On this momentous occasion, my mind goes back to some of my earliest memories of accompanying my mother when she came to you, Aunty, for music lessons. I sat by her side and at your feet, pretending to 'put talam' on my lap.
I remember being enamored by the dance classes you taught and was thrilled when you agreed to accept me as a student. How do I summarize the huge role you have played in my life? Over the years you taught me dance, music, Natya Shastra, Tala Shastra, public speaking and so much more; all of it with perseverance, patience and humour. In your singular mission of the pursuit of knowledge and perfection, you led by example.
You faced all of life's obstacles with quiet dignity, grace, almost superhuman strength and resilience.
Over the years, I have travelled to many cities for further studies and work. Yet, no matter where I am, listening to your songs that transport me back to SIES School, in your presence, with a wonderful community of dancers and friends.
As Aubrey Lynch said, "To touch, to move, to inspire. That is the true gift of dance." Aunty, you have touched, moved and inspired more people than I can count. In being your student,
I have received the best gift of all !