9 Months Later…

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I’m back!

Where have I been? Well, the title of this post will give you a clue.

We have been blessed with a daughter, named Naimi Sharanya, born on August 8, 2013. Somehow, from the moment I discovered this blessing was happening to us, I felt intensely private. We didn’t disclose our news on FB or any other social media platform, and as my belly grew, that internal mood only intensified. Although some pregnant women continue all their activities like normal, it felt more natural to me to simply take a break from dance; my thoughts surrounded this little soul growing inside me, and I also was very aware of the constant changes in my body. It has been quite amazing to witness how my body changed and expanded to accommodate this growing life inside my belly (and afterwards, seeing the body shrink back close to its original size within weeks).

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(By Jiva Photography)

Yet during this hiatus, my desire and determination to dance has only grown stronger , and now that I’ve recovered sufficiently from the delivery, I’m officially back and ready to rock-n-roll!

So I will begin where I left off, literally. In my last post “Choosing a Fresh Perspective,” I was on my way to Chennai, and I shared with you some of my thoughts and apprehensions about returning to my alma mater, Kalakshetra, a place that has so much influenced my life. Arriving newly pregnant in Chennai certainly overwhelmed my senses and put another spin to my experience there. Instead of getting to dance, I was an observer and facilitator (I was there with my student Gayatri, taking her to classes and dance performances). Hence I didn’t quite have the immersion that I’d thought I’d have or get answers to some of the questions I posed.

Yet to my surprise and delight, my apprehension around returning to Kalakshetra vanished as soon as I was there. I felt completely at home. I was warmly greeted by everyone I knew, and I remembered names and what little Tamil I knew :)

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As I walked around Kalakshetra and observed the classes and rehearsals, I was awe-struck by the complete focus and dedication of the students and teachers. I watched in wonder the students put complete effort into each adavu-step, sweating, pushing the body beyond its limits. I could see the muscles quivering in a student’s limbs as he pushed himself to sit deeper into aramandi/plie. Sweat dripped down their bodies. commitment blazed in their eyes. As I sat there watching, a completely unexpected feeling came upon me – I knew that I once was this student! I have given my life-energy to these adavus! It was a beautiful feeling of complete satisfaction, an affirmation of the time and effort I have put into this dance-form, no regrets. It was like I suddenly realized and gave myself credit for investing all that time into this striking art-form.

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(Photo from my first year. Seen in background, Aishwarya, one of my best friends)

On that note, I am sharing below my first step towards bringing dance back into my daily life again: Alaripu, often the first dance a Bharata Natyam student learns. I consider it evidence of the thorough training I received at Kalakshetra that I can stop dancing for nearly a whole year but still retain technique (Stamina is another monster altogether!):

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11 responses »

  1. Welcome back! It’s great that you listened to yourself and took a step back. Pregnancy is a very intimate experience, and I am so happy for you! By the way, you look as amazing as ever, but now with a hint of motherly glow! :)

  2. Hey Vrinda, Just read your post and watched your alaripu. It was wonderful to see and very impressive post pregnancy and delivery :). I think its wonderful that you took time out….its such an important time for baby’s development and for you to protect and care for your body, I really respect that. Keep up the great work beautiful mama :)
    Love Tulasi

    • Tulasi! congrats on your beautiful wedding. yes, I didn’t realize beforehand how demanding pregnancy is for body and mind. I feel lucky that I had the support and space to just focus on baby :) and I still do, but now I feel also feel the calling to continue dancing again. Hope you are dancing too amidst all your new responsibilities as a wife!

  3. Just saw your post after you liked one of mine! I was so happy to read this entry and hear about all the exciting new things in your life – like a daughter! Ah! That’s so wonderful. I’m incredibly happy for you, and I’m looking forward to reading your stuff again =)

    -Alex

    • Alex! Great to hear from you! I was very moved by your “doodle” though I think you minimize it by calling it so, I was going to comment and say as much but I had my hands full with babe and could only manage pressing ‘like’ before she needed me again :) but yes, your words were deep, philosophical, and very real to me. And Thanks for showing that a ‘like’ matters!

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