Engineer’s unique feat: Two gold medals in kathak course

Updated on Nov 26, 2019 11:02 PM IST
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LUCKNOW Shivam Shukla, 24, a mechanical engineer, achieved a unique feat on Tuesday. After a period of 20 years, he became the first male student at Bhatkhande Music Institute to bag the top honours in the kathak course of the deemed varsity.

A native of Adamahi village (Rae Bareli), he won the Pt Mohan Rao Kalyanpurkar Gold Medal and the Saroja Vaidyanathan Gold Medal. Shivam now wants to pursue PhD in kathak and become a teacher in any institute to pass on his talent to others.

“Everyone was shocked when I expressed my desire to learn dancing after completing diploma in mechanical engineering. At that time I had offer letters from two big companies and everyone in my family wanted me to join service. They were against the idea of me learning dance, but I wanted to go for my passion,” said an elated Shivam Shukla.

He then decided to enroll for the kathak course at Bhatkhande.

“But my elder brother, Pankaj Prasun, a scientist at CDRI and a poet, backed me in my decision. He encouraged me to pursue my dance career,” said Shivam.

He added: “I feared losing my dance skills when I met with an accident two years ago. My femur was broken and orthopaedic surgeons told me that I will never be able to dance again. A rod was fixed in my bone. And three months after the surgery, I started practising again.”

“My surgeon Dr Manvendra was surprised to see me dancing again. After watching my passion, he devised special physiotherapy to strengthen my bones. He still keeps advising me how to take care of my femur while dancing,” said Shivam.

Shivam said that practices for four to six hours every to achieve perfection. He gives all the credit of his success to his guru Dr Veena Singh and brother Pankaj Prasun.

“In my village, dance was never seen as something men should pursue. People used to taunt me for my passion. But today, they are sending their kids to me for kathak training. This is not my victory, it is the victory of an art form,” he emphasized.


    Anupam Srivastava is a Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, Lucknow. Has produced exclusive stories in medical, civil aviation, civic, political and other issues for over 20 years.

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