vRdhaa durgeashu kusumaM
vRdhaa nishpaMDitaa sabhaa
vRdhaa niSchaMdrikaa raatrih
vRdhaa nishkaaMta youvanam.
వృధా దుర్గేషు కుసుమం
వృధా నిష్పండితా సభా
వృధా నిశ్చంద్రికా రాత్రిః
వృధా నిష్కాంత యౌవనమ్. (In Telugu fonts)
Waste is a flower within the confines of a fortress,
Waste is a congregation with no learned man’s presence;
Waste is the night that does not glow in moon-light,
Waste is the youth that has no company of a loving mate!
‘Kuchipudi Bharata Natyam’ is a famous dance form of South India. The word ‘Kuchipudi’ in its name denotes the name of a village, a village near the well known coastal town Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, wherein it did born and grew into one of the most favoured and fine dance forms of India.
‘Sidhdhendra Yogi’ is known to be the person behind the genesis of this dance form. He was believed to have lived in 15th or 16th Centuary AD. It is also popularly believed that he wrote the well known dance drama ‘Bhama Kalapam’ to propogate Kuchipudi Bharata Natyam. It is also believed that he even performed the dance drama many times before audience and taught it to the artists in Kuchipudi, better known as ‘Kuchipudi Bhagavatulu’ to perform the drama to perfection and thus made them experts during his own life time. From then on, performance of this dance drama has become a customary right to ‘Kuchipudi Bhagavatulu’ who has successfully continued the tradition with much devotion towards Sidhdhendra Yogi. Consequently, Sidhdhendra Yogi has become one of the great luminaries for the people of Andhra Pradesh.
It is believed that this dance drama ‘Bhama Kalapam’, in its original form as devised by Sidhdhendra Yogi, used to be very long and performed three consequtive nights non-stop. As days went by, the performance was shortened to one full night and as per present day requirements the drama has further been shorted to be of an hour duration.
In short, Bhama Kalapam is about the travails of Satyabhama, one of the eight consorts of Lord Srikrishna, who is more possessive of him and never used to take it lightly when the Lord happened to be with another of her co-consorts, mainly Rukmini. The drama is in a lyrical conversational form, the conversation being between Satyabhama and her intimate and confident servant-maid. During the progress of the conversation and wherever it was found to be apt and convenient, Sidhdhendra Yogi, interspersed the lyrical dialogue with good poems of wit, heartening similies and descriptions.
The above Shlokam (poem in Sanskrit language) is one of such descriptions, the meaning of which is very heartening with interesting comparisions, to make the idea clearly visible to the mind’s eye and understandable to the heart of the listener.