Remember the last time you played together in a group? Be it anywhere, your office, sports, family matters etc. When it was about getting to know each other more and playing the best as a group rather than proving who is better. I believe in being unique; as much as that is important, so is being with each other. I experienced something magical this week – the power of togetherness. Read on…
Navratri is one of my favourite festivals – Nine nights of worshipping goddesses in various forms and colours – we dance in circles around a holy pot – called ‘Garbo’. These nine nights are followed by Dussera – the day Lord Ram killed the bad qualities of Ravana and freed him.
Navratri has been commercialised in Mumbai in last decade – with political affiliates hosting the same in huge grounds.
This is the second year when I participated in the competition round. Last year was like how any other competition would be – fierce. Everybody was on his / her own. There were many separate groups and everyone was busy in outdoing the other.
Enter this year and things changed 360 degrees! Based on whatsapp group I made last year, I got to know my competitors post navratri and as time passed, they became acquaintances. Three months ago, there was a garba class starting in Ghatkopar teaching advanced techniques. After discussion in the group, we decided to enrol together and it was the best decision for us. By meeting each other once every week, these acquaintances became friends. There’s nothing more empowering than meeting like minded people.
As six days of competition passed, we got to know each other and came more and more closer. And the group kept getting bigger. We played together in a circle, doing steps everyone was comfortable with. Midnight dinners and bike rides was fun! Everyday one of us got qualified for the finals – we supported each other and made our own steps. We even named our group – SELFIEE :P. That’s coz one of our group members is a fan of clicking selfies; for her clicking selfies is like doing prayer before and after an important event – a must!! 😛
On Day 5 we won the best group award in Powai. It was an awesome feeling! Everyone was at their best, but there was no competition, just being in the space together and having fun! I got my friend Suraj for the first time to play garba in his life and he killed it with the help from everyone in the group!
By end of Day 7, everyone barring me had qualified for the finals. I had rather been inconsistent in showing up everyday at same ground, as I went out with other friends to other places too. While having dinner, Dharmesh said, tomorrow you are going to win the best male dancer and get qualified for the finale. I never expected the same from myself – coz for me competing was for fun – it was a way of self expression and being with friends – and I always thought its great if I make it, but its good even if I don’t.
So Dharmesh and all others decided that I’ll be winning Day 8 of the competition. I found it rather hard to believe – since dust allergy had deteriorated my health and cough was killing my stamina – in spite of being on 5 days of medication. But the group’s persistence made me believe something I myself didn’t believe would happen this year.
Sunil picked me up from home and gave me tips wrt keeping smiling while playing and keeping the grace quotient consistent throughout. Mansi, Dharmesh helped me choose the right things to wear – from colour to jewellery. Varun constantly kept reminding to be energetic. The moment I entered the ground and filled the competition form, I knew this was it! My friends are going to make me win and I trust their trust in me. They see a much better me than what me I see in myself. I’m going to be that me today.
I started playing in the circle, everyone joined me and supported me whenever I changed the steps, although some of the steps wasn’t their forte. That helped me put my best in front of the judges. Rest of the group ensured there was space in the circle, not allowing passers by to get in between. Every time I passed through Kenil and Sonal, they gestured to be in peace, take it easy and just enjoy myself. Hardika, Herisha and Dhaval would join in whenever they felt I needed some boost of energy. They would come in, do some bollywood or salsa steps with me. Btw try doing salsa on garba songs, its insane fun!
Dancing with them made me forget my cough, I felt a rush of adrenaline and unbounded happiness to a point where I couldn’t listen to the words being sung, just dancing on the music. I was in the circle with my friends and everything that happened outside of it didn’t matter anymore!
They left no stone unturned to bring out the best in me. That’s the joy of togetherness; the power of a group! When I won the prize, it wasn’t for me, but it was for the group! Our group won that day!
Today we all are dancing together in the mega finals (Day 10) !! I’m super excited to be back in my group and give my best in it! Winning and losing is a part of the game, but being together through the journey, there’s nothing like it! This doesn’t seem like an ending, but rather a new beginning!
PS The final competition was amazing! So many group members won best dancer award!!! Attaching some pics as per public demand!