Monday, 27 February 2017

Mothers by Daughters & Others - Spontaneous, yet measured - Chitra Chandrasekhar Dasarathy

A favourite story that my mother likes to tell my children is when during a performance, I as a little girl fell asleep in the wings after dancing a Jatiswaram while she danced the Varnam! She came in and woke me up in time for the Tillana!
My mother Jaya Chandrasekhar, from the time I can remember, balanced her multiple roles and continues to amaze us with her energy for her varied interests. She went out to teach at The Vasanta College for Women at The Krishnamurthi Foundation, Banaras, in the mid-sixties in the last century.  She later also taught dance at the Banaras Hindu University. Among my circle of friends in a small town like Banaras, I soon realised that Amma was one of the few women who worked. She managed a home and family not to forget a steady stream of visitors who came to Kashi as pilgrims and she danced! She has always had a perspective which was large and inclusive, she probably inherited it from her father, whose interests ranged between astrology, Tamil classical literature and American politics (he worked for the USIS in New Delhi) and her mother who encouraged her to study and graduate in law, learn  to dance and sing! Amma   trained in Bharatanatyam and performed for long years. Her fluidity of movements in dance is something I cherish and describe to my students when I teach.

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