Thursday, May 29, 2014

Alive and Dancing!

It was sheer beauty to watch them. The grace, the ease and the timelessness of each performance. The soft footed, swift moving bodies in perfect balance and precise timing had me in awe.


All of us, I am sure, when we were children tried a minimum of three activities that today we snort at if asked to undertake. Dancing, drawing/painting, singing, learning an instrument and craft in some or the other form. But it was dance and dancers that fascinated me.

Well, you have heard the saying, "You heart wants most what you cannot have."

Aged 5 I went through the tedious process of trying to move my body so that it flows not shifts, curves not angles, points not strains and looks like a gazelle not a bear. The effort wasn't fruitless, atleast for my peers who found the whole routine exceedingly comical.

Childhood trauma (yes, that's what it was) stays with you over the years and seldom do we meet people who have been able to break that fragile shell of 'safe childhood notions'. I never danced after that. My comfort zone was a march than a gait, strength than elegance, hops than a skip and a ball than ballet.

An uncomfortable part of me remained constantly ignored, but with time that part was forgotten and claps, not taps, to the beat became my style. There was nobody to ask me to cut loose, no one to argue that discomfort was to be experienced, hated in the present, loved in retrospect and looked forward to in the age of wisdom.

Change maybe a constant in nature, fears do not change that fast. But the brave overcome  safe notions. I overcame mine like a coward in a crowd of strangers, while nobody was looking. In a crowd of strangers I gave way to some of my dicomfort and shifted from foot to foot, waving my hands at odd angles and jerking my neck. There was nobody to look at me, no one to point and laugh and after a few moments of conscious embarassment, I felt at home on my own two left feet.

I began to this often. A crowd of strangers, some foot tapping music and my awkward mass jiggling in the most unattractive, perhaps comical, manner. Lost in those hours of bliss, some strangers caught on to my enthusiasm and came to match a step. Why, now I had dancing friends! They did not feel the need to laugh, to point or to suggest that if my movements were curtailed somebody else, too, would think that I was dancing.

With them all I was doing was, dance!

Art, in any form, may certainly belong to the masters. They will command the artform so that we sit in awe, fingers in our mouth when a true performer creates magic. But art is also that part of you which is exceedingly beautiful in a manner that no other part is. You may clap for the master but the true expression of an art comes from thousands of mediocre and bad artists who project it, inspite of being laughed at. Because just like we grow with art, art grows with every single artist.

It has been years now, since I threw the cloak of embarassment completely. In that moment of heady exhileration I can forget my fears, my tears, my pressures. I can break free and feel alive.

When I dance, I am that long lost gazelle,
That gives grace its name,
To the third eye I am jiggling a mass,
An elegant breeze in my frame!

P.S. - Art is for us to find and feel the best of ourselves. Not to be mastered, nor to be learnt, but to be experienced and lived!


  1. While dancing is surely an unbridled form of expression and a vista to the eyes, my friends, family members and neighbors are likely to denounce when it comes to the place of dancing in my life. :P

    Tushar Kumar Singh
    Project Disavowed

  2. I absolutely get what you felt. Never danced myself till I was well into my late teens. I'm still pretty awful now, but I could never have put it in the words that you have. That is art, quite literally. ;-)

  3. Awesome Post
    And i love it
    Great comparison between a gazelle and a bear hahah hilarious
    I will say u r in between not a gazelle but definitely not a bear...hhehehe

  4. Yes Manjiri, and when u start loving it, u start living it. Art in any form is beautiful.

  5. To this day, I can't get myself to dance....not even when I'm alone in front of the mirror.

    Completely agree with what you fact, it's one of the best quotes I've encountered so far: "Art is for us to find and feel the best of ourselves. Not to be mastered, nor to be learnt, but to be experienced and lived!"

    Thumbs up,

    My first (and not last) visit here.

    Do drop by mine.