Transcending The Language Barrier
dayachal School students had a double treat in store for them. They were fortunate to witness two of the seven Indian classical dance styles by renowned dancers, Uma Dogra, who performed Kathak, and Daksha Mashruwalla, who enthralled them with her Odissi performance.
Both the dancers were invited to Udayachal Primary School under the aegis of Spic Macay, an organisation which promotes our rich Indian culture and heritage, to school and college students. The programme involved not just performances, but also explanation of their dance styles, the entire gamut of expressions and the distinguishing features of the dance styles.
This lecture-cum-demonstration, which combined education with entertainment, introduced the children and teachers to the hitherto unexplored territory of Indian classical dance.
Everyone in the packed hall admired the graceful hand movements, supple footwork and sculpturesque body postures of the dancers. Beat and rhythm were given a new meaning in our vocabulary bank.
Both artistes interacted with the children, asking them questions and even going as far as allowing them to perform alongside on stage.
Children were also introduced to the different instruments the accompanists played such as the violin, flute and mardala. They appreciated the vibrant costumes and traditional jewellery worn by the dancers.
Younger children clapped to the rhythm, while older children sketched the artistes as they danced. All the faces in the audience wore the look of awe, as dance, a form of communication, took its own natural avataar and transcended the language barrier.
Binaifer Chhoga / Uma Subramaniam
hushnam Sabavala (10), daughter of Yezdi Soli Sabavala, Corporate Finance and Treasury Department, has earned the coveted First Dan Black Belt in Karate in May 2004 from the All-India Go-Jukai Karate Do (affiliated to Zen Nippon Karate Do, Japan), whose Principal and Director - India, and Asia Co-ordinator is the renowned Kyoshi Shihan Vispy B. Kapadia, Seventh Dan Black Belt.
Khushnam started learning Karate at the tender age of six at the Tardeo Headquarters in Mumbai of the All-India Go-Jukai Karate Do (I.K.G.A.). Over the years, she passed eight categories of exams for various Belts and attended five rigorous training camps at Pune and one at the State Reserve Police complex in Mumbai. She underwent intensive Karate and physical training from January 2004 for her Black Belt exam. She became a member of the Priyadarshini Sports Complex, Mumbai, as well to prepare for her physical training under the guidance of her mother, Arnavaz.
For the final Black Belt exam, Khushnam, along with other candidates, had to pass through three stages:
1. Technical examination in Mumbai, where a candidate has to display knowledge of the Art and Science of Karate through various intricate body movements.
2. Physical examination at Priyadarshini Sports Complex, where she had to run 14 kilometres without stopping. She completed the run in just two-and-a-half hours, followed by a 400 metres each of duck walk, bunny hop, knuckle walk, military crawl, front roll and firemen lift. This examination was held in the sweltering heat with just one small break for a little quantity of water allowed to be consumed after the 14 kilometres run.
3. Four days of tough camping at Sardar Dastur School, Pune where, along with Karate sessions, she had to undergo mind-boggling physical conditioning, which included taking more than 500 punches and kicks in her stomach from other Black Belts (both boys and girls) of her age group, doing hundreds of squats, sit-ups and push-ups, and Ju Kumite, where she had to fight with other Black Belts, first on a one-to-one basis, extending to one against four.
Due to the severe beating, Khushnam’s body turned green and black. But all the sweat and tears she shed, turned into a broad smile when, during the ceremony on 4 May, 2004 at Sardar Dastur School, Pune, her name was announced for conferring the Black Belt at the hands of Kyoshi Shihan Vispy B. Kapadia, along with 20 other candidates, in front of a 600-strong crowd comprising students, instructors and parents. Achieving this success against overwhelming odds requires a lot of physical grit, mental strength and focused objective, thereby stretching beyond one’s endurance limit and, in the process, discovering higher realms of one’s potential. Khushnam also acknowledges the power of prayers, and the motivation she got from her parents of seeing her name and photograph on reaching this tough milestone in the Godrej & Boyce house magazine, CHANGE.
Khushnam is presently studying at Queen Mary School, Mumbai (Form VI), and her other interests include reading, music and collecting dolls. CHANGE congratulates her and wishes her all the very best in her future endeavours.