When I first came to Canada in 1998, some of the first South Asian cultural events that I attended were Bharatnatyam arangetrams (stage debuts) by students of Menaka Thakkar. That was how I was introduced to the Thakkar family -- Rasesh bhai, who always referred to himself as the Bharatnatyam brother, Menaka the guru and Sudha Khandwani. I would be remiss if I didn't also mention Abdullah Khandwani, Sudha's husband.

It's hard to pinpoint the exact role played by Sudha Khandwani, but she was clearly the glue that held this artistic family together. And as the founder of Kala Nidhi Fine Arts of Canada, she led the charge in making space for new and contemporary voices in South Asian classical arts in Canada.

Sudha Khandwani passed away in November 2016. I had the opportunity to write an #obituary for +The Globe and Mail where I learnt about many other fascinating aspects of her life.
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