Jhumpa Chakraborty, a classical Indian dancer and long-time resident of Oman, who has performed with her troupe in different parts of the world over the years, believes that dance offers her immense solace and the right disposition to take on the everyday challenges of life.
During the lockdown, she initially could not come to terms with teaching dance online, but has now adjusted to this new way of life to maintain a connect with her students and her passion. Here’s what she has to say:
The year 2020 began with the usual pomp and festivity, new goals and projects to work on but little did I know that a minuscule virus could bring the world to a standstill and change our way of living drastically. In the beginning of the lockdown, I thought that this is a matter of a month or two and that things will soon get better and normal. Looking back, after four months, I realize how naive I was in underestimating the massiveness of this pandemic.
Nowadays, a major part of the day goes in washing hands, disinfecting everything which comes from outside, sanitising every possible place which can harbour the virus and washing clothes. At the beginning, whenever I got back home from outside, there was total confusion about what to do first – clean hands or the door handles, the mobile phone or sunglasses, or take a bath! Initially, it was an irritating and humongous task, but as days passed into weeks and months, it has become a regular routine affair. That shows how well we human beings can adapt to difficult situations.
Dance has always helped me overcome difficult times in the past and it didn’t fail to do that this time, as well. I was always very averse to teaching dance online; now, this pandemic has made me accept online teaching and it has been an absolute blessing. I can’t imagine what I would have done without my students and dance classes. I still am not comfortable with online classes but it’s so very nice to see the smiling faces of my students and share the joy of dancing with them.
Apart from my classes, I am also performing on different social media platforms (as that is the only place people are interacting these days) along with my dance fraternity. There are many performances, talk shows, discussions, happening live on Facebook which are quite enriching. There were also quite a few dance events planned for this year, which had to be called off. I am hoping for better days to come by soon.
The fact that I can’t meet my friends or family whenever I want to is very difficult to cope with. But, the time is such that we have to bow down and accept whatever is available. So now, we celebrate all special occasions and festivals online with family and friends. It is quite fun, actually!
The world was already revolving around the Internet prior to the pandemic, but somehow, in the past few months we have realised it, ever so strongly, how everything can stop functioning without that invisible thing called the Internet. The morning walks with fresh air and nature around me is a much better option to me now than the air-conditioned gym. And not to forget, that home cooked food can taste as good as restaurant food, if you desire so.
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