Virtual steps in unison: Ludhiana women enjoy 10-day Devi Utsav, through various dance forms, online

Virtual steps in unison: Ludhiana women enjoy 10-day Devi Utsav, through various dance forms, online

Samaira

Minna Zutshi

Women from diverse walks of life in Ludhiana are celebrating the ‘Divine Feminine’ through different dance forms. From a 13-year-old student to a home-maker in her 30s, these women are presenting different aspects of Mother Goddess through different dance forms, under the expert direction of Dr Sangita B Kushwaha, who has also choreographed the entire 10-day festival Devi Utsav. In deference to the covid-19 precautionary measures, the celebrations are online. So, it is a virtual festival organised by the Sangita’s Studio of Performing Arts.

tehreir bhalla

“Nav Durga are nine manifestations of the goddess Durga, especially worshipped during the festival of Navratri. Each of the nine manifested forms is venerated,” says Dr Sangita. Urging all women to ‘find’ the devi within themselves, Dr Sangita adds: “Women are amazing beings. Soft and vulnerable, but when the need arises, they can be tough and strong too. They carry within themselves a reservoir of resilience and strength. A woman, once determined and fearless, can vanquish the forces of darkness. Nothing can deter her if she knows and recognises her real strength.”

The Devi Utsav is the time to celebrate, dance, rejoice and rejuvenate. Says Dr Sangita, “We salute the struggle and achievement of each woman, irrespective of her age and social status. The Devi Utsav is a celebration with every woman – a woman who is Durga, who is Kali and Savitri, who is Laxmi and Santoshi.”

mehak awasthi

Dr Sangita and her students feel that all women have the strength to see them through difficult times, only they need to recognise and appreciate this strength.

Most importantly, the Utsav has injected a sense of optimism and cheerfulness in the general gloominess around us. “We are receiving ‘happy’ messages from those who watched the performances. The Utsav has also helped us connect with our own culture,” remarks Dr Sangita.

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