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Critic Bhanu Kumar is no more
- Vijay Shanker

May 7, 2021

Mumbai based dance and music critic Bhanu Kumar left for her heavenly abode, early morning on 20th April 2021 leaving behind her retired engineer husband C.S. Kumar, son Kartik, daughter-in-law Purnima, dancer daughter Sukanya Kumar and grandchildren. She was 68 and was on a ventilator for a few days at the non-covid Jupiter Hospital in Thane. Bhanu was diabetic and was suffering from pneumonia as well.

Bhanu was born in Vellore and belonged to the Iyer community. She was a bright student and while in college, she won 15 medals in various faculties and subsequently completed her BA in English Literature. For a while, Bhanu worked with Allahabad Bank but was quite passionate about music, dance and drama and was a linguist too, developing her mastery over three languages, English, Hindi and Tamil and could speak Marathi fluently. Bhanu contributed to the field of performing arts as an actress, director and critic too. Bhanu translated numerous books for children and adults from English to Tamil. Amongst the many awards she received for her short stories, one of the most prestigious was a special critics award at the Kalki centenary story writing competition, apart from her award winning story submission. Her dramas have received many awards, including the one from Chembur Fine Arts. She was invited as a judge for drama competitions too. 

Bhanu contributed for various publications for several years, particularly for the suburban supplements of Times of India and the Mumbai edition of The Hindu. Daughter-in-law Purnima Kartik says, “Initially when I met her for the first time during the rehearsals of Tamil plays, I felt she was quite strict but after interacting with her, I realized she was so warm and friendly, was more like a mother to me, always encouraging and supporting me in all my ventures. We will always miss her wonderful presence and cherish the moments spent with her.”

Bharatanatyam exponent and teacher Suman Badami, also actively associated with Powai Fine Arts says, “Her service to the arts, her unbiased writings and reviews, bringing classical dance and music to mainstream media and her constant support and encouragement is an invaluable contribution and she leaves a huge void that cannot be filled.”

Vijay Shanker
Vijay Shanker is a Kuchipudi and Kathakali exponent, teacher, bilingual journalist, arts critic and actor.

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