It all started with a phone call!
It was a regular Tuesday. I had finished my lectures and somehow fell asleep at 6 PM. Perhaps, I was just too tired. And then, that really annoying thing happened. We’ve all experienced it. It doesn’t make it any less annoying. My phone started ringing.
I picked it up.
“Hey Mandar, where are you?”
“I’m home. What happened?”
“There’s an emergency in the common room. We need you”
“Wait, what? Is everything alright”
“Yeah, yeah! Just come soon”
“Right, I’ll be there in 5”
I was a bit flabbergasted as I woke up from my sleep and couldn’t think much. So, I just splashed some water on my face and made my way to the common room. There were people from the Indian society practicing their dance and Osman, the person whose call woke me from my nap.
“Hey Osman, what’s up” I said
“We need you to dance for Diwali next week”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH was the first response in my head. I just said “Haha no” with a straight face.
But then, I found practicing steps just 10 minutes later. I’m just too easy to convince, I guess?
Now, if you know me, you’ll know I’m awkward at most things. So, me dancing is never a good sight. On stage? The last time that happened was some 10 years ago. I’m not a good dancer, not even in my wildest dreams. So, why did I agree to this?
Ever since coming to Dundee, I’ve been trying to do more and more things that I’ve never done before. Doing those has always made me feel better after completing them. And I’ve always been shy and introverted. So, I thought, you know what? Let’s do this. Let’s try something else. And everyone else claimed that they were just as terrible at dancing as me (they were pretty good actually.) But then, I decided to give it a shot and that was the end of my anxieties.
Over the next week, we practiced. I started knowing more and more people everyday and eventually I, by some miracle, was confident about my moves. I KNOW! It really was a miracle! And as we got closer to the day of the performance, all of my anxieties were replaced with a feeling of “This is gonna be fun.”
Diwali, if you don’t know, is one of India’s biggest festival. We clean our homes, prepare sweets, wear new clothes and, meet our friends and relatives. It’s by far the flashiest of all festivals as every house is lit with diya’s and lanterns. There are people lighting fire-crackers and everything just looks beautiful.
This was my first Diwali away from home and I was feeling homesick for the first time. Especially, on the day before Diwali, when I usually would spend the whole day lighting up my room with fancy lights and decorations. But, here in Dundee, I was feeling really bored. Fortunately, it was the day when UDIS had their Diwali function. And, even though I was just meant to perform, I wanted to help and not feel homesick.
So, I went to the Chaplaincy Centre at around 4. The event was meant to start at around 7. So, I tried helping them with whatever I could. And, I didn’t miss home after that all. In fact, it was one of the best nights I’ve had in Dundee so far! Plus, Indian food always fixes homesickness.
So, my advice to anyone reading this is to get involved! You’ll always feel so much better if you go out and do stuff instead of trying to watch from the sidelines! Go out, explore & experience!
And yes, I danced. On stage. In front of an audience. I don’t think too much about it anymore. It was just an experience that I needed to have, which I didn’t even know.
And if all of this seems ‘meh’ to you, I got to light a sparkler, so, yeah! 😀
‘Til next time!