While we are here we might as well dance!

May 21, 2007

It has been a long while since my first (and only) column for FRIENDLY FIRE. Those of you who read and commented on the Chicago episode must be looking forward to some more Anita-ish comments caustic or sarcastic!

I write this on my birthday, May 21, and I felt like saying something completely different. Yes I know that there are many things to discuss about our dance world, my travels and experiences in Germany, Singapore and the US; hilarious gaffes and spoofs from our dance sorority. But there is also time to take a step backwards and just smile.

I loved this gentle poem that was sent to me by the original style guru who invented the true 'andaaz' of men's fashion. Long kurtas and angarkhas, flowing Kanchipuram dupattas as angavastrams. Exquisite Jaipur block printing on 'achkans.' (He has gifted me with many of his creations.) He really has done it all- from advertising to philosophy at Cambridge to political strategy and event management on a gigantic scale. He is Romi Chopra, a cult figure in the seventies and eighties in New Delhi, and someone whom all the male designers looked up to as their 'guru' or 'badshah' of style!

Romi lives in an exquisite home in Vasant Vihar and surrounds himself with the most rare and wondrous environment of green and calm in a rapidly deteriorating capital city. He sent me this on my birthday and I wished to share it with all of you who are eagerly and frantically working towards performances, tours, adavus, jathis, music scores, awards, photo sessions, touring, gossip, backbiting, endless grinning, greeting, hissing and just GETTING AHEAD!

Smile and take a gentle look inwards!

Anita R
May 21, 2007

I Hope You Dance...

This was written by an 83-year-old woman to her friend. *The last line says it all. *

Dear Bertha,

I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm
sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in
the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time

Whenever possible, life should be a pattern
of experiences to savor, not to endure. I'm trying to recognize these
moments now and cherish them.

I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good
china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting
the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.

I wear my good blazer to the market. My
theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of
groceries. I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing
it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.

"Someday" and "one of these days" are
losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or
doing, I want to see and hear and do it now

I'm not sure what others would've done had
they known they wouldn't be here for the tomorrow that we all take for
granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close
friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend
fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a
Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was.

I'm guessing; I'll never know.

It's those little things left undone that
would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn't
written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry
and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and parents often enough how much I
truly love them. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save
anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning
when I open my eyes, tell myself that it is special.

If you received this, it is because someone
cares for you. If you're too busy to take the few minutes that it takes
right now to forward this, would it be the first time you didn't do the
little thing that would make a difference in your relationships? I can tell
you it certainly won't be the last.

Take a few minutes to send this to a few
people you care about, just to let them know that you're thinking of them.

"People say true friends must always hold
hands, but true friends don't need to hold hands because they know the other
hand will always be there."

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but
while we are here we might as well dance.