Published on Thursday, January 12, 2010 @ 1640 hrs. IST
The second day of the Sports Festival belonged to the students of Prasanthi Nilayam. It was a carnival of colour from the students of Sri Sathya Sai Primary School and Easwaramma High School while the students of Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School and Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning presented a programme of gymnastics and roller skating with interludes of dances with lights.
On this evening, Bhagawan came to Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium at 1715 hrs. preceded by a motorbike escort squad. The procession also had the pageantry of lion dance from the Institute, dragon dance from the Primary School and the brass band of Brindavan students. The first to perform in this session were the students from Sri Sathya Sai Primary School. “Universe is a Divine Play in His Safe Hands” was the backdrop for their programme. It conveyed that Bhagawan’s outstretched, all-embracing hands were protecting the universe. As in the previous years, there was a riot of colours in the performance of Sri Sathya Sai Primary School with a mix of gymnastics. The first presentation was a dance by the students from the girls section to a song which conveyed that they are unable to comprehend what merit they have done in their previous birth to be in the Divine Presence, to have the invaluable Darshan of the Lord in human form.
The next performance was floor exercises typically performed by gymnasts. The students somersaulted and crossed human hurdles after getting elevation from a ramp. Gymnastic feats on a structure was their next performance. The balancing acts performed head downwards, one holding the other and Dhanur Asana (Asana in the pattern of a bow) were performed with dexterity and skill. There was also a display of dragon dance and lion dance.
Girls dressed as Gopikas with Lord Krishna in their midst was the next performance. This dance transported the audience to the Vraj Brindavan days of Dwapara. A colourful dance with kites by the tiny tots, a Kavadi dance – traditionally performed by Lord Muruga devotees in Tamil Nadu and a peacock dance by the tiny tots won the hearts of the audience. A dance by girls with flowers arranged in a semicircular pattern; the speciality of this dance was the colours of flowers kept changing in a trice just by swaying to and fro. This spectacle won the plaudits of the audience. With this performance, the presentation of Primary School students came to a close. All the students converged for the final formation with placards displaying “We are Yours”.
Smt. Easwaramma English Medium School, the new entrant to this Sports and Cultural Festival, gave a good account of themselves with a short performance of dances and floor exercises choreographed to perfection. They ended the session with a formation showing WE LOVE YOU SAI declaring loudly to Bhagawan that, YOU ARE OUR EVERYTHING.
The last performance for the evening session was the students from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School and Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music. At the outset, a few students wheeled in a huge monolith idol of Lord Krishna playing flute towards the dais for their Lord to see and behold the efforts they had put in over a number of days to create this masterpiece.
The performances of the Prasanthi Nilayam students was a healthy mix of sinew and skill. The first item was gymnastics on vaulting horse, parallel bars and balancing acts on a structure. All these were done with agility, dexterity and skill. Events like parallel bars and vaulting horse require a lot of practice to perform even by professionals. The students exhibited these skills quite adeptly. Roller skating, another event displayed by the students exhibited their raw power. The speed of skaters moving in tandem, crossing hurdles, ramp jump over six students, jumping over a wall and jumping over a wall of fire is worth mentioning here.
Unity Cup 2011, an exhibition of cricket strokes and catching skills was the next presentation. One may recall a cricket match was conducted at Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium in the year 1997 and Unity Cup was presented to the then captain of Indian cricket team Sachin Tendulkar. Cricketers from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and England participated in the match. The students on this occasion made an attempt to bring back those memories with a live cricket match between India and the Rest of the World which ended in a tie. There was also a live practice session with the bowling machine delivering balls at 200 km/hr.
The next item was a display of harmony in lights, titled ‘star wars’. Students made various formations like the wave formation with wands of light. The final item of the Prasanth Nilayam campus was lion dance by the Prasanthi Lions. The lions danced gleefully glittering with lights making the grand stand balancing on one leg and climbing a structure with ease to the delight of everyone.
All the students converged for the final formation. A display of fireworks followed. Arati was offered to Bhagawan at 1910 hrs. Thus ended the Annual Sports and Cultural Festival of Sri Sathya Sai Educational Institutions at Prasanthi Nilayam.