Here are some comments by Mallika from Australia
Awards- a very attractive enchanting word, I’d say bewitching too.
What is it- recognition, an aim, happiness, contentment, starting or a finish, success or just a passing phase? It means different thing to different things to different people. But when one wins or gets it, there is always a queue of discussions, questions over the credibility of the award and the person who won it. It is more apparent in the field of arts.
This topic is a germination of something that happened recently. A well known (???) dancer (!!!???) Padma Chebrolu won a Dada Rafiki award. It was shocking to say the least. I know of her talents only thru a performance CD which one of the dance students had. When I saw it, I immediately took it away from the student and said if she follows such examples, she might have to spend double the time in unlearning. Such was the dance performance. I don’t mean to demean anybody or the artist’s efforts. Personally I strongly endorse achieving talent if not born with it.
Later I came to know that she is a full time software engineer. Now that’s where the difference lies. When art become a part of your life- u remain a mediocre. When art becomes your life- you excel and yes all your responsibilities fall in place, because your focus is on the art u r pursuing, to achieve that, all your other jobs which now seem trivial to u, u plan and organise. When art is just a part of your life, no matter how important it is, you still have reasons for not focussing on it completely.
Coming back to the topic, and continuing with the above mentioned example, I’d rather prefer some more talented artist had that award, who really deserves it, not only because of her efforts, but because of the way the artist feels about the art- being life itself. Such artists I look forward to be recognised and felicitated, and on such artist’s strong and reliable shoulders should rest the greatest responsibility of being an ambassador or ‘Artistic Director of Cultural Centre of Indian art and culture, nurtured thru ages and preserved by sacrifices. Is India listening?