In the middle of a pounding heart and a trembling body, Bharatanatyam dancer Rhea Mahajan catches her breath to say thank you to her teacher. She had just been told by her that she was now ready for her arangetram, a performance that follows years of training. Only once the news had sinked in did Mahajan find composure. It was a big moment for her as it is for every dancer—their first solo show. For Mahajan, the big day is on August 6 and she cannot stopped thinking about it.
Her happiness knew no bounds that day when she got the news. She ran home to tell her parents. “My father was going to take an hour to reach home from work. In that short period, I must have called him 50 times. When he came home, he hugged me tightly, and we did a little jig. Very sweetly, my mother reminded him it was his daughter’s arangetram, not his,” she says smilingly.
While an arangetram showcases the maargam (traditional format of the dance form), within that, there are some exciting moments for the 20-year-old dancer. “My main piece, the varnam, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is the coming together of satchitananda and the abhinaya pieces that look at Krishna through twin prisms of bhakti and shringara,” she says.
Mahajan has been learning the classical dance form as a disciple of Padamshri Geeta Chandran for 12 years. She completed her graduation in Commerce from Gargi College, University of Delhi. As a member of the dance society of her college, she honed her skills at various inter-college and national festivals, in addition to choreographing performances. Accountancy has always been her favourite subject, but not more than the lessons travel has to teach. She quotes Saint Augustine.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page.” In the long term, globetrotting is what she wants to spend her time doing. She now looks forward to working with Ernst & Young.
Her’s is a free spirit that lives in the present. It doesn’t regret the past nor does it fear the future, she tells us. “It believes that life is beautiful and must be savoured,” she says. But of all things, food finds a special mention.
‘All is well’, ‘I’m jealous of me’ and ‘self belief’ are her mantras. They are her confidence that she proudly wears like a badge everywhere she goes.
Good to know: August 6, at 6.30 pm, at Chinmaya Mission Auditorium, 89 Lodi Road. Entry free.