Once a year, there is a fair in our town which people started organizing when I was a teenager. It is called ‘Bal Mela’ and schools of the whole town participate to have art competitions, performances of dance and theater and more things which make a beautiful show.
When I was in school, we also participated and I remember that I have several times performed on that stage. Adolescents were also encouraged to make stalls at the side of the grounds. One year I sold chai and snacks which my mother had prepared at home. Another year, I had my camera with me, took photos of people against an advance and sold them, bringing them by their homes once they were developed.
As I mentioned, our friend Melanie from France is here at the Ashram as well and she has come to stay for a long time. In the evenings, she has been contributing to the entertainment of our guests and us by performing her fire dance, with burning poi that she swings all around her. It is spectacular to watch and knowing that the Bal Mela was coming up, Purnendu talked to one of his friends who happens to be the organizer to this event. Wouldn’t it be a great start for the evening program?
Additionally, we have our group here and wanted to show them a bit something of our town! So Purnendu went and took them all along – Melanie, our guests and of course the Ashram children including Apra.
Once there, everybody had a great time! As usual in India, the dance program started much later than previously announced but the audience was rewarded for their patience with Melanie’s amazing fire dance on the big stage. When she saw this, Apra immediately also wanted to come on stage and perform as well!
Spontaneously, Purnendu talked to his friend once more and soon it was time: the anchor announced our little dance star! She came out onto the stage and danced to one of her favourite songs which she had already learned a dance for this summer. She got enourmous applause and came home proudly with a medal and a cup which she had won by participation!
Before they left, the organizers asked all of our guests to come to the stage as well. We had a lot of fun still this morning at the breakfast table when they told how they all walked up the stage as honour guests of the event!
Oh, and now here we are, two proud parents who cannot help but admire their daughter who gets up on a stage in front of hundreds of strangers, performing a dance without previous preparation for this occasion, in the clothes her mother had quickly dressed her in before leaving! She had great fun and I am proud to say she is my daughter, the daughter of a performer as I have myself already been in young age.