Sangae Muzhangu – The experience.

And so as all good things do, SM 07 has come to an end. It’s been an amazing, tiring yet exhilarating 3 months for me. I still cannot imagine that what each of us conceived at the start of this entire process amounted to what everyone saw for themselves on Saturday. To some it might have been a tad draggy, to many it was vibrant, exciting, to others it was profound, to me it was an experience that made everything worth it.

I cannot profess to feeling the same passion and the immense emotions some seniors feel towards being a part of Sangae Muzhangu for the sheer fact that my role was but a minute one. I stuck close to home doing something I am extremely comfortable with, dancing and every part of that choreography process/teaching other people/changing and re-choreographing and in some cases even de-choreographing was painstaking but worth it.

One thing that pricked me when I first began was, Why are so many of these people crazy about Sangae Muzhangu. It reminded me of those Secondary School All Arts Competitions where the elitist schools would cheer their friends with such deep passions and the moments when everybody would say a collective “Oh or Aah” when something goes wrong. I used to think those people were crazy. Don’t get me wrong, because I do have a deep liking for the Arts and the entire idea of competitive spirit but I always felt it was taken a tad too far.

After my Sangae Muzhangu experience, I realised what it meant to sacrifice. You see people staying in day and night working on things they have no obligations for. People who build immaculate props and don’t simply stop at that but make sure it’s safe and secure and is the best they can produce for this show. Amidst all the frustration, all the pains and all the tears and splinters and wounds, you saw solidarity at its best.

I initially intended to place this entire message on the Yahoo groups for Sangae Muzhangu and not here but I felt there was a lesson to be learnt from all these very hardy people. People who honestly have no obligation to do anything for a society they are not a part of(some are but most aren’t). These people gave their best and never allowed themselves to break at any point because they knew that if one fell, all do.

I admit, I may not be a fan of every single person who worked on this project and neither do I profess to love and have approved of everything that happened during this process, but I must say that these things surfaced as trivial things in the light of the greater successes and happy moments.

I will always look back fondly of the days when I was tortured to choreograph different counts of 8 that would pop up in blanks part of music, the dreadful vetting sessions and practices, the times we’d sneak to eat Panggang rice with Navin and Raghu, the days of learning to tie that 3/4 saree and getting yelled and screamed at for not getting it done on time, the times Sara and Ruben might have killed me with a file, measuring cloth with Anu, Marian and the Props Princesses(that’s my new name for Gangka and Gayathri), Marian and Aishah and their way of always entertaining me, the chess pieces with our ways of confusing Director Nantha and causing him immense stress with our antics, my mannarkudi girls, teaching the actors their dance and all the other jalsa-cases. Everything I am going to so dearly miss.

When I look at the magazine and I see so many previous committees with their sponsorships and pledges of commitment and loyalty towards TLS and Sangae Muzhangu, I cannot but help feel that this is one memory that remains etched in all our hearts. I don’t know if I would ever be a part of the TLS comm(notice how I no longer write it off the way I used to) or for that matter even ICS or HS and I don’t even know if I would get the chance to work on another Sangae Muzhangu but I feel deeply impassioned to have been part of this and to understand what true loyalty and commitment is all about.

Thank You to everyone who made Sangae Muzhangu a beautifully imprinted memory for me. And Thank you to those of you who came to watch us display all our hard work.

“Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.”— Henri Frederic Amiel

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The crab grass in the lawn of life..

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can’t get rid of. You know whatever you do, they’ll still be there. ~Amy Li

I’ve been pretty addicted to my new dvd-rental machine near my place and I’ve been trying to catch as many flicks in the wee hours of the night. Yesterday, I caught In Her Shoes. In terms of fantastic direction or great scripts or even a wonderful plot, this story may not be ace. But it reminded me of something I am very grateful I have.

Many a time, I have shared important shards of my life with my readers and whenever I speak of my family I’ve always only spoke of my father. That isn’t because the rest aren’t worthy of my attention but because his loss still resonates deeply within my heart. After catching the movie, I realised, it is time to share another vital part of my life; my sisters.

Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life. ~Charles M. Schulz

I’ve been very lucky to have been born the youngest of three girls. We were our parents’ little princesses. However, being the youngest amidst two very amazing big sisters, I was also very lucky to have always been protected from the harsh realities of life as well as pampered to the bone. Since memories of all the littlest moments I’ve shared with both my sisters are rushing to my mind after having watched the movie, I thought I’d share them with you guys.


A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. ~Marion C. Garretty

Indeed, the reason why I had so much fun as a child was because I always had two elder sisters who never grew bored of my antics or entertaining me. My second sister was often the disciplinarian – having to chide me into doing the right things like walking properly or sitting properly and even certain basic etiquette. While at that time, I would have been pretty irked since she’d be spoiling the fun I had, I have to thank her for making me be more aware of what I do. There were times though when she’d fool me into believing that the little specks in the egg yolk were real chicks that could be frozen to life and the likes of other lies that I truly did believe.

My first sister on the other hand, was always there for me as a playmate. This is amazing cos she’s a grand 9 years older (though she refuses to admit it) than me. From dressing me up in different hairstyles daily for kindergarten, to begging me to take a shower, to keeping me company at family functions where all my cousins were much older, to even dressing my Barbie dolls with me, she was there. There was never a phase in my life where she was absent and even when my mother was away or busy with school, my sister would be there by my side.

Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other. ~Carol SalineAnd my sisters were the ones who gave me sanity even at the craziest point in life. A crisis was never unsolvable because I learnt from both my sisters never to give up. Like the time the two of them fixed the toilet with a S-hook. God knows how on earth they did it, but it’s really like them to never give up and always be as resourceful as they can be.

Perhaps a less candid anecdote would be about the way my sisters were at my Dad’s funeral. Somehow, knowing I had two sisters with me made me a little stronger. I knew I had to endure this and we all knew we had to protect our mother and that in itself kept us alive. I remember my sisters and how we comforted each other through the worst tragedy of our lives. My second sister is the most dutiful person I know and even in her most tumultuous of moments she knew she had to keep us all together and conducted my Dad’s last rites the way he’d have wanted it to be, by his princesses.

I’ve learnt some really important things from my sisters and one of them would be to always stand tall and never to back down in the face of disaster.


Sisters annoy, interfere, criticize. Indulge in monumental sulks, in huffs, in snide remarks. Borrow. Break. Monopolize the bathroom. Are always underfoot. But if catastrophe should strike, sisters are there. Defending you against all comers. ~Pam Brown

We’ve had some mean ass fights. I remember shouting to my sisters telling them I wish I never was born with them or having them kick me out of their room cos of something stupid I might have said. But no matter what, I know that if I needed someone badly, no one would be there quicker than my sisters.

I still remember how they’ve never missed any of my performances, been there to wish me luck through exams (even in their sleepy stupors as I am leaving the house in the morning), helped to open the door when I stupidly go out late and forget my keys, hid surprises from me, made me crazy banners when I was in Dhool, supported me through every of my endeavours, felt real happiness when I aced exams and chided me with genuine concern when I seemed to have treaded the path of waywardness, reminded me time and time of my duties as a daughter, a grand daughter and made sure I was always doing the right thing and not pissing anyone off.

I have a lot to thank them for but at this moment I know, thank yous are not necessary because sisters will love you no matter what. They care not for civility or courtesy or political correctness, they care because they care.

I think no quote says it better than this. For all our midnight 7-11 and swing rendezvous, gossiping in the dark sessions, driving Ma mad with our antics, finishing that last cookie B buys, poking fun at G’s hole-y shorts, watching silly DVDs and falling asleep amidst them, doing “bridal” snow decoration, fights for the toilet, shoe stealing encounters, many little treats you guys buy me from your holidays or shopping sprees, I want to say, I love you both with all my heart.

I know both of you read this(one openly, the other secretively) but I want you to know you both mean everything and I’d give up all there is on earth to make you both happy. While I am the pampered brat of the 3 and I am always the one you guys are fussing over, I really really wish God always gives me this same 2 sisters through any life.

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