As a student of Kalakshetra, I was very fortunate to get opportunities to experience the performances of great stalwarts in the art field and being in Chennai had the opportunity to witness many performances that were novel. Amidst all this, there were many times that I used to shy away, to confidently admit that I am a dancer. No doubt my alma mater has given me all the ingredients that would make me a dancer. Perhaps it was my appetite to understand the purpose of dance which was never answered the way I expected it to be. That’s why I was confused if I could claim to be a dancer. I felt, since I do not understand what and why am I meant to be dancing for, I developed a notion that perhaps I am not that ‘Dancer’ material. Then the question is, how and why did I end up in a dance school? I was a regular Bi.PC student preparing for the rat race. I did run. But ran away from the conventional education system - wanted to be different. Luck couldn’t favor me more with supportive parents allowing me to buy time to understand what I want to do ‘in life’ and ‘with life’! I ended up landing in this beautiful world “Kalakshetra”, where sky is the limit for one to learn.
I still remember the first question I faced sitting under the banyan tree, from a freelance cinematographer. God knows which channel’s coverage that was to be, which perhaps never saw the light of commercial viewing. However, my photographic memory will never delete that million dollar gleaming smile of mine, feeling on top of the world, while representing as the 1st year student of this great place, answering to how do I feel being a part of Kalakshetra. I remember, I said, it’s like giving me the moon. Was I any different? Perhaps no, but when I was asked to take foreign visitors for a tour of Kalakshetra, by our beloved Director Rajaram Sir, explaining them nuances of dance (still a 1st or 2nd year student) I would with much confidence tell them, not to lose their heart when they questioned innocently, “dance is not everyone’s cup of tea - what do you think one must have to become a dancer?” and I would answer, “no, I think all that one needs here is legs, hands, eyes, ears and the willingness or attitude to learn”. Even then I never realized that, I had this urge to simplify the complexity involved in the notion of this art form and that is why, I would slide down in my chair of either a Narada Gana Sabha or Music Academy, thinking that, perhaps, I am not a dancer material. I am glad, I did not understand it for a long time, which helped me try to see dance differently. And now I realize the beauty in - ‘Ignorance is bliss’ - it truly is!……..And the journey continues……..