tree.
Caught in action..
Just look at the cute little one up there ! Awww..
I don’t know what was she finding, but she was really looking so cute ! 🙂
The patterns, color and combinations of the above picture, allured me..
Coordinating with each other while practicing the dance steps..
The super-cute girl of all ! 🙂
She happened to look back at my camera, with that amazing gaze !
Getting cozy in her mother’s hug 🙂
The girls were done with their practice and were perhaps heading towards the main hall with their parents.. This picture is near the exhibition stalls 🙂
After these quick pictures, I called Divi to catch up with her. She was in the food court. So I went searching for her, while had some water as the sun was overhead and it was very hot that day. Both of us had Masala Dosa with chai. The dosa was no doubt very crispy and yummy. I thoroughly enjoyed chit chatting with my friend for an hour or two, as the afternoon passed by.
Next , I wanted to go for doing a photo-shoot of the Kuchipudi Dance show. Divi assured me to join after a while. So in the meanwhile, I went to the venue and saw two beautiful girls trying to click a picture for themselves. I approached them and asked them for help. They made my day ! I clicked their pictures in their Digi-cam while I also clicked some in mine. They looked lovely ! No wonder …
Dance.. the melody of life 🙂
Her dance steps ..
A dance step, symbolizing and defining the beautiful eyes .. 🙂
After their small photo-shoot, one of the girls shared her Email ID with me and requested for the pictures. I sent her the pictures well in time and received a happy message from her end which indeed made me glad !
I took a leave from there and started going towards the hall, while I heard somebody calling from behind. “Excuse me Ma’am, Can you please take a picture” I turned around to see two more young kuchipudi dancers dressed up nicely. “Ofcourse” I said, as I smiled. They generously thanked me and greeted with a smile that I have successfully captured as a memory in my camera 🙂
The dance competition had begun and I started moving closer to the stage. The first contestant was announced. I could manage only a single picture from the actual dance competition and alas! My camera’s battery got exhausted. The power-cut had struck the whole Madhapur area and so I couldn’t even charge the camera’s battery. I just wished that I had a battery back-up for my camera. I must arrange that I thought.
Anyhow, I was happily done photo-shooting for the day. I called up Divi to catch up with her and after a few fun filled moments with her at the exhibition stalls, we left for our college around 6 PM in the evening.
My next blog-post will be on Shiplaramam’s exhibition story and photography. Stay tuned ! I am sure you will love the colors, art and creativity that the place had to offer that day.
You are welcome to see the best of my work on Facebook at Amrit Ammu Photography.
Live. Love. Laugh. & Keep Smiling.
The above photographs are copyright © Amrit Ammu Photography / Aa Photography. All Rights Reserved. Copying, downloading, altering or displaying any image without the written permission of the artist is strictly prohibited.