A Conversation with Dr Kanak Rele

1. Please tell us about your childhood.

I was born in highly nationalist and artistic family though we belong to very rich business family. I was 10 months when my father past away and after few years moved to Shantiniketan with my mother and uncle when I was 5 and half years. My uncle was a painter who was studying in Kala Bhavan. My sense of dance started growing from Shantinikethan without my knowledge and my aesthetic sense grew day by day seeing my uncle and his friend’s paintings. I learned Tagore songs and Tagore dance there and joined patho bhavan but we never had such a format for a curriculum based education. Our classes used to be under the trees in open air. There was a person who took care of me from my family, his name was Haripado da. Haripado da used to run behind me when I used to run away from the house to collect palas flower. After that when I finished with my flower collection we used to come back home. We stayed for very few years in Shantiniketan and from there we had to come back to Bombay, but the memories of Shantiniketan are visually sketched like a painting in my mine

2. You have spent a part of your childhood in Santiniketan when Rabindranath Tagore was alive. Did you interact with Rabindranath tagore!