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ARTICLES :DNA

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PutijaChalhov

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Posted: 20 April 2012 at 4:45am | IP Logged

Raai dancers up, close & personal

After Hrs meets with the Bedia community on whom Zee TV's new show is based

Prachi Kadam l Sagar

Among the several folk dances popular in India is the Raai dance, that the girls of the Bedia tribe hailing from the interiors of Madhya Pradesh perform. But what sets this community apart is that the men of this community don't do any work. The community has certain old customs, associated with the dance form that the girls have to abide by and the recently launched Zee TV show Phir Subah Hogi, highlighjts the plight of the Bedia girls. After Hrs took a trip to the Bedia community villages in Sagar near Bhopal and met the locals to know more about Raai dancers and their lives.
We spoke to two Raai dancers, Sangeeta and Urmila. While Urmila claimed to take up Raai dancing as a passion, 30-year-old Sangeeta reveals that she's been dancing for more than 10 years now. "I lost my parents at a very young age and my maternal uncle decided that like my mother, I should take up Raai and my Sardhakai happened at the age of 20," says Sangeeta.
Explaining the custom of Sardhakai, she adds, "When a Thakur chooses a young girl from the community for himself, it is similar to a wedding, but minus the pheras. Once the Sardhakai is done then the girl becomes the Thakur's official mistress. Once girls start to do Raai, they can only get Sardhakai done and can never marry as per the traditions."
"My Sardhakai was done by a Thakur who already had children, and his daughter had married a couple of years ago. I was barely years older to his daughter. Today I have two children with him, but his real wife and I share a cordial relationship," reveals Sangeeta as she prepares for her Raai performance.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Urmila, confesses that actor Madhuri Dixit's dancing style prompted her to get into Raai. "I studied till 8th standard, but then I realised I am a performer, and I wanted to perform those killer moves that people often go crazy for today. I know I am very beautiful and so just one year in the business, I have refused many Sardhakai offers made to me. I want to do Sardhakai with someone who loves me, not my body. But, right now I'm more concerned about dancing than anything else," says Urmila.
She also accepts that unlike her, there are girls who have made a mark in their community by going against the traditions and completing their education.



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PutijaChalhov

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Posted: 20 April 2012 at 4:47am | IP Logged

Narayani is back

After a long hiatus, the actor returns to TV with Zee's Phir Subah Hogi

Chaya Unnikrishnan

Actor Narayani Shashtri, who had been missing in action for almost two years is back to the small screen with Zee TV's new show Phir Subah Hogi. In her comeback role, she plays a mother to a grown-up daughter and a mistress to Ravindra Mankhani's Thakur Jwala Singh. That's not all. The actor who had pariticipated in the dance reality show Zara Nach Ke Dikha gets an opportunity to shake a leg again, as the Bedia tribe, on which the serial is based is known for its Raai dance.
The last time Narayani was seen on the tube was in Meethi Choori No 1. The actor, however dismisses it as a "one-off thing". Instead, she prefers to wax eloquent about "one of her favourite shows Namak Haram", which she did three years ago about an idealistic woman who fights for the rights of villagers.
In her new show, Phir Subah Hogi, Narayani's character Gulabia supports her daughter Sugni when she rebels against the Sardhakai custom, wherein the girls from the Bedia tribe end up being mistresses to wealthy Thakurs. Though the entire tribe forces Sugni to follow the custom, Gulabia staunchly supports her daughter's stance to have a normal married life. As Narayani says, "The story is about finding hope under testing situations. It brings to light the heinous crime of women's exploitation in the name of customs and rituals."
In fact, it was the role that pulled Narayani from her long hiatus. "After Namak Haram, I was looking at doing something on the same lines and Gulabia appealed to me," says the actor who didn't want to be part of the saas-bahu sagas and took a break to quench her wander lust. "I was travelling to different places and I thoroughly enjoyed it," she smiles.
However, what is surprising is that she has agreed to make a comeback with a role that has her playing an older character. "The role is so strong and colourful that there was no way I could refuse it," she says.

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Posted: 20 April 2012 at 5:25am | IP Logged
Thanks for sharingSmile

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Posted: 20 April 2012 at 6:00am | IP Logged
 Thank you Chalhov for sharing!

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Posted: 20 April 2012 at 1:26pm | IP Logged
Thanks for sharing..

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Posted: 21 April 2012 at 12:57am | IP Logged
TFS ~Smile~

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Posted: 21 April 2012 at 7:12am | IP Logged
thanks for sharing 

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Posted: 21 April 2012 at 4:28pm | IP Logged
Thanks for sharing.

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