Before the electronic explosion, youngsters would spend time in playing Antakshri or Word Game, but during the current pandemic, to beat the lockdown blues, Sri Vari Padalu founder and Bharatanatyam dance Guru Rama Devi Nalla gave a picture to each senior student and asked them to recreate it by donning the prima donna role.
Sharing with Natyahasini the project entrusted to her students, Rama Devi says: “My students did not have any outside help. At the most, they took the help of their parents and siblings in getting ready and clicked pictures,” she says.
Patting the students, Rama Devi says that the students did a fantastic work with utmost dedication and interest in depicting the paintings. “This has made them even more active and eager in learning the steps and prevented them from burying themselves into electronic gadgets,” she says.
I love copying celebrities. One day I aped Actor Samantha. It was fun to don the Royal Woman from Kerala. Being a classical dancer, it was fun. Mom liked the look.
~Durga Gadpelly, Class X Kennedy Vidya Bhavan, Secunderabad
It was once in a lifetime experience. I love the olden days of kings and queens and love dressing like yesteryear women. Actor Nayantara’s portrayal of women attracts me. Also, it is very rare one gets a chance to do this. It was a different activity to keep oneself busy. I got help from my family. My mother arranged the saree and jewellery, while my husband arranged the lighting and clicked the photograph.
~Shreya Arupula, Director, Gayatri Industries, Habsiguda
Fun and different kind of experience during the lockdown. A lot of research went into the painting – Radha eagerly waiting. One was recreating a famous award-winning painting. It took some time to assemble the saree, jewellery and fruits, but took an hour to get ready. After several observations I got the posture right. It was a wonderful experience to look like the painting. My mom said, I looked stunning. My sister Shritha clicked the picture.
~Shreshta Gundu, MPC, Inter 2nd year, Page Academy
An interesting experience. I chose this picture – Maharashtrian lady after a temple visit, as we had similar saree and jewellery. I felt good when I saw my picture. My mom had helped me to get ready. It was the second time, I wore a saree. My mother said I was good, while father said I look beautiful.
~Shritha Gundu, Class X, FIITJEE World School
It was fun and good experience. I keenly observed the photo – Radha in moonlight, of the great painter. Not everybody gets a chance to recreate the muse of a great artist. Mother helped me to get ready, while sister Prakeerthi clicked the photo and used her editing skills to fine tune it. “Akka, you look different,” she remarked and said she would also try it. My granny too was thrilled.
~Pranathi, Inter 2nd year, MEC, Tapasaya Jr. College
I have always been fond of Maharashtrian stories and was enamoured by the character of Vasantasena and readily grabbed it when it was offered to me. During my Intermediate days, I did try out dress styles on Instagram. Mom helped in dressing. But all said and done it was a wonderful experience and a memory to cherish.
~Rohitha Nalla, B. Com, 3rd year, Roots College
Did nothing special in the lockdown. When Rama Devi ma’am suggested this, I jumped at it. It was really amazing and tough task to do, also had fun doing it. A bit of research went into the painting – Rani Chimnabai and the great painter – Raja Ravi Varma. My mother helped. Usually, I don’t wear traditional clothes and when I wore a saree and was transported to an olden era, my parents were thrilled.
~Simritha Jawaji, Class IX, St. Peters High School, Bowenpally
I wanted to become the picture – Rani of Pudukottai. It took me over an hour to get ready. Mummy helped. Putting together the jewellery was not difficult as being a dancer, I had many pieces. Saree is mom’s. Had fun doing it. I love drawing and painting too and this was beautiful.
~Jyothsana Chandra, Class VIII, FIITJEE World School
I was excited to become the lady in the picture. I compulsorily wanted to give it a try. We had everything at home – saree, jewellery … Mummy helped me to get dressed. Father helped in taking the picture. Initially, I was afraid of the outcome, after looking at the end result, I was happy. Parents said that I had striking resemblance to the picture. By doing this, I learnt a lot about the artist Raja Ravi Varma and his work.
~Aakruthi, Class IX, Gitanjali Devashray, Secunderabad
It was a fun assignment, also the first time, nice recreation and good experience to become Rani of Kurupuram. It was very hard to find the pearls and attach it to wear the head ornament. I took an hour to get ready. Parents were excited. My sister clicked the picture and vice-versa.
~Yuga Rani G, Process Executive, Cognizant
When this project was handed to me, I had my own reservations on recreating it. Ma’am encouraged us a lot. Everything worn belongs to my mom – saree & jewellery. When I got ready, my parents were in awe. They said, I look pretty. I feel honoured recreating this painting.
~Shruti Kandagatla, Inter Ist year, MPC, Gatik Jr. College