She came to Madras to learn Bharatanatyam and assumed the name Menaka, as probably the ultimate among all the mythological seductresses. But her real name, she 'divulged' to but a few locals, was Verushka, and she claimed to be a Russian princess.
Upon her unrelenting persistence, I took pictures for her publicity brochures for performances in Paris and other European cities, despite my sense of inexperience in taking pictures of temples, but more especially, of people at long distances.
The then French Ambassador to India came to Madras, Pondicherry and Chidambaram to see her perform because, she said, she was royalty, exiled in France.
I never found out what she really was. I hear, though, that she is teaching Bharatanatyam and other dances in Europe, most probably in and around Paris.
This photograph was taken circa 1975.
Apsaras, the ultimate enchantresses of the Indian God world!
The title, the pose, the temple and the alias; describe it all. She probably shook the resident of the temple off his seat.
Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy said...
Tera gora badan
Jaise khilta hua ghulal
Zaalim teri jawaani
Qayamat tera shabab
Ai jaane chaman.....
Secondly, apsaras were rarely real; most of the time they were male demons or minor devas (demigods), sometimes even the god of demigods, Indra himself, who took the form of a female to seduce and shake the concentration of an ascetic trying to rise to divinity or proximity to it.
Menaka was among the most desirable of all (Urvasi, Rambha and Tilottama et al.) She broke the unbreachable Vishwamitra's penance and begat Shakuntala, who in a hurried copulation, joined Dushyanta and produced Bharata, to whom India owes its first Indian name.