Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Eureka Balle Balle !!!

The strange dialectic of the ego is that it manifests from the desire to BE a persona that has an individual impact on others, while, its manifestation necessarily defeats its purpose. The persona that the human self dreams of crafting is something like the Hollywood he-man hero.While choreographing a Bollywood dance number I had this eureka-ish idea :)
I was interacting with a group of dance enthusiasts, and each member in the group was pretty sure that he is the next Hrithik Roshan or Prabhu Deva or Michael Jackson, if nothing else. It was interesting to observe how one claimed to do the "moonwalk" with √©lan and when requested to show a glimpse of his talent kept complaining about his ill health !!! I suppose, he firmly believed that he could do a better job if he was not feeling a little shivery. Another was a dedicated student who desired nothing but the appreciation of the teacher in presence. There was this other guy who, I guess, believed that he was a great dancer (I don't know if his train of female admirers invested this confidence, but I have a strong positive instinct working in favour of this logic) and hence needn't really practice much. And then there was this guy from the hills who was the epitomic heart throb of any party with his childish enthusiasm, sweet voice and a passion for dance. With  regards to this last variety of the dance enthusiast, I feel like sharing a couple of notes.
In him, I saw a partial resolution of the dialectic of the human ego. He desired appreciation ,but not without investing labour; he vyed for the central position in a group, but, never allowed his attempts to cloud another member; he wanted neatness and perfection in his performance and was ready to accept positive criticism for it. Though I was visiting them as a choreographer, and they had accepted me as their tutor with respect, while observing these budding individuals, with the natural gift of imperfection, I gained a new skill. While the others helped me realise my shortcomings, this young man actually helped me understand the potential that I contain in me to unlearn my learningsand learn anew. What did I learn is a pertinent question for you to ask. But the answer is as intangible as the sense of contentment that arises after this voluntary exercise of choregraphing. Not only did I teach them a couple of moves that are akin to the dance of Punjab (called Bhangra), they taught me in turn what the sages have said: look not without, but within. Each of these young men put forward an essence that I could identify with. Standing from the safe objective distance of being a "guest" teacher, I could analyse their attitudes. And even before I could realise, I had analysed a whole cupboard-full-of-'me's!!!! I had kept this cupboard bolted for a very long time (even twenty-something year olds feel time to be a vast expanse dear you-s!). I needed to unlock and clear the clutter that had been the self that I would like to believe is me. To those young hearts who put up a mirror to me, a humble bow with Bhangra-ish flamboyance: Hadippa! tinak-tin-dhaa!!! :)
p.s. the above picture is clicked on way to Havelock in Andaman Islands by either me or my hubby Arijit

Friday, October 30, 2009

i have a well in me...

a gutsy dream once overheard a desire.the desire in that instant was wishing for a well, different from the fantabulous classic wishing wells of the forever-fairy-tales. and yet it was, after all, a wishing well only. the desire was for a well that was dug till the centre of the earth, with a brightly lit tunnel leading to the luminous centre of the universe. the gutsy dream ventured forth and asked the desire: why was it wishing for such a fearful well? the desire smiled with an honest intent and said, if i can not dive in the sea of fears that i harbour in me, how will i find the true centre of my being? when i desire this well, you see a dreaded dream; one that you would call a nightmare. but, if you look deep enough into that well of unholy dreams, you will see the light at the centre...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I hope there's a fairy tale in her...

My vision stuck to a face that was constantly peeping from behind an ambush of grown-ups. Those glittering eyes with a hint of "kajal", the flowery hair-band on an almost barren head, the streak of lip-colour on those kiddy lips reminded me of something. Someone, to be precise. Me, in my pristine childhood days.
It was an unpleasant bi-yearly event which I resented for the utter humiliating effect it had on my sense of prestige. Yet, I remained silent for the promise of a future that would undo all the suffering. Those were the ignominious visits to the hairdresser. My grandma was of the opinion that shaving the head bi-yearly (if not yearly) will produce a Rapunzelesque cascade of tresses; my mother abided by her word and cajoled me into this routine with the assurance of being Rapunzelesque one day. I put on the I-don't-care-about-your-laughs attitude with a peculiar choice of appearance. I insisted that the hair-band be put on my shaved head. As I imagine myself gliding through the bewildered looks of my batch mates, I break into splits of laughter. Gosh!!! What did I think when I did that??? Several psychological ideas flash through this grown-up brain of mine none of which bears any connection with this article whatsoever. And that brings me back to that little girl who had braced herself up to face all the jeering eyes of her contemporaries. As I saw her, picture postcards of my fairy tale dream rushed back to me. It reminded me of the choice that I had made. It was a choice of forgetfulness. The dream was THE absolute truth. It was the 'real' for me.
As I look at today's little girls, I see in their not-so-twinkling eyes the dreams of Bollywood actresses and fashonistas. They look into the mirror never imagining it to be the magic mirror that would start speaking in this moment. They are independent and mature in the choices they make. But, what are childhoods for if not for the natural ability to create perpetually unreal worlds and accept their existence with nonchalance? There are a hundred thousand reasons, from globalisation to genes which can justify the behaviour of these little girls of today. But, one thing that I know in my heart of hearts, is, if these pretty junior fashonistas do not have their own kiddy worlds today, they will lose a smile in their future. The not-so-perfect choices of childhood give a reason to smile in the not-so-perfect futures. As I caught that little girl's eyes I hoped dearly, that, she has her fairy tale dream too...