Flashback to high school and engineering days. Back then, it used to be common for every teacher who taught a subject, to let us know that the subject they taught could explain life, and contained the keys to life, like no other subject ever could.
Our physics sir would tell us- Physics is life. There’s nothing in the world that can answer life’s questions, like physics. Life is all about rules, and physics is like chess, finding the rules of life as we go.. Discovering the rules, and operating by them. Next would be our Math teacher- Mathematics IS Life. Life is but equations, and all of life’s mysteries can be unveiled, if only we have the right equation! And then Chemistry – Life is Chemistry. Isn’t it so? It is about reactions and finding equilibrium, and then some. (Chemistry happened to be my favourite subject back then!)
As a student I always wondered, how is it that all these people were so convinced that it is ONLY that subject which they taught, that could explain, and be, life. There was no one thing that had convinced me to be the ONLY answer to life. Sure, all of these subjects probably could, but was each of them the only answer? I couldn’t fathom that. I guess the concept of an absolute truth existing, didn’t resonate with me even then. And in high school, I hated biology. I couldn’t draw the diagrams right, and it didn’t even bother me that I couldn’t draw well. My teachers would have a good laugh, I would laugh along, and leave it at that.
But high school was a long time ago, and I am no longer the same person. The person that used to hate a subject just because she was bad at it has altogether disappeared.. But, as I watched Super Dancer, a dance show of kids and their choreographers-cum-mentors, for the umpteenth time I sat dazed at this boy Jai, whose dance didn’t just mesmerise but also touched a chord of vulnerability that comes ever so alive almost every single time I watch super dancer.
This was the episode where he got a second chance for a performance since his choreographer was unwell the previous day, and hence they had missed performing on a Saturday – Episode 30 (around the seventeenth minute, in the link shared) of Super Dancer 3, to be precise. The elephant prop was such a killer, and to watch this dance where this boy slides and jumps and performs loops over a sliding trunk of the elephant was not just mind blowing, but concerning- what if something went wrong? But the ease with which this boy danced it all, the fearless attitude of going all out for what he obviously loves, leaving it to fate – of what could happen above and beyond the precision of practice, can only be experienced, and never worded.
In one of the performances, Jay jumps blind folded towards his choreographer as part of a stunt, and his choreographer catches him straight. A two year old laughing when his parents or elders throw him up in the air is understandable, but it crosses realms of logic to see that somebody has been able to keep that same faith that they once had as a child, and jump, blindfolded, about eight years later weighing far more. (If you’re like me, you will have to watch the episode to know what I’m talking about).
A sense of awe and a sense of wonder engulfed me, watching Jay, even as I knew that I would never be able to dance like him or any of these kids on this show for that matter, ever in my life. And at that moment came crashing the memories of high school and engineering, when it was a given that a subject I wasn’t good at, was obviously hated. How is it that back then, I had to be good at something to come to like it? And what a tragedy, that it was such?
Having friends who are radically different from me, and remaining close despite our differences has been something that I believe has helped us (both me, and them) grow. Travel and writing are akin to meditation for me. But I know for a fact that I cannot impose this on anyone else and tell them that ‘this is it!’ for them. It won’t be! I have a friend who loves to code. She’s thoroughly happy when she is coding. Another friend whose sketches are out of the world. These are obviously not going to work for me. But does that mean that I shut my eyes towards coding and sketching, and say those things lead one nowhere? Of course not, but this is easier said than done. On a Sunday morning, if you’re an outdoorsy person, you don’t want your introvert of a best friend telling you to stay locked up indoors with her, to rejuvenate.
Acceptance and love for things we are not good at/we don’t appreciate, does not come easy. But, if we make an effort to start to tolerate things we are absolutely no-good at and spend time taking a closer look at it, one day, we may come to understand how just about anything (be it physics, chemistry, mathematics, dance, sketching, writing, painting, coding, music.. or infinite other options that are available under the sun) can be an instrument for us to reach that plane in life, which we call bliss! A toast to Sannam and Jay, for taking me into a world that belongs to them- the world of dance, where they so evidently, concoct their cocktail of bliss.