Do You See?

SANGAM HOUSE: A Writing Residency Where I Learnt to Dance!

Three weeks in January 2012 had gone by in a whirr. That’s right. Whirr is the only way to put it. I arrived in Bangalore from Hyderabad early morning and got whisked away 35 km into a back country where the SANGAM HOUSE residency for writers is housed in the world-famous dance village “Nrityagram”.

As the 2012 Lavanya Sankaran Fiction Fellow, my stint at SH was amazing. Housed with writers from as far as Denmark, Sweden, Canada and Korea, mornings and nights in Nrityagram became one routine of rhythm and delight. Nrityagram, being the dance village, was a treat to the senses. To have world class Odissi dancers rehearse everyday to live music and drums in front of you is ecstatic and humbling at the same time. Did I learn to dance a bit? Sure! And if you ask me, that  is a dance where your heart beats happy, your eyes glint even while dreaming. your head churns poetry although you sleep. Ah, cliched, you say. Well, sometimes the only way is to say: “Sangam House, I love you. You made me happy!”

We all wrote a lot. Discussed. Argued. Took long walks. Photographed a bit. Played with resident dogs Guru, Swami and Thambi. Ate food grown right on the campus in the common kitchen with dancers and musicians. I tried learning a little Kannada from Mangala, our chaperon. Everything was awesome. The night. The quiet. The wilderness of the red red earth. The sudden gecko in my room. The ravens on their loud morning ruckus. The ankle bells and drums.

Words happened here. Sentences lay like long shadows. Punctuation marks were only our momentary distractions about a city life left behind, aided by the blue glow of the laptop screen.

See some photos here to get a feel of Sangam House, seen from my eyes.

Saying it again, it all went by in a whirr. Before I knew, I was in a cab to the airport, taking a flight to Delhi, missing my red earth, green clouds, ochre nights. It was blue me.


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This entry was posted on April 11, 2012 by in fiction, Nabina Das, poetry.
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