A Passionate Dancer on a Mission to Spread Happiness

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My name is Navanita Parmar. I am a 69 year young retired bank officer, bharatnatyam trainer and a choreographer from Mumbai. Dancing is my favourite hobby. Apart from dancing I like swimming, making embroidery, solving puzzles and doing social work. I have been doing social work since my college days. Recently, I did a certified course in social work from Nirmala Niketan. I am an active member of Lions Club and participate in their various welfare projects. In addition to this, I also teach spoken English to slum children.

Dancing is My Passion

I was passionate about dancing since my childhood but my father did not allowed me to learn dance as he didn’t liked it. However, since I was always interested in dancing I started learning Bharatnatyam at the age of 44, with my 6 year old daughter. I did my Visharad in Bharatnatyam along with her. Initially my mother in law found it a bit odd and said that it does not look good to dance at this age. But when she understood my passion for dancing she not only supported me but also encouraged me to complete my 8 years course in dancing with full dedication.

DSC00135481504_4433309944540_1747701764_nIn order to follow my passion further I started a dance Institute in 1999 where I give training in Bharatnatyam. For dedicating more time for this cause I took voluntary retirement from my job in Dena Bank in 2001. After my retirement I had ample time for other activities so I decided to utilise this time for doing something beneficial for the society. I was doing some social work during my college years so I was sure what I wanted to do but was not aware how and where I can do so. Fortunately, I got in touch with SOSVA (Society of Service to Voluntary Agency) and they introduced me to Sashi Mangalyam School for mentally challenged children. For the past 17 years I have been teaching dance to the children there. It gives me lot of mental satisfaction. Our bond of love has become stronger over the years.

20140329_104244I am also teaching Bharatnatyam for the past 6 years at Sanskardham School for hearing impaired. In addition to this, I also take dance classes of visually impaired girls, senior citizens and once a year I conduct dance workshop for school children at a village in Madhya Pradesh. As dance is my passion, I give dance performances and participate in competitions whenever any good opportunity comes. I have also been invited as a judge for many dance competitions. Recently, I have started learning Kathak also.

IMG_20131018_120026Dancing is not only my hobby, it is a means to keep myself fit and active too. It is an essential part of my lifestyle which encourages me to do something meaningful for the society along with keeping myself healthy, both physically and mentally.

My Family My Strength

I was born in a middle class family and lived in a chawl in Mumbai. I have three brothers, they all are well educated. We share a strong bonding. Our parents taught us good values and brought us well in a disciplined way.

My mother was a strong lady. She kept herself positive in all situations and was always ready to help others. She is my role model. She was not a graduate when she got married. So, she studied and graduated with my brother. Following her footstep, I did my Visharad in Bharatnatyam at the age of 44 along with my daughter.

My father was a disciplined and kind hearted man. He was very much concerned about our education. I remember he used to bring story books at home for developing reading habit in us. He was also concerned about the education of other children in the chawl. Whenever he had time he used to gather all the children in the chawl to teach and strengthen their concept in mathematics.

1460088_10152047244039739_2009761349_nMy husband is very caring and understanding. We are blessed with two children, a son and a daughter. Our son is married and is well settled with his family in United Kingdom. Our daughter is working in Mumbai as a fashion designer and choreographer. My mother in law is 89 year old and she mostly keeps herself busy by painting and drawing pictures, especially of God, animals and birds. She is an inspiration for me to lead an active and healthy life.

Childhood Memories

Since, I spent my childhood in a chawl I developed a strong bonding with other kids and families. We enjoyed celebrating each and every festival together. I still cherish such beautiful memories and I am still connected with my childhood friends.

Along with positive memories I have one negative memory too. Due to smallpox I had prominent marks on my face. Due to this reason, my teacher didn’t select me for our silver jubilee dance program in school, though she knew that I was good in dancing. On top of that when my friend suggested my name she made a disgusting face. Till date I can’t forget her expressions. However, that experience didn’t stopped me from pursuing my passion.

My Fitness Mantra

IMG-20160529-WA0001

My secret to healthy living is my strong will power and my passion for dancing.

On a five point rating scale, I rate myself as a very active person. I keep myself active by doing household chores, taking dance classes and doing social work.

I am a part of senior citizen’s group but as it is well said, I and all those seniors who are leading an active life are recycled teenagers who think positive and who always keeps themselves involved in some meaningful activities.

Future Plans

As dance is my passion, I wish to learn as many dance forms as I can, especially classical. I wish to dance till my last breath and do something beneficial for the society through my skills. Like my mother who died at the age of 79 and who was involved in social work till her last breath.

My Message

My special message to senior citizens:

  • Don’t count years and days in your life. You might have many dreams which you couldn’t fulfill till date due to certain responsibilities. So, now this is the time to act upon those dreams. Try to pursue those dreams and don’t think ‘log kya kahenge’(what would people say)
  • Along with taking care of your grand children you should enjoy your life too. Your children should not take you for granted and treat you as baby sitter

My Message to everyone is to – follow your dreams and serve the society in whatever way you can.

 


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Showing 3 comments
  • Profile photo of LAKSHMI NARAYANA NAGISETTY
    LAKSHMI NARAYANA NAGISETTY

    Congrats to PARMAR DIDI for your wonderful skills and performances in multidisciplinary areas. You are the true example and role model to derive energy from any environment. Your concern and commitment made you to stand what you are today. Earlier i got connected with the state of Gujarat for about 5 years mostly in search of Minerals and other natural resources. Your message is motivating and inspiring to do what you dream. You have shown that age will not be the barrier or limitation to fo what you want and enjoy. Other noteworthy is that help the people and society at any age and atany level and the most important is that you are able to help others.

    Your profile certainly inspire many in general and seniors in particular to enjoy the life by serving others. Don’t count days or years as it is not in the hands of any individual.

    Accept the realities and given ENVIRONMENT and help others to make yourself happy and healthy with positive attitude. Once again congrats for your achievements and all the best to achieve your vision with grand success.

  • Profile photo of LAKSHMI NARAYANA NAGISETTY
    LAKSHMI NARAYANA NAGISETTY

    I am sharing this information among the senior groups and every one felt happy to know the details. This is really motivating many to appreciate and to think to implement in the manner what they feel comfortable. This process will continue. Looking forward…

  • Profile photo of Senior Express
    Senior Express

    Thank you Mr. Nagisetty for your comments. We have conveyed your message to Ms. Parmar and she has asked us to thank you for your kind words. We are glad that your liked this story and found it inspiring. Also thanks a lot for sharing it with other seniors and thereby creating awareness on active ageing.

    Best Wishes
    Team Senior Express

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