It was that time of the year again - sometime after the monsoons. Almost all the colleges in Mumbai had their festivals going. You know what that means, right? Competitions everywhere! Dancing, singing, sports, debates and even cooking were all a part of every college’s activity schedule. Every year, I would take part in dancing because I simply love it! The funny part is that I never took any dance classes, it came naturally to me. You could say dancing was in my blood, it was a way to express myself.
I’ve never stood first in any competition, which was a personal setback for me. I’ve always bagged the second or third prize. Even though my parents and relatives didn’t push me, somewhere, I knew I had to focus and push harder. In this, my biggest support system was my boyfriend, Armaan. Even though we didn’t share the same passion for dance, he always stood by me. From constantly telling me that I’m a brilliant dancer to cheering for me at every audition, he did it all. In fact, once, he even wrote my name on a huge chart paper and held it high so that I could see it while performing! It read, “Juhi, you’re the best. Go kill it!” And I did! I took home a medal that day.
A week after that happened, I got to know that I cleared a dance audition at this famous college in South Bombay. I always loved its architecture and was enamoured by it. But, boy! Did that college have some serious talent! Every student was intelligent and brewed with competitiveness. I knew I’d be up against the cream of the crop.
I had a week to go, and I made sure that every day after college I got home, took a bite and practised my steps. As the day got closer, my anxiety kicked in. I couldn’t get proper sleep because I wanted to stand first, and that took a toll on my health.
On the day of the competition, I remember my fingers trembling. I was scared and nervous at the same time. I called Armaan and broke down. He immediately came over and calmed me down.
He accompanied me to the competition and held my hand through the cab journey. We got off and I walked to the registration desk, got my number and decided to wait inside a classroom for my turn. Sipping on water after every five minutes and lost in thought, I never even realized that Armaan was sitting right next to me. The classroom was spacious and empty (just like the thoughts in my head)
He told me something really important that day. He said that a metal cup shouldn’t govern my passion. “Dance for yourself, dance for your freedom and most importantly, dance to express your happiness”, he said. Without giving him a chance to speak another word, I kissed him. He didn’t hold back either. He cupped my face and gave in passionately. He then planted soft kisses all over my neck, cleavage and earlobes. As I began to moan softly, he then gently sucked my neck and just when my hand went to reach between his legs, he held it tight and kissed me straight on my forehead. I gave him a surprised look, and he said that it was the kiss of good luck.
I smiled back at him and walked to the dance hall as soon as I heard them call my name. I just had 3 minutes to prove myself. For the first time, my eyes weren’t on the prize. They were on me. My passion. My personality. As I performed, I wasn’t afraid of the stares and comments. All that mattered was that I had one person in the crowd who believed in me.