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 :-)