One of the initiatives we did in the early years was to invite the experts from within the department - the wealth of knowledge we have in the department itself - and meet them as experts and not as faculty restricted to their subject. The students were to invite the Professors as artists and experts in their areas and have a freewheeling chat about their experiences etc. Harideeptha said she would take the responsibility for organising these sessions and Aiswarya, Ketharani, Sreelakshmi and others joined her.
|Standing L to R: Nayana, Sreelakshmi, Abhirami, Poojitha, Harideeptha, Sharmila, Srividya, Vaishnavi, Devamanohari, Sreelakshmi, Aishwarya|
Sitting: Dr Sivaraju and yours truly
We started off with Professor Sivaraju who shared his lifestory. How he was fascinated by dance, how he went to Chennai as a young boy all by himself, roamed around and finally found his way back home. How his desire to not be satisfied led him to pursue dance, pursue his PhD and land up in the field of academics. Multi faceted and highly talented, Professor Sivaraju spoke of how he would question everything and worked hard to understand every aspect. It was an inspirational talk and showed the students the way forward was to question, to work hard and to never settle for the easy option.
|Lto R: Srividya, Shresta, Sannidha, Poojitha, Nayana, Vaishnavi, Sharmila, Prof Aruna Bhikshu, me, Aishwarya, Ketharani, Harideeptha, Sofia, Sreelakshmi, Devamanohari|
|Sannidha, Srividya, Shreshta, Poojitha, Vaishnavi, Abhirami, Nayana, Sharmila, Prof. Aruna Bhikshu, me, Aishwarya, Ketharani, Harideeptha, Sofia, Sreelakshmi, Devamanohari|
Next we had Professor Aruna Bhikshu who spoke of her journey in the field of dance. How she started dancing at a young age, how she studied at the Department of Dance and did her PhD. She spoke of the techniques and certain insights and lessons she had learned and held the audience captivated with her informal, easy, humorous way of speaking. It was again an inspirational and knowledgeable session with several takeaways for the students.
|Sannidha, Sridevi, Ketharani, Nayana, Sreelakshmi, Prof. Anuradha, me, Shrestha, Vaishnavi, Harideeptha|
Last week we had Professor Anuradha Jonnalagadda who spoke of her journey, the passion, the joy of dancing. She spoke of the effort that was required, the patience one must have to succeed. I asked her to share any of her personal insights and she said something very interesting - she said that there was a key to each movement which made it beautiful and added grace. She demonstrated one movement and said how it was not about the hands or the torso but about the core. Again an inspirational talk with lots of insights and takeaways for the audience.
I liked the way Harideeptha kept adding new elements - a flower arrangements with bougainvilleas, the session heading on the board, coffee and water for the guests, introduction and a vote of thanks. She even asked me each time if there were any suggestions and she implemented every suggestion I gave. Good work Harideeptha and class. It is when we have these conversations that we realise how much knowledge and wisdom there is around us and how we do not tap into it.