Experts from the Kala Ashram Foundation of Udaipur were busy etching the magic of India in the snow-clad city of Chicago this month. Let’s see some tread-marks that emerged proudly even amidst a dense snowfall
It always puts your chin up when you stand beside the National Flag. But the pride and happiness amplifies immeasurably when you are out of India and at a Consulate abroad. More so, when a lot of curious and eager eyes and ears are glued on to learn something that is quintessentially Indian.
The members of Kala Ashram Foundation Dr. Saroj Sharma and Dr. Dinesh Khatri were embracing one such moment when they landed in Chicago early this month to attend the Cross Cultural exchange program. They were also honoured to share their expertise and speeches on Indian Art, Culture and Wellness in Consulate General of India in Chicago, USA.
Dr. Sharma was adorned the distinction of interacting and guiding some Kathak students there. As she reflects, “It was a beautiful experience to meet the people over there - specially these artists who are of Indian Origin and learning the Indian Classical Dance Kathak and Culture with so much fervour.” She witnessed, and contributed with her expert mentorship to, performances of each student during the meet.
In spite of the short duration of the exchange program, it was impressive to come across similar patterns of Jaipur and Lucknow Gharana of Kathak Dance like - Toda, That, Paran, Tihai, , Tumhari, Charkar Dar Toda and bhajan compositions as was reckoned by her during the visit.
The esteemed pair was given a warm welcome by Hon'ble Consulate General of India Mr. Sudhakar Dalela at Chicago, Illinois in his office at Downtown, along with Mr. Ranjit Singh, the second Consul and other staff. The sheer joy of being honoured with a Rajasthani Pagdi and Shawl as well as the lovely conversations with the people of Indian American Community there, were special memories that Dr. Sharma and Dr. Khatri brought back with them. These wonderful interactions and cultural workshops happened at the Cultural complex in Illinois.
Of course, the temperature in the Downtown was wobbling at ( -) 8 Degrees but the warmth of the students and Indian hearts there, as well as the beautiful spectacle of the large Lake Michigan thawed every hurdle away.
They also got a chance to relish the architectural wonders of the city apart from a spell-binding visit to the Art Institute of Chicago and reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda’s First Speech in the Nilambar Babu's Garden House.
Dr.Saroj was felicitated by the Indian American Community during her speech and Cultural Meet. Dinesh Khatri was given accolades for his musings on the Satvik Life and Yoga.
They thoroughly enjoyed and were encouraged by the open minds and thirst for learning that Chicago throbs with – specially when it comes to Kathak’s nuances and the wonders of Yoga.
Looks like Kathak’s journey is crossing not just borders but boundaries. With feet that know Tatkar, no floor is strange and no country too far.