Confluence of Heritage & Culture

April 2, 2022 by Aarya Chavda0

Confluence of Heritage & Culture

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‘Words of wisdom’ from 91-year-old living legend of Kathak, Kumudiniben Lakhia, who is a pioneer in contemporary Kathak dance and choreography. Awardee of Padma Shree, Padma Bhushan, Sangeet Natak Akademi, in her field of performing art, Kumudiniben is one of the most gifted Indian choreographers who have brought a huge change to Kathak’s repertoire. As a dancer, she pushed her boundaries and went beyond herself, while experimenting the traditional techniques of solo performances into ensemble works.

Spending 3 hours with Kumudiniben on July 25th 2021, gained insight in me, on the true wisdom and importance of our culture. Kumiben’s values obtained over these years show her incredible dance experience, of over 7 decades, on spreading cultural values of India, throughout the world.

Time stands still with Kumiben. Her eagerness is reflected in her voice, as Kumiben rightly states that whenever we see things with a certain inner equipoise, we would find an enhancement in every aspect of our life.

With pure enthusiasm in her voice, the legend elaborated about her inspiration that lead her to the thought of preserving the Indian culture, in quite a distinctive way, “When I was doing Kathak, the way I was taught, was very limited. Limited in the sense, we stuck to only that culture which we thought was necessary for our form of art. But I thought that someone like me should take it forward. At that time, I didn’t know what I would do, so I tried bringing in new ideas, and started with abstract work.”

Not only was I bestowed with the unique wisdom of Kumiben, but also 4 books gifted to me, as a blessing by her, out of which one is her biography.  Her bright, glistening eyes and her voice filled with hope, the living legend of Kathak conveyed her message to today’s generation like me, “Try and understand what you are doing. Don’t just try to accomplish something because others tell you to do it. Follow you heart and achieve something which has a meaning to you, with which you can actually grow, to become more sensitive and creative.”

Kumiben’s inspirational words warmed my heart and the world needs hundreds of her, for motivating and supporting the youth like us, to preserve our precious culture and heritage.



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