Last year I rekindled my long lost relationship with driving. Knowing that it was an absolute necessity, I gave my heart to it. The driving wheel accepted my persistence and we bonded, much like Ikran and Jake in the Avatar movie.
It has been a year-old alliance and we are now in a steady romantic relationship. Mastering the art of controlling a wheel not only boosted my morale but made me feel loved and accepted. Just add a song on a radio and a coffee flask in the cup holder and it can be one of the best dates of your life.
After swooning my way over the wheel in 2019, this year I wanted to approach an unchartered territory – something which makes me come out of my comfort zone and draws me excited. After all, it’s 2020! Ab nahi toh kab?
So I picked on an idea I abandoned last year. Basically, the locality I put up at entitles us, the residents, to access the club offering us community classes. The club provides a variety of activities which one can espouse based on one’s interest, stamina and the willingness to experiment.
One such offering is Pilates. It was something I was eyeing for long but did not make an effort to be a part of. So with determination in head and a yoga mat in my hand, I marched to my first session in February this year.
Being respectful towards time, I became the first attendee to the class. The instructor was there fixing her music box while standing tall in a correct posture. The very sight of her made me stand straight with shoulders set right – Tadasana or the Mountain Pose. We had a small conversation where she told me how Pilates is about strengthening one’s core which helps the posture. I guess our whole generation is struggling to get the later bit right. And as the clock set 7:15 PM, the class was filled with 15 odd ladies. We all looked pumped and sorted on mats, waiting for the green signal. As the piece of music started so did we start following our instructor with the basic breathing exercises.
It dealt with the signatory SRK pose leading to Namaskar pose with inhaling and exhaling when been instructed. Our instructor chose a piece of relaxing music which helped me feel composed, calm and divine.
“Ah! I got it. I am my own master.” I told myself, smirking within.
And then it escalated. “Oops! Spoke too soon.” The postures got tedious, and in no time, required daunting abs workout and demanded to put thigh and arm muscles to work. After thirty minutes of rigorous workout, I started feeling stretch where I did not know it was possible.
So in class sixth, physics tug my heartstrings as a subject. The concepts felt the right fit, I understood their operations and they excited and enveloped me in their world. The obsession continued till class 8th and then in 9th, bhaisaahab Physics badal gayi. It dumped me as the relationship became complicated and beyond my comprehension. Pilates ke saath bhi kuch aisa hi hua. By the end of the hour, Pilates ki physics badli aur meri haddiyo and maaspeshiyo ki dasha.
I fought hard to get into poses while lying flat on my belly with my upper body and legs in the air. There was co-ordination required as she asked for the left hand to be stretched with the right leg to be rotated clockwise and then in 20 seconds she said, “now switch and remember to breathe in when you rotate your left leg and breathe out when switch to the right.”
At a certain point I wanted to scream and let the lady know that my breathing has lost track of me so how was she expecting me to track my breathing.
Song in my head at that moment: Jaan meri jaa rahi Sanam.
There was a time she made us fold one leg, while other went to our back and then with a hand running down my back via my neck, I was supposed to hold my feet. Before I entered into that dynamics, I wanted to ask, “Behan ye toh batao, is chaukadi ko kholega kaun?” And then I saw this ~65-70 year Asian woman seated in front of me getting into that pose with such ease.
Andar se enthusiasm jaga, I said “yes I can” and then I did it with “yaay, I could” and then I found myself in “Abey atak gayi.” It took a few seconds but I was finally able to untangle myself with a nerve pulled in my leg.
As it was the last asana, I was able to rescue myself with just a limping foot. That day I sweat like a pig and went to bed before time with a Savasana (Corpse Pose).
Fast forward to class #6. Pilates is like Siberian weather, you need to let it grow on you. Either you acclimate or you get brain freeze. I chose the earlier and I felt the change, post going through the trauma of the later, now and then. The muscles were stretched and my posture felt better. I finally know how to move with ‘As long as you love me’ by Backstreet Boys. The instructor has a definite playlist and it helped me fall into the routine. I get their beats and have my heart and body beat by that. The eagle has landed!
I was settled with my new found love until another love interest came knocking on my door last week. While exiting the club, I found a flyer announcing “Zumba is back from March 05”.
Zumba? Dance and aerobics exercise, right? While I can attempt aerobics, dance is something I leave to the imagination, i.e. in my world I am a good dancer but that being said, I don’t dance. Never had (since my tweens) and never could and maybe never would. It’s a convoluted relationship. None the less, because I made up my mind to attempt the unchartered territory, I convinced myself and went there last Thursday.
Zyada se zyada kya hoga? Ruswa? With the lyrics of Mugal-e-Azam song I entered the premises, “Teri mehfil mein kismat aazma kar hum bhi dekhenge.”
And dekhenge I did! It was a class full of vibrant souls. Apart from the instructor, I met some experienced dancers, while some were just enthusiasts. I hardly got time to make my uncomfortable stand at the end of the class that the music started with “Gandi baat”. They say we all can dance when we find the music we love; well this was just not that one. I tried swaying as my instructor kept insisting of doing ‘gandi baat’ with Shahid Kapoor’s signatory steps. Problem was that andar se nahi aa raha tha. Much like writing, you dance with your heart.
I have three babies. While I gave birth to one, two call me Badi Mummy. Give any one of them a piece of a song, any song, I dare ya and they will dance their heart out. I have seen music take control over them like a possessed entity. Ek aatma aati hai jo unka tan-badan jaga deti hai.
30 minutes and five songs later, I stood there introspecting.
You know it’s very hard for some people to accept that they don’t have a talent for a certain trait. Not in my case. I did not take a moment to realize that Saumya can’t dance saala! Not a single bone of mine grooved while my instructor swayed and swirled in an absolute delight. And because I haven’t danced for two decades now, my bones have decayed. Ab, inherited talent nahi hai, ye samajh aa gaya tha, so then what you do? Well, you make an absolute fool of yourself and try. I jettisoned my apprehensions and mortified stance and danced like no one is watching because honestly nobody was and wanted to!
Having a glass door right behind me which provided the perfect aina to my grooves wasn’t helping my stance but then naach meri jaan, hoke magan tu, chhor ke saare, kintu, parantu. I gulped laughing more than I want to admit, catching a glimpse of myself and almost died of heartburn due to all the jumps and loops but then I did it.
But you know what I saw that day – when you stand there making a fool of yourself, figuring out your dance through music, you will find others sailing in the same boat too. Some have learned the art to row and are guiding you, while some are with your still struggling to pave the way, like me. Then out of the blue, someone smiles at you or bumps into you laughing as she makes a wrong move. And that moment you know that even if you drown, you aren’t alone! We all learn, kuch jaldi, kuch der se sahi.
As I entered home wrapped in a sticky shirt and sweaty hair, Shahzeel, my husband checked, “How did you found Zumba?”
“Begaani shaadi mein Abdullah deewana” I laughed “par kyuki ab Abdullah pahuch hi gaya tha, usne besharmo ki tarah kood-kood ke nacha.”
“Aisa kya”, he chuckled.
“Oh BTW, you know na how I always say that I dance well, just that I don’t opt to dance. Well, aaj wo brahm bhi toot gaya.” I concluded with utmost conviction.
As Shahzeel laughed, I left for the shower humming, koi humdum na raha, koi sahara na raha, hum kisi ke na rahe, koi hamara na raha.
Image Source: Pexels
I did my MBA in finance and was part of the corporate world of market
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