What surprised me the most about my Fulbright experience was how much I changed as a person. I feel I’ve evolved into a stronger, kinder person who is more open to things
First surprise would be the contribution of my Fulbright experiences towards my thesis. I was able to design and write three chapters based on my Fulbright experience and the readings that I did during Fulbright. It gave me immense confidence in terms of how to take my research forward. What surprised me the most was how much I changed as a person. I feel I’ve evolved into a stronger, kinder person who is more open to things.
Advice to grantees
Sleep less, work more. Lament less, experience more. My trip as a Fulbrighter was my first international trip. Hence, I was very home sick for the first couple of months in the U.S. because of which I think I wasn’t productive enough. Now I regret why I felt that way as the grant was only for nine months. I anyway came back home after 9 months :D Hence, I would advise everyone to consider this as a golden opportunity and work and network as much as possible, like there’s no tomorrow. J
A typical day
Being an artiste, I have no typical day. One day I would be rehearsing for my show and the other day, I would just be sitting in the library writing my thesis. I am parallelly working on my thesis, practice, performance and classes. However, my current goal is to submit my thesis by June 2020. Until then, my typical day would just involve writing.
Ideal dinner guests
This is a tough question because I have a list. Still, I will be specific to my field which is Dance. It would be a round table with the visionaries of classical dance in India which includes Rabindranath Tagore, Rukmini Devi Arundale, Vazhuvoor Ramayya Pillai, Vempati China Satyam and Kelucharan Mahapatro. I am always captivated by how classical dance forms were revived during the Nationalist movement and how these visionaries struggled in bringing dignity to ‘dance’ as a profession. I would like to know the thought process of these leaders and visionaries.
I am afraid of many things like darkness, loneliness and speed. I can’t live alone and I can’t withstand speed and rash driving. I am also terrified of not being loved by others but I am trying to overcome this fear, of late.
Lalitha Sindhuri Y is an acclaimed Kuchipudi dancer (Classical Indian Dance form). She was a 2017-2018 Indian Fulbright Visiting Researcher at Barnard College, Columbia University where she worked on her research project entitled “The Impact of Cross-Cultural Training on the Practice and Pedagogy of Kuchipudi Dance.” She is the recipient of the Bala Ratna State Award and Balashree National Award which she received from the then President of India, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam. Lalitha also won a Silver Rolling trophy for winning the first prize for four consecutive years in the National level competitions conducted by Navya Nataka Samiti, Hyderabad in India. She is currently pursuing her PhD from the Department of Dance in the University of Hyderabad in India.
This content is part of our on-going collaboration with Fulbridge, which focuses on current and recent grantees. For a more in depth profile of Lalitha, read her Spotlight interview with Fulbridge.