Arushi (Right) and Saindhavi (Left) with ‘Bombay’ Gnanam, director of the play
Two young artists Arushi Vibu and Saindhavi Prasanna are part of the play Bhaja Govindam, doing popular rounds on the city’s stages recently. The play written, directed and staged by veteran artist Bombay Gnanam’s Mahalakshmi Ladies’ Drama Group, is about the teachings of Adi Sankara as conveyed by Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal.
Arushi, who plays the role of young Adi Sankara, is a class 5 student of Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Mylapore. She was introduced to the troupe by her teacher in school, Ms. Shyamala Srivatsan, who is also a part of the troupe.
Juggling her time between school, Bharathanatyam, Carnatic music and yoga classes along with the rehearsals for stage plays, Arushi keeps her cool. She says, “Mom helps me a lot and almost everyone around me helps me out in some way. So my work becomes much easier.”
Arushi enjoys her role in the play. She says,”Everyone in the troupe is my favourite and because they’re all very sweet to me, I enjoy a lot working with them. It becomes very easy for me and the rest of us to act because Gnanam aunty demonstrates to us everything that we’ve to do on stage.”
This gifted young girl has also acted in an advertisement of a leading pickle brand and in the song ‘Kannukkul pothhivaipen’ in the movie Thirumanam ennum nikkah.
“I feel better doing this male role as Sankara because I can always do female characters but this is very rare,” adds Arushi. Quizzing her about what she wants to become in future, Arushi confidently replied saying that she desires to become a chartered accountant.
Another little talent Saindhavi Prasanna, a class 3 student of PSBB KK Nagar, was introduced to the troupe by a former member of the group, Ms. Gowri. Young Saindhavi too, manages to allot and finds time between school, Bharathanatyam classes, Carnatic music classes and her acting.
Saindhavi’s favourite subject is Mathematics and she loves drawing. She says she wants to become an art teacher when she grows up.
“I just love this troupe. Everyone in the troupe is really nice to me. Even if I or anyone else commits mistakes, Gnanam aunty corrects us very softly and courteously. Arushi and I love performing on-stage and we never get nervous or stage fright,” adds Saindhavi.
The backbone of the troupe, Smt. Gnanam Balasubramanian aka Bombay Gnanam says that both Arushi and Saindhavi are extremely diligent, responsible and talented. Smt. Gnanam went further stating that Arushi has an in-built natural skill that makes her enhance the character and play it perfectly on stage and Saindhavi takes so much interest in playing even the very small role given to her. She adds that she would definitely rope in these kids for her next play.