September 20, 2009 – “Janani” Dance-drama by devotees from Warangal

Devotees from the Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh were completing their ‘Parthi Pilgrimage’ and as a finale to it, had prepared a drama presentation. However, they had not yet been permitted and so they were waiting in all readiness. Swami arrived for darshan as the clock crossed 5:15 p.m. and the bhajans were on.

Generally, the Sai Kulwant Hall in this season gets packed as students from all the campuses of the Sri Sathya Sai University arrive for the Dasara Celebrations, Grama Seva and the Veda Saptaha Jnana Yajna. Swami moved through the ladies side and then passing through the students, arrived at the gents' side. There the district president and other coordinators made a plea to Swami for the programme. Swami agreed and told them to be ready.

He took a detour from the gents’ side and entered the Mandir portico from its east entrance and moved towards the interview room. However, taking another diversion, He moved to the stage and the bhajans continued.

After a few bhajans, Swami called Mr. Chakravarthi, the secretary of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, and enquired about the readiness of the Warangal devotees to put up the programme. Soon, backdrops were moved in from the northern entrance and the marbled blocks opposite to Swami were slowly cleared. Swami sat watching the whole scenario.

There is the view about the creation which states that "In the beginning there was chaos..." It then goes to outline how God created a beautiful order out of it. Sometimes, sitting in the divine presence, one cannot help but wonder whether Swami too enjoys operating that way - creating order from chaos - and for that, chaos has to be created first! That day it was just like that. People were being told to move, but how was one to move when Swami is sitting right in front?

The areas were vacated and slowly the "clearance" reached the bhajan group as well. Bhajans were on but the singers and accompanists began to move slowly and Swami sat watching all this with a smile. Finally it reached a point where only the two lead singers were seated in the marble blocks and all others had moved to the side. It was then that Swami said that He would go to the interview room.

Once Swami left, things moved around with whirlwind speed and a few minutes later, everything was set for the drama to begin. It was entitled "Janani" and as the title heralded, it was about love for one's mother. Soon, Swami arrived and sitting on the stage, asked for the programme to begin. The initial offerings followed by lamp lighting and the representatives of the participating children were blessed by Swami. Then a member of the youth brought forward an album containing pictures of the service activities being done in the district. Swami leafed through it for a while and blessed it. Then the drama began.

It was a "dance drama" as they call it and the priority was given in the order as it appears - dance and then drama! The story of the drama was simple but it had a dramatic conclusion. The protagonist is home for a short vacation and since he is a very busy person, he has no time to spend with his mother. He has multiple appointments to keep with his friends!

Ironically, it turns out to be Mothers' Day and he decides to buy a bouquet for his mother to smother his pricking conscience. There he accosts Sai who gets a bouquet personalised with great effort for his mother. Sai also speaks very highly of her and proclaims that whatever he is today is due to his mother. The dramatic revelation that Sai is actually an orphan who has been taken care of by Swami under the wings of the Sathya Sai Deenajanoddharana Patakam shakes up the shocked hero.

The impact of the memories of his mother's love is far too much for him to bear and he immediately cuts short his 'funtime' with friends and rushes back home.

The drama also portrayed a scene from the life of the great poet Potana to emphasize the importance of the mother's blessings. Poems and stanzas galore filled the drama with powerful emotions and Swami's was very moved throughout.

The dances punctuated these powerfully emotional scenes with colour and some merriment. At the end of the 50 minutes with the clock almost reading 7:10 p.m., Swami said that the performance was very good. He moved down the stage to pose with the children for photographs. He slowly moved back to the stage and then moved into the interview room to get safari cloth pieces and sarees for all the children.

Arriving back, He got them distributed as He spoke to the protagonist and the district president. With a quick wave of His hand, He created a green emerald ring for the president, much to everyone's delight.

He asked for the aalaap bhajan to be sung. Two bhajans later, Swami asked for the aarthi but not before telling the youth that they had done a very good job and that He was very happy. It was almost 7:40 p.m. when Swami finally moved to Yajur Mandir.

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