Kripa Baskaran is from Milwaukee, USA.
She and her US-based sishya Gayatri Vaidyanathan waited patiently for close to two hours before they got to offer their dance anjali at Chidambaram.
But Kripa didn't mind.
By then, half the audience had either gone into the temple on this Mahasivaratri morning, dozens fallen asleep on the sand made moist by a steady dew and at least five other groups and individuals waited out for their turn on stage.
She says she has been in Chennai for the famed December season but never managed to make it to Chidambaram. This year, she set her eyes on the Natyanjali and made it. In a day, she will fly off to the USA.
Gayatri too didn't mind the huge delay. As long as she got to perform her chosen two items.season but never managed to make it to Chidambaram.
She is a psychiatrist but her heart is for dance.
She has time and will go on to perform in a few more temples this week before moving on.
Her dad though has been by her side, arranging for photos and videos to be taken at all the venues.
For many like Kripa and Gayatri, the journey to Chidambaram is a pilgrimage of sorts. And this place has hosted dancers from Australia and Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Africa and of course, the USA