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Mūlam - Reviving the roots of Guru-Shishya Parampara
- Ashwini Naik

August 13, 2021

Mūlam, The Roots, is an annual festival on the calendar of Shambhavi School of Dance, curated by Vyjayanthi Kashi and supported by Prateeksha Kashi. This festival is held every year during Guru Poornima to celebrate the beautiful Guru Shishya Parampara which is unique to India. The 7th edition of Mūlam was special, as this year, the pandemic forced the festival to go online for 3 days (instead of 2 days) and aided in bringing together Gurus and Shishyas from across the globe. Each artiste expressed their thoughts on the questions posed to them by Vyjayanthi Kashi and presented glimpses of their beautiful dance performances.

All 3 days of Mūlam was unique in its own right; day 1 witnessed performances by legendary Gurus along with their shishyas, day 2 was dedicated to talks and performances by celebrated Gurus and day 3 focused on the views and performances of Shishyas who have made their Gurus proud.

Here's my humble attempt, as a dancer myself, to present a brief report on the festival, and my understanding of the performances.

Mūlam, The Roots - Day 1

On day 1, Vyjayanthi Kashi set the stage to 3 power packed evenings by expressing her views on Guru-Shishya bond. She opined that we go to a Guru when we know nothing, and the Guru instills in us the knowledge and introduces us to the world of dance. Also, a Guru inspires us in many ways and helps us to reach our fullest potential. Apart from parents, it is the Guru who has contributed the most in shaping our lives. A Guru's depth of knowledge can be assimilated by us only when there is trust, faith, love, respect, and gratitude. Whichever part of the world we practice in - India, Russia, US, or Italy - we are all Bharatiya, and it's our utmost duty to show gratitude to our Gurus who introduced us to the world of dance.

The day kick started with an invocation song by Pavani Pasumarthi and Pavithra Pasumarthi, granddaughters of late Guru PVG Krishna Sarma, the legend of Kuchipudi Yakshagana. The inaugural speaker of the festival was Vasantha Vaikunth, a disciple of Gurus Mahalingam Pillai and Chitra Visweswaran. She expressed that a Guru is one who removes the darkness of ignorance; a spiritual Guru helps us to shed negative thinking and liberate the self. A Guru enters one's life at unexpected times and can take on different roles as an art teacher, or spiritual leader or a friend. A Guru imparts knowledge selflessly and wishes the Shishya to grow and be empowered.

This was followed by a series of legendary Gurus expressing their thoughts about the Guru-Shishya Parampara and talking about how their Gurus have shaped their lives. The specialty of day one was also the performances of the Gurus and their Shishyas together. The first segment was a beautiful Odissi performance by Sujata Mohapatra and Preetisha Mohapatra. The mother-daughter duo mesmerized the audience with perfectly synchronized movements in Guru Brahma and Megha Pallavi. Following the performance, Guru Ratikant Mohapatra spoke of an incident with his father Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra that changed his view on dance. As a young boy, the words of people around him made him feel that talent came naturally to him as it was in his genes. This attitude made Ratikant take art for granted, which was noticed by his mother and eventually reached his father. Kelubabu took this opportunity to teach his son, in a simple way, the importance of practice and perseverance. He made him realize his lack of expertise in playing the first bol of mardala, and how he had overcome it just after 30 days of 10 minutes practice every day. "Genes alone does not determine the quality of your art, rather it is regular practice that makes way for an accomplished artiste". This incident also shows how a Guru can influence and change your outlook to life.

Vyjayanthi Kashi had her base set in Kuchipudi with Guru CR Acharya and later with Guru Prahlada Sharma. However, her advanced training for longer period was with Guru Korada Narasimha Rao, who helped her delve into her creativity, picking nuanced topics for choreographing on her. That skill in choosing topic and creativity was evident in her beautiful presentation of Bhoomi-Sita, focusing on the relation between a mother-daughter. She presented this along with her daughter / disciple Prateeksha Kashi. The theme she chose was also very apt to showcase the wavelength and compatibility of the Guru-Shishya duo, influenced by their relation. The duo complemented each other strongly with their abhinaya.

Mohiniattam exponent Mandakini Trivedi, disciple of Guru Kanak Rele, joined in with her views on why Guru-Shishya Parampara system is necessary to preserve and promote our classical dance forms. According to her, it's the word "Parampara" that gives dimension and depth to Guru-Shishya. 'Param' means ultimate and 'Para' means the absolute transcendental supreme truth. All art comes from Shiva, the epitome of perfection of classical arts. Every Guru has been a Shishya once and hence, this link goes back to Lord Shiva himself. If one views the Guru-Shishya relation in this way, then one can become a Shishya of the Paramtatva himself. This is a foolproof system of transmitting wisdom, the depth of knowledge, intricacies of form or content, and even aesthetic effects. These cannot be transmitted in a short time, but through a long lasting bond with a living Guru; by observing, doing, imitating, exchanging experiences and insights with the Guru. Her talk was followed by her beautiful performance of Kama Deva Nritya, with her disciple Ameri Sheth. The performance was a showcase of a unique choreography that brought out the male-female aspects of Kama and Rati.

Legendary Kathak exponent with 35 years contribution to the art, Guru Shama Bhate mesmerized us with her talk and performance. She is a student of her mother-in-law Guru Rohini Bhate, Pt Birju Maharaj and Guru Mohan Rao Kalyanpurkar. She opined that a Guru is a source of wisdom and knowledge, courage and conviction and a guide of vision and mission. Reminiscing about Malhar, a choreography of Rohini Bhate, she expressed how the intricate use of costume and pure footwork to depict rains had a lasting impression on her vision of choreography. Rohini Bhate's changing emotions as Ram-Ravan-Shabari in a single performance also had a lasting impact on her. She presented snippets from her performances with her students Manasi Deshpande and Sheetal Kovalkar.

The day concluded with talk and performance by Guru Vanashree Rao. She is a disciple of Late Krishna Kumar, Guru Jayarama Rao and later on she also learnt under Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam and Dr. Nataraja Ramakrishna. Each of her Gurus had a different style of their own. If she received overall training in Sanskrit, music, depth of abhinaya and Shastras from her first Guru, with Dr. Vempati, the focus was on elaborate sancharis and intricate technique. His teaching included hard-hitting vigorous practice sessions, whereas with Dr. Ramakrishna, the focus was on use of minimum hand gestures and footwork and more on mukhajabhinaya and the eyes expressing the feelings. She followed her talk with glimpses from her performances on Yavadevadu Padam, and her role as Dronacharya in her production. She also shared glimpses of her choreography and performance on Jagadodharana with her disciple Ayana Mukherjee.

Mūlam, The Roots - Day 2

On day 2 of Mūlam, we witnessed celebrated Gurus across the globe express their views on a few questions asked on Guru-Shishya Paramapara that must be running in everyone's minds in this age. The audience was also treated to some beautiful choreographies from the different baanis that the Gurus represented.

Talking about how to make Kuchipudi more visible globally, Ratna Kumar from Texas , disciple of Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam, observed that Kuchipudi needs the dancers of this form to come together to bring back the glory of this art form like in the days of Vempati Master. "When we learn from each other, the art grows". The practitioners of Kuchipudi need to speak more about the art form, have dialogues more often, invite each other or students to perform for their events.

According to Anuradha Jonnalagadda, disciple of Dr.Vempati Chinna Satyam and Sobha Naidu, the Guru-Shishya Parampara is changing in today's times. Today, Shishyas could either be learning from a particular Guru for a long time or go to multiple teachers but stick to one baani. Yet, the Parampara is needed when one starts learning a form, but later in life, mentorship can be used to learn nuances and specifics.

Dr. Alekhya Punjala, disciple of Dr. Uma Rama Rao, spoke of how her Guru's personal and professional life has inspired her and what she learnt from them. Her Guru held her hands when she started learning and allowed her to blossom into a dancer. Under her Guru's influence, her passion for dance doubled. Dr. Uma had a huge thirst for literature and wanted to translate them into dance, wanting to take on new subjects all the time. Alekhya quoted that this thirst and passion has passed on as a gift to her.

For Dr. Uma V Kallakuri, disciple of Guru Vempati Kodandaram Shastry, the relation with her Guru was very special. Continuously observing him and listening to stories of his father, the learning was non-stop. Her Guru helped her to internalize the concepts and externalize it through performances. He was more than a Guru - a mother, father, and friend too.

Dr. Sudha Kalavagunta did her PhD under the guidance of Guru Vedantam Satyanarayana Sharma. She explained the influence of her Guru on her research, by quoting his approach to Usha Parinayam, which he had mastered having performed it multiple times, initially playing the role of the sakhi and later as Usha. His approach to the Yakshagana taught that one should never feel bad to play even a small role, and every character is equally important. His knowledge and guidance on different aspects of Yakshagana and the number of stories he told of the hard work and dedication of great Gurus was a revelation to her. Sudha expressed that she was able to see the past through him and learn from it.

Dr. Maddali Usha Gayatri, a disciple of Gurus Vedantam Sambaiyya, LSM Sooryapraksha and Vedantam Jagannatha Sarma, spoke of a Guru's role in moulding her as a dancer and a researcher. Vedantam Jagannatha Sarma taught her the intricacies of Kuchipudi and moulded her as a dancer. By making her think of different ways of doing a Padam, influencing her to master Bhama Kalapam and explore the different emotions of Ashtanayikas with Satyabhama as the main character, he inspired her to research the character of Bhama and in turn to gain her Doctorate. She opined that no technology could replace the learning with a live Guru.

Dr. Sailaja Desai expressed that during earlier days, in the Guru-Shishya Parampara, there was a strong sense of obedience in the Shishyas towards the Gurus and they replicated what was told to them. With the institutionalization of classical arts and dance entering universities, we have a change in culture. Students now are encouraged to question their Gurus and also are getting wider exposure. But the drawback is that to be visible, students are jumping across institutions, teachers and the advent of social media has reduced dependency on teachers. Though media helps keep connect with art and audience, it also has resulted in reduced quality of learning and performances.

Dr. P Rama Devi, a disciple of Mahankali Srimannarayana, expressed that to be a perfect performer one needs to have knowledge of Shastras which are a source of developing rasanubhooti. It is the Guru who is imparting knowledge of the Shastra. Hence, it's important to learn with a Guru to build a strong foundation, and later join any university to widen one'sknowledge and become a more informed dancer.

Dr. Madhuri Mazumdar, disciple of Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam, feels that Guru-Shishya Parampara and learning dance at university are like two faces of a coin. University is essential in building academic career, but Guru-Shishya Parampara plays integral role in making of a polished performer. University learning is boxed by time frame and covers wide content theoretically. Under a Guru, there is no fixed time frame, but one gets to learn the nuances, and understand the depths of the dance form. She said that Guru-Shishya Parampara cannot be substituted with university.

Smitha Shastri's teacher, Guru CR Acharya was a meticulous teacher whose style involved a lot of springing movement, tribhangis and stances that influenced her to continue learning Kuchipudi. She mentioned that he used to visit her institution, constantly guiding and supported her to build her dance career. He wished that she spread Kuchipudi in Gujarat which Smita continues to do so till date.

When Vijaya Prasad started training as a child under Guru Vedantam Laxminarayana Shastry, he was quite elderly and Nagesh Shastry showed the movements which was then theoretically explained by her Guru. It was her mother and Nagesh who instilled in her the pride for her Guru. They spoke of his expertise in tarangam and abhinaya, how he brought in solo items and introduced women to Kuchipudi.

Dr. Veena Murthy Vijay trained under Guru Korada Narasimha Rao and Dr.Vempati Chinna Satyam. While Guru Korada introduced her to various art forms and Shastras like music, Vedas, sculpture and helped her grow, Dr.Vempati focused on teaching her the codified way of Kuchipudi. She also learnt ritualistic dances and Chitra Natyam under CR Acharya.

Swathi Somnath , student of Bhagavatulu Rama Kotayya and Sumati Kaushal, opined that it was rigorous training and discipline with Kotayya. But with Sumati Kaushal, it was more of freedom to think and create. She suggests that we need to go to a Guru with an open mind and believe the Guru blindly, and the rest will be taken care of. We should also be observant and learn from the mistakes of our guru.

Shantha Rati, disciple of Gurus Raja - Radha Reddy and Dr.VempatiChinna Satyam, is of the opinion that art is transmitted through an evolving relationship between Guru and Shishya. We need to go with an empty mind to be able to receive the most. Today, online discussions and interactions are helping to keep the art and establish a connection with the art circle. But the Guru Shishya Parampara itself has changed and must be redefined according to the situation forced on us.

For Geetha Padmakumar, who learnt under Kalamandalam Mohana Tulasi, learning Kuchipudi had its challenges with language and nativity. Since she found it difficult to translate the meaning of verses, she always stayed with the way her Guru had taught her and her Guru ensured to keep Vempati Chinna Satyam's style as is. Learning later with Vempati was like learning from the creator himself. Hence, learning from a male or female Guru was not different for her as there was no change in style.The teaching was always focused on the mannerisms of the character.

For Vempati Balatripurasundari, the daughter of Dr.Vempati Chinna Satyam, dancing is in the genes. Since women were not allowed to dance earlier, her whole learning came only by observing her father's personal and professional life. She would watch him teach and never realized back then that she was learning the dance form while observing him. Many nuances were recorded just by observation which she continues to teach her disciples.

Vera Krishnaraj learnt from her Guru Dr.Vempati Chinna Satyam, that if a dancer wants to be successful, she should learn to observe and watch others dancing. Watching and observing others gives very good understanding of the subject and improves one's grasping power. KV Satyanarayana spoke in remembrance of his revered Guru Korada Narasimha Rao, who introduced Kuchipudi in foreign countries. He had the knack of changing into characters from Bhasmasura to Bhama to Annamacharya within the same performance very seamlessly which always amazed his students and the audience alike.

Venkata Ramana, disciple of Guru Prasanna Rani and Guru Pasumarthi Seshababu, faced challenges initially in propagating Kuchipudi in a foreign country. Kuchipudi wasn't popular as Bharatanatyam was and for almost 5 to 6 years, he had no students. Also being a male teacher posed quite a few challenges which he eventually learnt to deal with.

Vedantam Venkatachalapathi belongs to the traditional Vedantam family and has studied under multiple Gurus who are also his relatives belonging to the traditional families of Kuchipudi. He especially remembers and cherishes the learning under Guru Radhe Shyam, who was a young enthusiastic teacher in the institute and believed in being one with the students than being a superior.This was very different from the senior Gurus. He also quoted an incident with Dr.Vempati Chinna Satyam to highlight how a Guru cherishes the talents in artistes, irrespective of any personal differences. Guru Vempati was very upset with Venkatachalapathi when he declined a US tour with him, but then ended up in US on same stage via a different organization. But when the Guru saw his performance which he had choreographed with his brother, he was ecstatic and forgot all the anger.

Dr.Vasanth Kiran has trained under Dr Vempati Chinna Satyam, Vempati Ravi Shankar and Manju Bhargavi, and feels that the bonding and emotional connect that was there with a Guru, can't be obtained from social media. A Guru can understand your body and help you adapt to the nuances. But what we get on social media is just lots of information. It is important to differentiate between under and over information.Wrong information could be detrimental to your learning.

Mūlam, The Roots - Day 3

Day 3 was the day for young, upcoming dancers of Kuchipudi from different Paramparas to share their experiences and performances. They were asked questions ranging from the influence of their Gurus on their lives, experience of learning from male or female Gurus, their vision of taking Kuchipudi's reach far and wide.

Amrita Lahiri, student of Gurus Anuradha Nehru and Jaikishore Mosalikanti, wishes to have a community of Kuchipudi dancers who can come together and collaborate, putting aside the little differences of styles, and focus on building more content, to make Kuchipudi visible. Arunima Kumar, disciple of Gurus Swapnasundari, Jayarama Rao and Vanashree Rao, spoke of the adaptations she incorporated while teaching students abroad. The understanding of art and way of expressing emotions, the aesthetics and day-to-day experiences in other countries are very different from India, even for Indians who reside outside India. The challenge is then to make it easy for people to understand the hastas, gestures or Rasa, in their sense of being, making arts accessible to them.

Atmananda, student of Kuchipudi Art Academy and Vyjayanthi Kashi, believes that Kuchipudi has helped her in her artistic growth. Kuchipudi helps in investigating the artistic expression of body, to realize the beauty of movement and open the hearts of the dancer and audience. Atmananda expressed that Vyjayanthi Kashi helped her grow not just as dancer, but as a person and as a woman. Avijit Das, student of Manju Bhargavi, Srimayi Vempati, Vedantam Ramu, Jaikishore Mosalikanti and Padmavani Mosalikanti, feels that lack of financial security and the stigma associated that classical forms are for only girls, are some of the barriers for male dancers to take on classical dance professionally.

Ayana Mukherjee, disciple of Gurus Jayarama Rao and Vanashree Rao, expressed that by being with her Gurus she learnt that pursuing dance is not just about the technique, or practice and performance; it is about understanding the A-Z of the package, the audience, choreography, music, lights and more. Only then one can become a holistic artist. Bhavana Reddy, daughter and disciple of Gurus Raja - Radha Reddy and Kausalya Reddy, opined that Kuchipudi being a great derivative of the Natya Shastra, it's the duty of all Kuchipudi dancers - past, present and future - to bring name to its practice with excellence, integrity and authenticity. It is important to practice hard and be inspiring examples of the dance form and inspire patrons across geographies.

Dharani Kashyap reminisced of her Guru Sunanda Devi choreographing Mandodari Kalyanam in a different way especially for her. She added many sequences into it with Ravana's mother's character praying to Shiva, Shiva-Parvati dance on Kailasa, introducing Mandodari with Anandabhairavi Swarajathi, and Ravana-Mandodari with Thillana. More importantly, she impersonated the male character of Ravana, which is a rarity in Kuchipudi since in majority of cases it is the male dancer impersonating a female character. Kudos to the Guru for initiating Dharini Kashyap in doing so and to the Shishya in portraying it with ease and command.

Gururaju N, disciple of Vyjayanthi Kashi, spoke of how her production Kubja touched his heart with her sathvika and angika abhinaya. "How she transforms the character from ugly woman to beautiful lady is mesmerizing and leaves one in tears," he said. Her choreographies help one's atma connect to paramatma. Himanshee Katragadda, shishya of B Sudheer Rao, expressed that a Guru-Shishya relation goes beyond technique and style, towards devotion, love, hard work, and support. A Guru transforms the student, and a Shishya keeps the Guru's tradition alive. The Shishya builds a sense of belonging to one's Guru and worships the Guru.

Lasya Mavillapalli, daughter and disciple of Gurus Narasimhachari and Vasanthalakshmi, spoke of her parents' differing styles. Her father was a multifaceted artist, an exponent in multiple art forms. Learning from him was like riding a wave. One should be willing to drown in the ocean of his knowledge and then pick up and start again. He influenced her to dance with abandon. Whereas her mother was compassionate, supportive, and had a never give up attitude. She learnt to approach art with ease and find her zen in it from her mother.

Dr. Lalitha Sinduri, great granddaughter of Guru Vempati Venkata Narayana and disciple of Guru Vedantam Satya Narasimha Sastry, is currently learning under Guru Jaikishore Mosalikanti, who insists that whatever movement is done, it needs to be justified. She believes that all her Gurus have strived for her progress. She insists that once we choose a Guru, we need to trust them and let go of all expectations. She believes in choosing an unbiased Guru, who is uninhibited in teaching, tough enough to teach the right knowledge and values in life.

Prateeksha Kashi, disciple of Vyjayanthi Kashi, believes observation is an important quality for a dancer and that she had double the scope for learning with her mother being her Guru as well. Prateeksha cited an example of how she learnt the art of handling a pressurized situation from her mother by observing her from close quarters. Vyjayanthi Kashi was handling the production of Dharmayana to be premiered at the Madras Music Academy. She wanted to ensure complete justice to the Ksheerasagara Manthana sequence, popularly attributed to Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam. Right from getting the perfect script, handling the recording and choreography, she was under tight timelines and used every opportunity to choreograph including in studios and airport lounges. The outcome of these efforts turned out to be special with a jugalbandi between Mohini and Vishnu as seen by the Devas and Asuras. Prateeksha opined that in Guru-Shishya Parampara, learning is round the clock and hence lasts for a lifetime.

Payal Ramchandani, student of Gurus Raja-Radha Reddy, Jayarama Rao and Vanashree Rao, Jaikishore Mosalikanti and Padmavani Mosalikanti, feels that Kuchipudi is an anchor which keeps her grounded. It's her constant friend and companion who doesn't judge her, but only expectation is her unconditional surrender, free from ego. Kuchipudi has also brought lot of fluidity and empathy in her life and made her realize how miniscule we are in relation to art itself.

Pranamya Suri, daughter and disciple of Guru Srilatha Suri, Sobha Naidu and Jaikishore Mosalikanti, expressed that her mother's love and passion for dance and her love as a mother have gone hand in hand to give the best to her daughter, with zero compromise and ensuring that even the tiniest of corrections were done. Sree Sravya Tumuluri, disciple of Dr. Patnam Sivaprasad, opined that observing has helped her learn a lot. She quoted a situation when her Guru, though sick and needing hospitalization, overcame that to come back to choreograph the ballet for a performance as fast as he could. His commitment to what he believed in and his sense of perfection left a lasting impact on her.

Dr. Samata Gautham, disciple of Vyjayanthi Kashi, spoke of her Guru's great passion for teaching and that learning from her wasn't limited to learning dance alone. Listening to stories of her experiences and observing her, has recreated the experience of Guru-Shishya Parampara of olden days. Personally, Kuchipudi has helped Samata in opening up and influencing her as a person. The group performances have inculcated team spirit, empathy, responsibility, and nurturing qualities in her.

Sannidha Rajasagi, student of Guru Hari Ramamurthy, spoke of her Guru's choreography on Lalitha Pravesham which was a perfect blend of music, lyrics, and dance. Involving a perfect balance between dance and Abhinaya, it was a challenging piece for a dancer though it looked easy when performed for an onlooker. Sivaranjini Naidu, daughter and disciple of Guru Sobha Naidu, remembered her mother as a disciplined perfectionist and organized Guru. Performing Satyabhama in front of her mother was challenging to her. But her mother encouraged her, taught her every move and expression. Watching her mother's reaction post the performance, was the happiest moment of her life, said Sivaranjini.

Sreelakshmy Govardhanan is a student of Guru Pasumarthy Rattaiah Sarma and Vyjayanthi Kashi. She opined that learning with a male Guru was both challenging and humbling for her. The way a male dancer adapts his movements as a female is very different to how a woman would. But learning under Vyjayanthi was different as she had already decoded the ways and adapted her style for a female body. But the other beautiful side to learning under a male Guru was realizing how they broke the stereotypical thought of how a woman should behave, and instead as men observed and made their own interpretations. That art of observation has been instilled in her now. Shobha Anand has trained under Gurus Jayarama Rao and Vanashree Rao, Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam and Vyjayanthi Kashi. Learning under the Raos taught her the virtue of patience which they exhibited when teaching the little children. With GuruVempati, she learnt that practice makes man perfect. Vyjayanthi on the other hand is an epitome of poise, grace and expressiveness. She understands the ability and capacity of a student to learn and helps builds confidence.

T Reddi Lakshmi's Guru, Seetha Nagajyothi, built a strong foundational finesse of Kuchipudi, imparting the ingenuity of Guru Vempati in her. Her keen observation and unbiased opinion helped build in perfectionism. Later, Guru Jayarama Rao became a pillar of her strength. He has kept her rooted and helped scale heights. He has the subtle art of correcting, without hurting feelings and letting students embrace art in their own style. Vedya Spurthi Konda, student of Gurus Himabindu Challa, Padmavani Mosalikanti, opines that a Guru is not restricted only to subject matter, but is a Guru for all aspects of life. Gurus give everything they know to their students and inspire one to become a dancer as well as a good person, resilient and committed in all situations.

Dr. Yamini Sarapalli, student of Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam and Vempati Ravi Shankar, suggested 3 things needed to ensure the art survives and thrives: one, the intention behind learning and performing should be because of love for the art; two, excellence without compromise is crucial, be it in practice or performance or promotion and three, knowledge of history and evolution of the art is important to take it forward while staying true to its essentials. She presented a performance along with Kasi Aysola. For Yael Tal, student of Vyjayanthi Kashi, Kuchipudi was life changing from outside and within. She was a ballet dancer before. Her Guru suggested to her to focus on one art form, and ever since she chose Kuchipudi and Indian culture. She now is happy representing and spreading Kuchipudi in Israel.

As Vyjayanthi Kashi comments, "Performing arts is a living tradition, and lives in the body and mind of practitioners and exponents. This is transformed and transferred as a Parampara from the Gurus." The 3 days of Mūlam paid huge tributes to all the Gurus who have contributed to keep the art of Kuchipudi thriving. The experiences expressed on the platform also left a strong impression behind that it is rather important to be patient, give time and energy for the relation between Guru and Shishya to blossom to its ultimate possibilities.

The Indian Shastras had always been transferred from Gurus to Shishyas since ages in oral tradition. It was only later that written form appeared. Now listening and learning on these online platforms, leaves one wondering, are we reviving our oral traditions back again?

Ashwini Naik
Ashwini Naik is a corporate leader, dance enthusiast and an amateur writer. Vice President in a Multinational, Ashwini tries to intertwine her vocation and avocation by driving cultural initiatives in the corporate world. Having trained in Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi, Ashwini shares her learnings in dance and language with her corporate friends.

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