Barely 9 years of age and I could see how determined my mother was to send me to a Bharatanatyam ( form of Dance Art) school. At the time I did not realize what this would mean to me in the years to come.
Mother took me to Kumari Akka (Smt. Krishna Kumari Narendran). I looked at her with apprehension and wondered if I would get through the next few days. No doubt she was one of the toughest teachers I have known but her love too flowed in equal measures.
My journey began with Thaiyya Thai ( Basics beats while learning Dance) and 40 years later here I am with Nattuvangam in hand teaching my students.
She imbibed in me the many expressions that are synonymous with the art. Eventually, I was able to emote effortlessly. She worked day and night with me and as a result, I could produce some of the most popular Dance Ballets.
Guru Smt. Krishna Kumari Narendran knew everything about me as a young girl and the growing years. She was there by my side through adversities and successes. She proved to be not just a guru but a good friend and a confidante over the years.
The Guru-Shishya relationship that we shared is something I tell my students about. She was strict at the training sessions, motherly otherwise and as an academician, she had a perfect diction in the Tamil language. This was a quality that I secretly admired and tried to follow over the years. As a student, I would be chided often for my mistakes, at times to the point I doubted my capabilities but that never diminished my love for her. I would watch in awe as she choreographed. I have tried to stay as close to this over the years and have learned many choreographic techniques and creative work from her.
From where I stand today, I owe it all to my Guru for moulding me into a dancer. I have honored her in a manner I know best and may this writing be flowers to her feet.