The Beginning...

You know you’re dancing when the intricate movements done rapidly by your body somehow provides a soothing sensation that satisfies your soul.

Anila’s passion for dancing bloomed in the early days of her life. While other kids around the age of 7 were facing the hardships of learning how to tie their shoe laces, Anila made one of the biggest decisions of her life;, she decided what she wanted to be that of being a Dancer.

Anila's mother, Dr.Nanki Makhijani (a renowned doctor) wanted Anila to follow her parent’s footsteps professionally. But she and her husband, Dr.Gobind Makhijani (an admired medical practitioner), happily changed compromised with their decision wish when they realized the immense potential their daughter holds. Anila's father laid the foundation to the tune by of saying “Do as you wish beta, we are with you. Agar kabhi zaroorat pade to tabla main bajaoonga.” Knowing her parents were ready to provide complete support, gave her Anila the confidence she needed.

Her mother recalled that when she had Anila in her womb, she often used to sit in front of the mirror forming gestures with her hands and blushing at her reflections. Little did she realize that these gestures would pass on to her child who would be born with dancing feet!

By the age of 11, Anila passed her examination in Kathak dancing from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad. Anila considers her award for the ‘First Place in Classical Dance’ at the Inter-Collegiate Annual Festival in 1968 as an important landmark, as it reinstated the belief, “This Iis Iit. I have chosen the right direction in my life and this is going to be my destiny.” She started to take her art more seriously and her performances were rewarded with awards and applauses in various classical dance competitions. In one such performance, the principal of her school was mesmerized by the little girl and also joined in to partner with her.One of her favorite accolade was when she was very young and she was performing and the principal of her school was so mesmerized by her that she got on stage and joined in on the dance.

Further, she went on to complete her education with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and even had a short stint as a lecturer in Jai Hind college, Mumbai. As she cultivated into a refined graceful dancer with her signature style, she found a soulmate in Sunder Nachnaney, who only doubled her enthusiasm and epitomized her support.

In years to come, the couple was blessed with a talented daughter Rachna. Rachna, who obviously carboned her mother, and blossomed in Kathak dance, eventually joined Anila in her astounding performances on various shows. They both make an awe-inspiring pair and never dither to escape the spotlight whenever they perform together.

She didn’t know then, her life was going to be studded with many similarly beautiful moments; she just kept dancing ahead on her journey. A journey which was just getting started.

Kathak, The Pulse Of Her Life

‘Kathak’, originated from the word ‘katha’, i.e. the art of storytelling. The meaning of Kathak can be explored as ‘the narrator’ or a ‘school of dance’. Anila lived up to both meanings.

Anila as narrator: Anila had a fondness for all dance forms, but Kathak in particular was special to her. She felt it was a dance out of the ordinary and has swift movements, natural gestures and grace to portray, which in particular attracted her to this style of dance form. As a girl, dreaming with her feet, her wish turned into reality by her teachers Guru Hazarilal, Padma Shri recipient Damayanti Joshi and Shri.Vijay Shreshta. She rose to fame with her Manch Pravesh at Bhulabhai Desai Memorial Institute, then moving on to recitals at Kal-Ke-Kalaakar Sammellan, Lions Club, NCPA for Russian delegation and Sur Singar Samsad in presence of Smt.Sitara Devi.

With Anila’s deep love and dedication for Kathak and her continuance to attain perfection in it, she began scaling new heights of glory within no time. She made noteworthy contribution to Kathak and expansion of Sindhi culture. With graceful grammar and pleasing aesthetics, Anila reflected sincerity to classicism. She not only performed in over 65 cities in India but also across 25 countries abroad, and has also promoted Indian and Sindhi art amongst youth with her various dance ballets. Soon she formed her own performing unit along with which she staged over 1,000 performances in different parts of the globe viz. Japan, West Africa, Scandinavian countries, UK, UAE, USA etc…

Anila as school of dance: Anila strived at developing new talent and shared her art form generously with students from 7 to 70 years old. They regularly appear for Kathak dance examinations from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal, Navi Mumbai. Anila has conducted dance workshops in many cities and has judged at various dance contests in public and private organizations. She had a successful stint as a faculty member of Ananthacharya Indological Research Institute. She realizes this vision under the banner of Sindhu Nritya Sangeet Academy, a registered trust of which she is the Founder-President.