It was a fiercely bright morning in Bangalore. The sun was in my face as I walked fast down the streets of 8th main, Malleswaram on my way to my first ever real dance class. I was nervous, my heart was beating fast and I was panting. I walked into a room full of students, beats of dance bells, and a divine voice. Two hours later, I walked out not knowing how my life had changed. I had finally found something I was passionate about, I had found something that influenced my lifestyle and fashion, and most of all, I found a teacher I love and respect. I started to learn Indian classical dance at the age of 23. This meant to learn and perform with kids who were 15 years younger, and to keep up with their energy and enthusiasm was a challenge. Fortunately for me, my teacher didn’t just make it easy, she made it interesting with occasional pep talks, wake up calls to go exercise, individual classes, and encouragement to help me find my own style of dance.
Over the last two years, this has helped me discover my body--shape, posture, and flexibility-- which has influenced my style. I learnt to mix and match colours and fabrics and work with my mother’s old dance costumes to recreate looks that suited my body and defined my style. Interestingly, it was dance that inspired me to rock a style not many girls are fond of - the bindi that I wear even outside of dance class. The core of my Indo-western fashion is probably influenced by dance. On a happy day, you will see me in a pleated outfit (wait to witness my first fall post) styled with accessories and drawn out (dancer style) eyes.
Over the last few years, my relationship with dance and my teacher ( Smt. Supriya Komandur) has grown to the point that I have used her as a source of inspiration, had her design a gown for me, and even woken her up at 3 am to help me get dressed for my wedding. But not every child or girl is as lucky as I am. The support and guidance I received is what has brought me so far,there are many children with far more potential and passion that can achieve more with the right resources. Like 14-year-old Karan, from Gujarat who is a self-motivated individual, with no form of guidance or education and only a dream of becoming an engineer he built a turbine that could generate electricity to light a bulb. Now, think about the things he could build with the right resources. CRY India, was built with the vision to help children like Karan reach their full potential.
Over 79,744 children like Karan between the ages of 11-14 years are most vulnerable to dropping out of school will now stay in CRY-supported school projects and spark their abilities into possibilities for the future. Make this dream of receiving a formal education, a chance to interact with other kids their age, to excel with healthy competition come true. Help them discover the joy of learning by donating today to CRY.
Photo credits: To the photographer who taught me to pose - C.K Achuthan