Dancing in circles

The sound of traditional Indian music blasted through the speakers as it made its way to where we were standing. In the middle of June, the heat was not as I bad as I expected it to, yet I could feel the heat dripping through my back and clinging to my shirt with every step I took. A group of girls from the elementary school approached us. They were at least twenty and they were all wearing sleeveless navy dresses with a pink shirt tucked underneath, loose jeans and a striped soft belt. Each of them had something that could pull her apart from the rest: they way each of them smiled, they spark their eyes that were ignited by the curiosity of seeing this different bunch of people they had never seen before, or the different tone and expression each of their voices had when they spoke to us in Gujarati. Suddenly I found myself dancing around in circles trying to follow they gracious movements these girls danced away to. Bit by bit, I understood and followed along as best as I could with my eyes still fixed on the skillful steps carefully calculated by these young girls. Isha, a social worker, tried to teach me as best as she could, but I think I could've never pulled off they graceful movements she made. Once again I felt the heat rush to all my body at once, but by that time I held on to the grip I had over the dance; I was sure I was not letting go of the rhythm at least for now.

Letting go has not been as hard as I had expected it to be during this trip. As a matter of fact, I try to let go of something everyday. Some days is the impatience that surrounds me, other days I let go of the expectations I build on throughout my day. Usually though, I try to hold on to a lot of things that I can in my life back at home. I hold on to as much as I can. I hold on to the smell of a freshly cooked pot of mole, the voice of my grandpa as he is telling a story and the sound of the shuffle of cards as we are playing Continental in the living room. I can tell that for the people of Lilapur, letting go is a common practice. A lot of families today let go of their food so we could eat at their houses; they treated us as guests of honor making us feel at home. The girls at the elementary school let go of their stage fright when they performed a beautiful musical routine for us without even knowing who we are and why were we there. It almost feels that all my life I have been dancing in circles. Following the endless schedule of making it through the weekend and then start lamenting all over again on Sunday, sleep walking from class to class with my headphones on and trying to fill up gaps with thoughts that sooner or later will fade away. I know it is not possible for me to let go of everything and that doing so would cause a lot of of chaos for me, but for now I try to let go and hold on tight at the same time. I let go of my insecurities, my stubbornness, and prejudice to hold on to the memories, the shared smiles and the flashes of joy I have had in my life. Everything else is just a background, not the first frame.