TRANSLATION OF TAMIL ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN A MAGAZINE CALLED KAMADHENU. WRITTEN BY MR RAMESH KUMAR. PUBLISHED ON 27TH JAN 2019.
Title of Article: Natyanjali for Friendship (written inside brown box).
“She (Janaki Krishnan) would have been there in the auditorium” written in yellow.
The city of Chennai had lost its bustle after a hectic music season in the month of Margazhi [Dec 16 to Jan 13]. I met her on the last day of Margzhi at Kalakshetra Colony.
Akmaral is a citizen of Kazakhstan, a former student of Kalakshetra. There is an yet another aspect to feel proud about. To pay a tribute to friendship, she had arrived in India from Kazakhstan.
When I found the address and pressed the calling bell, she welcomed me with a smile saying «Vanakkam, please come».
Once I sat down, she proceeded to describe her Indian visit as if it is a story.
«In Kazakhstan my mother was a singer and she used to sing folk tunes. So from a very young age I developed an interest in fine arts.Before Independence of our country, there was no opportunity to learn Bharathanatyam. In 1991, our country became independent. After that, in 1993, I came to India to study Bharathanatyam. At that time all I knew was it was a form of dance. In those days internet, newspapers, TV channels etc were not that common. I am the first citizen of my country who came to India on a scholarship of Indian Government for study. At Kalakshetra, Chennai I studied for five years Bharathanatyam and nattuvangam. I obtained MA DEGREE in Bharathanatyam and a diploma in Yoga.»
Bharathanatyam is the foundation of classical dance. I realized that traditional dance has its roots in this dance format. It is not just a dance format: you can add many aspects like divinity, tradition, intelligence, philosophy etc. After learning this traditional dance, I wished to teach this to people of my country.
One day I was going on bicycle to my class. On way I met Janakiamma. I had missed the path to Kalakshetra and asked her the way. She replied to my question in Russian. I was very excited. We then became very close to each other. One can say she is my South Indian mother.
Janaki Krishnan was a teacher of Russian language in Moscow University. After serving there, she returned to Chennai. She was a translator here and she taught Russian language for free to many students. She was an active member of Russian Cultural Center. She wrote a book called TEACHERS OF RUSSIAN. She and I had visited many places and many temples. She was more than a friend; she was a mother who taught me many things. It is 25 years since I met her and the last occasion I saw her was in December 2017. I got the news she had passed away in Jan 2018. I could not travel at once. Throughout the year 2018 I was full of her memories. She was always helpful to people, doing things and also thinking further. She had done immense service to society. In a world where people think of food, sleep, enthusiasm and entertainment, she was one soul that cared for humanity.
«We should return to society what we have got» were the words she often said. Attracted by those words, in my country,I teach students Bharathanatyam and yoga, for free. Today there is a lot of violence in the world. People regard money as the most important thing. Life is very mechanical. By learning Bharathanatyam my students have more self confidence and they are better at studies. Yoga is a great science and is a tool to discipline the mind.I do this as a service to society and I consider it as my moral obligation.
Although I was unhappy I could not take part in the final journey of Janaki amma, I wanted to do something in her memory and so I came to India. I presented a Bharathanatyam recital at Russian Cultural Center on 12th Jan 2019, in her memory. She would have witnessed that by being present in the audience, said Akmaral with tears in eyes.
Crossing oceans, art brings humanism. Akmaral’s eyes show that humanism.
This is a sentence-for-sentence translation. Almost accurate. The original meaning in Tamil has been conveyed in English almost entirely say 95%. I have not altered the English text to make it look polished for an English reader. Each paragraph in English represents each paragraph of Tamil report. There are eleven paragraphs.
A Tamil Magazine reporter met Akmaral and had an interview. That article has been published. Akmaral requested for translation. The journalist has done a good job. The article is very nice when read in Tamil.