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Ira Chauhan

Ira Chauhan

Ira Chauhan

Did you ever have to escape your comfort zone to chase a story? 

Every story drags you out of your comfort zone. Sometimes even long after it is published. When I interviewed Shobha De recently at a literature festival, some critics judged me because they thought the interviewee wasn’t a serious writer. Then there was a story I did on the lives of policemen and I promise it wasn’t easy.

How do you think parenting has changed over years?

We seek perfection in ourselves as parents, as well as in our children, resulting in untold stress. Much of the joy is gone from parenting. Competing, chasing high scores, keeping up with the Joneses, we’ve lost sight of the core values of simplicity, humility and humaneness. We lead by example and then wonder why our children are turning out the way they are. I feel that we shall rather start focusing on “just being” than focusing on the Nike shoes, the malls, the noise, the buying or the aspiring. Some parents are embracing nature and simpler lives and are rediscovering themselves for happier and healthier children. I see parenting coming full circle.

As you’ve also worked as a dance teacher teaching school children, what do you feel about the young kids?

They are a bright and a pampered lot- a manifestation of our times. My heart goes out to them when I see the education system break their spirit and maim their creativity. This emphasis on IQ over EQ kills their childhood and creates these confused ‘child adults’. I wish we could attend to their emotional needs more and teach them to lead mindful lives. I’ve been enthralled by their prowess and energy, their power to reason and retain. These young ones are our only hope and only with right inputs they are capable of healing the whole world.

Do you think there’s any association between dance and literature?

Absolutely and most undeniably! They are both ediums of expression. Much of the Indian classical dance is set to poetry and stories from the epics. I am an Odissi dancer and most of the Odissi compositions are based on Jayadev’s Geet, Govindam. Kathak takes generously from the Urdu and the Hindi poetry. The younger generation artists have broken from the age old rigid shackles and started experimenting by dancing to English poetry and plays. Both the art forms not only have a close association but are also dependent on each other.

About the Interviewee:

Ira Chauhan is a freelance journalist addressing a range of issues and has been involved in the marketing of organic produce. She is a trained Odissi dancer who has also taught school kids for over 4 years. She describes dance as a sacred form of art which reacts to the sensitive and honest words by making the heart sing and the body flow. She currently manages Seclude, a boutique resort in Mussoorie.