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A Dance Festival that celebrates Birthday of Guru

After years and years of practise, hard work, criticism and appreciation a dancer finally reaches and becomes a teacher and mentor for others. If such a guru finds a student who is as dedicated or may be even more determined than himself then it is the best gift this blessed guru can ever ask for. I have known of this extremely blessed mentor for many years, he is not only a fantastic dancer but a person we all look up to for advice in all possible ways, be it professional or personal. I am talking about the extremely talented Bharatnatyum exponent Guru Deepak Majumdar, he is the dance teacher and guru of the dancing diva of India Hema Malini, Esha Deol and Ahana Deol. Whenever I have seen Hemaji dance I would wonder how can she look like a Goddess herself in each of her performances. The answer to it was simple when I met this dynamic man, it is all his years of training her that makes her look this way.

But Deepak ji’s story does not end here, all these years of zindagi ki poonji of any teacher are his students and Deepak ji is the richest man I must say in that aspect. This year being his 60th birth year his most dedicated student Rupak Mehta introduced a show ‘Brahma Varsha Utsava’ through his dance academy ‘Brahmnaad’ and also launched a magazine of art and culture ‘Brahmabodhi’ dedicated to his Guru. I was lucky to witness the opening show of ‘Brahmnaad’ last week. The inaugural lamp was lit by Sangeet Natak Akademi Chairman Shekhar Sen and the show was attended by accomplished dancers like Uma Dogra, Uma Rele, Revathi Srinivas Raghavan, Padmini Radhakrishnan, Sucheta Chapekar Bhide and many more.

The two days festival had performers from all over India showcasing their talent and wishing Deepka ji a life filled with loads of dancing, happiness and good health. Day one had Solo performances by Divya Ravi from Bangalore performing Bharatnatyum, Dr. Rekha Raju also from Bangalore performing Mohiniattam, Vaidehi Kulkarni from Nasik performing Kuchipudi, Preeti Valuskar from Mumbai performing Kathak. Duet Performance was by Indrayanee Mukherjee and Sarita Kalale from Mumbai performing Kathak. Group dance of Bharatnatyum was by Arundhati Patwardhan and her group from Pune.

The day two had Solo performances by Mumbai dancers Apurva Dani performing the Odissi, Sujatha Nair and Megha Ahire performing Mohiniattam and Soumya Bose from Bhubaneswar performing the Odissi. Duet was performed by Nithash and Biaca Radhakrishna from Bangalore performing Bharatnatyum, there was also Eshani Sathe and Neeraj Solanki from Akola performing Kathak and Richa Srivastava and Sunil Sunkara from Mumbai performing Kathak.

The two days of dance celebration and madness was well received by the Mumbai audience all pouring in to wish Deepak ji a very Happy Birthday and a super year ahead. The Brahmnaad advisory board too has a long list of dance lovers on it, from MP Hema Malini to dance critic Sunil Kothari, from Music Director Ravindra Jain to dancer Darshana Zaveri all are a part of this dynamic dance festival that celebrates the love of a student for his Guru.

The beauty of the festival was that each artist who performed or attended the event was given respect with a shawl and a momento. This kind of appreciation is long forgotten by many and seeing this years old Indian tradition coming back to life was refreshing, each person present at the utsav went back with memories that would last a long time.

It is rare to see such love, respect and warmth from a student towards his guru in today’s world. And all the credit of this goes to Rupak Mehta who even today has maintained the dignity of a dedicated student towards his mentor and guide. I admire Deepak Majumdar for having such a devoted student like Rupak, surely it is all the blessing of Lord Natraj that is pouring on to him on his 60th birthday making it super special forever.

Artscape By Sandip Soparrkar

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