I did a couple of Bollywood Dance workshops for kids at a library during the summer holidays. The library staff had been reaching out to me for a couple of years, but the timing worked out this year, so I said yes, mostly out of guilt and also at the happiness she expressed when I responded to her email.
My parents are in town, so we made a day trip of it. I was not expecting much, and this was my first time teaching kids who are in the range of 3 yrs – 8 yrs old. Both sessions went well – the kids all joined in, even kids who were too young tapped their feet. They all followed the instructions and happily danced away. Even the library staff, teachers and kids – grandparents joined in.
After the session, a couple of kids came up and gave me a penny and a rubber band – bracelet (which is a very precious commodity at their age) as a gift. A couple of kids gave me hugs, and a few of them came over and said how much they loved it.
As we were driving back, we were discussing the gifts, and it made me wonder. These kids knew me for less than forty minutes, and they were showering with me affection right after that. They are so free with their love and displays of affection. What happens to us when we grow up? People have to earn our love and friendship – it is no longer freely given. We no longer get recognized for doing our job – we need to go above and beyond our duty to distinguish ourselves and gain recognition. What has changed in the value of love from the time we were kids to the time we start working that it has become such a scarce resource. And we are not talking about diamonds or even chocolates which cost money – we are just talking about appreciation, simple gestures of gratitude which are free but priceless at the same time.
So, at work I am of the mindset that if somebody has done something to evoke the feeling of gratitude in me, then they hear about it – it does not matter whether we have achieved the result or not. One of my peers got us external help that enabled us to move forward, and I told him how grateful I was – and he said, ‘Don’t thank me, yet’. I told him – I will, it’s my choice, and I did. Why do we have to wait to express our love or gratitude unless they have proven something – are we not capable of feeling gratitude and love just for the heck of it. Somewhere in our civilization process, we have lost this beautiful practice of expressing love and appreciation. The irony is we chase after happiness even though we have it. We do not accept it because we are waiting for something grand to happen before we take what we are already feeling.
As some of you might know I run a small business on the side which is teaching Bollywood Dance. As a part of that I got contacted by Bollywood Musical Company Taj Express asking if I wanted to partner with them.
It was on a Tuesday night at 8:00 pm and Friday before that we had another Bollywood Dance Party (A great one by the way – they are having another one in May too, if you are interested) and that was a late night affair. It started around 9:30 pm and went on until the wee hours in the morning.
We sleep around 9:00 pm ish – as we were leaving the house at 8:00pm my iPhone gave me a reminder “Go to bed at 9:00 pm to get 8 hours of sleep”. If you are thinking why I am telling you all these details – its because I am trying to say that our sleeping cycle was already disturbed and we go to bed pretty early. So I wasn’t sure if really wanted to go to this event or not.
Anyways the partnership they wanted was for me to advertise their show and I said yes. Sow what you reap – I am very selfish that way. So they sent me this packet containing flyers/posters and two complimentary tickets. We decided we were going.
I didn’t have a lot of expectations going in – it was 75 percent full which was a good turnout. And then the show started. Foot Tapping music, lovely costumes and dance moves that made you move in your seat. We had done quite a few of the songs in our dance class as well. And at intermission there was an significant increase in my energy levels and that was reflected in the crowd as well. People were smiling at each other as if we are all a part of a big secret event. It got me enthused for sure. And the joy-ride continued with full steam ahead for the rest of the show and by the end of it I did not want it to end. I secretly wanted to get on the stage and dance with them.
Here’s a link to a latest Bollywood Movie Song – Watch it NOW, its only 2 minutes. I am sure you were also excited – there definitely has been some upward movement in the energy levels.
The reason I love Bollywood is – a) I am an Indian b)it a part of my job requirement c) it’s entertaining d) it takes me out of my daily life and lets me be immersed in something which is so fantastical that for those few moments nothing else exists. This is probably true for any activity that we truly enjoy like reading a book, meditating or doing yoga.
However, it as during the show I thought that there might something else going on here too – it might be deeper than just the energy rush that we get. Life is an illusion and maybe when we go to these movies we get a little more closer to realizing that we are watching a movie within the movie which we call Life.
When we moved from London to Columbus I decided to take a conscious break to do nothing. I found it quite hard to do ‘nothing’ that is and not to mention that I was driving Adam crazy with all my ideas on what I can do.
As a part of doing nothing I decided to take up the twelve week course as designed in Artist Way. To my surprise it did inspire a creative spark in me. As one morning I woke up and decided that starting a Bollywood Dance Class is the way to go. I met Adam for lunch and told him about my great idea and being a project manager at heart I had a mini plan ready.
Me: So what do you think? [After I showed my detailed plan to him]
Adam: When did you have this idea? [As I had never mentioned this to him before]
Me: This morning [looking very sheepish]
And that was that – I didn’t think about it more, assumed it was going to be a passing idea. And then a month later we went to a retreat as a part of the Creativity and Personal Mastery course we took in London Business School. And as the name indicates it helps you discover your creative self by knowing more about yourself. And I am forever grateful to my fellow CPMers who encouraged me to go ahead with my idea of starting a dance class. The positive energy that I got from the retreat created a momentum which even I couldn’t stop. I got back from the retreat created my Bollywood Company. Advertised through Living Social and Facebook and I was an entrepreneur.
When you are in flow things do fall into place and that’s exactly what happened. People showed up – We all helped each other enjoy dance and soon a community was formed which keeps giving.
Here’s to all the Bollywood Dance Masti Dancers. Love you all.