Sunday, February 21, 2010
Sundays and Lipstick.
I suddenly missed dancing today.Not the moronic club dancing that I occasionally indulge in, but the classical dance that I trained for, for years. Dance was a part of my Sundays.Unlike a lot of children in my generation, I never got to watch Mahabharat on TV, because I remember its timings clashing with my classes. More than the nostalgia, there was this sense of deep seated guilt of having wronged my Guru and also a sense of waste. Not a waste of talent (I was never a great dancer) but a waste of knowledge. Imagine having learnt something for around a decade and then not remembering almost all of what you've learnt. I remembered a taal in the middle of class the other day but could not, for the life of me, break it up into its constituent taalis and khaalis.
I dont remember when or why I stopped dancing, but I like telling myself that it was around 11th standard, when I had too many tuition classes to attend.
I had a bright yellow costume with a black border, and the blouse had tiny fishes woven into its border and my ghungroos got pretty heavy by the time I stopped (as a ritual,the number of bells in the ghungroo increase with every year of your training)
I miss the unified ringing of the ghungroos and the dirt that stuck to the sole of my feet after the lessons got over. There was also a typical way in which the dupatta was tied-one end covering the chest and the other wound tightly around the waist.
Maybe someday I'll get back to dancing, which was my primary hobby. (I began dancing at the age of four, writing in middle school and started taking photographs only in high school) Till then, I'll just look back and smile at memories of wearing alta on my feet and fingertips, of wearing a fake bun for the head-dress we wore, and of licking off the lipstick the make-up men put on us before shows.
P.S: the photograph was taken during the Mylapore Festival in Chennai.Mylapore is a lot like North Calcutta- the old and orthodox settlement with beautiful houses and dingy lanes.the dance form here is Bharatnatyam, but I trained in Odissi.