Can you remember your fondest moment/memory with your guru, Pandit Birju Maharaj ji? What was it and what made it so special?
My first trip to America in 1974 through Asia Society for Performing Arts. I was very young, dynamic on stage but less experienced. Maharaj ji had selected me against the wishes of the organisers because they were not sure of my capabilities. The grand performance at Carnegie Hall – even the look of which scared me. I was almost in tears out of fear to perform a duet with Maharaj ji. At that moment he gave me a piece of advice which I use even today: 'Dont care for anyone, anything around you on stage; you should even ignore my strong presence beside you; just close your eyes and look inside you with a belief that you would not be here if you were not worth and your destiny did not want it to happen. Dance to your heart's desire...' Those words worked. After the show I was scared to death until the Director came and hugged me and said she had under estimated my quality. I said a silent prayer.