I had always wanted to visit Sri Lanka. This year, I was fortunate to be invited to Jaffna University to do a workshop and to perform at the Colombo Natyanjali Festival 2020. At the workshop, I was overjoyed to see so many young aspiring dancers. I was so touched because every student had thirst to learn the values of the arts. Several of these students have come out of the trauma of war. I was saddened by listening to many of their personal struggles, those who lost their homes, parents, relatives and friends. How they had struggled on a daily ration of one idli for sustenance and how they studied by the lamplight of a single wick was heart wrenching. Now, dance and the arts are helping them to overcome the agony of the past. When I was encouraged by the teachers to strike conversations with the students, they shed their reservations and many of them opened up and came forward to share their sad experiences. It seemed they saw in me a mother figure.
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