Aishwarya Manivannan

Lady with the moves

A dancer? A martial artist? Aishwarya Manivannan would say that the moves in a Silambam duel are as rhythmic as the moves in a dance form like Bharatanatyam. At the World, Asian and National Silambam Championships 2015-16, she won a total of 7 Gold, 6 Silver, and 4 bronze medals. Apart from a martial artist, this power persona is also a designer who loves handlooms.

Swords at hand, feet firmly planted on the ground - Aishwarya is a picture of perfect balance. One that flows into the other walks of her life as well. She is at the core of her being, an artist. A professor of art and design, Aishwarya is a Silambam Martial Arts Practitioner and an ardent proponent of creativity.

More often than not, artists possess a kind of tunnel vision - focusing on their art, looking at it in isolation. But to Aishwarya, art is fluid. Everything in life can express itself in the form of art, and each piece of art can be influenced by another. “Life isn’t about one, to the exclusion of others,” is her belief.

It was this philosophy that moved her to practicing Silambam, which her Bharathanatyam guru recommended to her as a way to refine her dance movements. She loved it so much, that she was enticed into exploring it further.

Aishwarya has so far, won 7 Gold, 6 Silver and 4 Bronze medals in Silambam. She has represented India in International Championships and even holds a Diploma in Silambam Fencing. With her strides in this ancient Indian martial art, she is bringing forth an art form that dates back 3,000 years.

According to her, Silambam is not about unbridled aggression. It’s a perfect balance of the body and mind. A perfect harmony between creativity and strategy. And it is every bit an expression of beauty as it is of strength.

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