Coming out of a broken marriage and finding an income source to sustain oneself is not an easy task for a woman. Things become even more complicated when there are children to take care of. However, Sunitha Sivadas from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala fought all the odds to reinvent her life following a divorce.
In a remarkable tale of self-discovery and resilience, this 44-year-old former air hostess with Air India chose to follow her passion for dance and successfully built a career in it. Sunitha, who was born into a family of classical dancers, was passionate about pursuing a career in dancing.
Although she studied Indian classical dance forms like Bharathanatyam and Mohiniyattom and won several prizes during her school and college days, her father was against her pursuing dance as a career option. At the age of 23, she moved to Mumbai for higher studies and soon landed a job as an air hostess with Air India. After marriage, due to family obligations as a mother and wife, she had to quit her job.
“When I stopped dancing, I realized that something crucial was missing in my life. So after a gap of 12 years, I finally decided to pursue a Master’s in Bharathanatyam at Sastra University Thanjavur under the guidance of Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam in 2016,” Sunitha told “Open Digest.”
But she found herself at a crossroads when her relationship with her husband strained due to various issues, ultimately leading to a divorce in 2019. She was left with no other option but to fend for herself and her two children. Feeling adrift and uncertain about the future, she sought solace in her long-abandoned love for dance, a passion that had been overshadowed by the demands of married life.
“The divorce broke me down, and I contemplated why this happened in my life. But I regained strength and decided to fight back. Women are not made to live a life only as obedient wives. Dance gave me strength and confidence. It felt like I could accomplish something. Dance had always been my escape, my joy. I knew it was time to reclaim that part of me,” Sunitha said.
She started a dance style called ‘Classy Kinetics,’ a lighter version of semi-classical dance. But just when things were looking up, the Covid pandemic hit, and the virus affected her health badly for two years.
“I faced a lot of health issues. But I wasn’t ready to give up,” she added. Soon, she regained the strength and vigour to get back into dancing. She now undertakes initiatives to create awareness and spread knowledge of Indian Classical and Folk art forms through events like KalaRasika, Katha Karita, and Art Arena. She also aims to promote holistic health through Nritha Yoga, a therapeutic form of classical dance combining yoga, mudras, and classical music.
“It’s been a journey of self-discovery and healing. Dance has given me the strength to pursue my dreams,” said Sunitha, who is now enjoying a fulfilling life along with her two children.