The human spirit challenges time and distance

Venkat Raman –

It is often said that the finest moments in one’s life comes not from richness of material wealth but from a true sense of achievement that accrues following the recognition by people.

On that step, there were several significant moments at the Ninth Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards held on Monday, November 28, 2016 at Sky City Convention Centre.

Business Achievers

The most significant of these belonged to the winners of the 13 categories and the Supreme Business of the Year Awards. To them it was a moment of commandment of their hard work and sincerity with the support and cooperation of staff, suppliers and others. And to the finalists in each of the categories to reinforce their determination to strive harder at next year’s Awards.

Spreading Wings

The highlight of the evening was the speech by Gautam Lewis, Chief Executive, Freedom in the Air, a London (United Kingdom) based company that trains physically disabled people to become commanders of aircraft.

the-human-spirit-challenges-ashish-ramakrishnan-and-ratna-venkat-2Mr Lewis, a polio survivor was abandoned on the streets of Kolkata (then Calcutta) by his parents, to be sheltered by Mother Teresa and her charities. The little boy received care, love and affection.

He was adopted by Samaritan Patricia Lewis, who brought the child to New Zealand and took him back home a few years later.

That little boy is today a source of inspiration, allowing people to reach heights of fame and achievement, overcoming their own physical challenges.

His speech at the Awards Night was one of the best heard.

We reproduce his speech in our Awards Special in this issue.

A Step-in Time

Surprise was the expression that Ratna Venkat, Indian Newslink ‘Artlink’ Editor and popular dancer, displayed the-human-spirit-challenges-ashish-ramakrishnan-and-ratna-venkatwhen Master of Ceremonies Jackie Clarke said, “Stay right there, Ratna, there is something special for you.” Then invited Ragavan and Alamelu Rengachariar, Trustees of the RAMS Foundation to confer the title of ‘Kuchipudi Princess.’

A moment later, Mr Key was invited to the stage to bestow the honour on Ratna and present her a Citation.

Ms Rengachariar presented a silk shawl to Ratna as a part of traditional honour.

That moment of pride and honour came after Ratna performed two dance numbers, both unique in their respect, content and form.

Infusion of Maori

the-human-spirit-challenges-ratna-presenting-taranaThe first dance, an auspicious number, began with a traditional Māori prayer, followed by an invocation to the Hindu Elephant-headed Lord Ganesha. This included an infusion of Māori elements in her choreography, which drew wide appreciation and applause. For an appreciative onlooker, the dance item, with the powerful and melodious voice of Ashish Ramakrishnan and vivacious instrumental support by the live band ‘Gurus of Groove,’ was a fitting tribute to Māori culture and traditions.

The second dance, known as ‘Tarana’ demonstrated the synergy and coordination between the dancer, singer and the ‘Gurus of Groove.’ A unique feature in this performance was the dancer’s ability to ‘scat’ (reciting rhythmic syllables) and dance at the same time.



  1. Gautam Lewis speaking at the Awards Night
  2. Ratna Venkat and Ashish Ramakrishnan- Māori elements in Hindu Prayer
  3. Ratna Venkat presents the ‘Tarana’ in Kathak style

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