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In search of Devi... Mallika Sarabhai performance

Like a sudden clap of thunder, Mallika Sarabhai overwhelmed her audience with her dance recital: In Search of Devi - the inaugural cultural event of Osho World Foundation held in the capital on 15 April. The sheer power of her message of empowering women in this male dominated society held a jam packed hall of both male and female audience entrapped with her hour long solo performance. Drawing upon Indian heritage of Mahabharata and mythology, she raged like a tropical storm with the impact of her words, gestures and Bharatnatyam mudras. Before she took the stage, Osho's quotation on dancing proved prophetic. "When the dance really possesses you, when there really is a dance, the dancer is no more, the dancer has disappeared; he doesn't exist, said Osho. "The dance is so tremendously real that the unreal has to disappear before it."

From Mallika's perspective, the travails of Draupadi brought into sharp focus the suffering of women even today while the agony of Savitri ended with the inhuman act of sati it is enumerated with. Even issues like rape and sexual exploitation were her sensitivity. Basically, she explored the primal kinetic energy of Shakti through classical dance, story telling and mime. The shakti theme was illustrated with her feet painting; of a giant lion on a vast crimson screen to the pulsating rhythms of dance to thunderous applause.

This was her first performance in Delhi after creating a likeness of Lord Ganesha for visiting US President Bill Clinton a few weeks ago during the dinner hosted by the President of India. The show also marked the inaugural cultural celebration of Osho World Foundation in New Delhi aiming to contribute to the performing arts and public awareness of Osho's vision. The Vice President of India, Shri Krishan Kant, presided over this function and was presented with a bronze head, The Shunya Buddha created by famous sculptor K. S. Radha Krishanan. Among the distinguished guests present in the auditorium were Shri Shatrughan Sinha, MP; Shri Vijay Goel, MP; Shri Ved Prakash Goel, MP; Shri Surendra Sharma noted poet and humourist; Ms Pratibha Prahlad, noted dansuese; Shri D. K. Karthikeyan, Director General of National Human Commission; among other dignitaries.

After Mallika's performance, Ma Yoga Neelam, Osho's Personal Secretary presented with a Master's Key on behalf of Osho World Foundation.

As they streamed out of the hall, the audience brooded over the stark reality of a woman's plight and suffering in a male dominated world since eternity. Truly, Mallika provoked everyone to search for the devi.

I'm Osho Spiritual Slave' declares Ram Jethalmani Opening Osho World at Ansal Plaza, New Delhi, Union Law Minister Shri Ram Jethmalani recalled that he started as Osho's lawyer and ended up as his spiritual slave and that's what he remains to this day. Recalling his association with Osho, he said in 1975 he was called to defend Osho. "My problem was that Osho had an allergy to attend court and my brief was that he should not attend court for a single day. I succeeded."

In those days, some people were trying to belittle his work and to discredit him but since then they have become his admirers, said Mr Jethmalani. "Today, when I meet them they tell me they are prepared to render any service to Osho if for nothing else only to make penance for their past sins," he revealed.

"I believe Osho was an intellectual giant," declared the Law Minister. "I believe his intellectual output is mind boggling and I believe that it would a great pity if the whole of India and indeed the whole world is not exposed to his great intellectual output as Osho is one of the greatest men this country has ever produced."

Osho left us over a decade ago and while it is no longer possible to touch him in flesh and blood, it is certainly possible to do the next best thing and get exposed to what he left behind.

This is now possible at Osho World said Mr Jethmalani urging everyone to become acquainted with Osho's vision through his books, audio and videocassettes.

Mr Jethmalani was presented with a giant "Master's Key" with which he opened Osho World Galleria and among other guests presented with a similar Master's Key were humourist and poet Surendera Sharma, Director General of Human Rights Commission, D. R. Karthikeyan, famous dancer Pratibha Prahlad, Ms Arti Mehra MLA.

Osho's Personal Secretary Ma Yog Neelam welcomed the guests by recalling her reminiscences of Osho over 30 years and Swami Vinod Bharati (Shri Vinod Khanna MP) proposed a vote of thanks during which he recalled his disciplehood with his master over a quarter of a century.


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