DREAM GIRL Hema Malini, who has been popular both as a cine star and an exquisite classical dancer, has lost none of her charm with the passage of years. A fact that was proved amply in the City on Monday when thousands of fans gathered at the Motilal Nehru Stadium went berserk for a mere glimpse of her.
Here to participate in the golden jubilee celebrations of the State, Hema performed the ballet ‘Draupadi’ with her 50-member dance troupe from Mumbai. The melodious extravaganza based on the life of queen Draupadi brought forth myriad interpretations of human emotions that a woman goes through from birth to death.
Especially the pain and suffering that she undergoes when faced with rejection and humiliation – just the way Draupadi was divided and her chastity splintered between five brothers to keep the princes united.
Hema in Draupadi’s avtaar mesmerised the audience with her brilliant gestures and sculpturesque postures - each depicting a different mood and frame of mind. In the crucial dice scene when Yudhishtir stakes Draupadi and finally loses her to be disrobed by Dusshasana, Hema went completely into the skin of character, rendering a remarkable performance.
She portrayed the trauma of a wife unable to challenge the legality of the game, meekly surrendering to orders of her husband, silently questioning the righteousness and justice of a court that ceases to rise to protect her honour.
The ballet, divided into two parts, was all the more captivating and refreshing because it presented Draupadi’s point of view. The audiovisuals interspersed into the recital took the audience through major milestones in Draupadi’s life and helped them fathom her mind through all the trials and tribulations of her journey with the Pandavas.
Based on Pratibha Ray’s Oriya novel ‘Yagyanseni’, this classical dance ballet by Hema (performed with the Abhinaya aspect) appealed to one and all because of its grandeur and directness.
Backed with soulful music by Ravindra Jain and thundering background score contributed by noted playback singers Suresh Wadkar, Kavita Krishnamurthy and Sadhna Sargam - the recital was an aesthetically satisfying experience.
She authentically pulled off a rich and wide tapestry demanded by a mythological figure like the indignant Draupadi who emerged from a holy fire - representing beauty, intelligence and strength - to die tragically all alone.
Earlier in the evening, Governor Balram Jakhar inaugurated the week-long celebrations. Other dignitaries who graced the occasion included Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Speaker Ishwar Das Rohani and Culture Minister Laxmikant Sharma.
State Assembly Principal Secretary Dr A K Payasi greeted guests and the presentation started off with a Ganesh Vandana setting a pious mood for the rest of the evening.
Hema Malini was felicitated with a memento by the Governor. On the occasion she also expressed her gratitude towards culture enthusiasts in the City and said the role of Draupadi had always fascinated her and she would continue to portray such strong characters in the future also.