The Dancer’s Diary

Creative People :

  1. Easily Bored.
  2. Take risks.
  3. Color outside the lines.
  4. Make lots of mistakes.
  5. Known to be eccentric.
  6. Hate the rules.
  7. Work independently.
  8. Constantly changing.
  9. Think with their heart.
  10. Dream Big.

Every person who wants to work in a creative field, will show at least seven out of the above ten traits. Pinterest, Tumblr, ScoopWhoop will all vouch for me. But imagine if you had all these ten traits, and you were expected to work like a blinded-uncreative-donkey? I’m sure even some donkeys eat paper creatively. What happens to human beings when their life expectations fall and their salaries rise?  What happens to a painter when he gets a job at an MNC to punch numbers into an excel sheet all day?  What happens to a poet when he is made to rhyme in Java?

When you meet someone extremely passionate about something, you wonder how they are able to dedicate so much of themselves to that one thing. Aren’t they afraid of failure? Of not being good enough? Of not getting the right opportunities?

As if to answer my questions just in time, I met my fifth feature on Re-Engineer Yourself. We began our conversation with her saying,

“Nobody except you will know how much something means to you. It’s all about what You want for your future and your life. If you listen to people who say, you can’t do something you really want to, you won’t even try.” 

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Gowri Neelavar – Dancer by choice, B.Arch by circumstance 

Some dancers began their journey tapping their feet in the womb. Ask Gowri, she says,

I loved dancing right from the age of six. It was the only thing that makes me feel that rush. I’ve been into it from day one. I had decided from the very beginning. Whatever I do, I will be something related to this, and this won’t be my hobby. I had to take it seriously.

Well, here we go again, I thought. Another incredibly talented person who knew what they wanted to do with life, and yet, is studying a totally unrelated course. Why Architecture, I asked her.

“I didn’t take up dance as a degree because I don’t believe in degrees for art… I don’t believe a dance exam or anything can make you a better performer or an artist. Studying dance? Yes, love it. Not a degree. 

 I liked the idea of designing and without much thought, I chose architecture. Dance is with me. I wanted to learn new things. As strange as this may sound, architecture has added to me as an artist. Thank god.”

Architecture seems to be working for her, but it might not for someone else. Ask her what she would say to someone who wanted to pursue dance, especially, girls from middle-class Indian homes, she says,

Young girls must know their worth. Its really not as bad as it seems. Know what makes you happy. If  it’s important what your families say, and it makes you happy, choose that life. If doing what you like makes you happy, then choose that. It’s really just a choice. 

The normalcy in her tone, and the fact that she did not yell heavy phrases like ‘Don’t care about Society’ or ‘Be a rebel’, really appealed to me. Then again, when you know, you just know. As much as we all like to stress about risk-taking or chasing an unusual dream, ask anyone who has made it in life, they will all say the same thing.

It’s really just a choice. 

But what matters is, not letting someone else make that choice for you. Take advice, learn from other people’s mistakes. But from your first date, to where your last pay cheque comes from, you have to choose. Gowri recalls an experience of her own to validate my point here.

” The minute I took architecture, everybody said I won’t have time for anything else. I saw seniors quitting  extra curricular activities, telling me this won’t work. This course won’t allow me to dance and I won’t be able to strike a balance. But I made a choice, and I can relate to what I do today.  So when your heart says you can do it, don’t listen to others. The extent to which you can go to achieve what you really want will surprise you.” 🙂 

Gowri Neelavar is now a dancer, actor, model among other things. She has been featured in quite a few short films, Bangalore based photographers love to work with her, and most people who have met her , remember her by her lively spirit.

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Get in touch with Gowri here at www.facebook.com/AskAshiBlog , and if you are the type of person who can only dance when no one is watching, that doesn’t make you any less cooler. The thing is,

You can admire a free spirit from a distance, or fly with it. You sure as hell can’t chain it down. 

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