My association with Bharatanatyam is synonymous with my association with Aunty. I started learning this art when I was a fairly young child, but even as I continue to learn today, I am most struck by how little I have learnt and how much more there is to learn! While I am supremely grateful to this great art form for helping me in becoming more agile and steady, in body and mind, improving my ability to concentrate and increasing endurance, I know very simply that none of this would have been possible without Aunty to hold my hand, to train my eyes to look where the hand goes, to teach me to sing and express emotions and thus to guide me to experience a mental communication with my inner self.
Music and dance classes with Aunty dominate memories of my school and college days! Classes were never complete without a meal at the end. Interestingly, dance classes were where I learnt to eat most of the vegetables that I enjoy today!! Apart from learning the complex grammar and aesthetics of Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music, the lessons I most cherish are the life skills that I learnt by just associating with Aunty - motivation, resilience, grit, determination, social interaction and above all, self-discovery.
Aunty says that she still continues to learn something new every day. It is this spirit that I hope to imbibe from her someday.