“A career in the arts can seem daunting for various reasons, but when done properly with the heart at the right place, it could bloom into one of the most rewarding experiences ever. Now my journey as a kathak enthusiast began right as a child, where I was predisposed to the dance form, despite living abroad.
With my mother being extremely hands-on, I traveled several miles to happily attend classes, slowly incorporating it into my routine as well. But after a shift to Chennai, later on, I realized that only a handful of people were even aware of Kathak and its significance in this city. So in an attempt not to lose touch, while simultaneously honing my craft, I started teaching the dance form to a few interested students.
Now, as luck might have it, the movie ‘Vishwaroopam’, released soon after, infusing a newfound love for kathak amongst many, many people. And suddenly, the journey that began with just two students, expanded into a massive batch of sixty, all visiting my house in shifts to practice and learn.
Additionally, I was also at a crucial juncture, where I’d to choose between pursuing dance full-time or taking up a B.Sc degree. Now as a 21-year-old, with a lifelong passion for Kathak, my parents knew I had to at least give the former, an earnest shot. So though they were initially worried, they made sure to support my dreams and invest my college fund into opening a dance school, provided I had a proper vision, business plan and, of course, was ready to give it my all.
It was indeed a huge risk, but today, after almost seven years in the business, with a credibility that not only enabled me to teach hundreds of passionate students but also buy a house in return, for my loving parents, I guess things did work out well. This is not to say, I had it all easy. In fact, every day came with its share of learnings and Coronavirus did impact my work massively.
Nevertheless, looking back, I guess my undying passion was greater than all the obstacles stacked up against me. And more than a personal win, I’m more happy to be a small part of a scenario where art is being looked at as a respectful career alternative. I hope more women come to make their mark in the field and thereby encourage other parents too, to let their little ones venture into the arts if they have a knack for it. In the end, all it takes is the guts to be different and tread fearlessly on the path less travelled!”
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