The Dance

Sunita Giri 11:42 PM |


In just a months later, children’s day will be celebrated here in Nepal. When I was child this day used to the biggest day in our life, as it used to be celebrated with much fanfare on 4th of Bhadra, which falls on early days of third week of August. On this day the birthday of the late queen mother, used to fall, who perhaps was the founder of Bal Mandir. Needless to tell you, with much ado ! this day held very important part of my childhood days.


The best part of this day was that there used to be big celebration, we were given sweets and there used to be program at the big lawn inside the Bal Mandir as well as outside. We were part of both programs, there used to be nationwide competition on dancing and singing, drama, which ultimately used to take place in Royal Nepal Academy hall for the grand finale. Because, in mid ‘80s it was the royal ruling era in our country, so this particular day used to create so many buzz inside the Bal Mandir as well as create huge noise and attention in the country. At the same time this single even used to make royal members busy like bees. Without a doubt, those days were pure fun and escape from the boring schedule of school and home and study for many children like me, who used to take part in dancing or singing competition, regardless of which school they attended.


It was the time we used to get a chance to be friend with other school children. Bal Mandir  was not just a children home but also a big training center for after school programs, that used to train budding talents in dancing, singing, drama, and many other creative areas of life. Here all the program used to take place for the grand finale and about three weeks before the main event, royals mainly the three sisters of king Birendra or the sister of  queen mother, used to come to Bal Mandir and then select only the best one they liked most from amongst the many participants for the big event. The sisters used to take this task one at a time, my personal favorite was late princess Sharada Shah, the middle sister of late King Birendra. Under her management food used to be better than the other sisters. Other sisters used to save more money than spend money that was allotted for the event.


Once they used to select the dance, song and then drama almost immediately we were needed to go to Royal Nepal Academy for rehearsal for the big day to be acquainted with big stage accordingly with our dancing groups, or singers or drama. Getting used to on this big stage used to take almost fifteen days every year. Those days were one of  the best days of my childhood life. It was also a good escape from the stale and bland food from Bal Mandir, because during those days they used to provide us almost three meal or at times four from five star hotel. As for those in dancing practice it was made even easier because, unlike during the learning of dance steps prior to selection, the songs used to get recorded and from then onward only the record players was needed to be pushed for dance practices.


At one time, a dance group was selected from a deaf school, which is inside the Bal Mandir premises. It was the days we were getting prepared for the big day and then it was turn of the this particular group on stage. During those practices all other participants like me, used to take audience seat and needed to watch it quietly. As the four in that group were practicing their dance steps, suddenly there was a problem in the cassette player and it stopped.


But to our delight their dance did not; because, they were deaf and they had mastered dancing with the beat and rhythm of practice and without much help of the sound of music. If they had not realized this or we even on this matter; then that day it was revealed when the cassettes did not work, but they did not stop dancing. Their trainer and team leader tried their best to stop the dance by making noise and signs but they still did not hear the claps or see those signs they were making from the front. We were laughing like anything on our seats, but our laughter were also useless. When they finally stopped, they were almost at the end of that dance and they looked really puzzled when they saw us laughing in our seats.  


When I look back there are many things in my life that makes me think hard for the things  that have made me laugh then when I was young. But now I don't think its a matter of laugh anymore. That dance, those swift twirls and turns and the perfect steps by those four deaf and mute group was a pure mistake of a record player not working temporarily, but today when that scene reels in my mind, it teach me that if one practice really hard, how the deaf and mute can dance in the tune of music which they actually can't hear; yet they can dance.

If you have not seen that dance you may have believe there might be slightest chance that they do listen the sound of music, on which they were dancing, but; they did not and we presume that they do, if not then how come they can they dance ? we can always ask those question but the truth and assumption are two different things. They danced anyway; regardless of what we presumed. They call it practice and practice and practice make man perfect.


Was that a laughing matter to see that dance without music ? But I always forgive myself for the mistake I have made when I was young and innocent. I was not even in my teen years when I saw this dance so I can still laugh at it and then learn from that incident, Can't I ?


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