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Bindi Bottoms
Naina Jha Dancer, Patna

“As a child, I was quite determined to become good at dancing. Despite the absence of any dance classes or trainers, I would watch dance performances on TV - Doordarshan, to be precise - and teach myself the steps I saw there. After my Class 10th exams, I came to Patna for further education. I made sure that I participated in every single dance event that was arranged at my college. I won some, I lost some.

The moment college ended, the twirls and whirls dwindled and eventually stopped. In my imagination, I would still shimmy and strut, but the stage became a distant dream. When the alumni cell of my college invited me to perform, after several years that distant dream felt within my reach again. I didn’t want to let go of the opportunity. I also wanted my husband to watch me perform since he had never seen me dance on stage.

While my husband and in-laws waited in the audience, I felt a strange sort of nervousness. While other participants performed, I dived into the memories of my past encounters with beats and bows. When it was my turn, I swayed out on stage in my yellow lehenga. I balanced three pots on my head and moved my waist to the Rajasthani music.

In no time, my anxiety was completely gone and I was lost in the music. I felt like the peacock during the first rain; I danced like the beloved who had just found her love.

At the end of the performance, I went into my husband’s arms feeling happy and content. He was thrilled and suggested that I should take my passion more seriously. I smiled and went back to my childhood dream of getting dance lessons. I enrolled in Kathak lessons for six months and then moved on to the Bollywood and Contemporary styles.

However, merely learning dance no longer satisfied me. I wanted to spread the joy that dance brought to me. I started an institute for children from slums and for differently-abled children.

I have a six-month-old daughter. I look forward to the day my daughter and I can sway on stage together.”


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