Musical Act

They danced, they acted, they wrote story line and they performed.

Shalvi, a young adult at Aarohi sharing her journey of making of "MAAYI", a musical act at Aarohi this summer of 2016.
The summer camp week started. On Monday, while I was sitting during the planning time, I wandered into my own world where I was thinking over on what would I want to do the most before leaving. One thing that came to my mind was that I want to prove myself that I still have it in me- what I started years ago, left but could never move on from. I lost my confidence over the last few years. I didn’t have any faith in myself- not even during those days when I was fetching good grades in college. Something always felt left out and I couldn’t figure out what it was. My whole life was planned out like any other kid in the world. The plan was to complete college and get a job. I got a job. After I started working a question struck my mind- now what? Will I keep working like this all my life? Is that it? Is that all there is in life? After a lot of discussion and processing of thoughts I finally quit my job and I came to Aarohi.

Aarohi has its own charm in the environment that it builds around itself. It affects anyone and everyone and people feel liberated. That is what I felt on my first day here. Liberated. I experienced something that I didn’t know what it was but today I think it was freedom. The air around this place lets you enjoy how and what you breathe, think, eat, dream, talk, learn, play and meditate.

The one thing that I lost touch of while all these years was performing my creation on a stage. Something that I thought I forgot about was brought back to me when I reached here. Since then all I have been thinking and dreaming about is a performance. During the planning time of this week of summer camp, I understood that we can think of doing any project and we can invite learners for participation if needed. Before the conductor of planning time could finish her words the idea of a musical act struck me. My whole morning went on deciding a story for that. Rest of the day was spent on deciding on how to fuse different songs. I downloaded a software and without any external help, learned to fuse songs with each other all by myself. I made the music for my act. Next day, I invited people to come participate in it.  When I reached Nectar to start with my session, only 2-3 people had come. For 2 minutes I showed them what I wanted by dancing to one part of the song. Within no time a lot of the kids wanted to participate in it. They didn’t know what it was but still wanted to participate. As I said earlier, I had a story in my hand which was divided into multiple scenes. I had noted down the roles for which I needed participants. Along with the actors I needed some people to handle the stage for activities like lights, handling of props, curtains, costume. Very soon we became a team of 9 people and everyone had at least one role. We had two and a half days before our final performance on Thursday night. In those days we only had 3 hours for practice- 2 hours after lunch and 1 hour after dinner. We all had a lot going on this week- sports, campus care, learning mela and basic skills. In spite of all of that we did not stop. We practiced, helped each other to learn the steps and arrange the costumes.

My personal experience: I was not only the director of the show but also one of the actors. I was practicing just like others. But my mind was constantly occupied with how to arrange for all these requirements that I mentioned earlier or how to direct a scene or what changes can I bring in a scene. Because the time I had to accomplish all of this was very less there were times when I even had thoughts of giving up reasoning it with myself that you are working way too hard and that you might not have enough time. I still kept continuing though. The fear was growing inside my head every minute of our practice as during that we all were forgetting steps or not able to think of more new steps. I, for myself, not only had the responsibility for learning the dance steps and directing the act but also to arrange for logistics. The whole day I was constantly thinking on all these things. I still kept working non-stop and somehow all these fears vanished away easily as I was constantly thinking on how to put my act in action. Then all I could of think of was putting my act on the stage. The idea of a show, the lights, the audience and most importantly proving it to myself that I can still get my confidence back, kept me going on and on. There were times when I worried if I was putting too much pressure on my team or if I was being too hard on them. But my little friends cooperated with me and each other so well that there was hardly any worry left for me to worry about. We danced, we acted, we laughed, we cried, we got injured, we recorded our voice in the music, we made a poster, we rehearsed and we rehearsed and we rehearsed. Finally the night. The applause from the audience was more than enough to tell me that I am welcomed. My act had flaws but people still liked it and I loved it. 

I cannot thank my team enough for being there and helping me in bringing my story alive. Still one more thank you to my team, to Aarohi and the audience.