The Dream Girl of Bollywood, Hema Malini is proficient in Bharatnatyam, Kathak, and Kuchipudi in spite of leaving acting as a profession, she has still continued dancing to date, even though she is 70 years old. Her passion for the art is inspiring and now when she is a politician, she has still found a way to perform a dance ballet on 22nd January, 2019 in Varanasi on the banks of Ganges as part of the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas. Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas is a celebratory day observed to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community towards the development of India.
Many politicians, Indian businessmen, industrial biggies and who’s who from all walks of life would attend the function and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be one of the most special people among the attendees.
Her ballet is based on the pious river, Ganga and is named the same. Talking about the theme, she said,
“The concept had been with me for a long time. I wanted to make it four-five years ago, but it’s finally happening now. It was Union Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swarajji who told me, ‘Aap Ganga pe ek dance ballet karo.’ This was six-seven months ago. So, I thought, I better do it.”
The yesteryear actor claimed proudly that they’ve collaborated with the best of talent across the country and further added,
“I got Ashit Desai and Alap Desai to compose the music. The compositions are Indian music with fusion. The choreography is by Bhushan Lakandri, who has done all my ballets. He is excellent and has worked extremely hard on this one, too. Shekhar Astitwa, who is the late music composer and lyricist Ravindra Jain’s special man, has penned the lyrics. Writing mein sab ne help ki. Ram Govind has done the research while Devdutt Pattanaik is the consultant. Whatever I do, I will ask him, so no one criticises me tomorrow. The concept and story are mine. I scripted it after speaking to sadhus and sanyasis, especially Swami Avdheshanand Giriji Maharaj, who lives in Haridwar.”
Devdutt Pattanaik is an Indian author famous for his works like Shiva: An Introduction, The Goddess in India: The Five Faces of Eternal Feminine, The Pregnant King and many other such fictional works and interpretations of ancient Indian scriptures.
Hema Malini has taken part in every prospect of her dream project and is majorly focused on her performance. She was seen participating in supervising the costumes of the performers and offering suggestions about what and how can they be better. She went on to explain how the ballet is a combination of many dance forms and it glorifies Indian tradition and culture in true sense. Ganga, the ballet will be a visual treat loaded with well-choreographed dances and brilliant performances. She further elaborated,
“The ballet will have a combination of many Indian dance forms. Of course, there’s a beautiful Kathak number performed by the troupe. It’s a lovely concept. I was so obsessed with this ballet that I kept thinking of it continuously and the idea struck me when I was falling asleep. To me it felt that when Ganga is being brought down to Earth, she’ll flow with full force. Of course Brahma says, ‘Let her come, I will catch her in my kamandal (water vessel).’ Vishnu tells him, ‘She is approaching with great speed. You won’t be able to control her.’ Brahma says, ‘Don’t worry, I will catch her.’ The lyrics are such that the track conveys it so aptly and amazingly. Shankar Mahadevan has sung it soulfully and wonderfully.”
Hema Malini is extremely excited and passionate about bringing this tale to the fore and it is evident in the way she is describing each and every detail, with so much interest that her eyes lit up every time she talked about the efforts of the brilliant team. Malini explains what a challenging project this has been for every person involved. She added,
“It’s quite a challenge to project Ganga’s entry on Earth. Vibhore Khandelwal, who has worked on the Kingdom Of Dreams among several other shows, has done the VFX of this 90-minute ballet. His work is of high technical quality. The special effects are beautiful, the whole stage is filled with girls, performing Kathak. And they are dressed in such a way that it looks like a whole lot of water is splashing on stage. Of course, Brahma can’t catch Ganga in his kamandal, he just stands there looking because of the force. Then Shivji catches her in his tresses.”
The multi-talented faceted woman is not just an art lover; she also is an MP from Mathura from the Bhartiya Janata Party and is one of the most popular faces from the party. What makes this recital even more special for her and her team is because the ardh Kumbh Mela is happening simultaneously in Prayagraj (previously Allahabad) and she considers it as an honour. She states,
“So many millions of sadhus have come from all over. They will feel happy seeing the show. That’s why we are also presenting it in such a way that there’s nothing wrong with it right from costumes to everything else.”
Hema’s dedication towards her performance needs to be lauded. She shares how much time effort and time the whole thing is taking as she said,
“We have been working on the compositions for three months and kept on making several alterations. Just two days ago, we finalised the music. Now, there will be no more changes.”
The Padma Shri recipient is evidently very excited to showcase her dancing prowess near the Ganges. Talking about the serene atmosphere, she pointed out,
“When you stand there, you get such a good vibe. I’m blessed and excited to perform the Ganga on the banks of the holy river.”
The recital seems very interesting and it is a very good initiative by Sushma Swarajji and Hema Malini who is diligently working on it to make it visually appealing to the viewers.