I am strolling about, hunting for the store that will give me my first pair of ballet slippers, eager to find it fast, half-scared they will sense I am not one of them, and not let me have the pink pair.
I have always wanted to be a ballerina. Most girls do, at some point. I would keep bringing the same book from the library – just to read about the ballets, or see girls in pretty tutus, in breath-taking poses. And I yearned to be one of them.
I am not in a bad place – I dance Bharatanatyam, I love it – and it is a big part of me now, in the way I think. But ballet has always been the one thing I badly wanted.
And then I got a chance.
I was told there are no pink slippers in my size. I will have to buy the black ones. I am telling myself, I am an adult, learning the art is more important than the colour of your shoes, black is so slimming besides – not that I have fat feet..Mercifully, she found a pink pair at the bottom of the pile. I had never prayed so hard, nor thanked God so profusely before.
Buying those pink slippers was the most exciting shopping experience for me ever. Then, the going home and stitching elastic bands to it – being part of these tiny rituals that made a ballerina a ballerina – learning the french terms, executing awkward jumps and shaky pirouettes – there was not a person happier than me.
I dont get to attend ballet as often as I would like (I would like it everyday, and I have attended about four classes in half a year!), but I still stand before the mirror, practising my turnout, hoping very badly, that one day I will dance it.
“Plie is the first thing you learn and the last thing you master.” -Suzanna Farrell