Tag Archives: Stage Performances

Upholding the tradition

On October 01, 2003, the Ghantali Mandir Ground will offer the residents of Thane an opportunity to witness a unique dance competition. From five-year-old to those above 50 will participate in the Dance contest that is being organised by the Ghantali Prabhodini Sanstha. Participation to the contest is free. Now, if you think you are a great dancer and you’ve got it made, think again – because, the competition is for a particular genre of dance, popularly known as Bhondla.

Hindus, and in particular Maharashtrians, are very fond of cultural festivals. Each year, around the months of August to October, they celebrate many festivals. One of the prominent among these festivals is the Navratri. Like most other big festivals, Navratri is also known for a few peripheral celebrations, one of which is called the Bhondla dance. Bhondla begins with the installation of the deity’s idol and lasts up to the ninth day of Navratri. In the Hindu calendar month of Bhadrapada, when the sun moves to the thirteenth constellation of the zodiac called "Hasta" (Elephant), unmarried and newly married girls perform a dance known as "Bhondla" or "Hadga" and sing specially composed Hadga or "Bhulabai" songs.

If sources are to be believed, it promises to be an exciting contest. There are in all four age groups of participants: 5 – 14 yrs; 15 – 30 yrs; 31 – 50 yrs; and above 50 yrs. The participants will have to dance to the songs selected by organisers. These songs will vary from popular variety to the traditional Bhondla songs. To suit modern tastes, they will also play a few prevailing tunes.

What makes this contest difficult is that there are hardly any youngsters who are acquainted with the traditional dance forms. It’s a pity that while many foreigners take great interest in our rich cultural heritage, our own people do not value much what they have inherited from their own culture. Few countries in the world have a tradition, culture and variety as diverse and as multi-faceted as our own country. Underneath this diversity lies the continuity of Indian civilisation and social structure from the very earliest times until the present day. But, unless we reverse the current trend, we may be unable to sustain this continuity. And, future generations may perhaps only read about many of the delightful practices that once made their country so colourful and vibrant.

From this point of view, the city of Thane has many culture-conscious citizens who are constantly striving to bridge the gaps between past, present and the future. The Bhondla dance competition is one such example. Vilas Samant, chief organiser of the competition is of the opinion that most youngsters of today are not very familiar with the traditional practises that we have been following since ages. He says, "The idea behind the show is not solely entertainment. Our underlying goal it to create awareness among the younger generation and also generate some enthusiasm among them about the ancient customs. We want to keep the traditions from dying."
 
Perhaps no one else described India’s rich culture better than Mark Twain when he said, "India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, grandmother of legend, and great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only."

Readers interested in participating in the Bhondla dance contest may contact Pestcol Pesticide, Ghantali Devi Mandir Chowk, Thane. The last date for filling the forms is September 28.

Staging talent

In the early part of the twentieth century, there was an American actress known for her outspokenness. Tallulah Bankhead, who worked in virtually every medium – stage, screen, radio and television – once proclaimed, "It’s one of the tragic ironies of the theatre that only one man in it can count on steady work – the night watchman." What she was referring to was the uncertainty that dogs the lives of theatre professionals, most of who land up in this vocation due to their love of stage. They often struggle to survive and, if lucky, manage to sustain themselves. Yet, the struggle does not deter budding stage professionals.

When it’s the question of Marathi stage our city rules. Thane has always been known to have a rich theatrical background. This culturally rich city boasts of having produced some the most respected film, TV and stage artists. According to Datta Ghosalkar, producer of the hit Marathi play Yada Kadachit, "About 40 per cent producers of Marathi stage are based out of Thane." It is this disproportionate share of the city that prompted like-minded theatre producers from Thane to come together to form a committee that would encourage budding artists and existing stage banners by providing them with a platform to display their ability and creativity. Thus was born the "Thane District Commercial Play Producers’ Committee." In all 38 stage producers are its members. Ashok Pulekar Patil of Omkar Arts, producer of popular Marathi plays, "Smile please" and "Shame to Shame" serves as the President of the committee while Ghosalkar is the Secretary.
 
The main purpose of the committee is to help theatre professionals – actors, musicians, writers and all others who provide technical support. The committee also intends to organise talent competitions for school children in the area of acting, singing, writing, one act plays and so on.

From their very first effort, the committee seems to be enjoying tremendous support. A few weeks back, when they announced a short play competition for theatre professionals from Thane, our sporting artists urged the committee to throw open the competition to participants from across Maharashtra as they felt that this would make the contest fair and they would know there they stand in the world of Marathi theatre.

The first round of the short play competition (Ekanki Spardha) held in New English High School had as many as 44 teams participating from all over the state. 12 teams qualified for the next round which was held in Kalyan and Vashi. Four teams made it to the finals:
 
1.  Mitra Sahyog, Thane
2.  Chirantan, Thane
3.  Evamika Theatre, Vashi
4.  Sahkar Nagar, Dadar

The finals are scheduled to be held on August 25, 2003 at the Gadkari Rangayatan.

Writer-Director of the ultimate Marathi comedy "All the Best" and playwright Anand Mahavaskar were on the judges’ panel. Apart from the honour, the winning play will be converted into a full length show and will be commercially produced and promoted by one of the producers of the committee.

Celebrated Irish dramatist, novelist, & poet Oscar Wilde once said, "The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life." The Play Producers’ Committee is helping get life back to into art.

Promising Amateurs

"Acting deals with very delicate emotions. It is not putting up a mask. Each time an actor acts he does not hide; he exposes himself", penetrating words from celebrated American Comedian Rodney Dangerfield. On Sunday, 50 students, aged between 5 and 15 years, "exposed" their delicate emotions in a similar fashion in front of an enthralled audience at Nakhwa Hall in Thane East.

The students were participating in the annual acting competition organised by Mata Anasuya Baal Kala Manch, a group that organises acting camps. This is the fourth consecutive year of the camp and so far 425 students have graduated from this camp, which is organised simultaneously in Thane, Dadar, Vashi, Dombivli, Kalyan, Borivali. Famed Marathi stage, film and TV actress Anuradha Deshpande judged the event.

The key aspect of this competition was that every single participant was on stage for the very first time, with no prior experience in acting. Yet, once on stage, these amateurs displayed fine promise.

Each contestant had to perform a solo act. On several occasions, the audience spontaneously by cheering and clapping the performances. After articulately uttering his monologues, one little contender urged the audience, "If you agree with what I just said, please put your hands together". The audience was in splits, as the kid got an enthusiastic response to his appeal.

Then there was a boy who acted on a script he himself wrote. His script was interesting: How would an old lady, who has found a one-rupee coin, react? He then enacted her reactions in various styles ranging from the conventional bhajan-kirtan to the modern day filmi rap.

However, the performers who walked away with the first prize were Vipula Keer and Shripad Raut (It was a tie). Both these kids had chosen historic events as their theme. While Vipula became Jhansi Ki Ranni, Shripad was both, Aurangzeb and Sambhaji. Vipula was so immersed in her character that when role demanded that she weep, she did not resort to glycerine for tears – she had real ones in her eyes.

Rohan Joshi bagged second prize for his natural performance and the third prize was given to Kasturi Apte who was the youngest participator, aged just four years. What’s remarkable is that Kasturi had not attended the acting camp. Speaking about Kasturi, the chief organiser of the camp and the competition, Pravinkumar Bharde said, "Kasturi would accompany her elder sister for the acting camps and would keenly follow what was transpiring at these camp. When she learned about the competition, she immediately wanted to participate. Her enthusiasm was overwhelming and so I began preparing her for d-day. Today, when she received the second prize, it has surprised her parents and me. We are all proud of her."

Omkar Pole was awarded a consolation prize for his enacting of the extremely popular Marathi play, "NattaSamrat". Omkar’s voice modulation and facial expressions won him the prize, despite the fact that he was not properly attired. Commending his performance, Deshpande said, "The play is quite difficult to understand and the language used is also very complex. Yet, Omkar was able to pull it off quite well."

At the end, every contestant was given a certificate of participation. A farewell party is scheduled December 25 at Shiva Samartha Vidyalaya, Thane, wherein the winners will be felicitated. The focal attraction of this day is yet another exciting acting contest – only this time, the parents of the participants would compete with one another!

An Act of Play

The Thane unit of Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Natya Parishad (The All Indian Federation for Marathi Theatre) organised a competition of one-act plays on October 27, 2002. Held at the Marathi Grantha Sangralaya this year, the event is a wonderful grooming ground for local talent. The One Act Play Festival is an opportunity for up-and-coming acting talent to present their work in public and to have it adjudicated in public. The contestants compete not only for prizes but also for a chance to go to the bigger league: Professional theatre, television and films.

One-act plays are the theatre equivalent of a short story or a short film: the scope of their plots and their themes is limited. A typical one-act script follows a small cast of characters dealing with a specific set of circumstances through a brief period of time. It has all the conventional elements of theme, plot, character, and dialogue. It tells a story, albeit a short one, has a definite beginning, middle, and end, and shows significant change or growth in the main character. An audience invests less of their time viewing a one-act, so scripts can be more adventurous in subject and far more flexible in form.

The response to the festival this year was extremely encouraging. In fact, the organisers had to freeze acceptance of entries as the number of participants had grown beyond what they could manage properly. MP Prakash Paranjpe who was the chief guest, said "Usually, there are about 40 odd contestants each year. But this year, we had 68 contestants. The tremendous response is exciting and encouraging." Pleased with the response, he announced that this contest will now be held consecutively for next five years.

Paranjpe was not the only one who was impressed. The esteemed judges of the event, senior director Vijay Monkar and playwright Anuradha Soman expressed their delight too. So happy was Monkar with the performance that he declared off the cuff that he would conduct a free one-day workshop on acting for the upcoming talent.

Based on their age, the contestants were divided into two groups: Group one for contestants between 15 and 25 years and group two for those over 25 years. There were 41 contestants in the first group and 27 in the second.

Throughout the event, the audience was heard applauding performances and nothing motivated an artiste more than a round of applause. Add to this the fact that there were eminent personalities present among the audience and they too expressed their satisfaction with the performances. For instance, director Prakash Mahajan, who is scouting for some new faces for his next movie Maaza Aangaan Maaza Kshitij, said, "After watching the performances today, I am quite certain that I will find the right performers."

Prajakta Bhagwat from the first group one was awarded the first prize in her category. The judges appreciated her original theme of village life as well her performance. The first prize in the second group went to Datta Chavan who enacted a scene from famous Marathi play Ranangan.

Abhijit Bhagwat, Shweta Ghodke, Sunil Jagtap and Santosh Palav were the other prize winners. There were consolation prizes too, which were won by Katpesh Deokar Sarita Darekar and Harish Pagare. The prizes were given away by the senior theater director Keshavrao More and TV actor Eknath Shinde.

All work and no play makes…

Extra-curricular activities provide school students an opportunity to break away from the monotony of academic exertions. Several studies suggest that participation in such activities help students perform better in school and beyond. Better grades, lower absenteeism and success in later life are some of benefits associated with extra-curricular pursuits. (See Box)

City-based student group Jidnyasa has been endeavouring to cultivate the interest of students in non-school activities. Surendra Dighe who founded Jidnyasa in 1991, discloses, "Jidnyasa stands for curiosity – curiosity of new experiences. The name is derived from three words: ‘Jiddh’ or determination, ‘Gyan’ or knowledge and ‘Sahas’ or adventure. So Jidnyasa is an organisation that strives to encourage and develop the spirit of determination, knowledge and adventure among the students."

Since the last eight years, Jidnyasa has been bringing out a unique magazine called Shaleya Jidnyasa. This magazine is produced entirely by students. Everything, from editing and article contributions to page layout and cover design, is conceived and executed by students who from various city schools. The magazine is published in English and Marathi and is circulated among students in the city.

The next issue of the magazine is due in the month of November, to coincide with Diwali. To create excitement and also generate content for the issue, an essay competition has been organised. Students from across Thane district are being invited to participate in the competition. There are three topics from which students can choose:

  • "What would be your promise to the President of India?" (300 words)
  • "Which successful individual do you admire the most? Choose from the fields of education, social service, sports, science and literature" (300 words)
  • "Cricket is a national obsession. Do you like cricket. Why/Why not?" Write in 400 words

Students are also encouraged to contribute stories, poems, drawings and other interesting material suitable for publication. Entries may be sent to: SHALEYA JIDNYASA, 14 Suyash Society, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Naupada, Thane – 400602

Benefits of Extra-Curricular Activities to Students

  1. Broadens horizons
  2. Promotes physical development
  3. Encourages team spirit and social skills
  4. Teaches time management
  5. uilds confidence
  6. Provides outlet for stress
  7. Teaches commitment and decision-making

Remembering an eternal soul
Noted writer and academician Shyam Phadke was one of those rare individuals who achieve immortality through their work. Though no more among us, his writings make his presence felt even today.

Last week, Phadke’s eleventh death anniversary was observed in a special manner. Unlike previous years, when famous personalities were called in to give speeches, this year his wife Sumati decided to honour her late husband by staging portions of the popular plays written by him.

The programme was held at Naupada Hindu Bhagani Mandal and the show was hosted by Makrand Joshi, son of stage actor Shashi Joshi. Portions of six different plays were staged. These mini-plays were directed by Prabodh Kulkarni, well-known stage and TV actor. Performers included stage actors Yatin Thakur, Satish Agashe, Jyotsna Karkhanis, Asha Khari and Arun Vaidya. Child-artist Vedashri Agashe captivated the audience by her solo act.

According to one of spectators, Phadke’s plays can be considered as classics. The evening was nostalgic for many who were associated with Phadke during his lifetime. Shyam Phadke, who was fondly called Bapu, was rated as one of the only two great Marathi writers who scripted truly humorous plays, the other being Baban Prabhu. He also wrote plays for children, among others.

In addition to being an accomplished writer, Phadke served as the principal of Dnyansadhana College and is still remembered fondly by all students and teachers who were associated with him. Show-host Joshi, who was one of the many students trained by Phadke said, "Phadke Sir would get so involved with his students, that they often forgot they had a teacher among them. His dedication to whatever he did was extraordinary."

Towards the end of the evening Sumati Phadke felicitated all those who contributed to the programme. As the people were leaving the venue, there was one feeling shared by most…that Shyam Phadke lives on.

Words are all I Have

"Theatre is Life with the dull bits cut out", said Alfred Hitchcock. And the one individual who often facilitates these cuts is the compere. Compere is a British term, meaning Master of Ceremonies. And masters they are, of every stage show. Ask any regular patron of the Gadkari Rangayatan and chances are that he or she will tell you: A compere plays a key role in the success of any stage show.

A compere is also the life of large shows such as The Academy Awards (Oscars) or our very own Filmfare Awards. We have have experienced all too often how a good compere can lift the show to higher level and how a bad compere can spoil the best of shows.

But although it is easy to criticize, the job of a compere isn’t a bed of roses. Many people think that all you need to become a successful compere is the gift of the gab. But think again: A professional compere always needs to be prepared for the worst. Problems like malfunctioning of the sound system, stage lights going awry, guests arriving late – or worse – not arriving at all, often crop up when least expected. The three laws of theatre that every compere is familiar with:

  • Everything will take longer than it really should.
  • If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.
  • Glory may be fleeting but obscurity lasts forever.

This then makes hosting a live stage show (or even a live TV show) much harder to do well than acting, on stage or in front of the camera. For one, there are no re-takes. Two, you have to keep coming back – even if it’s not going well! Often you’ll have to cut your bits short because an act overran. Sometimes you may have to pull an act off, if they’ve badly overrun or are putting off the audience as well as ruining the night for the next act.

Fortunately, there’s hope for aspiring comperes. Madhyam, a Thane-based group runs training classes for aspiring actors and comperes. Madhyam has been founded by Minal Chilekar, who is herself a professional compere and has hosted many professional shows, including official functions held at the residences of senior dignitaries such as the Prime Minister and the President.

Madhyam trains its students in various aspects of compering. Overcoming stage fright, developing spontaneity, understanding the etiquettes of stage shows and managing eventualities are some of the areas touched.

Madhyam enjoys the services of such esteemed faculty as Ravi Patwardhan, Sampada Kulkarni, Vasanti Vartak, Prabhod Kulkarni, Rupesh Kadu and Somkuwar. All these are noted professionals in the areas of acting, compereing and other stage activities.

Interestingly, although Madhyam’s courses are primarily designed to train people into becoming professional actors and comperes, the institute frequently receives requests from strange quarters. 65-year old senior citizen Meena Patankar, 12-year old schoolgirl Shreya Sukhi and Lakshman Parekar, a purohit (a priest who performs puja) are all students of Madhyam. Patankar is the secretary of the Scouts and Guides association, who uses her newly acquired skills to motivate and control her students. Little Shreya’s objective is to participate in professional public speaking competitions such as debates and elocutions. Purohit Parekar’s reason for taking up the course is rather unique. His occupation requires him to undertake long monologues – he often addresses large gatherings of people, explaining to them the meaning of the Sanskrit Slokas and their relevance to the puja that he performs. Recently, Ruia College recently approached Madhyam to train the members of Vaad Sabha, a debate group comprising of students from the college.

"All the world is a stage", said Shakespeare. Looking at the diverse variety of people enrolling for Madhyam’s courses, the whole world does seem like a stage.

Catch them young!

It was a pleasure watching young girls aged between five and eight performing in front of the huge audience at Gadkari Rangayatan on June 16, 2002. The occasion was the "Aakaar", the annual day function of Payal Nritya Natya Academy.

The tiny tots performing Bharatnatyam displayed an amazing sense of synchronization in their movements. Despite the difficult body movements involved in this form of dance, the little girls carried off the show with finesse. The group also enacted a unique theme of Mathematics by contorting their bodies to make the plus, minus, division and multiplication signs.

The audience was obviously spellbound as few expected these young performers to display such remarkable grace. These days, when most kids seem to enjoy dancing only to the tunes of Hindi film music, the petite girls seemed like a fresh gust of air.

Among the prominent personalities present was renowned stage actor Anant Mirashi who praised the little performers no end. "I always thought that classical dance was difficult and was only meant for adults. But these girls have changed my viewpoint. What surprised me were the perfect expressions that they brought out on their faces."

Celebrated American dancer and choreographer Martha Graham said, "Great dancers are not great because of their technique; they’re great because of their passion." The passion for dance seems ignited in these girls!

Star Struck Stocks
Stock market fever has gripped a number of Thaneites. Day-traders or ‘punters’ as they are fondly called, dot not only the bylanes of Dalal Street but also sub-broking shops in Thane’s Naupada, Panchpakadi and Charai areas. Walk into one of them between 10 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. and the chaos just zaps you. A dealer furiously enters quotes for buying and selling on a computer terminal, connected to a nationwide network, for what seems like a million simultaneous voices.

The most striking aspect of the chaos is the many "techniques" employed by the punters to predict stock price movements, some of which are devoid of any logic. One such extreme method is the use of astrological tables.

Many traders in Thane use the position of stars and planets to predict minute to minute movement of stock prices. Based on these predictions, the traders actually decide to buy or sell. The enterprising ones have even started advising others. One such trader advises: "You can avoid many losses and maximize your gains by only trading when your planetary transits are favorable for speculating. When your transits aren’t right for speculating, it is best to stay out of the markets. Execute your trading plan when your personal cycles are right, and watch the winning trades roll." So the next time you hear about the stock market crash, blame it on the stars.

Melodious Transition

Natya Sangeet, or stage songs, is an important part of the Indian culture. And Thane city is certainly very Indian at heart. This was evident from the response to a programme on changing patterns of Natya Sangeet, which was held at Gadkari Rangayatan on February 16, 2002. More than a thousand people attended the show.

The event was organized by CKP Social Club of Thane City in conjunction with a Mumbai-based cultural group called Swarendu. The theme of the show was "Changing Colors of Natya Sangeet since 1947". Shrikrishna Dalvi, award-winning music critic, stage artist and vocalist, hosted the show.

Dalvi, who was felicitated by the CKP Club, discussed the evolution and progression of Natya Sangeet since independence. The uniqueness of the show was in the way it was presented. All through his discourse, Dalvi was accompanied by renowned singers like Suresh Bapat, Sharad Jambhekar, Varsha Bhave and Nilakshi Pendharkar.

Each time Dalvi discussed the style of a particular era, one of the singers performed to demonstrate that style.

According to Suresh Gupte of CKP Social Club committee, "Shrikrishna Dalvi was the life of the show. His oration left everyone in the audience spellbound." During the show, Dalvi made many significant observations about the transition of Natya Sangeet. For instance, according to him, in the olden days of Natya Sangeet, music and lyrics were produced in isolation from one another, creating a mismatch between the two. But now, lyrics are written first and the rhythm is then composed around it.

The show was a huge success, touching the soul of everyone present. And why not, as H. W. Longfellow once said, "Music is the universal language of mankind – poetry their universal pastime and delight."

Win some, Lose some
While for most of us, the civic elections may have come and gone, without leaving so much as a trace of memory, but for some the recently concluded elections will not be forgotten for a long, long time.

Prashant Gawand, the NCP candidate who stood in the civic elections from ward 34-A, lost by the smallest margin possible. That’s right – he lost by just one vote! He got 2055 votes while Deepak Jadhav of BJP got 2056 votes. Gawand found it hard to digest that he could lose in such a way, though all indications before elections were favorable to him. He requested for recounting though he had a tough time dealing with the officials.

Gawand also doesn’t rule out foul play as he says, "A couple of days before the polls, Jitendra Avad had informed the Police and the press about the printing of bogus ballet papers that might be used for altering the results".

We may never know what really happened is in this case. But the situation clearly calls for the serious look at the system of elections. Also, we should all realize that every vote makes a difference. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good: ‘Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm."

Dance Stance

Pandit Birju Maharaj, the most distinguished Kathak Dancer of our times, and the recipient of Padma Vibhushan award, was in Thane’s Gadkari Rangayatan Auditorium last week to participate in Gopikrishna Sangeet Mahotsav. While on stage, he recounted a rather funny but meaningful episode that occurred during a performance tour in Russia.

Just a day before the performance was scheduled, the Pakhawaj master who was to accompany Birju Maharaj in the show, realized that he has forgotten to carry atta (wheat flour) required for treating the Pakhawaj. For the uninitiated, the Pakhawaj is an important drumming instrument that accompanies Kathak. The Pakhawaj, known as the king of Indian drums, produces an extraordinarily rich resonance. This powerful reverberation is a result of a flat cake of whole-wheat dough, which has to be prepared fresh for each playing before it is loaded on to the drum-skin.

Coming back to the Performance in Russia, Birju Maharaj and the Pakhawaj player knew that they had to get hold of wheat flour for the show to go on. So they set out to find it in the foreign country. They visited a local bakery but found it extremely difficult to communicate the exact nature of their need as they could not speak Russian and the Bake Man did not understand English.

When verbal attempts failed, Birju Maharaj turned to his Kathak Skills, using his hand movements to convey what was needed. After managing to gesticulate "bread" and the "dough" that goes into making it, Birju Maharaj finally succeeded in putting across his need of wheat-flour, which the bake-man delivered to the artists so that they could go on with their show.

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul", said Martha Graham. We may add that it is also a language that souls of all nationalities can understand.

A Rhythmic Challenge
While on the subject of Kathak as an art form, a mention must be made of Mrs. Manjiri Deo, a well-known personality in the field of Kathak Dance. About 25 years ago, this disciple of Padmashree Nataraj Gopikrishna, founded Shri Ganesh Nritya Kala Mandir in Thane to teach Kathak dancing. Then, a few years ago, she came across Netrali Bhide, a deaf and dumb girl from Thane, who wanted to be her student.

Mrs. Deo took up the challenge of teaching Kathak to Netrali. "I knew it was going to be difficult to teach someone who can’t hear. But I was also aware that Kathak depends on the technique of abhinay (miming). Now, suppose a dancer, unaided by music, were to keep his eye on any person or object (for e.g. movement of the drumsticks) which was marking dancing-time to his/her sight, then he or she could definitely dance to it," states Mrs. Deo enthusiastically.

Although Netrali had previously performed in dance and ballet shows, that was with other handicapped students. Acquiring a degree in Kathak was altogether a different matter. But with Netrali determined to master Kathak, Mrs. Deo put her heart and soul into this challenge. Netrali’s parents too were quite supportive of their child, which according to Mrs. Deo was extremely important.

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination", said Tommy Lasorda, one of the greatest Baseball managers of the United States. Last year, at the age of 20, after years of meticulous practice, Netrali went on to become the first and only Deaf and Dumb girl in India to obtain a Visharad in Kathak. Her determination has certainly paid off.