It is a joy to be at Kalakshetra's campus. Verdant, less quiet though than before and the moderate chill of Chennai setting in as dusk falls.
The lights come alive at Rukmini Arangham, large kolams welcome you: eco thoranams expressed creatively and dozens of students scampering to guide guests or show them their seats.
After a simple, on-time inauguration on December 20 evening, the USA Consul doing the honours, the first of the seven-part Ramayana series of dance-dramas unfolded.
To a big round of applause. The auditorium was full, the galleries spilling and a few lucky late arrivals managed to get tickets (we are told tickets are sold out for all the dramas).
And for the Kalakshetra regulars memories came flooding back while newbies drank in the colour, music and dance of the evening.
Outside, shops sold Kalakshetra's publication, textiles and souvenirs. They would have to wait till the day's drama got over.
It was good to see the Kalakshetra art fest re-start this year. This is perhaps the warmest fest of the Season. High on nostalgia, pride, heritage and community.
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