NARTHAKI NATARAJ - Dance is her identity
She was born as Natarajan in the temple town of Madurai, her name a portent of her destiny. What Narthaki Nataraj is today is the culmination of years of struggle, grit, hope and a burning desire to overcome the demons within. Ostracised from her family and community for being the third gender, Narthaki found her identity and happiness in dance.
In a tiny street in the heart of Mylapore, Narthaki and her soulmate Sakthi live in a flat which reverberates with the sound of the tattukazhi and dancing feet. Perhaps the surroundings remind them of their early years in Madurai with its rich cultural and religious landmarks. Like early Sangam poetry, the city of Madurai seemed to reflect their inner ambiguity and contradictions. The legend which surrounds the goddess of this temple strangely resonates with Narthaki’s own struggle. Born with three breasts, Meenakshi was raised as a boy until she discovered her femininity. Narthaki remembers growing up with these legends and the iconography of Chokkanadar and the graceful Meenakshi.
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