Wednesday 4 August 2010

Mothers by daughters - Aai: my dearest mother - Jhelum Paranjape

Aai - that's what we say for mother, in my language - Marathi, the mother tongue of Maharashtra. Aai loved dance, she still does. She is a natural dancer. She was born with dance in her, and her body was nothing but grace and poise. But ...Why am I saying 'was'...? I should say, 'is'...! Today, even at 80 and with joint problems, one can see that inherent grace and poise...and a free spirit... she gets up spontaneously at any party when the music comes on and dances; she does that every year when it rains for the first time too, gets drenched dancing in the rains...I really am lucky, for I have inherited this natural grace and poise. And I must say her beautiful curvaceous bottom too... these three factors are a definite 'add on' for the Odissi dance style.

During the initial stages of my dance career, we all would rag her. Well...not me, but the others in the family... that my dance is actually her surrogate ambition. She was very fond of dance. But her father, a very traditional orthodox man who had stopped even my grandma playing the dilruba after marriage, just did not have the ability to understand that there is music in life, so how could she even dream or think about dance...?

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