Manku Sai Bharath
“And there is time for us to prepare ourselves. For us, it’s more than enough. Together we can rock it.” I tried explaining to her. “Are you going to do that in front of everyone?", She doubted.
“What?” Shipa yelled at me. “What What?” I am confused by her tone. Is it excitement or surprise? But, for me, it looks like she is stunned, however. “Do you really mean it? Are you crazy Riya?” I think she is not out of the shock yet. “Come on yaar, it’s quite a good chance now. Also, you know na, this is one of my dreams” I lost in thoughts again. Oh no. It is going to happen. My childhood dream it’s going to come true. Hurray!!! “Cut it out Riya. We are not doing it” Shipa shook me off. “Shipa, my bestie, why are you being such a drag?” I shrugged at her. She gave a weird look. “And there is time for us to prepare ourselves. For us, it’s more than enough. Together we can rock it.” I tried explaining to her. “Are you going to do that in front of everyone? Do you know the outfit that requires it?” I cannot sense her words. “It is just like being half nude and showing ourselves to them and…” she covered herself with hands crossed. “Shut up yaar. I am going to dance on the stage. That nowhere means skin shows that you were thinking about” I cut her off in the middle. “But...” she tried to say something. “It’s Ballet Dance, not any movies’ mass number. Why do you think like that even?” I started feeling Irritated. “Think about Neeraj Chacha. He will tear us apart if he finds it out. Even the thought of him giving me a chill in my spine” Shipa trembled a little.
Yeah, we are from an orthodox family where, apart from many other restrictions, except classical dance, no other form is considered as dance. In fact, they see it as an insult to the dance god, Natraj, or Lord Shiva himself. But, I love to dance. Maybe because of that I never understood the way they categorize it. Come on Shipa it is an ART. That should be done with a heart, not the brain. You know, I wanted to learn as many forms of dance as possible. With rhythm and beat, dance should be synchronized. By playing so many tricks and emotional blackmails I managed to study abroad. Being from such a family, wearing a western outfit, having boys in friend groups, and even eating street food becomes wild dreams for me. But this time I’m not losing it. A chance that never returns if I turn it down now. After all, this is why I came here, to explore the extremes that I can go to.
“Riya, try to understand. This video will be put on YouTube too. Eventually, they will know it and we will be doomed forever” she is still in that fear. “Shipa, is it what you want me to do? To sit and do nothing because of where I belong to? Do you want me to give up even before trying?” I am irritated now. “I am not saying that, but think about them too. They might feel shame...” I have had enough “Not a word more. We did so many things so far. You were always on my side. Now, why are you talking all this nonsense? Is it because our families might come to know the true selves of us? Embrace it. Do you feel you are doing anything wrong? I am not thinking so. I am doing it now. Feel half-naked or skin show or whatever. Today is the day I am going to shatter that stereotyped thinking forever. Registering myself for that stage show. Be the caterpillar forever. Bye.” I started walking out of the room. I never expected it from her. This is all she can think? Why does this clothing come in the middle? Is it necessary to bring unnecessary prestige, pride on my way? Finally, after the sweat and blood I put into pursuing my dreams, are my traditions and culture going to evaporate them just like that? My eyes become wet. “Riya” I came back to this world. “Let’s do it together.” I am a little surprised. “I was a little over-concerned about our reputation. But that’s all false.” Is she convinced really? “But just realized it. It is us. Do the right thing in spite of all the hurdles we face from society and family. That's what makes us. WOMEN.” I am so happy now. “Come on, let’s face it together, and let’s change the future together. Tears rolled down my cheeks. Involuntarily I ran to her and hugged her. This is what a friend is for, however.