The Free Fall Of a Girl in Doubt – Ankita BiswasDecember 26, 2016
My first encounter with Nukkad Natak was in my first year during college fest. It left me spell bound. It made me laugh, it made me cry,it made me think and as usual it made me doubt; doubt myself. The amazing artists out there performing with such confidence, looking straight into the eyes of the viewer like a darting arrow made me lower my eyes; as usual.
I was a very conscious girl, shy, had extreme low self confidence and was afraid of almost everything especially something new; some change. I always tried too hard; too hard to be a certain type. I was trying to find myself in the messed up college lifestyle. And I knew I had to break the habit of doubting my abilities, whether I had it or not, which was stopping me from trying-trying anything new. It stopped me from exploring.
Looking at those nukkad natak performances I thought that- I can never do that. I can never have that level of confidence. But destiny had other plans for me. It wanted me to be out there in the streets. It wanted me to explore and meet people and get the spark in the eyes that sets the heart beating. It was time to embrace a new art form. Something that ran in my blood. Theatre.
So on persuasion by a friend, I went to give audition for an independent theatre group called Khanabadosh. Miraculously, I was selected. Two weeks later I was part of a theatre group that would become a part of my soul. I became a part of something I dreaded the most. But somehow, this time I was ready for it. Ready to take the challenge. I let go everything and just took a giant leap. And so the journey of my transformation began.
Saturday and Sunday became the days I looked forward to. Every session was a surprise- a surprise for me, by me. I was shocked to find myself expressing my thoughts out loud. It was such a good feeling to express and shout at the top of my voice without feeling a speck of hesitation. I felt the child in me taking a rebirth while dancing in the most carefree way and making loud, weird faces at people. I sensed my thought process changing. How free and happy I felt at that field. It’s pure love. I myself was exploring a new me.
All this magic happened because of the people that khanabadosh consisted of. Eventually, I made friends and family for life. I found My People. Everybody provided the other the space and comfort one needed to grow without any expectations or pressure. It provided us the space to build ourselves which would eventually lead us to build a better society. The open sky, the cool breeze, the green surrounding and My People, invoked the hidden passions of mine.
2 months later I proudly wear the much loved and respected kala kurta and come down on the streets to perform. And I wasn’t afraid or conscious or doubting. That’s when I knew, this is it. It was the best feeling ever. To be on the other side and look straight into the eyes of the audience and question them, make them cry, make them laugh and make them think.
That was the day I felt liberated; liberated from some unknown cage that was not strangling me but had clutched me tight in its grip. This felt just amazing, so peaceful. Theatre hit me like a blow; a good one. It was like waking up from an amazing trance. It opened the many little bottled up fragments of me. It gave me people for life, it awoke the hidden writer in me, it gave voice to my thoughts, it made me push and explore my limits. Most importantly, it made me believe in myself.
I ended up pursuing a foreign language diploma course along with college. I did numerous internships and travelled a lot of new places. I started spending time with new people, getting to know their stories and making mines along the conversations. It improved me as a dancer. I became more expressive and experimental with my dance form – Kathak. I found solace in myself and peace in silence. I am still being carved and chiseled and perfected by almost everything around me. I am no more afraid to take a leap and enjoy the journey till the end to see if there lies a cushion or rock at the end of the free fall. For now, what matters, is, the journey.
For now, what matters, is, the journey. All I have to do is take a deep breath and think that if I could do theatre, I can do anything, just let it come. Lets free fall to rise higher.
That’s my story, that is Ankita Biswas as of now.