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I Say No To Divorce-6
(chandrakant mallya)

Publicidade
Yes, Gulab would dance naked to tame Sages!When she arrived on the Nautakni stage and stepped into the lights, for her maiden performance nine ayears ago(at the young age of fifteen) in village Palen, danced delicately and sang in her soft, babyish,cockoo-like voice, thounand sighs could be heard in the hush hush silence.of the largely male audience. The sight of her first few dancing steps,had bowled him over. Some women were also present as part of the audience. Gulab was an artist of matchless physical charms. An alluring dark-eyed beauty. Talented! "We haven't seen a queen be like this,"said many who had been the ardent followers of Nautanki performances. From 1930, women had begun to perform on the stage. Clearly a male preserve until that year, the best dancers were boys, who were made up as girls!Since the debut, Gulab must have given hundreds of performances in many States, but she never missed the Palen-Meharana shows. The state that transformed her into instant Nautanki Stardom!"I will remember for ever, with all humility, that audience of about twenty thousand villagers in Palen, Panditji and brother Pahelwan'-and she never mentioned the name of Tota Seth, the Permanent President of Nautanki Committee, who had profusely garlanded her not once but twice! Marigold flowers first, followed by a garland of new ten rupee notes, with a hundred rupee note dominating in the center-she was young and innocent then-too overwhelmed with the immence success of the show- she had bowed and accepted both the garlands on her neck, touched Tota Seth's feet, and when she smiled, her deep dimples stunned him.(Later she regreted her action for ever) That touch and the dimple-view created waves in Seth's heart, his unique momento-a storm to endure. As years rolled by, she became cunningly artistic. She received the garlands in hands and trurned them over to a fellow -artiste. She joined hands, faced the audience, bowed repeatedly. Tota Seth had to be happy with that commonly shared smile of hers, with the audience. He gaped at her. Did that smile contain a poite warning?Sorry Seth, get adjusted to the new situation. Gukab isn't a novice now. She is the famous Nautanki artiste-State Level, National Level or any Level!By birth, she belonged not to the elite class! She was the only daughter of a famous prostitute from Agra. Shocked? Well, not her fault! But kudos to her brave mother, who broke the shakles of ill-fame! She trained her to be a Nautanki artiste. Good-bye for ever to the hereditary profession.The girl with bright eyes proved to be an artist of character and grit. She brought fame, money and respectability to her troupe.Her undisputed good looks caused resentment and admiration among the competing troupes. Before she arrived, the survival of the troupe was at stake. What was the condition of their stage, when she climbed its steps for the first time?A shelter of canvas slung over bamboo poles. From the brink of bankruptcy, the troupe climbed up the ladder of great commercial success. The competing troups were eaten up with envy. "Gilab's nautanki?She will come! The troupe will perform in Meharana, during the last week of November, as usual." Seth said enthusiastically, with his permanently swiched on smile and he said, "My friend, I still remember the scene of her making a most effective entrance in her first play that I saw."Meru just nodded. "This year, the celebraions must be on a grand scale and if you agree, we must invite Pradhans and Nautanki lovers from ALL OUR villages...and there will be a Community Meal."..it was Meru's decision. The Seth listened, without protest. "But," said Tota Seth, "Nobody will be interested in your puri-saag. For a glimpse of Gulab, they are prepared to forgo ten meals. But if you wish to do it for any other reason, let us have it, before the start of the show. Let the Nakkras announce it." Tota Seth suggested the amended plan.Meru Pahelwan saw the point. He said,"One more thing Seth. We ve the handbills and posters distributed in the villages on an extensive scale...yes, put the expenses on my account.""For the success of Gulab'sNautanki, no special efforts are required. She is a magnet. Her personality has the gravitational pull. Once the date of the programme is decided, print as many handbills as you want...but Meru, Gulab's photo is a must..and I have her blocks...in different poses..many!" He was earnest in his opinions!



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