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Tussling Stress by Dreaming through Feet - expounds Jyoti Sekhar

Childhood is supposed to be the beautiful phase in one's life, meant to embrace the beauty of life, discover various aspects of life and build up the vicious dreams of life. On the contrary all that happens is waking up to the life threatening buzzes of alarm that pushes you into a grave of stressful education that fails to teach the purpose of life. An enterprising and graceful woman, Jyoti Sekhar is trying to battle the evils of academic stress which is whipping the delicate souls through her divine art of Kuchipudi. Read on!
Exam time! No play anymore! Stick to your books and lessons! This is the scenario that goes on in every household before examinations, be it a preschool kid or a high school kid. What is a big deal about preparing for damn exams in school? Why stress them so much as in they are going for a warfare with enemy combats? In school, a kid is supposed to be given lot more freedom and a chance to explore himself rather than prepare himself for a horse race. The Indian school education system is textbook-oriented that focuses on rote memorisation of lessons and demands long hours of systematic study every day. The elaborate study routines that are expected by high school students span from the morning till late evening hours, leaving little time for socialisation and recreation.
Jyoti Sekhar Kuchipudi Dancer Teacher
Another factor that plays a role of icing on the cake is the high competition that prevails which adds to the stress levels. It could be because of the horse man riding you (tutors), the other hoses running along with you (peers) and the people investing trust in you (parents). The education system in India is highly competitive because of a lack of an adequate number of good institutions to accommodate the ever-expanding population of children. Besides in tenth grade children are expected to perform better so as to analyse and choose their stream in life. The choice made regarding stream of study is often irrevocable. The poor ratio of number of available institutions to the aspirants for college education ensures that the students face tremendous competition in getting admission to tertiary education. In addition, the majority of senior high school students who specialise in science undergo further stress as they tend to also sit for entrance examinations for admission in engineering, medical and other specialized professional courses. The pressure of preparation for examinations creates a high degree of anxiety in many students, especially in those who are unable to perform at a level that matches the potential they have shown in less stressful situations.

Corporal punishment is practised in most schools often for violation of school rules, for not being able to answer questions in the class, not completing home-work, and for coming to school late. Indian parents report removing their TV cable connections and vastly cutting down on their own social lives in order to monitor their children’s homework. Parents put pressure on their children to succeed because of their concern for the welfare of their children and their awareness of the competition for getting admission in reputed institutions.
Jyoti Sekhar Kuchipudi Dancer Teacher
The overall unemployment situation in India has also provoked parents to put pressure on their children for better performance. Some of the parents wish to fulfil their unfulfilled dreams through their children. Psychiatrists have expressed concern at the emergence of education as a serious source of stress for school-going children - causing high incidence of deaths by suicide. Many adolescents in India are referred to hospital psychiatric units for school-related distress – exhibiting symptoms of depression, high anxiety, frequent school refusal, phobia, physical complaints, irritability, weeping spells, and decreased interest in school work.

Here is a lady who has asserted the present scenario as she gets a magnifying view at it being a dance teacher who handles a large number of disparate kids with kaleidoscopic minds every day. She is a sagacious lady who believes in working on a ward’s mind by providing a lending ear rather than mere criticism employed by strict teachers. She firmly believes that discipline is the necessary ingredient of success in any field and it applies for dance too. As a result she enrols only students who are ready to respect and follow her. She makes an analogy between the student-teacher relationship and a mother-child bond saying that a teacher just like a mother would be proud of her child’s achievements with a selfless love. “A teacher should be able to identify the uniqueness in each child and mould them according to it unlike following the same method of teaching for everyone” emphasizes Jyoti.
Jyoti Sekhar Kuchipudi Dancer Teacher
Coming from an orthodox family which never traced any history to art forms, Jyoti destined to be a dancer, took her footsteps towards dance at an early age. She acquired and mastered the skill with passion. Her guru Padma Kalyan has been her definition of dance. The bond that she shares with her is so special that right from the day she started training under her till date, she remains a devoted student of Padma Kalyan.

It is true that a girl’s life undergoes a metamorphose when she enters the lap of marriage in the race of life. Unlike the age old sas-bahu tales, the bond has been redefined by her biggest support in life whom she owes her success. She recalls, “There have been days when my mother-in-law took up the lead to understand my dreams and explain them to the family. Be it about my long dance schedules or reduced family time, she has always encouraged me saying that Jyoti stepped into our family not just as a 21 year old bride but a 21 year old dancer in the form of a bride.” She is not just passing on the magnificent art to the present generations enriched with rich culture but is also striving towards helping out the gentle souls from being overburdened with the societal pressures and provides a solace with the skill that she possesses, which is her powerful weapon. She quotes what Sage Bharata has noted in his colossal work that "Natya teaches duty to those who go against it, love to those who desire it, chastises those who are ill-bred or unruly, promotes self restraint in those who are undisciplined, gives courage to the cowards, enthusiasm to the valorous, enlightenment to those of poor intellect and gives wisdom to the learned. It gives diversion to the kings, solace to those with a sorrowful mind, wealth to those desirous of it and composure to a mind of conflicts."

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 19th July 2016.
Interning IJ Sowparnika Koka
A spirited individual who believes in passing the learned lessons to the world.

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