Mrs Swati Ganguli 04/09/1947 – 06/09/2021

It has been ages since I have written on the blog – for which many many apologies. The start of the new academic year was a hard one for me – both as a daughter and a mother… having lost my beautiful Ma on the 6th September 2021, I have struggled every day, and can not believe it has been six months since I last spoke to her, hugged her and felt the warmth of her love.

Many of the Satyam students and parents knew Ma, she was very much the driving force behind mine and my sisters dancing as well as my biggest supporter when I decided to set up Satyam Dance and Music School.

Ma was no stranger to the arts. As a child she was bought up in a musical household, both parents playing the sitar and my grandfather the violin also, there were many occasions Ma spoke of when illustrious, accomplished musicians would come to the home including her own uncle the Late Pandit Indranil Bhattacharya (my great uncle who I had the pleasure of meeting when I visited India as a teenager). Ma participated in many dance dramas growing up, some of which were directed by her parents. After school Ma went on to study music majoring in vocal music at Visva-Bharati University, Shantiniketan, founded by Rabindranath Tagore a hundred years ago.

It was this innate love of arts and the unquestioned support of my Baba, that ensured my sister and I would also have training in dance and music and that of the highest quality. Our parents did not hesitate in embarking on a journey that they would have to take with us in taking us to the Bhavan weekend after weekend for over a decade so that we could have the best training possible in dance and music. Every summer Ma would stay with both of us in London for three weeks while we took intensive training at the Bhavan’s summer schools, and without her Dia and I would not have been able to complete our ascensions to stage – Arangetram.

It was the recognition of the sacrifices Ma and Baba made for Dia and I, that made it all the easier for Hiren and I to make the same sacrifice to ensure Ishani also had her training at the Bhavan – with Guruji Prakash Yadagudde and our beloved late Smt Sivasakthi Sivanesan.

When I first returned to dancing and Ishani began her training at the Bhavan – Ma would happily drop everything to accompany us up to London whenever Hiren was unable (I hate driving on the motorway so I don’t think I would have managed without her by my side as my companion). She helped me to prepare Ishani for all her performances, and was always right there alongside my Mum in Law in the first few rows encouraging every performance as she had done when I was a child.

In the early years of my dance school she enjoyed attending and watching the classes when I started at the Brooklands Pavilion, as well as advising me on the very first student showcase back in the summer of 2018.

Both Ma and my Mum in Law were so happy and supportive when Hiren and I decided to build our own studio at home, and I am contented with the knowledge that Ma was able to see the finished studio and garden when she came to my home for the last time in August.

Most recently just before she passed, Ma helped me to prepare for my online performance for Soham second chance in the Summer of 2021 – she watched the many recordings, and gave constructive advice, as well as helping me with the basics like tying my hair and putting on my jewellery for the performance.

I am truly lost without my beautiful Ma – and I will be eternally grateful to her and my father for their sacrifices, sacrifices that gave me the gift of dance and music, a gift that I will continue to pass on to the next generation. A gift that I will always dedicate to them both.