Memoirs from Chidambaram

A five hour drive got The Postbox team from Chennai to Chidambaram on a sunny February afternoon. We were going to experience this little town for the next 3 days leading up to the annual festival of dance - Natyanjali.

The mostly quiet town celebrates Natyanjali on the day of Maha Shivratri, in its own delicately glorious ways, taking us through a journey of stories old and new. Some we captured, but most we took back home with us.

Dedicated to Lord Nataraja, Natyanjali is a celebration, uniting all forms of dance, dancers and artists of varied forms from across the country on one stage. Artists young and old, some new to the festival and some familiar with its ways, come together leaving behind their inhibitions, with an intent of celebrating each other. It is impossible to leave without stumbling upon new friends, paving way to new collaborations!

From creative collaborations with artists to hints of humanity in auto drivers wanting to show you around and grandmothers wanting to host you, you’re bound to feel at home, so far away from home.

Here’s a glimpse into our little effort in joining Chidambaram in its worship of dance amidst a chatter of lives, and how the festival is as much of the people as of the dancers. Possibly more personal for the people who’ve grown up with Natyanjali, experiencing it in more ways than we could capture!

Photos & Text - Sathvika Anantharaman