The Dikshitars are not going to like it when they are told that they are like the police. The police of their own space. And at Chidambaram, that space now is the lord Nataraja Temple.
Not all of them are stiff, severe and cold.
But surely the ones who now host the dance festival are.
When we stepped into the temple campus at about 1.30 p.m. the gates were shot tight; only contractors and their vehicles were allowed in.
"The dances start at 4. Come then, " said a stern Dikshitar, at his post. It took some convincing to get in and take a look at the venue. To his credit, he softened when we chatted him about the temple kumbhabishekam in May.
At the festival stage, a group of young Dikshitars held fort. No photos from the sides, no entry into artistes area. They shooed away people who looked nosey to them.