Jamshedpur : Padma Bhushan Teejan Bai, pandavani artist from Chhattisgarh has said that Pandavani is not just my art or your art, it is the country’s art and we all should be proud of it.
Teejan Bai went about her tough life, thinking about her art, infusing it with new emotions and thoughts. “I have never sat down for riyaz. I was always at it, so I never gave it special, dedicated time,” she explains.
She is on a five day visit to the steel city to perform at 10 places. The visit is a Spic Macay programme sponsored by Tata Steel. Pandavani is a way of telling stories of incidents from the Mahabharata especially the story of the Pandavas.
The name is derived through the term’pandavas’. Among the students of the Vidya Bharati Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Teejan Bai performed her most well appreciated performance-the Draupadi Cheer Haran.
Later she also performed at the Tata auditorium. The other places where she will perform pandavani are Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, Potka, Ghatshila, Sundernagar, Musabani; Geetilata High School, Sidhu Kanhu School, Dimna; Tirildih High School; The Padma Shree and Padma Bhushan and also an international artist who has been around the globe started performing pandavani at 13.
She was discouraged because it was a male bas- tion. However, she continued in spite of all odds and that paid her off making the art popular across the country and the world. “My mother was frustrated with my obsession.
This is not for women, she would tell me hundred times a day. She would beat me, kick me, pull me by my hair and throw me out of the house for the whole night, starve me… but I was not the kind to budge.
Not even hunger scared me. After her rage died down, she would gather me in an embrace and weep helplessly. I would also weep with her,” remembers Teejan Bai. “Life in the village was not easy.
It was very humiliating for my mother with a daughter like me,” she explains. Teejan Bai was married when she barely six years old. By 12, her husband’s family sent word of their refusal to accept a “singingdancing” daughter-in-lawand by 13 Teejan Bai had given her first public performance.