73rd independence day of India

 

Air India

 

Manju Sibi
Make this life happier for ourselves and others. Add a pinch more of love to it, a note more of music, a little more of dance!

 

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It was her father who first saw ablooming dancer in that little girl. He saw rhythm in her first steps. She danced whether none watched or everyone watched. She would spin for the moon and the stars if everyone else was busy. He assigned the best teachers available in their South Indian state of Kerala for his daughter.

ThumpnailThus Mrs. Manju Sibi was professionally trained in classical Indian dances from her early childhood. She never fell back upon her father’s dreams for her. This day she graces various stages in Kuwait with her performances as an accomplished and matured dancer, carrying the torch of her father’s memories unextinguished.

“Life is a dance. I embrace every step in that long performance of joy and sorrow, of fear and love, of grief and celebration, of failure and victory, of pain and pleasure. We fall in love with that onelong dance,” she says, “At times we all dance solo at the edge of the world, none watching. But to me, happiness is my family. They are in my swings and sways, hand in hand all the while”. 

“Dance is the language of the soul, hidden to many,” she added, “An expression of truth and passion from the depth of one’s self”. 

Manju started her dance education with ‘Bharatanatyam’ under the renowned teacher Kalamandalam Vinaya chandran during her school days in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. Soon she went on to learn ‘Mohiniyattom’ and ‘Kuchuppudi’ with the same tutor.

This brought her many honors and prizes at a much young age itself. She became a constant winner in competitions including school and university festivals. 

She then moved from the capital of her state to the capital of the country, Delhi, once she entered into her married life with Mr. Sibi U.S, the current Second Secretary heading the labor wing of Indian Embassy in Kuwait. 

In her new city, Manju got the blessed opportunity to explore ‘Kathak’, another great Indian dance form. This was a dream of hers from her school days. But this chance that came searching for her was way beyond her expectations as she was able to become a student of the famous ‘Kalashram’ itself, the institute founded by the great Kathak Master; Pandit Birju Maharaj himself, the living legend and icon of this dance form to the entire world. 

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ThumpnailManju Sibi grabbed this golden opportunity with the support of her husband and grew with her steps in this Temple of Kathak dance from 2011 to 2017. This period gave her many chances to perform to great audiences on reputed stages in the capital city of India, disseminating the joy of this art form.

Once she relocated to Kuwait in 2017 with her husband’s posting to the Indian Embassy in Kuwait, curtains in that country parted for her to perform for audiences from various nations across the world.

When she was highly appreciated and congratulated by the Honorable Foreign Minister of India, Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, for one of her performances in Kuwait, Manju was overwhelmed and she cherished those unexpected moments as few of the best in her dancing career.

Her performance at the occasion of the 70th Republic Day of India was appreciated and enjoyed by Ministers and Ambassadors at the Millennium Hotel in January 2019. She continues to grace various occasions and functions in Kuwait for audiences from all parts of the world.

For her performances, Manju mostly prefers songs sung or choreographed by her great teacher Pandit Birju Maharaj. But her appetite and talents are not caged in these forms of dances alone. She conquered the realms of Bollywood and Soft Western styles of dancing as well.

Her experiments in choreography were great successes and that has made her dream of conquering heights in that as well.

Manju is a graduate in Psychology and also a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Kerala. She is a versatile spirit of various art forms like singing, fabric painting, fashion designing and cooking. Reading and driving are her hobbies. She has compered various events and to add a speck of adventure to life, she participated in car races as well.

Manju and Mr. Sibi are blessed with a son, Maheswar Sibi, who is a Class VI student in Carmel School Kuwait. Maheswar was the Delhi State Champion for Chess and Karate, a boy who has harnessed mental and physical talents from the vast exposures he is getting at this young age. 

Manju regularly practices her forms of dances and engages herself in various physical fitness programs to keep her art on the cutting edge.

“Let us make this life happier for ourselves and others. Let us add a pinch more of love to it, a note more of music, a little more of dance,” she concluded.

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