Dancer Mallika Sarabhai turns author with her memoir Free Fall


From her obsession of 30 years with being thin to her battles with grief and depression, acclaimed classical dancer and activist Mallika Sarabhai bares it all in her upcoming self-help memoir, “Free Fall: My Experiments with Living”.

Laced with humour and an earthy wisdom, the book, which will hit the stands on August 30, is about “coming to terms with yourself, your body and finding the lifestyle that works for you”. It is published by Speaking Tiger.

“For years people have asked me, What is your routine? What do you do to still dance this way? How do you have so much energy? and on and on. The lockdown left me alone on the Darpana campus and I felt I wanted to write this. It became a memoir because ones body and what you end up doing are so intertwined”, said the dancer-turned-author in a statement.

Born to renowned Indian classical dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai and the legendary space scientist Vikram Sarabhai, Mallika is an accomplished Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancer who has specialized in using the arts for social change and transformation. In this frank portrayal of her extraordinary life, the 69-year-old talks about her addictions like smoking and how she hypnotised her way out of it, her fascination with alternate therapies like Pranik healing, Ayurveda and colour therapy, and the beauty treatments she uses for future-proofing her body so that she can continue to dance and perform for years to come.

It also gives readers a peek into her battles with grief and depression — when she lost her beloved father in 1971 and mother in 2016 — a painful break-up with a man she loved, her ups and downs with her children. According to the publishers, the “never preachy” memoir delivers an immensely useful message for anyone who wants good health and happiness.

“This is a book that is honest, down-to-earth, and inspirational. We are sure that many readers will come away from it feeling that they can change their lives if they want, and cope with just about anything! “In the process, Mallika also gives us glimpses into her illustrious family that are both heartwarming and intriguing,” said Renuka Chatterjee, vice-president publishing at Speaking Tiger.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)