KOCHI: For dance doyenne Kalamandalam Vasantha, the tragic news of her protege Jisha’s horrendous rape-murder is yet to sink in. “She was extremely talented and always showed great respect to the master,” recalled Vasantha, who has been running Nrutanjali School of Classical Dance in Perumbavoor for the last 40 years.
According to her, she had taught classical dance to Jisha as well as her sister Deepa for around three years during their school days.”It was while studying in Class VI that Jisha joined the classes. But I’m unable to remember the exact date,” she said. Vasantha also revealed that financial problems had forced the young girl to give up on the dance lessons. “I knew her mother well and her struggle to look after the two daughters. She was always concerned for the security of the girls.” “The dance classes were held twice a week--on Saturdays and Sundays.
We offered free training to the students hailing from indigent families. We had also provided this to Jisha and Deepa like many others,” she said, adding, her Arangettam was also staged without Jisha having to foot the expenses of the dresses and the ensemble.Also, a commemoration programme will be held on May 7, the 39th annual day celebration of Nrutanjali, at Perumbavoor, to perpetuate the memory of its former student. Meanwhile, Jisha’s batchmates at the Government Law College, Ernakulam reminisced that even though an introvert Jisha had at one point of time conducted dance classes for school children in order to earn some money to lessen her mother’s burden.