“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”-Jesse Owens
This story is about Ishwari Babar, a girl from Pune, Maharashtra, who justifies the above quote completely. Ishwari was born & raised in Pune. She has done her schooling from Pune & later completed her B. Tech from Pune. In her childhood, her behavior was like a boy, she used to play with boys, she loved watching Power Rangers in childhood, she enjoyed playing cars and bikes more than playing with dolls. Due to all these reasons her mother was always worried, so she decided to take Ishwari to Bharatanatyam classes. And from there Ishwari’s Bharatanatyam journey started. Ishwari was in Second grade when her mother took her to Bharatanatyam class for the first time. Initially, she did not like dancing at all. She did not understand much at that time. So she would go quietly in the corner and see her seniors dancing. She didn’t miss a single class, no matter how heavy the rain falls, her mother used to take her to every Bharatanatyam class. When Ishwari was in fourth grade, her mother was unable to take her to Bharatanatyam classes due to some reasons and it was the first time she missed her class. Then she stopped going to class because she was too young and the class was far away from her house. So she could not go to Bharatanatyam class in fourth, fifth and sixth grade.
Ishwari started going to Bharatanatyam classes again when she was in seventh grade. It was very difficult for her to restart learning Bharatanatyam. She faced many difficulties at that time. With her dedication and hard work, she soon got rid of all these difficulties. With time her love for Bharatanatyam grew. When she was in eighth grade, a Bharatanatyam competition was organized on the occasion of Guru Purnima. She prepared for this competition with great effort and dedication. Just a day before the competition she got a high fever and the Doctor strictly instructed her for bed rest. But she didn’t listen to the doctor and went to participate in the competition. Despite suffering from high fever, she danced in the competition and won the first prize. After that, Ishwari’s love for Bharatanatyam grew much more. She stopped going to her Bharatnatyam classes again when she came in class 10th because of the board examinations. Then she stopped learning dance for the 10th, 11th, and 12th i.e. 3 years.
After passing the board examination of class XII, when she was admitted into the college, she always felt an empty feeling inside her. She always used to feel like something is missing in her. Then in the first year of college, she started going to Bharatanatyam classes again. She learned Bharatanatyam with a lot of hard work and perseverance in her college life. She was very prominent not only in Bharatanatyam but also in studies. She kept a balance between both studies and Bharatanatyam. In March 2019, her Guru realizes that Ishwari is ready for her Arangetram. Arangetram is the debut on-stage performance of a student of Indian classical dance and music. This first performance follows years of training. Many Indian classical dance forms perform an arangettam once the time has come for a disciple.
Her Arangetram practice started in April 2019, in the early days there was a practice of 4 or 5 hours a day. And gradually the practice time increased and after a few months, the practice time increased to 10-12 hours per day.
It was her last year of graduation & along with the practice, she also had to make time for her final year examination and in between, she took time to study for the final year & she also passed her final year examination with good grades. As we all know, we have to lose something to get something. In October 2019, Ishwari received a mail from Infosys, regarding her joining in the company. It was her dream job.
She had her Arangetram in January, so she wrote to Infosys that she can’t join now so please extend the time of joining but Infosys denied her request of joining later by saying if you want to join, join now otherwise leave the job. It was very difficult for her. Dance is her love & working in an IT company is her passion, she wanted a balance between the two. Her father told her, “what would you do by dancing? You do the job, it is your dream job, do not leave your job for dance. Eshwari took her time and she said no to Infosys and yes to her Arangetram after all, Ishwari worked so hard for her Arangetram.
In January 2020, a very grand program of the Arangetram was organized. Ishwari won the heart of all the decisions including the audience by performing there.
Ishwari was selected for an event, to be held in New Delhi, in May 2020, where The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji was also invited but unfortunately that program was canceled due to COVID-19.
Ishwari is now working in a company in Pune, Capgemini, and is also doing her Visharad from Mumbai University, after completing it, she will get a degree which is equivalent to Bachelor’s Degree in Dance.
She has struggled a lot and she says, “When we do struggle for something that we love, it doesn’t matter how hard the struggle is, that becomes a fun.” As she says, “Dance is love for her. It’s not just a hobby for her, she’ll keep doing it, dancing makes her feel very beautiful, good, it is a feeling that can’t be expressed in words”.