Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dancing Away to glory

Courtesy Google


I had started learning Bharatnatyam at the age of 6 when we were in Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. My earliest memory of the class was of donning an attire of green salwar kurta with an orange duppatta (the dress codes for first years) and heading off to the class every Saturday evening. My Guru lovingly greeted me with the song 'Kya khoob lagti ho, badi sundar dikhati ho' and being the passionate dancer she was, she taught us with great enthusiasm and vigor. I was flexible and had a sharp movements, is what she always proudly pointed out to my mother. 21 years later, when I heard those same remarks from the mother of my dance teacher today, it bought a glow to my face and reminded me of my childhood and the time in Vizaq(Vishakapatnam).

Dance had always come naturally to our family. Malamma (first aunt), Raisa(sister) and I have learnt the Bharatnatyam, and Kiniamma(second aunt) is proficient in Kathak. I had completed 4 years in Vizaq, after which we moved to Aurangabad, Maharashtra. My guru in Aurangabad seemed too professional and money minded to us. And hence, slowly the art drifted out from my curricular of activities. There was a tryst with  Kathak for 3 months, but that form of dance strangely didn't appeal much to me. Cut off from dance altogether, I then completed my engineering and got onto this band wagon called IT. Stuck onto it still, I realized for a long time, where is my life heading to? I went to office, came back, slept and went to office again the next day. I also flew off to UK for couple of years and came back, but well the only thing I still did was to earn my money and spend it.

A calling was missing.

I knew I wanted to pursue something in dance, but it really took a long long time for me to take that step again. Mum, thank you for relentlessly getting after me to look for a class in Pune.  Finally this year May, I went ahead and enrolled myself into a dance academy called Nritya Prerna(after a rigorous search and numerous phone calls), which suited my timings(7 PM own wards every Monday and Tuesday, which means the weekends were free) and my way of teaching this form of art (stripped of all the professional junk).

So now, every start of the week, I wrap my work by 6 and if I can't, I desert it and head off to paud road. I know I want this, because I never give excuses to myself to get out of the class ever, and I truly truly look forward to it. Now, the beginnings of the week are spent blissfully sweating away, banging the feet to a taal and learning this beautiful form of dance. The mind, the soul, the body, all unified are at a dignified peace while I am dancing. There is a strange sort of calmness around me when I am in the class, depicting a picture of a person so not me, to my guru and the other students. Students being 15 years my junior who monitor how I perform my addavs and the guru around my age whose feet I touch at the end of the class. Somewhere, somehow I have begun to believe that maybe finally I have found my calling? Until then, I am just satisfied dancing away to glory :-)


45 comments:

  1. amazing!!! I know u will learn it for betterment .. all the best for u r plans .. I would like to see u performing and I'm sure u will rock.

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    1. Thank you CK. I so love this form of art :-)

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  2. Great! Very few people dare to break the chain of daily routine and listen to their heart calling. Lovely write up, atleast people will take the example of you and try to alter their life and start listening to their calling.
    Keep dancing and keep learning:)

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    1. Life has become so mundane just doing the same thing. For me, I really really needed that change. Thanks so much Mithlash. Your comments are so very nice :-)

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  3. OH My GOD I am dead jealous of you now dear, Same to same story I have/ god u and me so similar!
    I started learning when I was 6 and continued till 18 post that :P same engineering and same IT!!! I had completed exams as well in dancing. Even till date after 7yrs of ITexperience I feel I am hopelessly bad at it but when I am on stage dancing for a thilana or Jatiswara I completely feel proud of myself, but alas thats not my profession.

    Now even I feel like I should get back to it :D will share my dance snaps and video with you ;)

    Keep dancing :D its oneness with Soul :D and its Celebration of our passion!!!

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    1. Ramyu dear. You have already got what I am working for. You already did what you have already done. You have completed your senior exams as well!!! and I know you are very modest and I know you are very very good. Would love to see you perform some day yaar!

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  4. My Mom tried to put me in a karnaticmusic class when I was 5 and I only laughed at my Guru when he started with sa re ga ma ... to annoy him! Now, on TV when I see people singing so well I think ...

    Better late than never, you will learn ...

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    1. :-) I did the same Kusum. But yes I so agree with you, its never really late is it! Thank you so much for your comment!

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  5. arey ya i think i am born with twisted limbs..i can be anything but gracefull,but yes true calling has to be guitar strings :)

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    1. haha..
      Guitar, oh my! i tried that once, and really as soon as i had put my hands on those strings I knew it! I knew it, that I am the world most besuruli insaan :-)

      So, as you have rightly pointed out, evetryone has a gift, it is just a matter of finding them :-)

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  6. Dance your way to glory :)

    P.S. : We all need that "call" in life. Otherwise, its so listless.

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    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment Anwesa :-) So right. No calling = no living

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  7. :) Glad that u got back to ur passion!!

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    1. Thank you so much Ria. I am really enjoying it a lot!

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  8. hey wow.... i had learnt bharatnatyam up to the age on 11, too...

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    1. that's wonderful! So did you continue it or not?

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  9. I m thrilled to know u were in visakhapatnam my home city. I m happy for you that u r living ur passion finally. Every one should have passion of something otherwise w get lost n day to day activities...hope to see u performing on some tv programme sometime.

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    1. Oh my god! You are from Vizaq too! My earliest memory was of uda park!!!

      yes, passion and a direction. It makes such a big difference to living your life! Thanks you so much Gopinath!

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  10. WOW, a writer and a dance, now that's called Talent. Good yaar, do share your experiences with us. And don't miss the classes. :)

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    1. Oh Saru, writer? and dancer? -> I hope to become this. About talent, dunno :-)
      Yes I am going to them every day.

      The blog and dance, they have really bought a new direction to my life.

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  11. Jenny what Saru says is so true! You are a perfect blend of multifaceted talent!Best wishes for more laurels, Jenny!

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    1. Oh Rahulji, I dunno if I am worthy of your's and Saru's comments. But still thank you so much. I really hope to do well and really enjoy it a lot!

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  12. When you follow your heart, happiness itself makes its way to you :)

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    1. Ahha what a fitting thought Philo! Thank you so much!

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  13. Jenny, I have tagged you in my latest post. Do check it out here :)

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    1. Awww!!! Thank you Thank you so very much :-)

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  14. Glad you moved away from the money minded teacher and found someone who shares your passion for your art. Your words convey the joy you feel most beautifully. Uplifting post.

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    1. Thank you so much for your motivating comment KayEm. i am glad I moved away from her. How funny, how the teacher can make such a difference to the way you approach a subject.

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  15. Just believe that the call you received is at the right time and there is no other better time than this...:) Hope you achieve what you meant to, All the Best...:)

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    1. Wow! It the right time, when I start :-) How postitive is that!! and Thank you so much for your motivating comment. Thank you.

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  16. Wow Great. I leanrt Bharahanatyam too but left touch after enginneering and IT came. Though I am not trained professionally now, I enjoy dancing and never miss an opportunity. Perhaps I'll keep you as my inspiration and start learning all over again :-)

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    1. Blush Blush, me as an inspiration :-) Thank you Ashwini. please do join the classes again. Knowig the work conditions in IT, it is indeed such a breather! makes a huge amount of difference.

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  17. I love the grace and beauty of Indian classical dances, specially Bharathnatyam! Unfortunately I never had a chance to learn (even in India), but my 5 year old is learning (in New York)! Isn't it interesting! She is loving it so far! Would love to see you in the costume!!;-) Hope you are having a wonderful day!
    -Jyoti
    Style-Delights Blog

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    1. Oh wow! 5 year old. Kudos to you, for catching the talent at the right time. All the best to her, and am sure she is going to be a wonderful graceful dancer :-)

      Costume, :-) I do have some clips of my performances. I would love to share them here :-)

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  18. wowow excellent .. its always a pleasure to do something that one loves to do ..

    all the best

    Bikram's

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  19. great...Let us know when you perform on stage

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    1. :-) Well there is still loads of time for that, but yes I will do that.

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  20. People in IT usually drown and waste their lives in it. Others know they are called to be something else but pretend not to know it. But Madam, I salute you. You are NOT wasting your life on the keyboard, but earning and at the same time doing what you are passionate about. You are the true woman of today.

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    1. Ohh Anita, your comment has made my day! You are very right in pointing out that, we somewhere we also have to earn money, but that doesn't mean we forget what our passion is. We after all have only one life to do what we love!

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  21. Wow, it is such a pleasure to see someone extract herself from the humdrums of life to attend to something that truly is like a calling-You inspire me Jen...now if only I stop making excuses! :-)

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  22. wow, hailing from a family of trained dancers - you should hear your calling and may be even take it seriously! ;) Great there!!

    Kappu

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  23. Jenny, what you have actually done is you found your passion and you are "seriously" pursuing it.. Also, you never have "Monday blues".. Its like hitting 2 birds in one shot!

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  24. Wow *respect*! That is some dedication. I also learnt Kathak for a year and immensely enjoyed the experience. I want to learn Hindustani Classical music someday in the future. This is a post about my kathak experience:
    http://www.rachnaparmar.com/2011/07/conquering-our-fears.html

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So what do you think?