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Writing is not the only form of storytelling in India. A potpourri of cultures and ethnicities, India is home to some of the most brilliant dance forms. Kathak is one of the eight Indian classical dance forms and it is the art of storytelling. Watching a Kathak performance is like understanding a story. Engaging multiple sense, Kathak is a beautiful dance form to watch and admire. So when we went to meet Tapan we discovered a more detailed version of Kathak, we understood Kathak more than what we would have by just reading about it. Tapan’s skills as a Kathak artist are unparallel. One sunny morning, we went on the terrace of his house to watch him perform. His movements were flawless and his gait elegant. Kathak is an extremely expressive dance form. It not only takes practice but it also requires a natural talent. One has to carefully use their eyes to express everything, and Tapan has mastered the art of storytelling through his eyes. A tabla player played live music on which Tapan danced. The sound of the ghunghroos echoed in the air. It was a brilliant performance. I enjoyed every note and every step.
"Every great artist has a mentor, an inspiration."
One definitely requires a special skill set to perform Kathak, however these are not the only skills which Tapan possess. Being multitalented Tapan is also blessed with an eye for design. “I completed a post graduation diploma in fashion designing from NIFD” he said. Tapan’s knowledge in the field of dance and fashion run parallel to each other and his journey unfolded in the most unexpected ways. Tapan had stopped Kathak for a very long time after graduation, moving on to the field of fashion. Never expecting to return to dancing, Kathak came back to him in the most bizarre way. “I was at photocopying shop where I saw a flyer for Kathak training,” he narrated, “and I didn’t give it a second thought. I just called on the number and went to meet the trainer!” Today that trainer is his guru and has been for about ten years now. “I am grateful for her, she taught me everything I know, from the basics to the most difficult steps.” He smiled. Every great artist has a mentor, an inspiration. When Tapan talks about his, his eyes light up and sparkle. Asking about what kind of a trainer he would like to be Tapan replies, “someone who people can really look up to. When I train someone, be it in fashion designing or dance, I look for their natural talent and then try to enhance it.” His ideas are sound and make perfect sense; he is the kind of trainer who can also fit into the role of a perfect mentor.