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An ?!? of a show

?!?. This is the symbol that can best describe the wonder that the Orissa Day was in Lucknow on Saturday night. Orissa came alive at Ganna Sansthan auditorium in such a delightful manner reflecting the ?magical and mystical? Kalinga Pradesh.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2006 00:20 IST

‘!’. This is the symbol that can best describe the wonder that the Orissa Day was in Lucknow on Saturday night. Orissa came alive at Ganna Sansthan auditorium in such a delightful manner reflecting the ‘magical and mystical’ Kalinga Pradesh.

“Oh, we are back in Lucknow. We must go to Orissa this summer holidays,” said a woman to her husband and children as they ambled out of the four-hour show. All Lucknowites, whether Oriya or not, got the goose bumps of pride hearing Lalit Mansingh and Chandrasekhar Rath speak about Orissa being part of India and India being part of Orissa. And immediately afterwards, Ileana Chitaristi, an Italian by birth, Oriya by choice, took the audience to the surreal world of Odissi dance.

Finally, Rita Sinha principal secretary, Department of Culture UP summed the whole programmes as: “Oriya Day has become one of the best events on the cultural calendar of Lucknow!”

And the programme was a rare one—it had passionate speeches by impressive men—Mansingh and Chandrasekhar. Mansingh who is former ambassador of Indian to the US and few other countries and former foreign secretary has a strong Lucknow connection as his wife belongs to Lucknow, while Chandrasekhar who is noted man in the literary world, is an alumni of Lucknow University.

Mansingh said Lucknow reminded him of Rome and Istanbul as he took a trip to Bada Imambara, Chota Imambara and La Martiniere.

And telling Lucknowites about Oriya people he said: “When a person is away from his land he misses it, and then he brings the culture of his land to where he lives-by choice or by chance. I, too, used to take Orissa and India with me during all those years in foreign land.”   

And the rarity of the programme completed with spell-binding performance by the unspoken words and dance movements by Padm Shri Chitaristi. The audience turned emotional when Chitaristi began her performance by an invocation to Lord Jagannath.

She was a sheer delight to watch. The maroon silk saree, draped traditionally, complimented with silver anklets, silver waistebands and other jewellery, stream of sweat drops… were a mesmerising vision with her incredibly intricate dance movements.

And the curtains came down on the show with a flowing Oddissi ballet by Oddissi Research Centre, Bhubaneswar.  The auditorium was jam-packed.