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India: My Perspective
We are half way through the trip here in India and I feel as though it’s all beginning to sink in. There is a vast sensory overload to digest from the minute you step off the plane in Mumbai.
Everywhere you look is brimming with activity upon activity, all triggering your senses at once. It’s near impossible to choose which to channel in on and give your sole focus to, do you follow the fragrant and at times pungent smells, do you follow the frantic dash of motion with your sight, its even so vibrant at times you can almost taste the atmosphere around you and not to forget the constant bellow of thousands of car horns. The drivers of Mumbai are one horny bunch. Mumbai is an experience to awaken every part of your sensory system but it takes time to acknowledge just exactly how that is affecting you emotionally.
So far we have seen so much beauty, such as the amazing view of Mumbai sea front on a sunny clear day, yet in contrast the ugliness of the slums and homeless which are only ever centimetres apart. Though this is tearing you in two separate directions from happiness to shear sadness in a second the one place that as given familiarity and solace is the dance studio at Summeet Nagdev Dance Academy.
We have taught two sessions at the Dance Academy so far and will be leading the third this evening, Sunday 17th January. Outside the studio there a literally hundreds of homeless people living under various types of handmade shelters amongst bustling communities that are in abundance around the city, there is traffic and driving that resembles the whacky races and buildings that cover a spectrum as wide as derelict and crumbling to brand spanking new gleaming sky scrapers. Despite this mayhem and energy the minute we walked through the glass door of the studio I felt safe, welcomed and relaxed, I knew this place and instantly felt like I was home.
The students made us feel incredibly welcomed with their warm hospitable persona and giant friendly ear-to-ear smiles. If this didn’t blur reality, once the music was on and there were dancers rolling on the floor we could quite easily of been back in England, which is exactly where I thought I was, that was until the minute we stepped back through the glass door. This feeling has been ever present through both the sessions so far. I’m looking forward to this evening’s session to see if it brings anything new now that I’m starting to be able to relax and comprehend the culture and society I am temporarily shimmying along side of during my time here.
In a phrase I would describe my experience so far as being like, I have been put into a washing machine with more clothes than the drum can actually fit. Then, instead of softner, in goes a cup full of emotion and instead of soap powder in goes a cup full sensory vibrant overload.
Although it’s tough to really describe how I feel clearly and give one direct opinion of Mumbai I can say that is an amazing experience so far from home it really does make you appreciate what you have and those you love.
Next we go to Bangalore.
By Luke Rigg,
Dancer, 2Faced Dance