RITAMBHARA SAHNI FOR PURVI
Purvi Rambhiya – My student and my friend now. A girl who thinks just like me. Strong headed and high on self – esteem. When she joint belly dancing with me she was a teenager but grew up strong really fast. She now is a part of my teaching and performing team as well at Belly Dance Institute Mumbai by Ritambhara Sahni.
PURVI’S REVIEW ON BELLY DANCE INSTITUTE MUMBAI BY RITAMBHARA SAHNI
Belly dancing was love at first sight. When I saw Shakira dancing on hips don’t lie. I was mesmerized with her moves thinking if I’d ever be able to do 10% of what she does. I decided to look for belly dancing classes in Mumbai. And boom came across Belly Dance Institute Mumbai by Ritambhara Sahni. I called them up immediately asking about the beginner’s course. I fondly remember speaking to Ritambhara Sahni about my decision of joining the institute but also had fear of body image issues. I was on the healthier side and was not sure if I’ll be able to learn the dance. Ritambhara promised ma that I won’t regret if I joined the institute. And she was right. I went for my first class a bit nervous though where I met Ritambhara – my teacher and other students. It was that day and it’s today I haven’t stopped Shimmying. I fell in love with Belly Dancing. All thanks to Ritambhara Sahni who has taught me from the scratch till the professional level that I’m learning. She’s always been a great mentor and a dear friend. I love how the positive aura of the class is when we’re dancing. Belly dance has also helped me grow physically, mentally and spiritually. It gives me so much positivity and I still look forward for my classes. I want to say that Joining Belly Dance Institute Mumbai by Ritambhara Sahni was the best decision I took at that that time.
Down the line I even wrote this article on body image because belly dance was one of the factors that did get me comfortable in my own skin. Do read.
I AM LIKE THIS ONLY
“Beta who will marry you??”This was a concern most elders came to me with.
Seriously? This question really makes me wonder whether the man in question will look beyond my appearance and see how beautiful a person I am from within. Is weight really such an important issue? Well, yes, this is another fat girl story but with a different twist.
Talking about being fat takes me back in time to the days when I was being teased about being overweight in school. I used to be a pretty chubby girl, embarrassed of my plumpness, which compelled me to keep to myself. I would not take part in any extracurricular activities that would put the focus on my body. So running, dancing and outdoor games was out of the question. Not only did the body image issue affect my physical training but it also scarred me mentally. I never really interacted with my classmates thinking, who would want to talk to a fat girl like me. And the umpteen nicknames I got like Rambo and fatso (no kidding) would just put me off people altogether.
I often questioned myself, wondering what it would be like, to be thin. Was my self-worth only defined by the weighing scale? This uncertainty led to a habit of constantly scrutinizing myself in everything I did which led to low self-esteem.
As I grew up, shopping became a hassle as I would have nothing available in my size. I would unwillingly settle for the Indian attire which looked decent and demure (Although I rock the Indian look now: P) so that I would not look shapeless. I often admired my friends who easily wore their skinny jeans and short skirts and wondered when I’d get there.
I can’t remember what triggered this change, but one fine day I decided, enough is enough! I need to take a stand, NOW! So I went on a self-imposed mission of sorts to lose weight. From waking up at 4 AM for a jog to skipping meals just to go down on those extra kilos, I did it all. But it made my life nothing but miserable. I realized I wasn’t doing the most rational thing by comparing myself to other skinny girls. I tried and failed with nothing but deficiencies in my body that affected my overall health.
Eventually, I gave up and began to think less about my flaws. The taunts never stopped. I would feel miserable when relatives asked me questions like how much I weighed.
Slowly, I realized that nobody cares how fat I am. I started to concentrate on doing the things I loved and that helped me boost my confidence. I was no more an introvert or a shy girl. I began to talk to people without any hesitation and I am now known as a lively and cheerful girl who always smiles. People began to look beyond my weight and remembered me for my cheerful attitude and charismatic smile.
However, things did change over the years. I happened to lose a few kilos without consciously making any efforts. I started to dance in my free time and belly dancing became my favorite past time and my fitness routine. It is the one thing that I look forward to everyday. I am still voluptuous and curvy…but the surprising part is that I love the way I look now. Today, I don’t want to be anything but myself. I don’t want to lose anymore weight, at least not for the society or that someone who would want to marry me (especially if he can only see my looks and weight).
The one thing I have learnt in my life is that you are what you choose to be. You can be a shy person and sit in a corner or you can go out and conquer the world by proving them wrong, just like I did. So now, my weight is the least of my concerns and I think that’s how it should be.