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Happy reminiscing

RANJANI GOVIND

It was vintage Vaijayanthimala at the Sanskriti show.

PHOTO: V. GANESAN

MOVING MOMENT: Sudhir Kanakaria presenting Sanskriti `Kalashree' to Vaijayanthimala Bali.

Informal, natural and unusual... this would describe `Baharon Phool Barsao - A Musical Extravaganza,' an evening of felicitation to VaijayanthimalaBali from Sanskriti (affiliated to the Rajasthani Organisation of Tamil Nadu). This year's Sanskriti Kalashree-2005, given by the organisation every year on Kadradaan Day, was bestowed on VaijayanthimalaBali in recognition of her outstanding contribution to cinema and dance, said the representative of Sanskriti, as the yesteryear actress and danseuse, stunning in a vibrant Rajasthani attire, received the title from Sanskriti president, Sudhir Kankaria. "Ms. Bali doesn't need a formal intro, her achievements are known world-wide," said the announcer. "We are only trying to reminisce on her golden career and re-live some of her classic song-and-dance-sequences from her films," he added.

Song and dance

The choicest numbers from Vaijayanthimala's ouvre were brought on stage. Participants either danced to the original audio version or amateur-singers sang while the sequence was shown on gigantic screens.

What made the show at once simple and spontaneous was the decision to have Sanskriti members wield the mike and show solidarity in expressing a curious mixture of affection and appreciation to the actress-dancer-politician. Be it "Saiyya Dil Me Aana Re" from Vaijayanthi's first Hindi flick ``Bahaar" in 1951 (remake of AVM's Tamil version ``Vazhkai"), the gallops of the horse providing beats to "Maang Ke Saath Tumhaara" in ``Naya Daur," "Hothon Pe Aisi Baat" of ``Jewel Thief," the snake dance of "Man Dole Mere Tan Dole" of ``Nagin," the classical movements of the Bharatanatyam dancer in ``Amrapali," the ever-compelling-jig-number "Eena Meena Dheeka" in ``Aasha," the Bhojpuri specials of Ganga Jamuna to the numbers of the all-time-rage ``Madhumathi" and ``Sangam"... the audience lapped it all up. While appreciating Sanskriti's efforts Vaijayanthimala said, "I'm happy to be part of the golden era of the 1960s when the skill of an artiste mattered more in showcasing talent on screen, quite in contrast to the technology-driven appeal of today."

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