Minu Haque: The golden days of childhood | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, November 26, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, November 26, 2009

Minu Haque: The golden days of childhood

Minu Haque

Carefree, exuberant and thrilled by all she saw, Minu Haque was a complete extrovert as a child. Though she was raised by strict, conservative parents who endowed in her a sense of religion, they also gave her the freedom of choice to develop her artistic personality. Perhaps that early degree of emancipation and her desire to be one with nature helped her establish herself as one of the best classical dancers of the country.
Minu's passion for dance blossomed when she was merely five or six years old. Her family inspired her greatly. While her parents were traditional, they were at the same time very open-minded and had appointed times for her study, telawat (recitation of the Holy Quran) as well as time to take dance lessons from a neighbour.
“That Dhaka and this Dhaka are like two different cities. At that age we used to travel all the way to the old town. There was a rawness and freshness in that area at that time. Me, my cousins and neighbourhood friends used to roam around in the fields of jackfruit, and orchards, all of which has been removed now to accommodate highrise buildings and gnawing roads. The whole city was filled with krishnochura and jamrul trees. That scenic beauty is now lost.
“We could never imagine taking money to dance or to participate in a cultural activity. However the fact that money did infiltrate into the system is also auspicious. It proves that the fine arts had been acknowledged professionally. One has to admit, there are many expenses involved, from dress to make-up, to jewellery to back grounds. It can be said that dancing is one of the most expensive professions, but sadly it is not one of the lucrative ones,” she says.
Minu Haque now remains busy with her school Pallavi as well as with the initiative of the Bangladesh Dance Artistes Association (where she is the Vice President) to incorporate dance in primary schools till Class-VIII. “In our questionnaires, 80 per cent of students had said 'yes' to dance. This is only obvious as studying for long hours can get monotonous and children would want something as vibrant and energetic as dance to set their minds once more on academics,” she asserts.
A peek at Minu's life:
Greatest time: With parents.
Happiest time: Raising kids for 17 years.
Peak productive time: Now, when her kids are grown up and abroad and she is working hard to make a contribution to society.
Best dishes: Hot, sizzling spinach with a lot of garlic.

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