Hima Kala Kendra

We knew her as Ms Hima Devi.

I always remember her as a lady with immense attitude, a cigarette between her fingers, puffing smoke in our middle school classroom. After a while our Victorian “ha, hoo” shocked by her stance, simply stopped.

Hima was just Hima… cool. No, we did not use that term then. But in my mind, I always remember Hima as an angry woman. Upset with the world outside, while the insides of her brain were immersed in drama – Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, Shakespeare… and continually pacing in the classroom, her feet were perhaps eager to dance in Manipuri while her fiery eyes matched the exaggerated movements in a Kathakali.

She once picked on me in class announcing rather dramatically that I would be the first to go behind the ghunghat (a long veil drawn over my face) — symbolic of a newly-wed bride (in another era)… 😉 Would she chuckle, I wonder, if she knew that I almost missed that opportunity of wearing the coveted veil… or would she roll her eyes in disbelief!

I wonder if anyone remembers how we were summoned to pay an immediate visit to Strand Book Stall – no, not New York’s Strand that claims to hold miles of books in its single store in Manhattan, but the one off Pherozeshah Mehta Road, and a stone’s throw from the Reserve Bank of India building in Mumbai. Alas, Mr. T.N. Shanbag has also passed on. The book, I remember, that was imperative for us to get – in middle school, again, within walking distance of this ‘bookstall’ (a book lover’s delight)  – was the late 17th century literary work of John Bunyan… The Pilgrim’s Progress!

There’s very little I actually knew then about this doyenne, a grand dame if you will… every now and again I run a search to find so little. While updating my previous post that I wrote five years ago, in the comments I added some articles others have referenced her in. But here are some visuals… piece these together to learn a little bit more… note how far back these will take you…

Hima 10Hima 8Hima 7Hima 6Hima 5Hima 4Hima 3Hima 2


Although there are few references available, there’s little doubt in my mind that hundreds and thousands of students who were under her tutelage, however briefly, would always have at least an atom sized space about Hima, in their memory. We loved you, admired you. Few can emulate your grace, sharp wit, your elegance, your style, your sense of timing, your voice, the words, the tone, the pitch, diction, the drama… you will stay with us.






Dancer, Photographer, Soprano Singer, Writer, Director, Movie maker… Dreamer?

A short while ago a couple of people ‘followed’ me i.e. this blog. Now that can seem mighty flattering, if you too blog, be it on Blogger, WordPress, or wherever else… By the way, can someone tell me if there’s a ‘word’ for someone who blogs on WordPress?

Pronto, like for the 99.99% out there, curiosity got the better of me so I checked out these followers, and whoa, what do I see? One of them is an actress with her very own IMDb page. But for me, this lady is accomplished in ways that hold a greater significance. Well-traveled across four continents, that too solo; a photographer, a dancer, beautiful and bold enough to battle with a baboon… no, kidding I’m not! I won’t plagiarize, or re-post what Lena has posted, photographed or written about. To get to know a bit of her very interesting character, you may want to begin here, and she will lead you thereon. 😉 Thank you, Lena. I recall visiting your page many months ago and then again moments ago. What a fantastic journey you’re on. Lovely, and my best wishes to you for even more exciting times ahead.

Another person that I listened to yesterday is a soprano singer. It is simply amazing when I learned of her achievements. It speaks to her sheer dedication, and in no small measure her determination. Searching for a link to add here, I visited Charlotte‘s blog even as I’m typing these words. It’s just fascinating to see the dreams of people taking shape, in one form or another… music, dance… wow!

Recently, I wrote about an indie film. It took the writer/director over seven years to bring his dream to fruition. I do wish his film too meets with the success it deserves… both, for his effort, for taking on a subject that is both intricate as it is difficult to explain in a few scenes.

Thank you people, for allowing me, and the world, to peek into your vast universe that’s brimming with dreams. Pray, where’s the dream catcher?  About some of the others I will write again another day. 🙂

Sathvaro Radheshyam No… saath chhuti gayo, for now!

Just called up the Thakkars in the US, but Nilesh & Arpita Thakkar’s troupe, who staged the dance-ballet Sathvaro Radheshyam No, has returned to Inda. No shows in the AZ region… sorry!

But they may be back next Spring, around April 2010. Something to look forward to, I guess…

Sathvaro Radheshyam No… brought to you in the US by…

It’s Sunday and in my determination to locate the sponsors/organizers of the dance ballet production, here’s the precise theme information I found:

Gujarati Dance Ballet produced by Arpita and Nilesh Thakkar
Gujarati Dance Ballet produced by Arpita and Nilesh Thakkar
Gokul, Vrindavan, Nathdwara or say, "Shrinathji".
Gokul, Vrindavan, Nathdwara or say, "Shrinathji".

India Journal’s review of “Sathvaro Radheshyam No”

In my search for the US schedule of this Gujarati production, I finally found at least one review: India Journal’s review for the dance ballet.

Now I have the names of all the promoters; national: Natwar Thakkar of 999 Enterprises Inc and Hiren Parpani Productions; regional sponsors: Harshida, Harish, Dhanesh Parmar of Dhanraj & Tisha Entertainment Inc along with C N Travel and Highglow Jewelers.

Wow, given that no one has thus far been able to write to me providing me with info I needed yesterday, I must now carry out a search to locate the afore-stated names, so as to contact them, and find out if there are shows scheduled in the Southwest.

Hello, would anyone out there in cyberspace care to make my task easy? Would really appreciate it. In the meanwhile, “Thanks”, India Journal. 🙂