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Balancing Bureaucracy and Bharatnatyam: The Inspiring Story of Dr. N Vijaya Lakshmi

Despite a demanding career and numerous responsibilities, Dr. N Vijay Lakshmi rekindled her childhood passion for Bharatnatyam at the age of 40, proving it's never too late to pursue one's dreams.
IAS officer Dr. N Vijaya Lakshmi
Indian Masterminds Stories

Dr. N Vijaya Lakshmi, a dedicated IAS officer for 27 years, is also passionate about Bharatnatyam dancing. A 1995 batch IAS officer from the Bihar cadre, she currently serves as the Principal Secretary of the Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Resources Department.

Originally from Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Lakshmi has loved classical music and dance since she was a child. However, because of her father’s job, which required the family to move often, she couldn’t learn classical dance properly.

She recalls, “I watched many Telugu movies, especially those by Kasinadhuni Viswanath, which featured a lot of classical music and dancing. Whenever I saw actors performing Bharatnatyam, I imagined myself in their place. That’s how passionate I was about Bharatnatyam.”

Finding a dance teacher was difficult for her. Later, she became busy with her studies, completed two postgraduate degrees, and then cleared the UPSC exam. With many service and household responsibilities, she became distanced from dancing. But that wasn’t the end.

Her passion for dancing remained strong, and eventually, everything aligned perfectly. She started learning Bharatnatyam at the age of 40.

Dr. Lakshmi, who has a PhD in Management from IIT Delhi, says, “At that time, I was busy with my PhD and had no time. I also felt that I was too old to learn. However, the desire to dance stayed with me. After returning to Bihar in 2008, I decided to learn no matter what. I enrolled in Bhartiya Nritya Kala Mandir in Patna. I was 40 at that time.” She learned for about a year and performed at Rajgir Mahotsava.

Now, she never misses a chance to perform on any occasion. Although it’s still tough for her to find time, she manages to do it. But why? Why is dancing so important to her? Does it help with her work? Watch our exclusive interview by clicking the link below.

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Indian Masterminds Stories

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