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Curtain Raiser: Ananda

Year end, test time and account finalisation. Think March and the imagery that comes to mind are annual exams and end of the fiscal. But the third month of the year also denotes spring, colours, bloom and joy.

Our scriptures point out that we should approach every moment of our life’s journey as if it were already filled with joy. All of us seek happiness and harmony in our daily living.

So, when we bring pleasure to every act we perform, we engage in Seva—be it everyday tasks or a project on a large scale. AIM for Seva is privileged to bring Ananda, an annual series of fund raising events with the debut programme being held from March 7th to 9th 2019 at the Music Academy, Chennai.

Curated as a three day extravaganza of music, theatre and dance by renowned artistes, Ananda 2019, promises to be a spectacular artistic treat for the rasikas.

On day 1 (March 7th), the stage would come alive with Smt. Bombay Jayashri’s melliflous rendition. The proceeds from this day’s event will be directed towards AIM for Seva Krupa Home. Located in the outskirts of Chennai, AIM for Seva Krupa Home is a one of its kind initiative in community living for adults with disabilities. Here our 38 residents are engaged in meaningful activities throughout the day as part of occupational therapy efforts. The hand woven products of our residents are displayed at our immersion centre, Spirit of the Earth located in Mylapore, Chennai.

On March 8th, there will be an on-stage rendition of Smt. Gowri Ramnarayan’s acclaimed Kurukshetra: When Things Fall Apart. The play focuses on Drona, his wife, Kripi, and their son, Ashwatthama and looks into aspects relating to their own bonds with each other, as well as the larger choices they make. Proceeds received on day 2 will go towards our Chatralayams. We have 97 Chatralayams across 16 states.

Ananda will conclude the acclaimed danseuse Dr. Anita Ratnam’s dance theatre production, a Million Sitas. In this production, Dr. Anita Ratnam leads us to explore the diverse viewpoints of some key female characters in the Ramayana-– Ahalya, Manthara, Sabari and Surpanakha. This is a refreshing insight into the nuances of the epic, and an aesthetic rendition of the subtle undertones in the narrative.

In fact, the Ramayana is echoed through the DNA of India as an epic, a text, a sacred book, an opera – interpreted through painting, dance, theatre, song, animation, television and film. This Adi Kavya (eternal story) has seen more debate, discussion and discourse than any other writing in Indian society.

In a Million Sitas, the heroine of this time honoured tale stands at the centre of a power tussle as two men battle with their egos and divergent ideas of duty and honour. It is the women in this retelling who emerge from the shadows and pages of history to braid the multiple narratives of this riveting story.

Funds generated from the day 3 programme would go towards Manjakkudi, the Janmabhoomi of our founder, Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati and a model village.

Please join us in large numbers for the fund raiser and support the cause of educating rural India.

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