A Dancer’s Diary

u`R;kaxuk dh Mk;jh

When cancer hit Ananda Shankar Jayant, she refused to give in to the ‘melodrama.’ Instead, she carried on with her dancing. Team Shubh Yatra salutes her courage.

vkuank ’kadj t;ar tc dSalj ls ihfM+r gqbZa rc mUgksaus viuh chekjh dks ^esyksMªkek* ugha cuk;kA vfirq mUgksaus vius tquwu u`R; dks tkjh j[kkA ’kqHk ;k=k dh Vhe muds vnE; lkgl dks lyke djrh gSA

Anyone who knows Ananda Shankar Jayant will call her a power woman. However, it is her humility that shines through as she dismisses the idea with her ready smile and says, “I have miles to go before I can be called one.”

A Padma Shri recipient, renowned classical dancer and choreographer, and the first woman officer to join the Indian Railway Traffic Services in South Central Railway, Shankar Jayant’s relationship with dance began at the early age of 4. By 17, she had begun teaching dance in Hyderabad. “Guiding aspirants at my dance institute in Chennai, Shankarananda Kalakshetra, rejuvenates me,” she says. But dance has a bigger role to play in her life. When Shankar Jayant was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was the strength, courage and determination she drew from dance that gave her the will to fight it. She continued to dance, teach, choreograph, travel and perform on tour, even as her treatment continued. “I conducted and presented a five-day dance festival at Sangeet Natak Akademi within three weeks of my surgery,” she says. “I had decided to tune out of cancer and into dance. My biggest advice to others is to resist giving in to the melodrama,” she stresses.

The artiste now balances her dance practice with a career in the Railways, infusing it with the harmony, aesthetics and egalitarianism that characterise the art world. “I balance office with early-morning dance rehearsals, and travel on weekends to perform. Nothing can keep me away from dance,” she says. Along with being a Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancer, she has also emerged as a sought-after motivational speaker. “Dance to me is both a spiritual journey and a tool for communication,” she says.

The grit displayed by her in the face of one of the medical world’s worst adversities makes her a clear winner. If she’s not a power woman, we don’t know who is!

dksbZ Hkh O;fDr vkuank ’kadj t;ar dks tkurk gS og mUgsa l’kDr efgyk gh dgsaxsA ;|fi ;g mudh fouezrk gS tks mudh eueksgd eqldku ls >ydrh gS vkSj og lgt Hkko ls dgrh gSa] ^^bl f[+krkc dh vfHkyk”kk djus ls igys eq>s vHkh dkQ+h yack lQ+j r; djuk gSA**

iùe Jh ls lEekfur] fo[;kr ’kkL=h; u`R;kaxuk ,oa dksfj;ksxzkQ+j rFkk nf{k.k e/; jsyos esa Hkkjrh; jsy ;krk;kr lsok dh igyh efgyk vf/kdkjh vkuank us pkj lky dh NksVh mez ls gh u`R; lh[kuk vkjaHk dj fn;k FkkA 17 lky dh mez esa rks mUgksaus gSnjkckn esa u`R; fl[kkuk vkjaHk Hkh dj fn;k FkkA mUgksaus dgk] ^^viuh u`R; laLFkk ’kadjkuank dyk{ks= esa ;qok izf’k{kdksa dks u`R; fl[kkus esa eq>s cgqr vkuan dh izkfIr gksrh gSA** fdarq u`R; us muds thou esa vge~ Hkwfedk fuHkkbZ gSA tc mUgsa irk pyk fd og czsLV dSalj ls ihfM+r gSa rks vkuank dks u`R; ls izkIr ’kfDr] izfrc)rk ,oa Q+ksdl djus tSlh fo’ks”krk,a dSalj ls la?k”kZ esa lgk;d lkfcr gqbZaA vkuank us u`R; djuk] fl[kkuk] dksfj;ksxzkQ+h] ?kweuk ,oa Vwj iQ+ksZe djuk tkjh j[kk FkkA bl laca/k esa mUgksaus crk;k] ^^viuh ltZ+jh ds rhu lIrkg ds Hkhrj eSaus laxhr ukVd vdkneh esa ikap fnolh; jk”Vªh; u`R; egksRlo dk vk;kstu ,oa izLrqr fd;k FkkA ^^eSaus ml le; ;gh fd;k fd dSalj ls mcjdj eSa u`R; ij /;ku nsus yxhA vU; dSalj ihfM+rksa dks esjh ,d mfpr lykg ;g gS fd os bl chekjh dk MVdj eqdkcyk djsaA bls esyksMªkek u cuk,a]** mUgksaus t+ksj nsdj dgkA

orZeku esa og vius u`R; vH;kl ,oa jsyos ds dWfj;j esa lQyrkiwoZd larqyu cuk ik jgh gSa rFkk dyk txr esa ln~Hkko] lkSan;Z’kkL= ,oa lerkokn dh Hkkouk dk mfpr izdkj ls izlkj Hkh dj jgh gSA mUgksaus crk;k] ^^eSa vius dk;kZy; ds le; ls rkyesy fcBkdj losjs tYnh fjglZy dj ysrh gwa vkSj iQ+ksZesaZl ds fy, lIrkgkar esa ;k=k,a Hkh dj ysrh gwaA u`R; ls eq>s dksbZ nwj ugha dj ldrkA** HkjrukV~;e ,oa dqfpiqM+h u`R; esa ikjaxr gksus ds lkFk&lkFk vkuank ,d izsjd oDrk Hkh cu xbZ gSaA og crkrh gSa] ^^u`R; esjh vk/;kfRed ;k=k ,oa vfHkO;fDr dk l’kDr ek/;e gSA**

orZeku esa og vius u`R; vH;kl ,oa jsyos ds dWfj;j esa lQyrkiwoZd larqyu cuk ik jgh gSa rFkk dyk txr esa ln~Hkko] lkSan;Z’kkL= ,oa lerkokn dh Hkkouk dk mfpr izdkj ls izlkj Hkh dj jgh gSA mUgksaus crk;k] ^^eSa vius dk;kZy; ds le; ls rkyesy fcBkdj losjs tYnh fjglZy dj ysrh gwa vkSj iQ+ksZesaZl ds fy, lIrkgkar esa ;k=k,a Hkh dj ysrh gwaA u`R; ls eq>s dksbZ nwj ugha dj ldrkA** HkjrukV~;e ,oa dqfpiqM+h u`R; esa ikjaxr gksus ds lkFk&lkFk vkuank ,d izsjd oDrk Hkh cu xbZ gSaA og crkrh gSa] ^^u`R; esjh vk/;kfRed ;k=k ,oa vfHkO;fDr dk l’kDr ek/;e gSA**

fpfdRlk ds {ks= dh lcls ihM+knk;d chekjh ds le; muds eq[keaMy ij /kS;Z ds Hkko fn[kkus ds dkj.k og fotsrk fl) gqbZaA bl ifjfLFkfr esa vxj og l’kDr efgyk ugha gSa rks vkSj dkSu gksxk!

“Dance to me is both a spiritual journey and a tool of communication”

Leave a Reply