On July 24, Amala Shankar, the legendary dancer and choreographer who played a major role in modernising traditional Indian dance forms, passed away. She was 101 years old. Sreenanda Shankar, Amala Shankar’s granddaughter, who is in Mumbai now couldn’t come to Kolkata to pay her last respect because of the lockdown. Sreenanda feels that her grandmother will live in people’s hearts forever because of her stage presence and craft.
On Wednesday, it was Amala Shankar’s shradh ceremony in Kolkata and Sreenanda couldn’t attend that as well. “Attending thamma’s shradh ceremony was not possible for me because of this pandemic. So we had to finally settle for a Zoom session while ma (Tanusree Shankar) was performing the rituals. This new normal is not something I’m used to yet, but we have no choice. The prayers were recited by Nachiketaji in a beautiful way. Ma offered mangoes, sweets, luchi and aloo sabzi, which were thamma’s favourite. I still can’t believe thamma is not around. We are still in mourning but I feel but we should also be celebrating her long and glorious life and that is what I have decided to do now on. I hope we can make her proud with our work. She has left behind a legacy of the Uday Shankar style of dance and we have to take it forward,” said Sreenanda.