“So, I got married at 22 and my divorce is due on December this year. Things definitely didn’t work out. I suppose, it was because of my profession and I realised that, this is the age where I need to explore myself to become something in, let’s say 10 years. That is the time when I can actually settle down. Coming from a family of artists, no one asked me what I studied, rather which dance form I am learning. A different kind of pressure, that I had to deal with.”
How did, saving Kalasoudha come to your mind?
“I saw a lot of petitions and cries happening outside. Yes, I get the point that protests are one way to tackle them but all someone had to do was, talk to the concerned people about it. I basically just did that. I just went to them and told we deserve Kalasoudha. I met the joint commissioner personally, I didn’t even get 5 minutes of time with him. He just told me ‘We have called for a tender, apply it’. I had 7 people who applied for the tender (which is a lot in our line of work). The day I saw 7 people, I had given up and was ready to move on with life. 30 days later, we opened the website and realised that it was our name with another who were in contention. Then, with our credibility, we got the contract of maintaining Kalasoudha.”
How tough is it to have friends when you are an artist?
“Bottom line, the field I am in, is not a lucrative career. People of my age easily draw about 30000 to 35000 INR per month easily and for us artists, matching to their lifestyle is a tad bit difficult. Initial 2 years were very difficult and people usually looked at me and asked me ‘Wait, what is your job again? How do you make money out of this?’. Majority of the work, for us would be on the weekends and on weekdays, we would be slightly free. If I have to meet a friend, I have something in the morning and then some free time and then another meeting in the evening. Since a year, I have no social life. I have 3 or 4 friends who are very generous with me that they meet me whenever I am free.”
“I feel, being an artist, no matter any form, is a lifestyle and we need to adapt accordingly. I am unsure where to categorise myself but I am working majorly towards bringing dance, theatre and puppetry to the same platform. There is no negative side to a divorce. For who I am today, that divorce helped me in a lot of ways which others don’t get. I picture myself, 80 years old, in a nice wooden cabin, after a long life that I have lived, still reading a book, away from everything. I am Varshini Vijay”