After 20 years of life, I met myself. Until then I had been busy juggling several roles at a time: profession, family, social activities etc. I was completely occupied with living. Was I happy? I had almost everything a woman could dream of. But depression had hit me. Without any inhibitions, I sought professional help from a psychologist.
He correctly pointed out that the thing that was missing in my life was engagement in a leisure activity. He encouraged me to find out activities that would give me solace and joy.
The very first thought that occurred to my mind was of getting back to Bharata Natyam. I already had a smile on my face. A few friends I had made then are still in touch with me and even the kind of conversations that we have, give me so much joy. When I was seven, my mother enrolled me in Bharata Natyam classes. For nearly nine years, I was blessed to have been trained under Mrs. Meera Dhanu, my guru ma. Her eyes, her poise and her grace mesmerized me and inspired me to learn this form of art. During childhood, class time was the most awaited time of the day for me. As I grew up, I had to pursue my education in Pune, so I had to discontinue my dance classes.
I became busier with newer roles and responsibilities and dance had taken a backseat in my life, for over a decade, till the time the psychologist brought up the topic of engaging in a leisure activity. Twenty years passed by in search of joy.
After I decided to get back to dance, I immediately contacted my guru ma, Meera teacher. Still youthful at 60, with the same zeal and enthusiasm, she still conducts classes. I expressed my desire to get back to dance. She welcomed me with open arms and the same smile on her face that I was mesmerized by, all those years ago. The Carnatic music, the sight of ghungroos, the costume, the ornaments, the idol of Nataraj and the fragrance of incense sticks elated me. The childlike smile was back on my face. When I looked into the mirror, I felt like I met myself again, after a very long time! Leisure activities have the power to give us real bliss.
Children should be introduced to hobbies so that they can find their true calling.
Thanks to my mother who had exposed me to this joy at a tender age. Little did I know then that it will bring back a smile to my face and add joy to my life when I felt lost as an adult. Thanks to Meera teacher, a lovely teacher who kept that wick burning in me.