Memories of Bharata Kalanjali, Anna & Akka

Guru appreciation
Reshma Ananthakrishnan

Master and Akka are truly legendary not only in their artistic work but also in terms of the powerful impact they have on the lives of their students.

I studied at Bharatakalanjali for many years and the most lasting memories are the subtle details they pay attention to --like how they insisted on shoes being lined up in a straight row outside the class area, or always being in neatly pressed clothes and appropriate accessories. Just being around them, their house and the school will influence anyone to pick up a habit or two on cleanliness and orderliness, especially when you watch them pick up small pins dropped on the floor as they walk around.

When I went to take intensive sessions with their international students in 2005, I had the first-hand experience of seeing their commitment to promoting Bharatanatyam worldwide by sponsoring students from diverse backgrounds to experience the tradition in the most authentic way.

The word that clearly comes to mind when I think of them is ‘perfection’. They strive to be perfect in everything they do, whether the details in the mudra, aligned posture, timeliness, or the masterfully orchestrated annual Vijayadashmi functions. They have truly taught me to set high standards in every small thing I do.