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Sanjukta Panigrahi, the legendary Odissi danseuse, restored to a forgotten art form, the status of an exalted classical dance.
Born in Berhampur, Orissa, Sanjukta began training at the tender age of four. A gifted child, her passion for dance was such that she had to be begged to come offstage after a performance. At nine years, she won the first prize in International Children’s Film Festival.
Sanjukta made it her life’s mission to popularize the Odissi dance. Among her sterling efforts was the adroit choreography of dance ballets with versatile, non-conventional subjects like the Bhakti poetry and Tagore’s works as their theme. As was her endeavour to systematize the Odissi, root it in tradition and establish it as a genre in its own right. Sanjukta’s own performance was imbued by an intense spirituality and impeccable grace.
For her pioneering contribution to the Odissi dance, Sanjukta was awarded the Padma Shri and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. Sadly, her phenomenal life was cut short by cancer. She was only 53.
Why we find her inspiring?
– Because she resurrected an ancient dance form from the limbo of neglect
– Because her dedication towards her art was unsurpassable
– Because in spite of several personal struggles, she did not lose sight of her life’s calling
– Because with all the fame and accolades, she remained a grounded and empathetic human being
A colleague remembers
Sanjukta performs the Mukhari Pallavi (video)
*Photo credit: Wikipedia
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Rrashima Swaarup Verma's new bestselling book The Royal Scandal is a celebration of the spirit of womanhood set in the 18th Century.
Rrashima Swaarup Verma’s new bestselling book The Royal Scandal is a celebration of the spirit of womanhood.
A true love story. A tale of politics, treachery and war. A piece from India’s rich history. A vivid description of 18th century life in the Deccan. Yes, The Royal Scandal is all that and more. But it is also an aide-mémoire of the tremendous fortitude, the unbeatable spirit that women are, and have always been, capable of.
18th century, Hyderabad, India. A time and place when societal laws and rules came down heavy on the female gender, when zenanas separated and shielded the women from the world outside, when it was understood and accepted that the men in their lives would govern and dictate every big and small decision.
Women aren’t a place to dump a man’s anger no matter what the issue could be. And calling her names is again not the husband’s right just because they are married.
Trigger Warning: This speaks of domestic violence, emotional abuse, and may be triggering to survivors.
“Visualize it. Just visualize it!”
Five-year-old Niranjana was finding it difficult to connect the colours, shapes, and alphabet together. She knew each of them separately, but connecting them together seemed huge and impossible. Tears overflowed her cute eyes when the teacher instructed her to learn at home and answer questions in class.
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