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MEERA - Beyond Devotion

Meera is a legend. She is immortal. The word that strikes instantly when one thinks about Meera is “Devotion”.  She is known for being the most ardent devotee of Krishna. But, do we know the other side of Meera? The side that was probably hidden to project her only as a saint. Understanding Meera only through her poetry would be an injustice to her. “Meera - the saint”, “Meera - the woman” and “Meera - the poet” are three completely different aspects of her life.  “Meera – Beyond Devotion” is an exploration of the rebellious and revolutionary facets of Meerabai’s personality.

A Kathak dancer, who is reading about Meera, is intrigued by her life’s struggles and choices. To understand, she decides to explore the different questions that arise in her mind during the research. As she progresses, she begins to realize that Meerabai was not only a devotee, but also a rebel who stood against those norms of the society that degraded women and put endless restrictions on them. By standing against the popular practice of Sati and breaking all the barriers to follow her own spiritual path, she inspired thousands of women. But was taking the spiritual path, a conscious choice made by Meera?

In 16th century Rajasthan, when women were under many restrictions, Meera would sing Krishna bhajans and dance in front of men who called her impudent, immodest and shameless.  Why was it so difficult for the society to accept a woman who was following her own path without harming anyone in the process? Was it because she did not fit in the image of an “Ideal Woman”?  At many places it is said that Meera was a very well educated and a politically aware woman which would make her think practically. Then why did she decide to devote her life to someone who did not exist physically?

The performer explores these questions and starts relating to Meera’s life at different levels. The questions arise from Meera’s time and age but she can find the relevance of it today as well. Isn’t Meera present within every woman even today?

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