Sunday morning, the bedroom is full of sun. Outside the new grass of March is blue-wet in the open, green-dry under the pines. Everything seems bright and clear. Vedika is up before everybody else.
Seven years old Vedika is sharp, a quick learner and headstrong.Her parents have signed her for voice lessons in a nearby music school. In a conservative Indian family voice lesson, violin or piano lessons are more preferable but not dance. This is the time in sixties, one of the reality of society. But vedika’s curious mind wants an answer. So one afternoon, after lunch, her penetrating eyes glances at her grandmother. She is in a shiny mood. Vedika smiles and wraps her small hands around her grandmother’s waist. She says waving a brochure on her right hand, the shiny one with the information about classical dances. “ I would like a special gift from you for my Birthday.”
Her grandmother raises her eyes then lowers them to the front page of the local newspaper. “Sure, whatever you want.”
“Well then, I want to learn dance.” Vedika’s vibrating voice leaps up.
“What?” There is a big surprise on her eyes. She adjusts her gold rimmed eyeglass on her nose. A slight pause.Then she smiles.“ Darling, come, come close to me. There are some more wonderful things to learn like singing, violin, art but not dance. So ask for a different gift. How about a new pairs of gold bracelet or some new books?’’
Vedika drops her eyes to the ground. Her high hope disappears. “ Sure grandma, I will think about the gift and let you know.” She walks out of the room slowly with her head slightly bend, her hands dangling down.
Vedika is full of morning energy and her excitement bounces in her surroundings. It is like a big balloon rising up through her slowly, slowly, then very fast. From the trail of her eyes she looks at the big clock on the wall. It is almost nine. Her class starts at sharp nine thirty. She should leave for school now. The heart-shaped face with bright brown eyes, determination and pleasant smile appears at the front door.The thick wooden door parts.Just before entering into the room for the voice lesson her curious mind drags her to the big room to the left. The students inside the room practice dance lessons. They look so pretty with their rhythmic movements to the classical music. Vedika opens door slowly and walks in. She settles herself in one corner.The imagination in her mind takes wings.
Nothing disturbs her brilliant thoughts. They gather quickly and arrange themselves nicely.
In front of the big mirror Vedika looks at her reflection; the heavy, long eye liner on her eyes,the dark red lipstick, a medium sized red dot between her brows, the long gold earrings, the beautiful decoration on her forehead, the white and red flower arrangement on her artificial long black hair. She looks very pretty. But she does not care much about the looks. She wants perfection in her dance steps. Vedika moves her foot, swings around to hear the vibrating sounds of the brass anklets with lots of tiny bells.
The classical music starts in a old record player. It swells and scatters into the rooms in running notes. The atmosphere in the room gets lively.The dance starts. Vedika’s bright energetic eyes expresses precise and balanced movements and emotions with each steps. The bangle and the anklets jingle and create rhythmic sounds together with her graceful hands and persuasive foot works. Her big smile and different hand gestures throughout the dance expresses the joy of the nature and softly touches and conquers the audience.
“Vedika? What are you doing here? Go to your class. The voice lesson has started.” She hears a voice from the hallway. Her flow stops.The music trumbles to its final chords. Her foot stops. Her hands pauses in the middle of the last expression. She bows to her imaginary audience with a big smile. She has to go to the other class but one day she will learn the classical dance.