My Big Day

When I told my friends that I was going to do an arangetram, they all stared at me, like I was talking Greek. They stumbled over the letters, trying hard to pronounce them. But, they knew it was a big occasion; a very special one for me.
An arangetram is a Bharatnatyam dancer’s maiden performance, where the dancer performs solo for 2 hours. It was an overwhelming prospect for me – something that I’d been working towards for almost 6 years! The road to success is often a long, tiring one; and it was the same in my case as well. I sacrificed my summer holidays by practising for at least 2 hours every day. I often finished bottles of water and Gatorade. It was tough alright, but if you’re doing something that you love, it doesn’t feel like work.
So, my two months of holidays flew past in a blur of dance and sweat, and school started. Now, things were getting a little tense. How was I going to practise and finish my school work? It seemed almost impossible balancing between the two, but I survived. I went to school as usual, and practised in the evenings, and finished homework. Sounds like a lot? Oh, you bet!!
The days I gave out invites were fun as I read my friends shocked faces. “Is that you?” they enquired, their voices squeaky with surprise. My friends had never seen me in anything but the uniform and my faithful pairs of jeans and T – shirts, so obviously it was a great shock for them. Same went for my teachers.
The day that my parents spent 6 months planning and piecing together came faster than I thought. Surprisingly, I was very calm – excited, even! I was bracing myself for a terrible case of churning and biting nails to their stubs, but it didn’t happen. Not even when I stood backstage, decked in all my glory. Only when I started dancing did I feel butterflies fluttering weakly in my stomach. The audience was growing, and growing. Stage fright was not my thing, but I found myself to be a little anxious.
The music was brilliant, and though I was listening to them for the umpteenth time, it was mesmerising. I soon couldn’t feel my arms, or my ever pounding feet. No, it was just the music and me. It’s a wonderful feeling when the adrenaline takes over you. You feel shapeless. You feel free. You feel invincible.
2 hours passed by, and I sat on the plastic chair in the green room as people poured in to congratulate me. I was in too much of a daze to notice. I had done it! I had finished my arangetram, something that I saw as an obstacle in my future. It truly felt awesome.
That night, when I lay in bed exhausted, I thought of the last few hours with a smile. I realized something else – my arangetram was truly special. It has moulded me into the person I am now. It gave me confidence. It made me realize how much I’ve accomplished in all my thirteen years. And, I have just begun !
Namrata Ramesh
Grade 8 ICSE