Here is a comment from a fictitious name(INDIAN BRIDE) and from an equally fictitious email id, that I publish, because this is a view point that young dancers( issue not strictly restricted to young artistes alone) and their parents should be aware of/ or consider :-
I am a Bharatanatyam student of the yester years brought up in a upper middle class family in Madras. I wasn’t a bad student, went to one of the best Gurus, danced in the group productions of the institute. We didn’t have the money, connections or a good marketing plan that are warranted to become a professional dancer. Even the Rs 2500 or 5000 that we needed to put in to pay the orchestra and organizer of the dance festivals wasn’t a sum we could come up with very often. I had siblings who needed to be taken care of too. As most middle class girls were expected to be, I was a reasonably good student and got a Masters degree. I am not sure if it was to ensure future financial security or to obtain a good “Varan” ( prospective husband). But I continued to harbour this unreasonable belief that I would make it.
Then I got a great hubby from the developed world. I was so happy. It wasn’t easy to find a foreign educated husband who earned well, had his own house and great in laws. They all loved the fact that I looked beautiful and danced well. I went away in all pride bearing dreams to become a “somebody” in the golden land. I don’t exactly mean being a dancer/teacher but even land up with a 9-5 office job. After the initial honeymoon period, the grave reality of the situation began to set in.
The long nails that I so lovingly painted were now broken from all the housework. Then it was 2 pregnancies and child births with minimal assistance. Mothering, diapering etc and before I knew 7 years were done. My kids are young adolescents but now I am constantly behind them to pursue their dreams, chauffeuring them to their classes, being there for whomsoever in the family back home or here needs me. Sometimes when I look at my girls I wonder if all they will lose their dreams like I did.
I just want to let all the young girls and their parents know that if they are really serious about their career as a dancer(or anything at all), then they should chart out their plan much more seriously. To expect compromises only from women somehow seems natural, taken for granted, but, of course, is highly biased. While family circumstances may force our hands, qualified women should never, never waste their talent. The ability of women to multitask is just amazing. Men can, but between work and watching TV or browsing the net etc. Women can multitask doing real tasks – rearing children, running the home, working – with impossible ease.
But all said and done to really believe in your dreams and keep at it is HARD”
Dear Indian Bride,
Thanks for sharing your views here. I really appreciate the concern and goodwill behind this gesture.