We often as artists take for granted the support that is extended to us. Sometimes we even feel entitled to support. I have realised that no one is entitled to anything. We are not even entitled to dance. It is a gift and must be treasured and revered. It may leave us one day and we must cherish and thank every moment that we are allowed to have it with us.

We feel sometimes that we must not take support. That we need to try to do things by ourselves. This is something that I have felt many times. But Ia��ve realised through the years that when you have a family that stands by you and helps you through your journey as an artist, it is invaluable. You accept the support graciously without expecting it.

I have many times taken my support for granted, especially from my parents, brother and now my husband. But I have grown to understand that they have extended themselves to make this possible for me. They have gone out of their way to help me be an artist. Stood by my choices, respected my constant unavailability, and put up with my preoccupied mind.

My parents have obviously seen me grow into a dancer. My father always offering a kind word, my mother offering the critical eye. I believe that the values they instilled in me have carried me through this. My father stood as a silent example of dedication and persistence. I saw him wake up every morning at 5:30 am to go play sports. A practice that he still keeps up at 67. I feel that my motivation to wake up at 4:30 am or 5:00 am everyday and keep going comes from him. My mother, a vocal and tireless embodiment of will power and determination. She doggedly drove into my mind that we can make of our lives what we choose to.

They made the possibility of dance being a profession available to me.A�They created that choice and repeatedly told me that it was a path that I could embark on. If it was not for them, I would never have considered the option. I was very academically driven in school and I did not dream of a life without books and academia. I do have books now. But books of a different sort. I would have been in pure science or architecture if not for my parents. My family directed me in the opposite direction to most other families. I was ready to go to undergraduate school in Architecture and Pure Science. My Parents told me to think about whether that was what I really wanted and told me to give dance a chance. I am not sure what I would have become if not for my parents. Perhaps I would never have known the joy that this offers. By not knowing, I would have been satisfied with the choice that I made. Who knows!

My brother was more of an emotional support through the years. There were times when I felt extremely alone. Times when I felt like dancing was the worst choice. Times when I felt like I wasna��t good enough. My brother helped me through those times. Patient, caring,A�willing to listen. He told me a�?Your success of failure doesna��t define you. You are separate from that.a�? I dona��t think he even remembers telling me that. But I do. It has made me separate myself repeatedly from what I do. I do what I need to. I work tirelessly, endlessly, incessantly. But when things dona��t go as anticipated I have grown less and less affected by the outcome.

One of my most important critical eyes growing up, was my younger cousin. She would watch repeatedly, my rehearsals, my new choreography, my new ideas. Her comments were dry, direct, critical and honest. I am thankful for having her around when I was younger. Even now, when I stage a production, I anticipate her response. I feel she has grown mellow over the years. A�My husband now extends the same support and critique. He demands and expects nothing from me on a daily basis. Allowing me to invest fully in my art. He is present when I need him. Listens when I rant. Is patient when I am absent minded, preoccupied and unavailable. To have a spouse that doesn’t demand from you, your constant presence; a spouse that doesn’t make you guilty over your absence and incessant travel is something that is a blessing in itself. In addition to that, a supportive family and spouse is more than I can ask for.

 

My family as a whole have been instrumental in my becoming a dancer. I cannot even list the ways in which I have been supported by them. There are too many. I only know that nothing would have been possible without them.

So if someone is willing to support you, accept the support. Ia��m not sure there exists a a�?self madea�? man in this world. Everyone has had help from someone. We dona��t need to demand the help. I try to the maximum extent to be self-sufficient. I think most people see me as a very independent woman. I certainly am very independent. But if I have a family that is ready to help and stand by me. Prepared to help me with dry cleaning my costumes, or with food for my dancers, or just with anything at all. I am not going to refuse it. I am going to thank them for being there. Thank my good fortune for having a supportive family……….and just a�?DANCEa�?

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12 responses to “Support”

  1. Sangeetha says:

    Acknowledging the good you already have in your life is the foundation for abundance and joy .

  2. Lata Reddy says:

    Thank you for this!!! So important to know what I feel has been validated through a support system!

  3. Mahati ramya says:

    Very nice to read about your journey as a dancer. I agree with you that we should never take the support for granted. No one can become great on their own completely. Iam a classical dancer and a blogger. I could relate to your posts. Looking forward to read more.

  4. Janani says:

    Wonderful one 🙂

  5. Siri says:

    This is such an inspiring read!! Absolutely loved it and the pictures too! Looking forward to read more of your blogs. 🙂

  6. I admire your way of thinking…You draw a live picture of events when you dance…You inspire me everyday…I follow all of your profiles, watch your videos, try to learn from you… It’s wonderful knowing that your family supported you, no doubt you’re a good human being… Your impression on Bharatnatyam is remarkable…I like you style, the openness, the boldness… It’s like a bird dancing and enjoying the world by spreading happiness… Sometimes it’s the heavy waterfall flowing naturally with all its strength… You’re awesome…
    May God bless you and your family…

  7. Thulasi says:

    Blessed to have a Family that keeps us grounded and nourished.

    Best wishes!

  8. Pavithra Ram says:

    It takes great amount of courage to face, deftly tackle and overcome the odds that stop a married woman(we’re Indians… Husbands and in laws being the additional screw ups 😉 )from doing anything at all on the planet. Your success indeed justifies your drive and passion in the best way. I am not a theatre or much of an art person though trained in Bharathnatyam. But I felt glad not to have missed out on your production ‘the dark lord’staged in bangalore. I so want to continue dancing and be a part of the dancing community of the world now. Always wondered how you managed to live your life dancing all the way. Undoubtedly it is family. The support you get from your family, I think it is Immense and you should treasure it because not all woman in India get the opportunity to live their dreams and choose the life they want to live. Kudos to your support system. Hoping to see more of your performances in bangalore. Trust me I will be amongst your audiences in every show you perform in bangalore.. A loyal audience ;). To one truly inspiring person , due respect 🙂
    -Pavithra Ram

  9. Surbhi Jain says:

    I don’t know how and since when I had this thing for classical and then Bharatnatyam. You have become an inspiration for me and watching your posts on instagram and following them has become a part of life now. You have inspired me that I can go for making my passion or hobby as my career. Thankyou for keeping the essence of classical dance alive in this westernized India.

  10. Madhura Hublikar says:

    I’ll like to hear your journey since childhood as a dancer as well as a daughter. And you really have good writing skills keep it up!

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