The Stars of Umang 2016 : Couple Extraordinaire

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Met up with this utterly delightful couple recently and am still aglow from the experience. Considering the distances and traffic in Aamchi Mumbai the commute was immensely tiring to say the least but the outcome was so worth it. As would be the time and effort you put in to the read on this Couple Extraordinaire.
To get to the beginning of the story as to Why, How and When? There is this mega event in the offing “Umang-2016” being organised by Rotary Club of Nariman Point – Mumbai , Rotaract Club of RLC Rizvi Law College and NGO Silver Inning reknowned for working to support and further the cause of the elderly founded by dedicated to the cause Sailesh Mishra. For the last 8 years “Umang” has been the one and the only unique platform for the elderly from all over India to showcase their talents. PrideAge, the media partner for the event is conducting a series of Profiles and Video interviews to showcase the unique personalities behind the extraordinary performances.
“General belief maybe that with old age, interests in other activities wither and wane. Reality ‘Can Be’ otherwise. If we so allow, this is the ‘Second Inning’ of life. At this stage you are free and done with all the responsibilities of life so why not bring back to life the interests and talents that defined you in your youth which you had to forget to shoulder your responsibilities. What better time than now. Not only will you be in similarly enlightened company. Also the involvement in activities close to your heart will make your health problems reduce to large extent if not disappear entirely.” These golden words to the wise and advice came to me from this wonderful senior couple in their seventies, Mrs.Hansa and Mr.Bhaskar Mehta. Who have lived up to these words and some more.
Hansa ji was always interested in dance but coming from a conservative family with 3 elder brothers she didn’t have much opportunity or encouragement to pursue her talent and interest. But being a true blue Gujarati she never let go of any chance to take part in society Dandiya, Garba etc. where she shined always. Soon she was married off at the tender age of 22 to young Bhaskar of 23. He was a young engineering graduate struggling in a joint family. Yet he admirably supported his young wife’s interest and accompanied her to the dance functions. Meanwhile both brought up their young family successfully while battling various acute health problemsand other hardships. He suffered from diabetes and she underwent major surgeries. As a result both their sons chose medicine as their career and are successful surgeons.
While the kids outgrew their home the parents renewed companionship with each other. While on walk one day they noticed an announcement and invitation of participation in a Fashion Show for the Elderly at Poisur Gymkhana organised by reknowned Film producer Mohanbhai Parab. That intrigued them enough to find out the details. And rest after that was beginning of new history for them. As thus started their second innings.
They forged new alliance with each other, that of dance partners. After taking part in group performances in the beginning, they found their forte with each other in dance duets and for the last 8 years they are into Duet choreographed dance. They are inseparable taking training from their guru Rakesh Sethi and Madhumita of Nach Baliye fame. They rigorously practice the couple in rhythm steps to falling in his arms without fear as only a life long trusting partner can. They perform Free style Bollywood, Contemporary to their self created Recounting stories through series of song snippets. It’s like magic for all the senses to witness their dance chemistry in action.
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Their home and family is both their foundation and support. Hansa and Bhaskar ji have not looked back since the time they first took part in that musical fashion show. Since then they have together taken part in and have won numerous competitions and shows. The laurels they have earned have energised them more than ever before. They have been the pillars of Umang since almost it’s inception. Having won audience appreciation for each and every one of their performances. They were part of India’s Dancing Superstar on Star Plus in 2013, left their mark in “Entertainment Ke liye Kuchh bhi Karega ” on Sony in 2014. And on Colors in “India Got Talent” they indisputably proved their talent.
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The enthusiastic Umang audience are eagerly waiting to see what visual delight the Mehtas have in store for us this year. See you all there at Birla Matoshri Auditorium on 16th April 2016.

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