ONLINE: Nehha Bhatnagar creates pathos for slain mother and baby elephant through Bharatanatyam

Nehha Bhatnagar (Pic: Anoop Arora)

At times, you hear or see something so cruel that regardless of who the victim is, you want to raise your voice and scream against that barbaric attack. A little while back, there were inhuman attacks on elephants in India. The one that received the widest condemnation was the inhuman one in which a pregnant elephant was fed a fruit filled with firecrackers, leading to her and her baby’s death.

Young Bharatanatyam dancer Nehha Bhatnagar has expressed her emotions on this in her own way through dance. In the video she has put up on YouTube, the green surroundings of the Boondall Wetlands Nudgee Beach in Brisbane and the music by Ricky Kej immediately draw you in and from the first moment, you are immersed in the reality of the mother elephant and her baby. The shy baby elephant reluctantly follows his mother, who wants to take it to the river to experience the joy of bathing. Neha expresses this emotively through her eyes, showing the reluctant baby and a loving and coaxing mother. At first, it cannot figure out how to bathe itself but once it has enjoyed the cool showers from its mother’s trunk, the baby elephant enjoys it thoroughly. When told to come away, it reluctantly follows his mother back.

Nehha performed the flapping of the ears, the movements of the elephants and especially the gait of the little one very beautifully and thoughtfully, bringing out the interaction between the two. Eventually, the pathos lay in the fact that this was not so. It would have happened only if the baby had lived to see the day. It immediately brings tears to your eyes and somewhere, a bit of shame at being human. Nehha danced the joy of the elephants and through that, her own grief at their lost lives.

Watch the video here: