to all folks who live, work or who are fated to be in the vicinity of San Jose, Cupertino area for the next couple of days. The warning is for the below outlined specific denizens:
Specially the non-desis that are non-telugus.
Specially more so for the non-telugus who don’t care for dancing. Indian dance.
Or any subsets of the above, either by union or intersection. Outliers need to be even more careful.
What’s happening there?
Kuchipudi is happening.
Yeah, as in the Kuchipudi, the dance of Andhra. Tons of kuchipudi dancers are descending on the area.
The organizers searched high and low for a venue. They looked all over from touristy Niagara to misty Seattle, to the picturesque New England to the sunny Florida, they even debated on the Texan ranches to the dry Detroit. It was either too hot, too non-andhra-ish, scarce desi restaurants, and then they did a per sq foot count. Figured why not take the state’s dance to its adopted state outside of India.
California of course!
So, what should you be on the lookout for?
- While you are peacefully cruising along the sunny roads, not only would you see another telugu next to you at the signal as it is wont, but chances of seeing a completely bedecked dancer doing a “thaka diku thomthaka dina” across the crossing is very high.
- You may suddenly also feel the ground shaking below you. Fret not. It is not a tremor. It is the forces of 200 or so dancers stamping their feet to the beats of Jatheeswaram together. A guiness record in the making I hear.
- Consistent jingling for the 3 days. Tinnitus it is not. The bells around the dancers feet would jingle to various beats as various workshops are filled to the brim.
- Sudden increase in female population, dressed to the teeth in silks, stage makeup and paper flowers each having their own accents, texan drawl, the Yankee, the southern accent and more.
- An occasional middle-aged and elderly man in the midst of all these cackling women.
- Yells of “akka” , “mastergaru” , “aunty” filling the air.
- More specifically one may hear in passing dialogs like: “emito, pataakaniki tripatakaniki theda teleedu, veellandaru yakhanga thillanalu chesestunnaru. En chestam mastergaru?” or “aramandi edey, neeku savalaksha saarlu cheppanu, nuvvekkada vintavu, na paruvu teestunnavu kadey” or “emiti, ee pantu ee shirtu vesukuni bayataki velalla? na bonda, suitu bootu, cha, en chandalam idi! Chi chi, America America antoo chankalu guddu kuntoo egabadi ekkesanu flightu, chastunnananuko.” or “inka nayam, aa Udipi vadi punyama antu, rendu idli mukkalu mana mohana padesadu, lekapote, endi poyina bread mukkalu kukkaki padesinattu, mana mohana padesaru ee hotel vaallu” or “Taalam tapputondamma, manasu drishti jathi lo pettu. Aa dikkulanni ee item ayyina taruvata choosuko, aapute, nee meeda vottu” etc etc. (Sorry non-telugus, translating those would just kill it all.)
Jokes apart, there’s a huge Kuchipudi convention happening at the Flint Center off the Stevens Creek Blvd in Cupertino, organized by the Silicon Andhra and it would be an experience of a lifetime. Big names in teh field, reputed dancers, established teachers, performers, my own Mastergaru, the troupe, and various kuchipudi students, teachers and institutions across United States are congregating there since Friday for the weekend. For a dancer, this would be an amazing experience, to see them all together on stage. Thinking about it gives me goosebumps. (Not linking, as I don’t want to get backtracked, but google away if interested)
I physically will be here at home, but my mind would be wandering around the area. Somehow, Cupertino and I are jinxed.