Monday, 17 October 2016


Ridha felt like her friend’s words had taken her through a process of initiation. She felt like she had found a road to the next level in her quest as a dancer.
She had earlier thought of herself as a decently accomplished dancer, being able to garner appreciation from the audiences. Even though onstage she felt a tinge of unease, the audience had called her effortless.  Riyaaz helped her understand the journey that lay between that unease and the effortlessness.
This journey was personal, and the struggle bigger than performing on stage.  You didn’t have the layers of makeup to hide under, or expensive fabrics to cover yourself with. You didn’t have dramatic lighting to take your mind away, or the soulful music to enhance your movements.
It was just you and the bare rhythm; the Laya.
Laya- an aloof lover, in a room full of people who knows the effect he has on you. The more you want to understand him, the further he feels out of your grasp. He makes you aware of his presence, and yet doesn’t let you court him.

Saturday, 8 October 2016


TWENTY minutes, which felt like an eternity have passed and Ridha’s new friend is in no mood to slow down the speed of his footwork. She is exhausted now. Her calves and ankles are revolting against this agony being afflicted on them. What was I thinking? Why did I jump into practicing with this maniac? 

Forget it, I’II just stop’, she muttered to herself. Just as she was about slow down her footwork, he said “Did you notice? The tap of your feet is already beginning to sound different. If you practice hard enough, you can match it to a musical note”.

Dancers sing with their feet, their arms, their body. Just like how a guitarist tunes his guitar strings to match the correct note, we tune our feet to produce the right melody from our ghunghroo. The hand gestures, and facial expressions build upon that melody and decorate it like a singer’s taans and alaaps.

.......He spoke like a worshiper, and Ridha listened like a believer.

Saturday, 1 October 2016


Ridha walked back into the class with her friend of five minutes. Her friend, who shall help her survive this dance class. She settled down on a worn out yoga mat facing him. She had never seen anyone practice. Perform, yes. Practice, never.
Her thoughts were broken by the sound of his ghunghroo. Instead of slowly picking up pace, he began full throttle.  She was shocked, terrified rather. The rushing beats being produced by his feet created a chaotic noise at first, but soon formed a pattern. Almost as if someone was chanting a mantra with a great urgency.
With the rising tempo, Ridha felt a palpable energy within her too. She didn’t know of this approach to dance at all. She had always interpreted it as something graceful, and delicate. And here was a man, who looked as if he was preparing for war with his eyes tightly shut, and possessed by some inner calling.

Feeling the adrenaline rush through her, Ridha jumped to her feet. Without thinking, she breaks into a footwork struggling to match up to his accelerating speed.