It’s six in the evening and the crest of the mountain surfaces before me, purple, blue, green. I walk faster, conquering the ache in my tired legs. I do not want to miss this moment. Then I’m at the top and the world lies below my feet. The sun has just begun his descent into the folds of the mountain on the other side, the sky is streaked in mauve, orange and yellow. I sit on a rock and watch the sun’s majestic descent. The colors deepen into purple and a dark blood red. A slight breeze brushes past me, carrying the fragrance of the earth. In a few moments, it will be dark, in a few moments the night will be here and I will have nothing but the stars to guide me. Yet, I cannot leave, the beauty is too much upon me and I hold this moment in the palm of my hand.
Now as I sit to write my story, this moment comes to me…perhaps because it tells the story of my life as an artist, of someone who creates beauty through movement. I think now of other moments that tell that story….
My earliest memory is the tinkling of ghungroos and the thrumming of drums, as I wait impatiently to dance. Then my feet pound the rhythm, my muscles rise to the challenge of the beat, sweat pours down my back, and I am joyous for the dance has begun. As my body moves through space, a secret unfolds in its lines of movement. I laugh, I celebrate, my body tells a story. Dance for me is the telepathic synchronicity of bodies in motion, an intimate connection, my dance tells my partner, my audience– your presence is meaningful to me.
If dance is a celebration of life, yoga is life itself. When I first started yoga at the age of 9, I became aware of the fragility and immense power of the human body. Over time, I discovered that the practice of yoga is about healing the body through the mind– emotions surface and are allowed to run their course, and then a deep tranquility floods the soul.
It was this experience of quiet meditation that drew me to art. I think of art as meditation in movement. The sooty, powdery charcoal crumbles beneath the grasp of my fingers. My fingers grip the brush, the charcoal stick, the piece of pastel and I create a world. With each stroke, I am pulled into the canvas. Control, precision and letting go–I study the object, I shift a line, add a daub of color, mix shades, the art unfolds before me and I become a part of it. I think of art as a living object with emotion and it is this emotion that pulls the viewer in and makes her feel my joy.
I think of yoga, dance and art as expressions of my innermost self. Just as the sun runs its course and melts into the evening sky, I try and capture beauty through movement. And that evening as I made my way through the dark night, with only the sliver of a moon guiding me through boulders, rocks and craggy paths, I realized that to attain great beauty challenges must be overcome. And then When I reached home, I felt great peace because for a few moments I had made a connection with the universe.