Growing up, I did Bharatanatyam dance, an Indian classical dance that is considered the ballet of India. I completed my arangetram, or graduation, nearly six years ago, and haven’t danced since, which isn’t unusual here in North America, but in India, the arangetram marks the beginning of a dancer’s career, and indicates that they have completed their initial training. During performances, dancers wear a dancing costume, long braids, and gunghroos, which are bells worn on the feet to accentuate footwork. Today, I’ve written a letter to my gunghroos, which I have had since I was in elementary school.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other, and I hope you’re doing well. You probably don’t really care how I’m doing, since the most caring thing you ever did was smash my ankles and the tops of my feet repeatedly, and absorb their blood when your corners slit them. But nevertheless… I miss the sound of your bells, and the firmness of your hold. I miss the strength you gave my steps, and the way you added life to my movements. I will never forget about the time during my Bharatanatyam arangetram where I completely forgot about you, and some of the beauty of my steps was lost. I didn’t forget you after that. But I must say — my ankles were relieved.
I hope that we can be together again sometime soon. I’ve needed the time away from you, but I’m finding that I miss you now. I’m sure you would love to taste my sweat again, too… wouldn’t you?
Maybe sometime over the next few months I’ll have the courage to visit you again and try you on for size. In the meantime, I hope you’re happy, safely tucked away with the rest of the costume pieces and jewellery we once shared.
Your Old Dancer