poet Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon

Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon

Dance 1 - Mudras

I am a seeker,
A bird soaring high in the sky!
In that moment of flying - - a blissful state in the air,
Where you are free- -full of space,
A vast expanse of azure blue sky!
I move my hands with gestures,
Like ‘Pataka', ‘Mudrakhya', ‘Kataka',
O! Is there a ‘Mushti' of strength?
To break away
From the dwarfed ‘Kartarimukha'!

Yes, of course!
For I am a ‘Shukatunda',
Not just a winged being that can fly,
But a lark as well that can sing,
Plaintive notes, so sweet and melodious!

My hands extend like wings,
My fingers formulating the ‘Mudras'-
‘Kapitha', ‘Hamsapaksha', ‘Shikhara'.
My feet in ‘Samapada' moves softly and gently,
Like a snow-white swan moving in calm waters.

With ‘Hamsasya' it is the beauty of the body
Fulfilling the yearning of the self!
With ‘Anjali'- the palms joined together,
It is the expression of devotion
For the Infinite!

With ‘Ardhachandra'-
The half moon,
Pointing in three directions,
It is life's vicissitudes
Undulating and swaying!

‘Mukura' and ‘Bhramara' are the bees that buzz,
Around the honey- filled blossoms
While' the proud peacock parades its hues.

Is that ‘Suchimukha' pointing a forefinger
At what you are or who?

‘Pallava' and ‘Tripataka',
Cautions you to limit your desires;
‘Mrigashirsa' is the four- legged animal
With two horns, standing firmly on the ground,
Protecting itself from the unpredictable!

Slimy and poisonous
Is the ‘Sarpashursa'
Yet, a friend of Siva,
Curled around his neck,
Like a jewel in the crown!

‘Vardhamanaka' is the ultimate seeker
Of‘Moksha' or salvation.
Depicting the selfish motives is the ‘Arala'
Thoughts wicked
To be thrown out of one's own mind!

And finally, in the ‘Hasta Lakshana Deepika'
We hold the ‘Urnanabha'-
The eternal dish of contentment
Enclosed in the inward-turned bud of ‘Mukula'
Encompassing the eternal values in its
‘Katakamukha' mudra- safe and secure.

With ‘Alapadma' of ‘Abhinayadarpana',
It is Ananda -
The expression of joy -
The fathomless bliss,
That all dancers strive for!

Let me dance, dance and dance,
Like the bird that flies
In the boundless skies,
Higher and higher- farther and farther
Up the wide, blue horizon!

Topic(s) of this poem: dance, philosophy, beauty

Poem Submitted: Friday, June 26, 2015
Poem Edited: Wednesday, June 5, 2019

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Mudras are hand gestures used in Indian classical dance. The 24 Mudras mentioned here are taken from the ancient text named ‘Hasta Lakshana Deepika'. These Mudras are utilised in dance styles of Kerala - Mohiniattam and Kathakali.
I have mentioned a Mudra named ‘Alapadma', profusely utilised in Mohiniattam, which is taken from the text called ‘Abhinayadarpana'.

Mudras are essential part of dance that depicts a meaning, portrays an expression, a feeling or emotion.
I have attempted to give a philosophical explanation and interpretation to the Mudras.

This is a photograph of mine in Mohiniattam costume and make up clicked by my husband - Radha krishna Menon.
The Mudra shown here is Kataka Mudra, the third Mudra of Hasta Lakshana Deepika. In this photo, the Mudras depict a necklace.

Rating Card

4,9 out of 5
34 total ratings
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Comments about Dance 1 - Mudras by Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon

  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (10/17/2020 5:25:00 PM)

    Let me dance, dance and dance,
    Like the bird that flies
    In the boundless skies,
    Higher and higher- farther and farther
    Up the wide, blue horizon! - - - - - - - - - - - - - -thank you with all my heart for opening up my heart to your dance movements and their depth of beauty faving this poem and giving it top marks far beyond the small amount PH offers!

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  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (10/17/2020 5:21:00 PM)

    Without your notes, I would have missed out on the extent and depth of lovely lines like this- - -> For I am a ‘Shukatunda',
    Not just a winged being that can fly,
    But a lark as well that can sing,
    Plaintive notes, so sweet and melodious!

    My hands extend like wings,
    My fingers formulating the ‘Mudras'-

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  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (10/17/2020 5:18:00 PM)

    Thank you so very very much for your Poet's Notes about this poem. I had no idea about this magic thing called mudra that makes the dance so full of beauty and enchantment. You have expanded my horizon to let more beauty in my life!

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  • Akhtar Jawad (9/23/2020 4:02:00 AM)

    nice informative poem on Nritya Mudras.

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  • Belle WassermeisterBelle Wassermeister (8/4/2020 11:09:00 AM)

    This is wonderful!
    I wish I could dance like this...

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  • Preeti maity (7/17/2020 3:27:00 AM)

    This poem is so unique. It perfectly describes the beauty of each mudra

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  • Manasi (6/18/2020 12:04:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem ma’am ... Amazing ...

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  • Shruthi Menon (6/11/2020 12:11:00 AM)

    a beautiful poem characteristic of mohiniattam dance

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  • Ravi Kopra (6/11/2020 12:01:00 AM)

    main ek unveshak hoon
    pakshi hoon uDti hua hawaa main
    us lehmain main, ananad milta hai hawaa main
    azzad ho jaati hoon main, neela akaash mera ho jaata hai!
    fir main haathoN se ishaaray karti hoon
    jaisay ‘Pataka', ‘Mudrakhya', ‘Kataka'......

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  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (6/10/2020 11:01:00 PM)

    Congratulations for being chosen this beautiful poem on Dance and Mudras once again as the member poem of the poem of the day. I want to cite here...Mukura' and ‘Bhramara' are the bees that buzz, / Around the honey- filled blossoms / While' the proud peacock parades its hues.

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  • Parameswaran Nair Damodaran Nair (6/10/2020 8:55:00 PM)

    contd....Many a congratulations dear Geeta Menon. It 's great on your part to introduce the Mudras to the PH members and readers it being the vital factor that constitute a classical dance like Bharatha Natya, Mohiniattam and Kathakali. You deserve a big 10

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  • Rose Marie Juan-austinRose Marie Juan-austin (6/10/2020 8:53:00 PM)

    A poetic gem.A one of a kind write that vividly
    portrays and describes a wonderful art.
    The superb imagery made me a witness
    of a beautiful culture, a wonderful dance and
    a captivating and skilled dancer.
    Liked the opening and ultimate stanzas that
    capture a wonderful attribute of a dancer who
    is likened to a bird that can fly freely without
    boundaries.
    Beautifully crafted and well executed write.
    Congratulations, Geeta for a truly deserved accolade.

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  • Akhtar Jawad (6/10/2020 8:51:00 PM)

    congrats! a nice poem on Indian Classical Dance.

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  • James MclainJames Mclain (6/10/2020 6:55:00 PM)

    Magnificent would be an understatement,
    My dear.

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  • Robert Murray SmithRobert Murray Smith (6/10/2020 2:52:00 PM)

    The dance of flight soars. A beautifully expressed poem.

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  • Prabir GayenPrabir Gayen (6/10/2020 1:24:00 PM)

    Yes, of course!
    For I am a ‘Shukatunda',
    Not just a winged being that can fly,
    But a lark as well that can sing,
    Plaintive notes, so sweet and melodious! ...
    ... beautiful

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  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (6/10/2020 12:26:00 PM)

    Gita is a seeker, a bird flying in the vastness of the skies searching........Very first verse is a sought of wonder.
    your dancing mnd, your poetic mind, your philosophic mind is a gift for all of us here in Poem Hunter.
    Congrats for becoming POD today. thank you. God bless you dear Gita. tony

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  • Bhargabi Dei MahakulBhargabi Dei Mahakul (6/10/2020 12:25:00 PM)

    You have to dance and you can dance continuously. No one can prevent you. You have deep devotion. You know all Mudras by God's grace. Vardhamanaka' is the ultimate seeker of, ‘Moksha' or salvation.When you dance with Mudras you express your trust towards God, self and audience with great satisfaction and trust. Let me congratulate you for your great success on this day. A lovely poem is dazzling on the home page today as the poem of the day. Congratulations!

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  • Glen KappyGlen Kappy (6/10/2020 11:36:00 AM)

    hey, geeta! i happened to check ph this morning and saw this poem of yours featured—glad to see it! i relate to you feeling like you're flying while dancing. in my case, though, i've had the feeling while swimming. how well you convey the sense of exaltation, of joy! —of your love for this art you've devoted your life to. -glen

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  • ABDUL QAYYUM MULLA (6/10/2020 11:30:00 AM)

    congratulation you are poetess of the day by this poem it could happen

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