I had gone to Konkan for a dance trip with my dance sir and guru bhaginis just before COVID-19 struck, it was a very new experience for me, I learned lots of things and had a lot of fun!
I wrote tiny notes about our days in Konkan in my phone, so what you’re going to read is a mixture of the notes from then and present me writing this now. Hope that made sense!
We stayed at sir’s house at night, I did not sleep even for a bit, I was tossing and turning the whole night, but yeah we got up at 2 am, had a bath, got ready and loaded into the bus at 3 am. We reached CST at 5 and boarded the train (tejas express)
Sakshi’s mom had made idli chutney so we all ate that, and then we chatted for a while but then eventually everyone went to sleep except me, I was reading. When everyone woke up, we played damsharas and a game that sir invented that involved Bharatanatyam shlokas lol. It was really fun! We made a lot of noise. Then at around 12:30 we reached Kudal and came to sir’s Maushi’s place, they have a flat for us here. The complex is really pretty! There are tons of beautiful flowers here.
The flat is on the third floor, so we had to drag our entire luggage up the stairs. Then we were told to go to sleep so that’s what we did. In the evening sir joined us, and we all practised, it went quite well, and then we went and had dinner at maushi’s place.
We took all the things we’d need for today’s performance and stuffed everything into our bus, we went to the mandir, (mandir’s name) and we had a quick rehearsal and sir and tai made arrangements for the stage. We went to sir’s relative’s house, and we looked around at some plants and farms there.
The leaves were super c r u n c h y.
I was having a lot of fun stomping on them, we never get leaves like that in Mumbai. Anyway, we ate lunch (there were pakodas, they were really tasty!) and then we lied down but still kept chatting so sir told us to be quiet and then said whoever makes a noise is a donkey, so we all hushed but sir kept talking to us but when no one answered, he walked out to the porch and started peeking through the windows and making faces to get a reaction out of us. I had no idea why he was doing that but I wanted to laugh so bad!
We all very quickly went to sleep. After some time we got up and got ready. I wasn’t really good at doing makeup that day, it took me longer than it should have.
This is me everyday before I did makeup... I don't really like doing makeup.
This is me after my makeup, I look so different!
We went to Sateri Devi Mandir and got everything ready. For our first performance, Bhagyada Lakshmi, we had some magic candles (those candles that do not blow with the air, they die when the candles get really short) taped on plates and we had to light them just before we went on stage. What happened is we were introduced and got the go signal from sir so tai started lighting our candles. But then a politician or someone took the mic and said they wanted to say something. We all were all like, oh my god, what do we do now? We waited for a while and it became clear that they were going to talk for long, and the candles were burning at a fast rate, the backstage area was really small and it was getting really hot. We started to blow at the candles, but they wouldn’t douse because they were magic candles, we frantically kept blowing non-stop at the candles trying to make them burn slower, and finally after blowing and coughing (there was a lot of smoke) we finally managed to douse the candles. Finally, the politician stopped talking, so we lit the candles again, but we had forgotten that sir’s niece was going to say a few lines too. When we realized what was happening we all did the blowing thing AGAIN, at this point, we were nervously giggling for some reason; we taped an extra candle to all our plates and finally went on stage and danced.
The dances went quite good, I forgot two steps tho.
We went to yet another relative’s house for the night. We had our costumes spread all around the room, so they could dry. We ate. There was some beetroot salad, and I was gulping it down with some water and I don’t know what happened, I think I choked on it, I started coughing and pink colored water came out my mouth, I was SO embarrassed lol why am I writing this here??
This is what I wrote in my notebook for this day:
We had a long day of going to mandirs and bus rides today. I didn’t even sleep very well because 3 of us were sleeping on the same mattress sharing one chadar and it got really cold and I was on the floor half the time, but whatever. We wore matching dresses today!
We visited three houses first. The adults drank chai at every house and then we visited lots and lots of mandirs. We visited around 7-8 mandirs today. We went to Vetoba mandir, Vithoba mandir and Datta mandir for quick (but not that quick) stage rehearsals. All the mandirs were really beautiful.
We ate thalis for lunch and Devashree, Sakshi and I chatted and bonded for a bit and Sakshi just ‘in your face-d me’ about Saraswati being Brahma’s daughter instead of his wife and down we’re sitting and researching it. (Saraswati is both Brahma’s wife AND his daughter. Weird.)
The scenery of Konkan is really beautiful tho… I took lots and lots of beautiful pics.
We were back at mausi’s house today. We all sat and talked, sir and tai told us many things about dance, and we were all feeling very inspired, we got ready, and went to Vetoba mandir for our performance. It was the best performance ever. I had so much fun, didn’t make a mistake, everything went smoothly. I didn’t feel even a bit tired after the performance, I started singing the Doraemon theme song backstage while packing everything up and Sakshi joined me lol it was so fun!
Now it’s almost like we have fixed seats on the bus, I and Devashree sit together, alternating our chances at the window. While coming back today, we played antakshari, it was lots of fun, the best day of the trip!
Same as usual, we woke up, practised, got ready, went to Vithoba mandir, made arrangements and danced.
Then sir and the tais’ gave an interview to konkan’s local news while we sat and waited outside.
Later we went to a local restaurant for dinner, and I noticed there was only one veg thali, everything else was fish. Konkan’s cuisine has a lot of fish and coconut.
There were cats roaming around these places, one of them bit sanaya didi, we all started screaming.
Day 6 was the same as day 5, we got ready, went to datta mandir for our performance.
Later we went for dinner and tried to avoid the cats roaming under our tables.
our last day, we had a performance very late at night,
I was feeling really nauseous before going on stage, but it slowly melted away as we danced. A few dances in, I saw a person come up the stairs and throw a wad of money into the air as we danced. Sir, who was behind us and didn't see him, heard a wild flutter and turned while continuing to dance, the notes all flew in the air and settled at our feet. Later in a hurried tone between dances, sir told us to take care and not slip on those notes, they were slick new notes. I felt so bad dancing on them. But whatever, it was a great day! I was like, we did it! We finished our dance tour! We went back and slept peacefully, knowing we wouldn't have to wake up as early.
Next day we filmed videos for everyone who had helped us so immensely all these days, we had butterscotch ice cream, and we left for Mumbai in the same train. we had a lot of fun, playing name place animal thing and damsharas.
We got back home at a very right time, because the next day the western railway trains were stopped!
I learned a lot of things during this trip, saw lots of new places, met new people, made friends, danced. A lot. And had fun! I was exhausted but extremely happy!