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What’s life without a dream? In fact, can there be a life without a dream or a goal? The perspectives of those who view the world from a rose-tinted view, sitting on cushy sofas amid air-condition four-walled existences can be different from those who sweat in the streets. Imagine what life must be for someone like a rag picker in a slum in that part of the world, which is renowned as India’s IT city of Bangalore?

Till some time ago, such was the case for Bangalore’s Anand Dhanakoti. The earnest soul literally had no idea as to what direction his life was taking. At one point, this simple Bangalore boy, son of a coconut-seller was distraught at having been forced to leave school, on account of having no money to pay for his fees.

Anand Dhanakoti

Anand Dhanakoti

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Anand has lived in a slum all his life. While growing up, from the age of eight to thirteen, he was supporting his family by working at mechanic shops, working at hotels, cutting tender coconuts on the streets, and rag-picking. However, his life drastically changed when he was taken to an NGO called the Bornfree Art School and given the gift of literacy and art education. He was introduced to the world of arts – dance, music, painting, photography, filming, sculpting and theatre.

Today, he is preparing for a bright future ahead in Germany’s Hamburg, where, if all goes well, Anand Dhanakoti will be dancing to the beats of Waltz.

Surprised? Who wouldn’t be? They say that when the going gets tough- the tough get going. But for some people, toughness stems from knowing. Knowing a great deal about how they can make use of their talents. And in Anand Dhanakoti’s case, the real talent and flair were always in dancing. Having a special fondness for Classical Ballet and Jazz music, Anand Dhanakoti has spent years together to study and follow this intoxicatingly beautiful dance form.

The result is in his the current tide his life is taking. Having won himself a scholarship in the prestigious Hamburg School of Dance, Anand Dhanakoti- who’s lived in the streets, unsure about who he was or what is it that he could’ve done to become something is now chasing his dream to become a full-time dancer and that too, an artist at the global stage.

Anand Dhanakoti

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But as with all dreams and aspirations, the path to greatness lies in overcoming existential hurdles. For Anand, the real challenge is about overcoming a financial crunch. He needs a sum of INR 9.5 lakhs to make it to Germany. Thankfully, living true to the adage of where there’s a will, there’s a way- nearly half of the needed amount has been attained through an online funding campaign through which a lot of amount from the stipulated sum has already been generated.

In the meantime, he has also successfully completed a BA degree in economics, political science and sociology from the St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. He has done all his schooling through scholarships and some meager savings.

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In fact, life, all thanks to Anand Dhanakoti’s penchant for dance which has changed so suddenly and drastically, that the boy who once lived in a slum of Bangalore has plans to open his own dance academy by the time he turns 35- a self-cultivated dream.

And as of now, the self-trained martial arts practitioner of Kalaripayttu- an ancient form that famously originated in India- is busy preparing for his life in Germany. For his spirit to mount a comeback against the hurdles of life and for that quintessential never say die spirit, one must tip the hat to Arjun.