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