SOUND & LIGHT (SON ET LUMIERE) SHOWS
1. The sound and light show at the Somnath temple in Gujarat is spectacular to say the least. The Arabian Sea lashes the shores around it and the temple stands in its modern glory nearby, with the Triveni Sangam of three rivers, Hiranya, Kapila and Saraswati nearby. No one knows the antiquity of the temple, except that mythology says that the Moon God built it first. It was desecrated first by Mahmud Ghazni in 1076 AD. Resurrected by several rulers in the following centuries, it was repeated ransacked by Islamic invaders, the last being Aurangzeb. It was finally reconstructed after India’s Independence, under the leadership of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first Home Minister, to symbolize the rebuilding of India as a nation. The show tells the story of this temple which is among the 12 holy Shiva temples of India.
The Somnath Temple Sound and Light Show is a proud achievement for me. I visited the temple several times to write the script and design the music. Working with Ratan Mohan Sharma and Bhavdeep Jaipurwale to create the music was a dream! Ratan is the nephew of Pandit Jasraj!
2. The sound and light show on the Ganga Water Show hopes to start soon. It will happen on the banks of the river in Haridwar, Uttaranchal. The show tells the story of Ganga with each tributary of the river and traces the mythology and history of the holy river from Goumukh to the Bay of Bengal through coloured water fountains. Added inputs are folk tales, music, religious literature, writings of saints along its banks, especially Adi Shankaracharya, and holy cities on its banks. The Ganga is India’s most sacred river and is presently the subject of a World Bank Project which hopes to bring back its pristine purity.
3. The sound and light show at the Udaygiri/Khandgiri Prehistoric Caves in Orissa is special because it will prove that Orissa or ancient Kalinga was the birthplace of non-violence and peace as political strategies 2000 years ago! Emperor Kharavela, whose Hathigumpha Rock Inscription stands in the caves, gives a glimpse of the grandeur and wealth of India even in prehistoric ages. Kharavela was instrumental in the spread of Jainism to the southern and western parts of India. The show also covers Emperor Ashoka’s Dhauli Rock Inscription for peace. This is a few km. from the caves.
Few knew that Peace and Non-violence as political strategies were initiated in India by Emperors Kharavela and Ashoka 2000 years ago! These fabulous caves in Orrisa and the Dhauli inscription nearby are witness to the great past of India which is described in the sound and light show.
4. Sound and light show at the Nayakar Palace in Madurai. This magnificent palace stands as a sentinel to South India’s rich and fabulous history when great temples and monuments were built. Partly built by the Vijayanagar kings, the temple and the palace are world renowned monuments visited by hordes of tourists each year. Madurai is one of India’s richest temple towns with the temple of Meenakshi at its heart. The temple, dedicated to the Goddess Meenakshi, boasts great sculptures and grand proportions.
Every evening, the impressive Nayakar Palace in Madurai, Tamil Nadu comes to life with a sound and light show which tells the history of the building of the monuments in this historic city. I wrote the English version of the script for this show.
AUDIO VISUALS / FILMS
5. As a passionate traveller, I had the opportunity to travel all over India during my work as Editor Femina. Later, I travelled several times to the Himalayas and saw India’s magnificent rivers from their origin to the point where they merged with the ocean. Out of this observation of rivers and life along their banks, was born my Audio Visual show Sacred Rivers of India, which had music and dance as well as all information in it.
The Ganga is a cascading, often frightening river in the Himalayas. As she tumbles down the craggy mountains from Gangotri, she mirrors the rainbows in the sky above and creates beautiful vistas. Only when she touches the plains in Haridwar can one safely bathe in the river. In Gangotri, one can only bathe with buckets of water. Entering the raging waters is forbidden.
The Ganga, which flows smoothly in the plains, is a powerful torrent in Gangotri. Part of the audio visual on Sacred Rivers of India, this picture shows a sadhu praying on the banks of the Bhagirathi in Gangotri.
6. In many fashion presentations which I did for the Government of India, I created audio visuals to promote India and its textile heritage. I also wrote the script of Circle of Red, a documentary for the Government of India. It centred around the ‘bindi’ and traced the romance behind the red circle. The film was shown in many international festivals including the Oberhausen and Moscow Festivals and won prizes!