Odissi by Subikash Mukherjee
Artist’s Byte :
“I have learnt this Ashtapadi from my Guru Shri Ratikant Mohapatra Ji and I felt my performance keeps evolving for this dance piece through each passing year with better realization of life experiences. I find the most crucial phrase of this poem is ‘Smara Garala Khandanam Mama Shirasi Mandanam DEHI PADA PALLAVA MUDARAM’ (Place your tender feet on my head as an ornament to refute Cupid’s poison) – where Krishna begs forgiveness from Radha and urges her to place her lotus feet on his head. I wish to mention the interesting story associated with this particular Ashtapadi. When poet Jayadeva was composing this song, the above verse came to his mind, but he hesitated to write it down. Radha placing her feet on Krishna’s head? It is culturally so unacceptable! Without putting it down in the palm leaves, he left the incomplete song in his wife Padmavati’s hand and went to the river to bathe. While he was away, Lord Krishna is said to have taken Jayadeva’s form and visited his home. Taking the palm leaves from Padmavati, He wrote the very words that Jayadeva had hesitated to write. When Jayadeva returned, he saw the verse written down and realised that Lord Krishna himself had visited his home and written this verse!
From the choreographic aspect, the foremost architect of Odissi dance, the legendary Padma Vibhushan Guru Shri Kelucharan Mohapatra Ji’s elaboration of the Sanchari bhava beautifully portrays Krishna’s emotion for Radha when various metaphors are shown in the verse ‘Tvamasi Mama Jeevanam, Tvamasai Mama Bhushanam’ (You are my life, you are my ornament), such as – if you are a tree, I am the creeper which grows around you / if you are a flower, I am the bee that always finds its way to you / if you are water, I am the fish that can’t live without you. These expressions show his excellence in understanding, processing and depicting the character of Krishna with its uniqueness along with establishing appropriate relevance of the metaphors with the main theme. I feel humbled to perform such a masterpiece with blessings of respected Guruji. Finally, I would like to say that this Ashtapadi is about ultimate submission of Krishna to Radha which represents the necessary balance in any relationship at a human level where equality and mutual respect is important.”…Subikash Mukherjee (Odissi Exponent)
- vadasiyadikiñchidapidanta-ruchi-kaumudi harati dara-timiramatighoram | sphuradadhara-sidhave tava vadana-candrama rocayatulochana-cakora ||1|| “My beloved, O graceful one, give up this causeless aversion. If you will speak to me, even a little, the terrible darkness of my fear will be dispelled by the effulgent rays of your teeth. Then your moonlike face will make the chakora bird of my eyes anxious to drink the nectar of your lips. ”
- priyecharushile muñchamayimanamanidanam | sapadimadanamanalodahati mama manasam dehimukha-kamala-madhupanam ||dhruvapada || “My cherished Love! Abandon your baseless ego.The fire of amorous desire is burning my heart. Allow me to drink the honey of your lotus face.”
- tvamasi mama jivanam, tvamasi mama bhushanam tvamasi mama bhava-jaladhi-ratnam | bhavatubhavatihamayi, satatamanurodhini tatra mama hrudayamatiyatnam , priyecharushile ||3|| “You are my only ornament. You are my very life. You are the jewel in the ocean of my existence. Always remain favourably disposed to me – my heart wishes only that.”
- smara-garala-ghadanam, mama shirasimandanam dehi pada-pallavamudaram | jvalatimayidarunomadana-kadananalo haratu tad upahita-vikaram , priyecharushile||7|| “My beloved! Offer the fresh buds of your enchanting feet as an ornament upon my head, so the devastating effect of Cupid’s poison may be alleviated, and the harsh fire of amorous desires may also be relieved.”