“I informed my father my wish to perform in front of an audience who didn’t have an opportunity to go watch a play, music or dance. He asked me to wait and later suggested the idea of performing in Puzhal prison,” she starts the conversation.
Sruuthi and her father met the jail superintendent and got the permission to perform for women inmates. “Though we planned a two-hour performance, it extended to three hours. I sang and played the keyboard. When I started singing, I noticed a big smile on their faces — they never expected an outsider to pay a visit and render music. Many recommended their favourite song and I happily sang for them. They became emotional — some cried and a few were lost in thoughts,” she shares.
It was a life-changing experience for the Grade 11 student from PSBB who was motivated to take various art forms to lesser privileged people. “The jail inmates appreciated my initiative and asked me to do more such programmes in the coming years. We all know how music therapy can calm down a person’s mind and help them focus more. And I have seen it in front of my eyes. It’s a holistic approach for reducing stress. I will definitely visit the Puzhal prison again and perform in front of the inmates,” quips Sruuthi.
On Sunday, she surprised the inmates of Vishranthi Home for Aged Destitute Women with a Bharatanatyam performance. “It was the eve of International Day for Older Persons and what better way to spend my day. Along with my father who is into theatre, I also acted in a play. The inmates told me that I reminded them of their grandkids; it was a heart-wrenching moment,” she says.
“I wanted to motivate people to spend their time and energy with elders especially when homes for the aged and retiring seniors are fast multiplying,” she sums up.