I Like the Way You Move

When I first mentioned to my friend from Mumbai that I was going to spend Sundays at the Dharavi Shelter working on art projects with kids, he scoffed at me. A Sunday, especially a slightly hungover one, in the middle of the Indian Summer, in the middle of a slum? He grew up in Mumbai, and yet, at 29, had never been to Dharavi. He had better things to do. When I finally dragged him to come with me last week, after months of convincing, his reaction took us both by complete surprise. No matter how you feel, how bad your day was, how much the heartbreak hurts, there is something about a child who doesn’t have much yet whose smile is the size of the universe, that gets you inside. My friend made himself right at home, sitting on the floor with the children and teaching them how to paint dil se — from their hearts. I think I’ll be seeing him there every Sunday…..

This morning was a particularly special and wonderful one. It’s been a bit of a tough week for me, but at 7 am this morning, all of my anxiety melted away when I walked into the Akanksha center. The Akanksha Foundation has a showcase at the end of the month where the children will display what they have learned throughout the year—their talents, their achievements, their worlds. Their family and friends will be invited, as well as the full board of Akanksha and its main sponsors. Recently, I met a renowned Bollywood choreographer who is an assistant to the famous Saroj Khan. He has choreographed many blockbuster Bollywood movies including Love Aaj Kal and Wanted. I told him about Akanksha and about the upcoming showcase, and I organized for him to come to the center and help me conduct dance workshops with the children. He was interested in helping out, but at first negotiated strict time constraints as per his shooting schedule. Once he arrived though, he pleaded with the teachers to let him stay and work with the kids, even for just a little bit longer? Together, we taught them a dance to the hit Bollywood song, “Uff Teri Ada, I Like the Way You Move,” and the kids seriously blew my mind. They couldn’t stop themselves from dancing even during breaks, and they helped each other learn the steps, held each other’s hands, and coached each other to get it just right. And for that time, when you looked at those children, they didn’t seem like kids from the slum that lead otherwise harsh lives. They were Bollywood heroes and heroines, performing for the world, losing themselves in the moment and the music.

One thought on “I Like the Way You Move

  1. Perfectly pent written content, appreciate it for selective information. ¡°The bravest thing you can do when you are not brave is to profess courage and act accordingly.¡± by Corra Harris.


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