Aalaap

Monday, 13 August 2018

Vyjayantimala Bali


Birthdays & Anniversaries
13.8.1934
Number 13 is lucky for this lady. She was born on 13thAugust  1934.  She  performed  her  Bharata­-natyam arangetram on 13th April 1945 on Tamil New Year’s Day. It was also the date on which she signedher  first  film  contract.  Thirteen  has  been  favourably associated with landmarks in Vyjayantimala’s life.

“Although  I  was  born  in  1934,  my  elders  entered  it  as 1933  in  my  school  records,  and  so  it  has  come  to  stay,” she tells you as she recalls the past. “I am proud of being  a Tiruvallikeni girl. I was born on Adi Kritikai day in a house opposite the Parthasarathy Swamikoil in Triplicane. I came into this world moving my toes not on my head”, she   chuckles. “You see, I was born with “dancing toes”.

Vyjayantimala is one of the most versatile artists in the history of south Indian performing arts. A sprightly septuagenarian, she is a consummate Bharatanatyam artist who has aged gracefully and is a role model for young aspirants in every aspect of her art. She is an upholder of tradition, and its outspoken champion.

Vyjayantimala’s life can be broadly divided into three interesting phases. A gifted child, she blossomed into a sparkling Bharatanatyam dancer. Her grandmother Yadugiri Devi moved heaven and earth to ensure that her dancing skills were honed to perfection. The next phase saw Vyjayantimala take the world of celluloid by storm. She reigned supreme for more than a decade acting with the top heroes in Tamil and Hindi films. (See article titled She brought lustre to the silver screen by V.A.K. Ranga Rao). She was invited to participate in national and international film festivals as a member of the jury, and won many national awards for her films. She created a furore when she refused to accept the award for best supporting actress in the film Devdas as she felt her role of Chandramukhi was on par with that of Paro played by Suchitra Sen. Her marriage to the debonair Dr. Chaman Lal Bali saw her bid goodbye to films, taking care of her family and immersing herself in the art of Bharatanatyam. She has no regrets on retiring from films when she was right at the top, and feels she continues to command respect and has a great fan following because she did so with dignity. This period saw her win national titles in golf. She was the first classical dancer to have contested and won a Lok Sabha seat for two consecutive terms in 1984 and 1989 representing the South Madras constituency. After a break of three years, she was nominated to the Rajya Sabha for her contribution to the field of fine arts.

                        To read full story, visit sruti.com and buy Sruti 311,312,314

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