Somebody asked me a rather pertinent question recently, "Divya, what would you have been if you were not a dancer?" Wow!! That was a question that got me thinking and for what seemed like the longest time, I drew a blank (pun unintended). Odd, how it took a while to even get the whole thought process in motion! It crossed my mind to say something inane like "Probably, I'd have been employed with the United Nations working towards world peace." Actually, I had absolutely no idea what I should have said. Dance has consumed me for as long as I can remember. The obsessive manner with which, I have pursued this passion, really has not left me with the opportunity of doing too much else.
Of course, I would have had to find an alternate talent. I doubt my parents would have patiently stood by all my trials and tribulations in the absence of any real focus! Clearly a more conventional attempt at securing my livelihood? I feel blessed to have had the chance to follow my dreams and also manage to yield some promising returns.
Along with the banalities of earning livelihood, I am almost certain I would have further explored and developed some other interests. Art for instance? Perhaps been a part-time artist? I do paint, but sadly I do a rather lousy job at it. I am not self deprecatory. None of my works have ever elicited any spontaneous looks of awe from even my dearest and closest ones. It's always a very studied gaiety and a choked, "Wow! I never knew you paint so badly." Clearly art would not have helped me earn my bread and butter.
A singer perhaps? Being a dancer involves being in constant touch with singers. My passion for singing may have come to the fore had I pursued singing on a full-time basis. Giving up singing to pursue dance is a decision I've always regretted. (Who knows I could have been the next Lata Mangeshkar or K.S. Chithra lending my voice to the innumerable actresses in films hopefully working with different music composers). What ever may have been or what ever shall be... would probably not be as challenging as what I presently do! Ironically, despite medals and awards, you never quite have your performance figured out!
I guess this mystery and the desire to constantly raise my bar is what keeps me going. But then, it's like that for everyone in varying degrees, no matter what they opt to do and that's the beauty of it all! So to answer that question... I still don't know!