I was blessed to have had the opportunity to spend a large fraction of my childhood under the loving care of my grandmother Mrs Shanti Sahai ‘Nalini’ whose expertise in music, dance dholak, tabla, and poetry provided me with a very unique and rich environment to grow up in. Seeing her successfully run a dance school in my most impressionable years got me truly fascinated with the idea of being a dance teacher just like her. Her popularity as a multi-talented teacher, her amazing knowledge of the arts, her leadership in so many organizations and her enigmatic presence, all and more had a profound impact on my own personality. She was the one who provided me with the opportunity to learn from several very accomplished gurus from renowned institutions like the Bhatkhande Institute. My parents further helped nurture my talents by making it possible for me to learn. They provided the loving atmosphere for each of my talents to blossom. I am forever indebted to them. Today, I am what I am entirely due to the blessings of these gurus, my grandmother, and my parents.
Being a teacher of Indian performing arts here in the United States poses a special challenge. The language and style to impart lessons had to be tailored to a form which students here could relate to. It became important to cultivate the atmosphere of culture (which is naturally prevalent in India) in addition to teaching the art form. Traditional aspects of learning such as the guru-shishya parampara are taught to the students and there is an expectation of commitment and respect. It is my hope and desire to have opened the window of culture and tradition in these young minds, rather than simply teaching the art itself.