I can’t dance. I am the girl who would always stand away from the dance group at a party. During my friends’ birthday parties, when my whole girl gang would move and groove to the music, I would stand in a corner sipping cold drinks.
People on the dance floor always makes me jealous. Their effortless and synchronized body movements look magical to me. Something that I clearly don’t possess. Growing up, I harboured this secret desire of dancing in public flawlessly. I did take part in many dance competitions in school, but I was never satisfied. I knew I lacked the dancing gene. But still I insisted on continuing.
The worst is I didn’t know (I still don’t) how to dance Bihu. A dance that I grew up loving. A dance that makes me tap my feet. A dance that every axomiya knows. Yet, dancing to the dhul and pepa seemed like a daunting task. I once mustered all my courage to perform at a local program. I was bad. So bad that people laughed, and I decided not to get up on stage again to dance Bihu. Later in college, when I would see my friends getting ready in Muga mekhela for Bihu performances, something in me always cried for not knowing the dance.
Once during a dance audition in school, my teacher asked me if I am really Parash ‘s sister, because he is such a good dancer, choreographer and what not! It was very embarrassing. It was the last nail in the coffin which destroyed all my hopes of dancing in public again. When the embarrassment went away, the incident became one of my favourite because it taught me to laugh at my own shortcomings. Very few can teach you that.
As I grew up, I learned that not everyone can do everything. And that’s perfectly okay. Maybe I am not good (not even average) in dancing, but there are many other things that I am good at and can be good at. It took me years, but a few years ago, I finally accepted confidently that it’s okay to be bad at a few things. And I needn’t be ashamed of it.
So this Bihu, I decided to re-learn a few moves. I decided to dance in whatever way I can. I decided to dance for myself. I decided to dance for the little girl in me, who all her life resisted dancing Bihu in public for fear of judgements.
And, I did. I danced today with the Husori team in the locality. I danced bad. But, I danced happily to the sound of dhul, pepa, and taal. For the first time in my life, I didn’t care about anyone’s opinion on my dancing skills. For the first time, not embarrassed at all by my dance moves.
That’s me after the dance. My happiness says it all.