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Bureaucrat in step with art and culture

DISTINGUISHED DANSEUSE, proficient bureaucrat and a gifted writer?Shovana Narayan?s is a name to celebrate. She is undoubtedly the reigning ?Kathak Queen? of today.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2006 00:04 IST

DISTINGUISHED DANSEUSE, proficient bureaucrat and a gifted writer—Shovana Narayan’s is a name to celebrate. She is undoubtedly the reigning ‘Kathak Queen’ of today.

“I started performing Kathak at the age of two and a half. Kathak infuses life into me. It harmonises my actions and is the medium through which I have found myself. Kathak is the form through which I have developed myself and it is the means through which I express myself,” said Shovana Narayan.

Her ‘adakaari’ and a smile that extends from one ear to another is ample proof of her conviction, but it is her performance later in the day that fascinates and enthralls. Every part of her body sways to Gopaldas Neeraj’s poetry as she performs at the auditorium of City Montessori School, Gomti Nagar.

Shovana is posted as Director General of Audit, Government of India. Shovana belongs to the 1976 batch. On being a bureaucrat, she says, “I feel every decision I take affects one person or a group of persons. One signature I post affects several lives, so as a rule, I make sure that the decisions I take are sensitive, sensible and responsible.”

Not many may be aware that Shovana headed the committee that formed Bihar’s Culture Policy a few years back. “The Government of Bihar contacted me with the offer of heading the culture policy formation committee. They also made me aware that they would not be able to pay me anything, since they didn’t have enough funds for the project. Not looking into the monetary aspect, I accepted the offer. It took me and my team almost a year to come up with recommendations that were accepted by the Bihar government and implemented.”

She adds, “Bihar is a culturally rich state. But to bring into light this fact you have to scrape the thick layer of ignorance that has covered the people’s cultural consciousness.”

She says, “While I was growing up, all I heard was the ‘thartharahat’ (vibrant sound) of ghungroos, shloks from the Bhagwat Gita, Hindi literature and philosophy.” That she has been a student of Physics throughout is another fascinating aspect of her life.

She is an avid reader and a noted writer. She says, “I love reading. I read serious stuff like classics, shastras, philosophy and academic books. Being a student of Physics, I have a nose for research and through my research I wrote some eight books on Kathak and Indian classical dance.”

“I believe in details. I give hundred per cent to whatever I do,” she says.