Depicting Ghalib’s ghazals as dance forms is no easy task, but Uma Sharma does it with finesse. The Kathak dancer, who recently paid tribute to the eminent Urdu and Persian poet at India Islamic Cultural Centre says, “In 1973, I was the first lady who introduced Ghalib’s ghazals into dance forms. I am trying to portray his poems into his four moods—romance, jealousy, depression and parting away from the world. To understand their deep meaning and present them in the form of Kathak is quite difficult, but I can do it because of my guruji Shambu Maharaj who taught me the art to dance and express.” Some of the popular ghazals she has presented are, Aahon ko chahiye ek umar asar hone tak and Rahiye ab aisi jagah chalkar jahaan koi na ho.
A DU graduate, Sharma is rather appalled at the current state of affairs in the university. Calling the recent Ramjas College incident purely madness, she says, “I had studied in Lady Shri Ram College and had participated in almost all inter-college activities but such incidents never took place in our time.” Sharma believes that there is always room for discussion and debates, but violence is not justified in any case. “Students must think logically about their activities and the results too. I can’t understand this increasing culture of violence and acceptance for the same. First JNU, and now DU. Where are we headed?”
The Padma Bhushan recipient has been born and brought up in Bengali Market in Delhi and is also a foodie. Talking about her love for vegetarian food, she says, “I am a big time fan of Bhimsen ke pakode. It used to a small thella during my time in Bengali Market and we bought it four for one ana. I love Delhi ka khaana.”