At Tanjore : As a child : Year 1938/39.
baby-hema -small1.jpg (17821 bytes) "My father was posted there as a Deputy Collector and we lived in a  large house. My brother and sisters were studying in Madras and lived with our grandmother till holiday time when they would come home. I was aged 5 then."

Schooling  : " I preferred staying at home than going to school then . I remember flinging my books out of the window of the car, book after book, when the driver was taking me to school. So when I reached school there was nothing left". Her parents thought it was amusing and knew she had other interests - music and dance.

Gramophone    :" There was not much to do for me in Tanjore. My parents used to take me to the Tamil movies (talkies then) and when we returned I used to sing and dance to the tunes which I heard there. We had a collection of these gramophone records ("His Masters Voice" records (78 r.p.m)). I was always winding up the gramophone, playing the records, singing and dancing. It was my greatest fancy then."

Ramgopal : Ramgopal and Uday Shanker were the greatest Indian Classical dancers who first successfully introduced the dances of India to the Western World .

" When Ramgopal came home my father told him about my interest in dance and song and told me to dance. As usual I ran, picked up the gramophone, wound it up, put a 78 r.p.m. record and danced away!. He beckoned to me. Put me on his lap and initiated me into several mudras , starting with the lotus. I shall never forget that."

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