As we kick off yet another chapter of The Junoon Gurukul at The Avasara Academy, the only way we thought we could begin was by getting into some serious exchanges with Mr. Vinayak, the Head of Catering and Nutrition, at the establishment.

Nutrition is the beginning and the cornerstone of any physical, mental and spiritual practice. The Junoon Gurukul being a holistic learning experience of the Classical Arts, we need our girls to be absolutely healthy in mind, body and spirit.

What they eat, when they eat, how much they eat, how much they must, how often they should and the need to inculcate a love and appreciation for the food on their plates is vital not only to their performance and practice but overall wellbeing.

Mr. Vinayak and his team of delightful, affable and eager chefs, feeders and servers are the reason why our girls can and will perform better as they step back into their parallel Arts curriculum. And they try so hard to make the food that wouldn't generally or necessarily be a child's flavour of preference palatable to so many!

The Junoon Gurukul is grateful for the effort and for their contribution to keeping our girls healthy and apprised of the benefits of good, regular and pleasurable eating!


You never know where a message or word of advice can lead. When we received a rather quotable one from our inimitable Coach and Mentor overseas, Dr. Almuth McDowall, it absolutely had to take centre stage in our classroom.

The quote reads:
"Remember each day to centre on one aspect which is important for your artistry - and something that you can share with the girls. Perhaps it is imbuing feeling right into the ends of your line. How dance is never dance without the soul that guides it!"

That was it then. Form and Feeling became the focus of our class and throughout our physical practice, we tried to keep with it - to finish our movements, to keep our lines, to really feel our very Classical Dance.

When we were done, we reviewed and re-read the quote to see just how much more sense it made to us. We responded to it, shared our better understanding of it and even had Ms. Maneesha, leading, guiding, facilitating and supporting student life here at Avasara, give us an analogy that re-inforced:

"No matter how practiced your Art is, you still have to focus and follow it with feeling when you practice and perform it."

Thank you Coach from far far away for being not so far away and giving the girls something to think about and carry with them for the rest of their dancing days!

Words to live by, indeed.


Speaking of quotes,
We read one before coming into session that has stuck with us. It says, "Words are the only victors".

And so, in Gurukul today, our girls put their understanding of FORM, FOCUS, FEELING, SOUL AND COMPLETION (of movement and feeling through to the end of the creation of a line or shape in air) in the context of Classical Dance and other Arts, into succinct, triumphant and summarizing paragraphs of their own.

Our writing dancers then danced their writing into practice. Movements were crisper, lines more defined and metaphors a lot clearer for they had set their own agenda on paper before putting it into performance.

Words are the only victors because they help codify, preserve and help us go back to parts of us - our journeys, our experiences, (and, here) our practice of and progress within the realm of Classical Dance in every phase we've been with it.

What stays, wins. As will our girls' grasp on their beautiful dance art forms.
What a beautiful, victorious, glorious thought. Put, of course, into words after all!