“No man steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
Presidency School Bangalore South’s Annual Day 2018-19 ‘Rally for Rivers...’, aimed not just to be an amalgamation of sand art, dance, theatre, script and voice over and theme-based music performances, but with three shows spread across a period of one grand day, we hoped to drive home a far greater message. Our country’s rivers are in dire need of conservation today, conservation that must bloom from empathy and an inherent sense of responsibility towards nature. It is these greater goals that we aimed to achieve and instill in the minds of our audience. All three shows were graced by eminent chief guests in the fields of theatre, dance, and music- Ms. Manasa Joshi for show 1, Ms. Preethi Prasad for show 2 and Ms. S. Aiswarya, the great granddaughter of Bharat Ratna M. S. Subbulakshmi, for show 3.
With each passing day, the water levels in the rivers across the globe inch closer to a standstill. As we look towards the future of the planet, an ominous thought looms over us: the thought that the next world war to be fought will not be over all the superpowers in the world, not for race or prestige or recourses, especially oil, but over water. The theme was intrinsically woven with the pan – India movement under the same banner initiated by the Isha Foundation. Conceptualized by our Principal, Mrs. J Bhuvaneshwari, this unique theme was chosen for this annual day because it resonates powerfully with the deep felt need to conserve our rivers today.
‘Rally for Rivers’ was about India, her rivers and the connection between them and humanity. The greatness of India lies in her rivers. Our country is blessed with innumerable rivers that span its length and breadth. Each river has its own significance and has impacted people in ways beyond expression. Yet, a few rivers stand out as they are symbolic of the land they flow through and embody its culture and demographics. The Ganga, Brahmaputra, Cauvery and Godavari are four mighty rivers that flow through the four cardinal geographical regions of the country and are diverse in their own ways. Still, they all come together to encapsulate the very essence of India and her rivers. It is through the tale of these emblematic rivers that we hoped to convey the theme.
Behind every talented performance that we witnessed that day was a passionate young heart that burnt with the desire and power to help conserve the environment. In each mellifluous melody of our choir, we hoped to reveal an eye-opening account of the need to protect the legacy of our rivers. In each enchanting movement of our dancers lay the message that we need to take accountability for our actions and join hands to undo our wrongs. In each story that was told and in every work of art that was seen there was the reminder: The Earth doesn’t belong to us, we belong to the Earth. We carry on our shoulders the responsibility of undoing the wrongs of a treacherous past, but we also wield the pens that shall scribe the future.
This was but a humble attempt to contribute to a global cause of joining the rivers, saving our ecosystems and conserving nature. But it was an important one for, no mind is as impressionable as a child’s. Children are our future. We need to give them a riverside to dream about, a clear sky to soar in and pristine waters to ride waves of change. For this, we had come together. Each minute spent here was a promise. A promise to ourselves to choose right over easy, a promise to the future to give them the beautiful nature they deserve, unharmed; a promise to the world to protect nature like it has protected us all these years; a promise to nature to love her as our mother: a promise to the rivers of our country.