VAIDEHI-Shruti Verma’s Rendition of Pivotal Scenes from Sita’s World


Sindhu Mishra’s Aayam presents VAIDEHI: Sita’s World in Tulsidas Ramayana ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

This rendition offers a fresh perspective on the Ramayana, focusing on pivotal scenes from Sita’s viewpoint—a rare approach. The choreography and concept, curated by Guru Smt. Sindhu Mishra, provide a captivating retelling of this timeless epic. Shruti Verma, a senior disciple under Guru Smt. Sindhu Mishra’s guidance, displays a profound dedication to Bharatanatyam, infusing passion and determination into her pursuit.

The Visionary Guru Smt. Sindhu Mishra

Shruti’s performance brings every aspect of body and soul to life. Bharatanatyam, as an art form, embodies the essence of the world around us. It encapsulates the movements of trees, flowers, breeze, birds, animals, and all living beings, enabling the dancer to communicate with both the external and internal worlds. This synergy between Bharatanatyam, nature, and self-expression goes beyond mere aesthetics, delving into profound narratives such as the Ramcharitmanas, vividly portrayed through the dancer’s solo performance.

Agony in imprisonment

Shruti embodies a spark of vibrant, contemporary creativity. Supported by her unwavering Guru, she explores modern interpretations of this traditional art form, crafting soul-stirring experiences through her dance, both for herself and her audience.

A vital member of the Aayam dance troupe, Shruti has amassed significant on-stage experience through enthusiastic participation in numerous group performances. Her portrayal of the iconic Sita in Aayam’s thematic production, Vaidehi, breathes new life into the character, offering a fresh interpretation of the epic narrative.

Shruti’s dance is a harmonious blend of exuberant joy and profound emotion, channeling grace and divinity with each movement. Alongside her Bharatanatyam training, Shruti is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in engineering, exemplifying a balance between tradition and modernity in her artistic journey.

Performance Highlights:

Each segment of Vaidehi encapsulates the essence of Bharatanatyam, blending intricate footwork, expressive gestures, and emotive storytelling to transport the audience into the heart of the Ramayana’s narrative, offering a fresh perspective on timeless tales.

Shri Ram Chandra Kripalu Bhajman:The performance starts with Shri Ram Chandra Kripalu Bhajman – a well-knownbhakti piece on Lord Ram. Written by Saint Tulsidas, this profound poetry expresses a deep admiration for Lord Ram’s awe-inspiring and beautiful characteristics. With each verse overflowing with adoration and humility, the piece exalts his divine magnificence.

श्री रामचन्द्र कृपालुभज मन हरण भव-भय दारुणम ्।
नव-कंज-लोचन कंज-मखु कर-कंज पद-कंजारुण॥ं
Set to Ragam Sindhu Bhairavi (राग सि धं ुभरैवी) and Talam Misra Chapu (मि स्र चाप)ू
Sung on stage by Shri G. Elangovan

Varnam: This was the longest and most elaborate segment consisting of jathis (rhythmic patterns) and abhinaya. The poetry is taken from Baal Kand of Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas. In the narrative, Sita finds herself deeply captivated by Ram’s beauty upon seeing him in the gardens of Mithila, but soon grows  dejected as she worries about him not being able to break Pinaak, Shiva’s bow. She heads to Devi Bhavani’s temple, expressing her devotion and humility through prayers and offerings. Devi, moved by Sita’s sincerity, bestows upon her a divine blessing,assuring her that her heart’s desire will be fulfilled, and she will have the one she adores as a beloved bridegroom.This moment marks a turning point in Sita’s journey, where her faith and devotion are rewarded with the promise of divine intervention in her love story with Ram.

Set to Ragam Bageshri (राग बागेश्री) and Talamaalika consisting of Chatusra Ekam (चतस्रु एकम) and Misra Chapu Taal (मि स्र चाप)ू Composed and sung by Shri Nitin Sharma

Padam:  “Suno Kapi ” is a pure abhinaya piece, based on the poetry of Surdas. The Padam depicts an emotional moment from epic Ramayana — when Hanuman reaches Ashok Vatika and gives Ram’s ring to Sita. In the confinement of Ravana, Sita, an incomparable beauty and an epitome of dedication, self-sacrifice, courage and purity, has turned into a picture of grief. In his inimical style, Surdas’s rendition of Sita diverges from her typical portrayal, highlighting her sarcasm amidst despair, showcasing a spectrum of emotions—from disillusionment to profound suffering and emotional anguish due to her prolonged separation from Ram.

सनु ुकपि वैरघनु ाथ नाहीं
Set to Ragam Sarangi and Talam Adi
Composed and sung by Shri Nitin Sharma

Thillana:   This is a rhythmic piece in carnatic music that is generally performed at the end of the repertoire. Thillana uses Tala phrases in the Pallavi, Anupallavi and lyrics in the Charnam. The Charanam of this thillana honors Shri Ram, the valiant son of Dashrath renowned for vanquishing Ravana and reuniting with Sita, and revered as the master of Hanuman.

Set to Ragam Bhimpilasi (राग भीमपि लासी) and
Triputa Taal (त्रि पटु ताल) in Khanda Jaati (खडं जाति )
Composed by Guru Govind Rajan Sung on stage by Shri G. Elangovan

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is a former Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he taught were: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won a total of nine Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Earlier he retired from Government of India as Director Environment Management, Central Water Commission and held many senior positions in the Government Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He was an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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