Zarine Kolah who was in the first batch of the children’s class of Iyengar Yoga was barely six when her mother pushed her into learning the techniques. “My sister Roshen was 11 and we were the youngest in the class,” recalls Zarine who could not stop her tears as she paid tributes to the world renowned Yogacharya B K S Iyengar at the Ramamani Iyengar institute here on Wednesday morning.
“Now I feel what my mother did was a blessing. We used to grumble at being sent for classes but today, at 40, I am so happy that I got a chance to learn Yoga that shaped my personality. On this day when he has passed away, Guruji would expect us to be strong and have full belief that he is going to another and better world,” says Zarine.
“Guruji showed us the way,” says a teary Ram Godar who travelled all the way from Hyderabad to visit B K S Iyengar while he was in the hospital. “I had an open heart surgery at the age of 19 and my health was quite bad. It was Iyengar Yoga that has helped me tremendously,” he recalls.
Among others from various walks of life who arrived at the institute to pay their tributes was actress Ratna Pathak. “I was in the city to participate in the march to protest against the delay in cracking the case of Dabholkar’s murder when I learnt about Iyengar’s demise. I have been his student for 20 years now. Iyengar Yoga appeals to one’s mind, it is logical and practical,” says Pathak adding that what was appealing about the great Yogacharya was his openness.
Family priest V S Nataraja Shastry who learnt Yoga from Iyengar and has been attached to him for 45 years recalls how he had performed rituals for Yogacharya’s birthdays. “We were hoping for a miracle and I was waiting to celebrate his 100th birthday,” Shastry said.
Settlement commissioner Chandrakant Dalvi and his family too paid tributes to the Yogacharya. Dalvi’s daughter Pooja said, “Guruji made each student feel special.” S Rangachari (93) who knew Iyengar since 1942 as a family friend was deeply affected by his demise. “I am a retired government officer and it was Iyengar who entrusted with the responsibility of Harihar Bhajana Sabha Ganesh temple at Rasta Peth which I fulfilled. My friend is no more,” he said.