I’m neither the best dancer, nor the better one. But I believe, I’m a good dancer. In my earlier days, I wanted to learn classical dance, because my family always enjoyed classical dance and classical music although none has ever tried it. But when I expressed my wish to learn dance, my uncle put a big NO towards. He supported his cause by an argument, that the boy who learns classical or folk dance mostly has a tendency to imitate the mannerisms of girls. That is where my wish to learn classical dance ended. Anyway, I had my debut at the age of 11. But the road to my debut was full of thorns and mud. I bled a lot.
That was a span when local dance groups were flourished like grass in fresh rain. We had a local arts and sports club, which encouraged the skill of art among the generation next. I was also the one among those who got the chance to join the dance group. We were trained free of cost. Yet I fell at the first step itself. We were having the first session of practice at our neighbor’s house. The room was a mix of boys and girls. I was very shy and found it difficult to do the first step. In fact, I was sure about the step, but I could not do it because of my hesitance. The master had given me five or six chances. But I could not perform at least one shot perfectly. Eventually, I was marked as unfit for dance and was rudely and indecently given a seen off from the room. It also created a general appraisal among the group that I needed not to be considered for any further dance events.
My dreams were started to be failed and fainted and finally, I too thought to accept the idea that I should not dance any more. My eyes were filled and the pictures around me were like a post modern picturesque. The air was filled by humiliating laugh, brusque sentiments and uncouth sympathy. I stepped out of the room with heavy embarrassment and infamy.
I still remember it was the popular song from a Malayalam movie “Abhimannyu”, the dance was composed for. The song was “Raamayanakkaatte en neelaambarikkaatte”. Radio was the most popular media in our village in those days. Whenever, the song is played on radio, my pain was increased and it bruised my self respect every then. No one gave me a positive support or a kind word but a chance to watch the training session as my mother was the in charge of arts. For the first few days, I did not go.
Slowly, the mind was being healed and I started to visit the practice sessions. I was like Ekalavya, who learned all the arts without a direct Guru (teacher). I scrutinized each steps and my practice was happening only inside my mind. I knew, I would not be considered again. Still I learned it. It comes unexpectedly but pleasingly, a rain in summer. My time was to rain arrived, when the master had to take an emergency leave from practice session. The session was continued without the master. I was sitting idle, watching their dance. All of a sudden the session was broken. In between the dance, they forgot a step and struggled to go further. They repeated the dance, but went on to stuck at a point. I say it the one and only moment God has given to me to make a come back. I stood up and asked if I could give a try. You could imagine, what could be the response although it was non verbal. It was in their eyes, saying “How could you do, if we can’t do it?” But I ignored it. Without anyone’s consent, I did it. In fact I did the dance completely without any error. When I had finished, a wild card was waiting for me to enter the dance team and that was to dance at the front line.
My debut was well done. And I had to never look back. Very soon I was emerged to one of the lead dancers in the troupe. When Prabhudeva (starred in Kathalan and itemed in Gentleman), started influencing the film industry with his elite in dance, cinematic dance had reached it’s acme. It was well popularized in south India and so in Kerala. I got invitation from many troupes both as permanent and guest artist. I used to get lots of money too:). One of the troupes, I had joined, Black Perl have staged many shows in South India. Many dances were composed and tried difference and innovations. Well, I thought, I’m going to full stop dance when I left college. At my work stations in Poornam as well as in DMG, I still step.
But each time when I do the first steps or when any of the team mates finds it difficult to do the steps, in my eyes, it comes, the picturesque of annoying smile and cruel sympathy I experienced at my age of 11. Well, Dancing is not a Herculian task, the only thing you need is, THE WILL to do it.